14 January - 3 March 2000

Well the adventure is under way. Since my last Long Letter I have been busily packing up and moving half way around the world once again. Maybe one of these days I will do the circumnavigation rather than go half way and then back again?

Nothing of much importance to tell about the wrap up of the old job at Washoe Health. It was less than a month ago and as I sit here today it seems like it was years. I left there, and Accountemps, on a very positive footing so I actually have a job prospect that I could go back to but hope it does not come to that. The packing and leaving my apartment fell into place fairly well. I only had two small glitches. The furniture rental company came on the day that they were scheduled to but the apartment office would not let them into my building. They said that I had not given them notice to let the company in. This is technically correct but I had been in the office at least three times in the previous few days and talked about moving. How big a leap of faith do you have to take to arrive at the conclusion that when they said they were there to pick up my rental furniture they had my permission? They rescheduled for that afternoon and never made it nor the next day by the time that I surrendered my key and left. The second problem was of more importance and will not resolve itself for some time to come. That is the issue of address changes. I had been told around the 10th of Feb that I would be going to live in Katsuta and working in Hitachi. During the following week I got all address changes taken care of just in time for Nova, my new employer, to contact me with a change in my living and working site. I am now at that site but my mail could be almost anywhere. I got most of the changes changed but not all. By the time I get everything straightened away I will probably move again.
The land address is:

Ishikawa Heights #301
4 Taira Aza-Kitame-cho
Iwaki-shi, Fukushima-ken
Japan 970-8026

I left Reno on Sunday the 20th and was in San Francisco until my flight to Japan on the 24th. It was an eleven-hour flight, that is three bad movies in duration, but the plane was less than half full so we had room to be comfortable. Because of the time difference we arrived on the 25th at about 4:00 in the afternoon. Did a dash through Narita Airport immigration and customs and was put on a bus to Katsuta with enough of my stuff to last a week; arrived at my temporary home around 6 am California time. The bulk of my luggage was shipped to the Nova school in Iwaki. Katsuta was my temporary residence from 25 Feb to 3 Mar while I was training in Mito (another Nova school town) one train stop away. I also went into Tokyo on the 28th for Orientation. This provided some train travel practice but the instructions that Nova offered were somewhat brief and the changing of trains and determining when to get off was stressful to say the least. I was able to get a hand drawn map and some instructions from one of the Foreign Personal staff that let me stop at a very large bookstore in Tokyo and buy an English version of the Japan Road Atlas. This is a very detailed map of the entire country with roads and more importantly the train routes and stops. What is does not have is a detailed mapping of the routes in Tokyo and some of the other large cities but tere are some other sources for that. It is not very difficult after you are here a few days/weeks but the first few trips are a learning experience. I'll tell you more about this next time.