The Gennings family on Yokohama life: “Appreciates the secured environment, medical staff, parks for kids the most”

By on April 7, 2014

The Gennings family
Time in Japan      3 months
Where from           USA

The Gennings come from Chicago and came to Japan in Dec 2013 on military orders. “Japan was not our first pick or our last.  We guess it was destined for us to be here,” admit the Gennings. The couple met in high school.  “I was the nerd, the good kid and she was the bad one. Don’t tell her I said that! She had a boyfriend at the time but I knew she was the one for me. So persistent was I! I had asked her out everyday for a month before she said yes,” confides Terry Gennings.  “We have two kids: Justice, my daughter who is three and then my son Prince – one year old,” he added.

On a scale of 1-10, rate Yokohama life.

Cost of living                 8
Education                      9
Childcare / safety        7
Healthcare                    9
Community support   8
Transportation            9
Social life                       8
Housing                          9


Whose choice was Yokohama?  Ultimately my wife’s as I work in Negishi. So with everything being here on this base, it was overall the best decision. How does living here compare to home? Living here compared to Chicago is a big difference. Crime. I haven’t come across any yet. I’m not saying that my home is a city full of crime. The people are very friendly towards the point it is a little bothering. The Japanese..I find to be very humble. The streets are very narrow yet the motorcyclists are like daredevils …how they squeeze in between cars and run red lights. Chicago is more of a tourist site. Japan so far happens to be just a ball of beauty. The train ride here in japan – if you are not a people person do not go during rush hour.  What was the biggest change since being here?  The language barrier – not being able to grasp the language yet. Riding the train, driving to work – Yokosuka to Negishi every day is a long way of distance.  Eating habits changed. When we go to a restaurant, all I can do is smile in point not knowing what to order – it’s always a surprise. The weather – Chicago is known as ‘windy city’. Japan should be called the windy country. Driving on the oposite side was too. What do you recommend to families new in town? The exotic food- Sushi. I recommend taking the kids to a park where there’s not a lot of Americans but one I’d call a Japanese park for kids to not speak the same language, to be humble towards each other, to stop and glance at each other in smile. It’s priceless. It’s like a friendship between you and the country to last forever, starting with children. 3 things you appreciate the most here?  hate the most? Appreciate the most will be a secured environment, medical staff, parks for kids. Hate the most – store items are a bit expensive, crowded on base, people in general, and curfew.  Most annoying habit picked up in Japan:  Bowing. I bow at any and everything and I must have the last bow! If you can change one thing here that will make family life better, what would it be? a different variety in stores – for example,  the furniture store needs a bigger variety as well as lower prices.
If you could bring back a piece of Japan to your home country, what would it be? I will bring back the humbleness of the Japanese.

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