Jobless – Part 7

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“Building up expectations, creating unrealistic time frames, feeling like our end goal is the end all, be all can all lead to frustration or anxiety. We end up feeling as though we have to power through what we want rather than enjoy the process and just let the result come as it may.” – Gretchen Bleiler

So it’s been over four months now. I have to admit it is getting more difficult as time goes on. When you know you work hard and are pretty darn good at your job, you really don’t think finding a new one will be difficult. Then you realize some of the roadblocks….that you’re perceived as older than you view yourself, your salary isn’t really crazy high but higher than many simply as a result of being in the work force for a long time (so that makes another pool of employees more attractive), and even when you tell folks that you are OK with the idea of commuting an hour or two away for the right job (and are capable of deciding that for yourself before you seriously entertain any job), they don’t always believe you. Even though they don’t really know you.

I guess there is comfort in that, too…these people don’t really know you. They’re looking at you through eyes that see the experiences and people they have experienced in their lives, and not really you. They’re forming an impression of you and one or two sentences poorly worded can impact that impression. I’m a straight shooter. Sometimes people can get the wrong impression with that….or even doubt what I say. Logically I know I can’t control that, but should I try to fit in more and be a bit less me? The recruiters would tell me a resounding yes, but I am looking for a certain kind of workplace. While they test me during these interviews, I also test them. What better way to find if we are compatible?

Having hired people in my past, I understand the random nature of it. Did I always hire the best person? Nope. Did I always believe the answers they gave me to my questions? Nope. Sometimes I just was tired of interviewing and hired the next good person, instead of the stellar one I interviewed three weeks ago. I figured it was just easier. Does that make sense? Not necessarily. The whole process doesn’t make a lot of sense.

And I interviewed folks under the old interview system, since I didn’t hire people in my last job. These days you can simply be out of the mix because your resume has the wrong key words. Or your Linked In profile isn’t exaggerating your accomplishments. Sometimes I giggle when I read those of people I know, but truth is that it probably works for them. I’m confident in my own accomplishments, but always really careful about their authenticity. Maybe I downplay some things. I’m bad with knowing the quantitative results of my past experience. Did I save clients $1.2 million in 2018 as a result of the work I did negotiating rate increases and such? Maybe, that was something I was good at, but I never thought to keep track of that sort of thing. What was the total amount of premium for the book of business I managed? I get asked that a lot and have absolutely no clue. Someone gave me a thinly veiled suggestion that I should make up numbers because no one could dispute them. Well, I could dispute them. That’s enough. But I would advise you to keep track of this sort of thing….it would come in handy. I just never took the time, because I was focused on the job at hand.

I’ve looked at my bank accounts lately and cringed. Don’t worry….I’m doing fine financially….but what if I go six more months without a job? Those savings I had for this possibility becoming reality…..I really didn’t want to use them!

So it’s time to start looking at my budget and see what I can cut. Last week I finished getting outstanding dental work done. At the end of this month I will cancel my COBRA dental coverage. I’m looking at things like cable TV…..I may turn it on once a week. Is that a necessary expense? I don’t think so. My home phone…..do I need it? I think I have included it on a couple of job applications, so I will try not to use it on them in the future and see if I can do that in a month or two. I’ll also probably take some time to look at things like my car and homeowner’s insurance. Is it time to change? I haven’t looked at it for years. When I start thinking about these things I realize there is some fat in my budget, and some things I can manage better that I have been neglecting. Why not cut some of it now instead of later?

While at times frustrating, I still can’t help but be grateful for this time. Waiting is one of the best exercises of our faith. If I really trust God, this is one of those times where the rubber meets the road. When those worried moments hit, I tell myself “Exercise that faith.” And I breathe in and out a few times and it’s all OK. I do trust. I may not know the next road, but the godly GPS is there and working well.

