This is what my inbox looks like on my iPhone.  I am constantly receiving text messages in Japanese, mostly from our carrier Softbank and our Wi-Fi box Fon, but I have no idea what they say.  At first I was a bit confused, so I would go in and talk to the Softbank lady, and she would smile and tell me not to worry.  But I was a bit worried, since Sprint used to send us important messages regarding our account through text messaging.  They have a cell phone kiosk on base, with English speaking saleswomen, to ease the communication barrier.  While it was helpful having an English speaker, the process was still confusing and we left not understanding what we had signed.  But we had new iPhones, so we were happy!  I asked a lot of questions, and the woman just smiled and told me not to worry about it.  In the end, we gave up and signed our contract (that we couldn’t read) because we figured everyone else was doing it.  We had a laugh with the JAG about it later, because he felt the same way.  He was asking questions that weren’t being answered so he finally just signed because everyone else was.  The cell phone plans are opposite of those in the US.  Our free minutes are from 1 am to 9 pm, and our calls are only free if we are calling other Softbank users.  If we call any other number (which is most of Japan and on base), then we are charged 17 cents a minute.  If we call to listen to our voicemail, we are charged 40 cents a minute, so we just don’t check our voicemail.  Plus, we can’t figure out how to change it to English, so we aren’t really sure how to check it in the first place.  We don’t get cell phone service in our house, or in any building on base, so the actual phone part of our iPhones isn’t that useful.  Even so, we use Wi-Fi in the house to use the internet, and we get service out in town which allows us to use google maps GPS.  This is the most useful app ever, and James and I would be lost without it (literally).

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