After a one-day class of memorizing Japanese road signs (Japanese Road Signs) and learning how to perform “goman” (apologies), in case we are involved in an accident, James and I took a test and received our Japanese driver’s licenses.   Without every stepping foot in a car that drove on the other side of the road, James and I became professional drivers in Japan.  And by professional, I mean professional.  This means that if we get into an accident, we are more at fault than the other person, because we are experienced, professional drivers.  Seriously.  With our new licenses in hand, we began the car search.  My eyes were set on a little Mercedes Benz, but it was a bit too expensive for us, and James convinced me that it wasn’t practical due to the fact that it only had two seats.  Most of the cars available were minivans, and I definitely didn’t want one of those, so we began looking for something in between a two seater and a minivan!  We ended up getting a 1998 Toyota Nadia, which wasn’t sold in the US, so I’m not sure anyone knows what it is.  It’s a hatchback, which gives us plenty of room to pick up people and their luggage at the airport.  (*Hint**Hint*) I don’t really like the rims on it (or lack thereof) but I do like the sunroof!  It’s the perfect little car for us, and it will be our ride for the next three years.  I also don’t like that it beeps whenever you back up.  This is a standard safety feature in Japanese cars, but it only beeps inside of the car, so the driver is aware that they are backing up.  It always makes me think that something is wrong! If you want to know what it looks like to buy a car in cash….here it is! (Cash money) I had to take a picture!  And this is minus our deposit.  It is very strange driving on the other side of the road, and I find myself having to focus much more on driving than I ever had to in the US.  Your entire spatial awareness shifts.  I’m not really sure how to describe it, but it is definitely interesting.  Sometimes in parking lots I forget which side of the road I am supposed to be on, and I have to recite the very useful phrase: “Keep your hiney to the liney.”

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