I can spend only so much time job hunting and I have decided I need to make a more concentrated effort to use my time well. I’m someone who could easily read my life away, but that’s not the healthiest approach (though it will always be a large part of my life…..and there is a ton of books on my list I have yet to get to.) I have complained that my job often made me too sedentary….why the heck am I still spending so much time sitting down? It’s time to plan more and better and enjoy the opportunity to be more active. I can volunteer more and spend more time with friends. There are tons of places in the area I have said I wanted to go. Why not now? That’s my plan for the next few weeks. To plan my days better and not be idle. Life was meant to be savored, working or not. But it takes effort. When we make that effort, we reap the rewards. So why not do it?


Kim’s Choice – A Day in Hiroshima

Yesterday was my personal indulgence….the one “must do” for me on this trip to Japan. It was a visit to Hiroshima, one of the two sites bombed by the Enola Gay in 1945. I became fascinated with World War II in high school. It is a time in history that I think shows us the worse of humanity, but then of the power of hope and peace. Hiroshima is a great symbol of that for me.

Hiroshima has been in the news lately with President Obama’s visit, and people got up in arms about a supposed apology for the bombing. Personally I didn’t get the outrage (especially since the apology was another thing that by all accounts didn’t happen). I believe I know why our military made the choices they did and have read some of the accounts of the folks making the decisions. Most do not regret the action, but tremendously regretted the impact on the Japanese people….especially the many women and children who perished or whose lives were forever changed by the aftermath. Sometimes apologies do not mean you think the action was wrong, but you deeply regret the impact of the action. That is how I feel about Hiroshima and I don’t understand those who can’t think of the destruction caused and regret it too. Even if it was necessary destruction to end war and preserve peace, even knowing Pearl Harbor happened. Killing innocent people is horrible and wrong, regardless of who does the killing. War is full of horrible paradoxes of life and I struggle with it.

I was trying to explain to Maggie a bit of how I felt before we left. I just wanted to be there…pray on their land, and leave behind a bit of love and peace. Just as I felt when visiting Pearl Harbor, or walking through the Holocaust Museum.
We took one of the bullet trains. A journey that would take more than five hours by car (maybe less if I were driving), takes just over two on the train. We maneuvered the subway and the train station and together found our track. Once again, Maggie is a great travel partner. I often feel like high fiving her. If I miss it, she catches it. We have really had few missteps and all of them have just been a matter of steps. I believe we are about ready for the Amazing Race. I know I would have to eat the gross stuff.
The trains really are amazing. So very smooth. You ever realize how fast you are going until you are at a stop and another train passes. They are very comfortable, with air conditioning. The announcements are in Japanese and English and the English is easy to understand (not the case everywhere in Japan.)
It’s fun to see the scenery as you pass. Even the small towns have many high rise buildings. They certainly build up in Japan. Many of the buildings are narrow…they told us in Kyoto that at one time the Japanese taxed based on the width of your entrance, so buildings were long and narrow. The architecture still seems to embrace it.
727 Cosmetics signs are everywhere along the route. They have evidently embraced the South of the Border style, albeit a bit less tacky. Maggie and I said we need to look for them in the stores here. See?, Advertising works.

We got to the Hiroshima terminal and decided to take one of the streetcars to the Peace Park. It was a short ride from the station. The park is unbelievably beautiful and serene. We wanted lunch, but nothing was appealing to us, so we got gelato (I will eventually decide that was a mistake since food options did not improve). We eventually made our way to the destination I most cared about, the Victim’s Museum. I publicly apologize to Maggie for this….the depressing nature was out of scope with our trip, but still I needed to experience. 

This picture is an amazing room that is round, with scenes of Old Hiroshima on the walls, bricks with names of some of the casualties. There is a fountain in the middle, symbolizing healing for the people. It is a great place to sit and reflect and pray…..a special time and place for me. Then to the survivor’s stories. There is a film that talks about the impact it had on some survivors, and also audio, video,,and written accounts from others. 

