There are so many new things to see and do when arriving in such a mega city like Tokyo. And there are of course so many things to organise when moving a family into a new life.
But first things first, and so school was priority number one for the kids and myself (for Mark it was definitely his new job).
September 1, 2014 – First Day at School
They were so nervous about their new school and still so jet lagged that they woke us up every night before school started on Monday. But they all had a great first day and they are sleeping through the night ever since!
Lilo entered Grade 3 in an all girls primary school and the boys are in the mixed kindergarden at the same school. Asked if she liked being in an all girls’ school she said:
“Without boys in the class there is no one to annoy.”
A new school life in English begins for the twins now. On their second day in school they already started to speak the new language. Even if they are still hesitant, they try more and more and I overheard them speaking to various kid on the playground in some basic English. Great!
So mum is happy and each day they are looking forward to going to school and it is hard to get them home afterwards.
Daily life – the price shock
So we were told that the cost of living is only approximately 4% higher than in Basel. You can find these lists everywhere on the internet and from our first visit in July and the little experience we had, we thought that this could be the case. So now we are here in a country of which we do not speak the language and are experiencing amazing things when it comes to grocery shopping. First of all there are many supermarkets in our neighbourhood which sell “western” products. This is good to know as we still have our European eating habits and it is quite reassuring to know that you can get everything you want if you start craving for it. And the staff in these supermarkets speaks English which comes in handy, too. But now comes the downside: the prices! 1,30 EUR for three carrots, 1 EUR for a pear (if it comes from Fukushima, 1,50 to 2 EUR if it comes from somewhere else). Generally fruits and vegetables from Fukushima are much cheaper….. well, well…. Beef starts at 32 EUR/kg without price limit. A loaf of bread costs around 4,50 EUR.
Now here is the solution: the Japanese Supermarket down the street! It is paradise – fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meat, great sea food, a great selection over all. The downside: everything is Japanese! The staff speaks Japanese only. So you cannot identify where the fruit comes from and it is difficult to ask. I think I have to get these Japanese lessons started as soon as possible!