Title: Spanning The Globe...Misawa to Menwith Hill: Part 2

Release Date: 2016-05-16

Document Date: 2003-10-23

Description: In part 2, the computer scientist describes lifestyle differences between Japan and the U.K. Menwith Hill is four hours from a Taco Bell.

Document: DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL

(U) Spanning The Globe...Misawa to Menwith Hill: Part 2
FROM:
Software Development Team Menwith Hill Station
Run Date: 10/23/2003

(U) Note from SIGINT Communications: This is the conclusion of a
two-part article.
(U) Language Struggles
(U) Some folks are intimidated by the language differences when
moving to Japan, but I found that I could communicate effectively
using "international charades". Plastic food on display and menus
with pictures were also helpful. Most road signs display English and
Japanese and larger train stations have a tourist information kiosk
with English maps and brochures. The key to success is to not be
intimidated. We spoke only enough Japanese to be polite (please,
thank you, excuse me) and to say "I don't understand" and we
travelled the country, used the train system, and stayed at
Japanese hotels.
(U) Speaking "English" is quite a different beast. At least in Japan I
knew I didn't speak the language, but I thought I spoke the same
language as they do in England. I have discovered that I speak
"American" and not "English" and definitely not "Scottish"!
(U) Daily Life
(U) On-base life in Misawa is similar to living in a small town in the
US. There is a hospital, 3 schools, a movie theater, 2 gyms, a mall
(of sorts), a large commissary, and tons of housing, just to hit the
high points. Misawa AB is HUGE compared to RAF Menwith Hill.
While the goods, services and infrastructure may exist, they are
very limited at Menwith. The flip side is that in England, you can
usually get comparable goods and services on the economy (and
you can read the packaging). If you get desperate and need that
Taco Bell or Cinnabon fix, RAF Lakenheath is less than a 4 hour
drive south and it is a large base.
(U) Off-base, our favorite ramen shop (next to Viking's) has been
replaced by our local pub (The Flying Dutchman in
Summerbridge), tempura has been replaced by fish and chips, and
Sapporo Beer by Theakstons Old Peculiar. Georgia coffees hot from
the vending machine will never be replaced, but tea at Betty's is a
pleasant substitute. 100 Yen stores have been replaced by the
January Sale at Harrods, and Tokyo never had a chance against
London. We do wish there was a way to package and export the
relaxing and warming effects of the onsen (Japanese communal
hot bath).
(U) When we agreed to PCS to Misawa, we both envisioned we
would do our 3 years and move on to better assignments. We did
not think that we would stay an extra year and we never thought
we would miss anything from Japan. We were wrong. As I type
this, I'm sipping on a Georgia coffee shipped by a friend from
Japan. It's just one of the many things we miss (and an addiction I

SERIES:
(U) SID Around the
World '03
1. Coming Soon: SID
Around the World!
2. SID Around the
World: Living High in
the Balkans
3. SID Around the
World: SIGINT from
Paradise (Okinawa)
4. SID Around the
World: A Country the
Size of Maryland
5. SID Around the
World: Life in the
Field
6. SID Around the
World: Washington,
D.C.
7. SID Around the
World: Peak
Conditions in Denver
8. SID Around the
World: The Rheinland
9. Spanning The
Globe...Misawa to
Menwith Hill: Part 1
10. Spanning The
Globe...Misawa to
Menwith Hill: Part 2
11. SID Around the
World: A TDY to
Guantanamo Bay

simply refuse to break). Fortunately, England has been able to
provide many acceptable substitutes and several things that I know
we will miss when we PCS (Cadbury!).
(U) We had a super experience in Misawa professionally and
personally and we both look back fondly on those 4 years. The jury
is still out on our Menwith Hill experience, but if the first 5 months
are any indication, it will rival if not surpass our Misawa adventure.
(U//FOUO) If you are thinking of applying for a field position, see
the Extended Enterprise Vacancy Announcements . Also, see the
NSA Daily article on Field Recruiting Events .

"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet
without the consent of S0121 (DL sid comms)."

DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL
DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108

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