One of the most touching to me was a man whose account I read, He kissed his wife and his baby daughter before he left for work, and then headed on his way. He actually got a bit off schedule or he would have surely been killed. Afterward he describes how he searches for his family. His two older daughters (who were at work themselves) survived, his wife and baby daughter perished. What grabbed my heart was his narrative about how he searches everywhere for them all. His agony and helplessness, mixed with with his resilience and persistence. It reminded me of accounts of people searching for their loved ones after 9/11, but with less communication available to them. Such sadness. As I said before, though I think I understand why it happened and trust the military made the best decision they knew to make at the time to keep our country safe, the fact that moms and their children (or single women of the childless or men, soldiers or not) faced such fear and death and injuries that impacted them for years to come….how can we not have regrets?
I could have spent days in that place, but Maggie needed more fun. We headed to Miyajima. We’re at the total exhaustion part of the trip and everything seems like too much effort for the reward. This was a long day. Going to Miyajima required we take a bus back to the station, a 40-minute train ride across town, then.a 10-minute ferry ride to the island. Oh…..and remember. I haven’t fed Maggie a meal all day (just gelato). We kept looking for places, but she needed Western food and choices were slim. So during the 40-minute train ride across town I think she hated me a bit. I had no clue whether it as right to push her do do it or not, but I knew she didn’t want to explore the Peace Park or museums, so this seemed like a good bet. She perked up a bit on the ferry ride. It was beautiful. She said “I’ve never seen anything that looks like this.” Then we got off on the island. 
When we left the terminal, we walk out and see a couple petting a deer. We try to get closer. The woman warns “They love paper.” Maggie was holding a brochure and in her excitement she dropped it. The deer went wild. It’s evidently their snack of choice. They were a riot. Even funnier was Maggie trying to get them to pose with her. We soon realize deer are everywhere….and they are in the prowl for snacks. We watched them destroy a sack lunch of a Japanese tourist. They definitely lifted our moods and restored our energy. What a great time.

Miyajima is also known as Shrine Island. Since Hiroshima was a day trip for us, we didn’t get to spend enough time there. We finally found a possible lunch spot, but walked by to look for another. Then we could never find the first one. We ended up eating strawberry ices. Yeah, still not real food but refreshing. And we had to hurry back to make our train. We had three more hours of train rides before we got back to our hotel.

When we arrived back to the station in Kyoto, Maggie stopped dead in her tracks as she rounded a corner. MCDONALD’S!!!!!! OK….it was 8 p.m. and she hadn’t eaten a real meal all day. She had already decided on Pizza Hut, but that was an additional two blocks from our hotel. It was dinner time.

We made our way through the two additional subway stops to our hotel, exhausted but happy. While it had a few difficult moments, overall it was a fun and meaningful day. 

Today we head back to Tokyo. We wished we could stay in Kyoto (and this beautiful hotel) longer. But there is never time to explore enough and we want to spend more time with Maggie’s friends over the weekend. The taste we got was wonderful and we would love to come back and see more.
We’ll do today slow. Our goal is to get to our next hotel room in Tokyo, which will be much smaller than this one from what I can tell. We don’t have to check out of our Kyoto hotel until noon, so I will let Maggie sleep as long as she needs and we will try out the buffet breakfast in the hotel and eat our fill before we set out. I will not starve her again today!

Time With Shino

Our first full day in Japan was amazing! We met up with Maggie’s best friend Shino from grade school. We were meeting her at the subway station on the corner, but we had a problem figuring out exactly where to meet because evidently there are about six entrances. (Who knew?) As we walked up a street we hear a voice say “Maggie?” And then the joyous reunion began.

