January Wrap Up

January, by Nathan:
First things first was getting the apartment ready for Jacy K. Guys, when a girl moves into your place, no matter how ready you think it is, she will change it and tell you things that you must buy and things that you love, she gets rid of. After a few trips to different stores and a trip to Ikea, we had everything we needed for our little foreign home.
But of course, when living in a foreign country, You don’t spend a ton of time in your apartment, you go experience the culture. No better way to do that then to try the local cuisine. We have definitely had some great food, and tried a few strange things a long the way. Jacy has also been cooking a lot. We even had tacos the other night. It was my first Mexican meal since I came to Japan. 
January has been a crazy month for basketball. As you know, we traveled to Tokyo for the All Star Game. We just found out about a week ago that Evessa hired a new coach: Bill Cartwright. Bill is an NBA champion, and an all star with over 30 years of experience in the NBA. I can’t wait to learn the game from someone with so much knowledge and experience. Practices have been tough lately, but I know we will see the payoff soon. 
As many of you know, I am a TV show enthusiast. Playing basketball gives me a lot of down time, so I watch a lot of TV. Well my TV watching time decreased dramatically this month when Jacy walked her cute self through the international arrivals door here in Osaka. All joking aside, January has been a great month. From helping Jacy get settled in, to teaching her how to travel by the subways, to getting kind of lost in Tokyo and eating raw fish. Cant wait to see what February has to offer. I know Valentines day here in Japan is reverse from back home. The women treats the man to dinner and provides chocolates, flowers, etc… Better rock my world Jacy K!! J
January, by Jacy:
The end of January marks my first full month here in Japan, so basically everything I did this month was a first time experience. After getting unpacked, settled in, and purchasing quite a few home goods for the apartment, I found a volunteer job at the Osaka YMCA International School. I am helping in the PE department with kids from ages 3 - 14. It is something I look forward to every week. I learned the basics, like how to count money, and how to buy a ticket for the train. For me, January was mostly about meeting new people. I met all of Nathan’s teammates and their wonderful families, the entire coaching and office staff, some dedicated Evessa fans, neighbors, and all of the students and teachers at OYIS. I am still struggling with all of the Japanese names, but I feel like I am getting better. We have met some really incredible friends who have been gracious enough to show us around, give us directions, and even invite us into their homes. 
I have discovered the areas of Namba, Shinsaibashi, and Umeda. The shopping in Japan is incredible. I think I could spend all of my time here shopping and still not see all of the amazing stores. However, instead of shopping the entire 6 months I am trying to focus on some other hobbies. I might even learn some Japanese. Oh yeah, and I started blogging! 
Lets relive some of our favorite memories from January:
Favorite place we visited: 
J: Tokyo! Shibuya and Harajuku were pretty unforgettable. I wish we could have spent even longer there so I could have gotten in some more shopping and people watching. 
N: I will say Tokyo, also. My favorite place in Tokyo was the Tokyo Tower. 
Favorite food we tried: 
J: It is so hard to choose just one, but I love all the gyzo. I dont know who makes my favorite, but I love that I can basically have gyzo with every meal. 
N: It has to be a tie between Ottorro (high grade tuna) from the standing sushi bar in Tokyo where the cook blow torched the tuna right in front of me. And Sukiyaka, a Japanese style skillet with meat, vegetables and other goodies simmering in a soy sauce based oil. We tried it the traditional Japanese way, dipped in raw eggs. Not recommended! 
Any scary, nervous, or frustrating moments:
N: When Jacy had to take unfamiliar trains in Tokyo by herself to meet up with my teammate’s wife while we were at the gym. 
J: Um YES! I still get nervous riding the train by myself. Not because of safety, I am just afraid of getting lost. Also, the first night Nathan was on a road trip and a Japanese cop knocked on my door. Oh, and the time I absent mindedly spent my last bill at the import store and didnt think I had enough money to make it home. I was ready to beg for coins at the subway station, but luckily I had exactly enough change, down to the cent! I didn’t tell Nathan about that one until now - hey at least I brought home Cheetos :) 
Biggest Surprise: 
J: The weather!! I was told before I moved here that the weather was comparable to our weather in the US. Whoever told us that has obviously never been to Texas. I dont recall ever having to wear gloves or earmuffs back home. 
N: Bill Cartwright becoming my new head coach. Are you kidding me? I move to Japan and end up playing under an NBA champion. Also, how much strange food Jacy has tried. I did not expect that. 
New words learned: 
N: Tabehodai and nomihodai - all you can eat and all you can drink! And yuki - snow. 
J: My favorites are daijoubu (no problem) and hanto! (really!) Nathan also taught me the basics like thank you, hello, good bye, Where is ___, and some numbers. 
Missing most about back home: 
N: Family and Mexican food. 
J: The sunshine! When I call home and see my family and friends in shorts I really miss Texas weather. This will not be easy come summertime. 
Favorite memory from this month: 
N: Getting my All Star Jersey. Seeing my name on it was a great moment and a reminder of why I play. 
J: The Osaka Evessa dinner with the entire team and everyone’s family. It really reminded me of how truly lucky we are to be here. All the guys on Nathan’s team are great, but I really love all of the wives, fiances, and significant others. Not to mention we get to play with some adorable Japanese babies at family events! 
Looking forward to most next month: 
J: I am so excited to have visitors coming in February! I dont know how I will decide where to take them because I have been to so many cool places already. 
N: I am looking forward to reverse valentines day, and going back to the Umeda Sky Building. I am also excited to go to Okinawa this weekend. The weather is in the 70’s and rumor has it there is a Taco Bell on the island. 
We so did this. 
Taking a walk in Namba Parks. 
The Osaka Aquarium. 
Rick and Cici, our wonderful friends and next door neighbors. 
My first time to have Korean BBQ. 
Mixing up a little American breakfast with some Japanese flair. 
A double date with Nathan’s Assistant Coach Sho and his beautiful fiance Eriko. (Notice Nathan and Sho’s very similar fashion sense) 
After a fabulous homemade Japanese dinner. 
Our pantry, filled with familiar snacks!
Osaka Evessa Welcome dinner for Coach Cartwright. Sorry for the terrible lighting! 
And finally, two pictures that pretty accurately sum up life since I arrived. 

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