It was especially good to spend the first full day with Shino because she was the one who first instilled in Maggie her love for Japan and the desire to come here. Shino came 2 1/2 hours from where she is currently living to meet us. We appreciate the full day of travel,  plus getting to spend a significant amount of time showing us around, that it took for her. What a great gift.
Shino is in training for a job with Xerox. The trainees live at the corporate site, in a dormitory like setting. Next week she will “graduate” and be moving into her own company-provided apartment. She is lively and gracious and patient and kind. Nothing but complete joy spending time with her.
We decided we were hungry and first went out to lunch. Maggie agreed she was up for trying “real” Japanese food, though that is the most difficult part of this trip for a girl who’d rather be eating Zaxby’s. I had grilled swordfish, Maggie chicken. There were three choices of rice – white, black and white, and a flavored multigrain. We opted for the black and white….a good choice. Here is our lunch delivered…

Let’s see – the big bowl is miso soup. The tiny black bowl were little pickle strips, the little white bowl is salt and pepper. The rice is in the blue and white bowl. Next to the swordfish in what Shino called a potato salad, and next to that green beans. On the very back tray was salad and tofu. I loved it all….Maggie loved the rice. So we had to gave dessert….Maggie going for large buckwheat crepes with chocolate brownies and bananas whipped cream and ice cream. Shino and I each ate the mini crepe, flavored with tea and tiramasu. 
Then it was time for the Ueno Zoo. 

The pandas are the biggest attraction at the zoo here. This security guard was trying to shoo people away from taking too many pictures. We got our fill, though. We don’t understand Japanese, so can choose to be blissfully ignorant. The pandas were so very cute and worth the trip! We saw a lot of other animals, including elephants, orange flamingos, lions, and for Ursula pygmy and regular hippopotami.

We tried to see a temple after the zoo but it was closed for renovation, so instead we went to a nearby market and Maggie found some souvenirs.  I mostly people-watched. I enjoy seeing the different forms of dress, including the kimonos that some still wear.

Dinner was conveyor belt sushi. Maggie had only tried sushi once, and it is not her favorite, but she was a good sport. Trying to avoid raw fish, she tried egg first. (Ick!)  She took a small bite, then played with her food thinking we wouldn’t notice. She ate some of my salmon, then also tried shrimp. Ienjoyed  it…,she will probably opt for McDonald’s in the future! (I am allowing one or two visits there during our trip.)

We then went snack shopping. Maggie has a few favorites that she used to eat with Shino or that Shino would send her when she moved back home, so they found those so Maggie could get her fix. Maggie also bought a chocolate pastry for breakfast this morning, which she said tasted like cream cheese and chocolate and pronounced it very good. (I had Greek yogurt and nuts,)

We slept about 12 hours Maggie tells me (I was asleep before she got out of the shower), but jet lag has hit and I could still sleep longer.) Those who know me know just how rare that is! I am missing coffee and as soon as I can get roused enough for a shower (or maybe just enough to throw clothes on), I just may try the coffee shop around the corner. (Keep in mind we are 13 hours ahead of you.)

Today we are meeting Maggie’s friend Yuka and her husband for lunch, then I understand we girls are going shopping. My poor aching feet and knees…..we have certainly been getting our steps in. But the day with “our” friend Shino was perfect and we cannot wait until the day we get to see her again.

Making it to Tokyo

So we left Vancouver and had a bit over a 9-hour flight to Narita Airport in Tokyo. The flight was fine. I don’t mind long flights, and ough Maggie was dreading it she agreed it was fine. You have your personal entertainment center and since I rarely get to movies these days, I had plenty of choices. I watched two during the flight. We napped….not enough, but a bit. We were fed two meals, chicken or beef. One was with an Asian twist, one more Western. As much as I love air travel, my body doesn’t….so I mostly ate bread and butter and fruit and some nuts I had packed. 

We sat in the middle aisle of seats and our seat mate was a Japanese guy from around Kyoto. He is a soon-to-be-Masters grad in film at UCLA. He was headed home for just a week to attend his brother’s wedding, then back to UCLA for graduation. He was the perfect seatmate. We talked movies, and laughed at the differences in reviews that you get from different folks, especially in film (my college major was Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures, so my classmates were mostly creative types.) Maggie and I have so few plans for our time here that we ask everyone we meet from an area what to do when we get there. His recommendation in Kyoto was visiting several shrines….Maggie took notes.

So we get to the airport and start the trek through immigration. There was a medical station at one point, and Maggie said it took our temperatures as we walked through. I guess we made the cut. There were drug dogs sniffing around….at least this time they didn’t force them to my luggage (story for another time.) But I loved watching the dogs handle their handlers.

Maggie had her first encounter with a Japanese bathroom. Her question….what is the difference between “spray” and “bidet”? I have no clue. I figure one of you will enlighten us,

We picked up our backpacks (our “big” checked luggage) and as I removed the rain case from mine a pair of glasses fell out. I must have looked a bit stunned baecause Maggie said “Oh, your glasses.” But they weren’t my glasses! We took them to an agent. Well, took them to one, who sent us to another….you know the drill. Someone finally accepted them.

We made it out and tried to buy train tickets. We needed cash, so changed money. I believe the exchange was somewhere around 105 yen to the dollar (liking it up online that probably wasn’t the best exchange rate. But not bad, I’ll be calculating based on 100yen to the dollar…because that is close enough for me. 

We then bought our subway tickets. Well, Maggie did. I am making her do all the hard stuff. The subway was a bit tricky, mainly because we had to change lines (the guy whose apartment we are renting said we wouldn’t need to), but we made it. This time we walked about a block out of the way, but some nice ladies sent us straight and we found our building. (Maggie asks for directions sooner than I normally would, Definitely not a bad thing.)

We chose an Airbnb apartment for our first accommodation, I figured it would be a good way to see how the Japanese live. The guy we are renting from gave us detailed instructions. So….to get the key we go in the front door and there are some mail boxes to the left. Found easily. You stick your hand in a slot in the mailbox (which did not have the number on it shown in the picture he sent us), and there is a container that holds the key. But you can’t open the mailbox itself.,..you have to stick your hand in and put in a combination and the key container opens. Maggie got the combination in and the box opened. Then you have to get the key out. It took us both taking turns to get it. I got it out of the box, but it fell. Maggie was able to eventually grab it. Whew! The directions didn’t seem that hard, We inserted it in the front door and were able to make our way into the apartment building and take the tiniest elevator ever to our apartment.
The apartment is small, as we expected. You take your shoes off at the front door, where there is a closet with assorted slippers (and umbrellas and such…the guy definitely is hospitable.) You walk through what seems like a hallway, but is an efficiency kitchen, and two doors on the other side for the very small toilet and shower rooms. I’m including a picture of the toilet room. When you flush, the water on top turns on to wash your hands, while the water flows into the tank of the  toilet. They recycle. Smart.


The living room contains a futon, which is our bed. Figuring out how to use it, when exhausted, had us laughing  in frustration. But we did it. It’s tiny and we haven’t quite figured out how to use it comfortably, but it’s fine. We slept. 

We figured out the air conditioning, which works but not as cold as we would like it. It only goes down so far. But better than our Vancouver room!

I can’t wait to explore our neighborhood, which is near the sky tower pictured above. We have a view of it from our window, though Maggie snapped that picture when we were on the street.

As I write this, it is around 8 a.m. on Saturday the 4th….we are 13 hours ahead of our NC folks. Maggie has gone back to sleep for another round. She woke up and we ate the yogurt we purchased at the convenience store last night and she decided she could get a bit more rest. 

We meet her grade school friend Shino at 11. She is traveling 2 1/2 hours by train and will return home tonight because she works tomorrow. Maggie has not seen her since she returned to Jaoan when they were in 8th grade. We are going to the zoo, where we will have lunch, and then visit a few of Shino’s favorite places that are around there. We will have lunch in a noodle shop….I suggested that as I think Maggie may actually enjoy them. Shino is going to locate a good one. Maggie has only tried sushi once before and had a mixed reaction…but she will try it again! And if we don’t find any she likes, there is food of all kinds, and we will make sure she eats. I like that she is willing to go out of her comfort zone, though. To be a real traveler, you don’t have to like things….but you really should try things. I think that’s good life advice in general.

The picture in the wall here in our room says “One day I found the truth. I was not living in the past nor in the future. I was living in this very moment. And the moment was precious. So I thought ‘Life is good.'” We’re trying to live that on this vacation. I wish the same for you, wherever you are, whatever your circumstance. More later!

The Journey

People always ask how I get to travel to so many places and have so many adventures. Truly I don’t travel that much….I am limited mostly by vacation time.  But I do my best to use what I have and I want to spend my precious days off well, and I do try to plan my life so that it is good. Yes, I just go for good. I don’t need spectacular, but when I look back on my days I like to smile. And often quiet and solitude and home and books make me smile. But so do travel and adventure.


I do like things a bit greater than ordinary. I am drawn to the things in life that bond us, but also to the things that make us different. I love doing things I have never done before, love going to new places and experiencing new cultures, and meeting unique people. That is the joy of travel to me.

When I moved back to Statesville as an adult, my goal was to be closer to my family. Not having children, my nieces and nephews (and godchildren and children of friends) fulfill that role in my life. I spent a lot of time with my three youngest nieces and it was during one of those times I made “the deal.” When they graduated from high school I would take them anywhere in the US they wanted to go (later amended to include Cartibbean cruises, since they are equivalent budget choices.)  When they graduated from a four-year college, I would take them anywhere in the world.
So yeah….maybe I didn’t think about the cost enough when I made that deal, but so far it has worked out. The boys have all chosen the cash payout instead…..which is nowhere near the cost of a trip, but has been fine with them. I took my niece Spenser to New York City, where I discovered she had inherited my love (and her mom and nana’s) for Broadway shows. We planned to see one….I think we saw three. Maggie and Taylor opted for cruises.

But now it is time for the first college trip. Maggie graduated from my alma mater, UNC-Chapel Hill, on Mother’s Day. We decided she was around 8th grade when we made the travel deal, and from that very first day she said she wanted to go to Japan. So we’re off to Japan!
Definitely an expensive trip, but I had been warned years in advance! I set a mental budget. Budget is key for me planning any trip. It’s why I can travel. I can do without in other areas of my life, but I value travel and life experiences and that is where I invest my money. I don’t resent living life on a budget…and when I say budget, I don’t have one that is written. I know what I make and make choices to live  so I can do the things I want to do. I hate debt and try to avoid it except for my car and my house. If I were to do it all over, I probably wouldn’t have assumed debt for either of those either.

Some of my most fun times in life have even when I have been the poorest. When I lived in Greensboro in my 20s, my group of single friends had a standing Friday night $3 “date” night. Not really dates since the whole crowd of us went out together and paid our own way (unless someone didn’t even gave the $3…it happened…in which case we would cover them. We were a generous group.) So $2 would be spent at Yum Yums….the local hot dog and ice cream shop. You could get 2 of 3 items (not sure who came up with that “rule”…..possibly our available funds) – a hot dog, an ice cream cone, or a Coke. Most of us chose the hot dog and the ice cream cone and drink water. Afterwards we would hit the $1 movie. During those years we had the choice of two theaters. Since we seldom saw full priced movies, they were all new to us.

So anyway, I share this because it’s important in understanding what I want my nieces and nephews to learn. I want them to be relaxed about travel. I admit I am probably too relaxed. I do dumb things all the time because I am not paying attention to the details. We haven’t even made out of Canada (we had a long layover in Canada) and I have already gotten off at the wrong stop on the subway and caused us to spend about 45 minutes somewhat lost in the rain. We finally found our way….and I noticed I had misread the stop where the directions told us to get off. We asked several people along the way and had finally gotten to the right place (some told us wrong. Luckily we asked someone else a block down.)  Finalky a guy checked on his phone and got us on course.

Then I had asked a guy at the bus stop what the bus fare was and collected the money we would need from some change we had gotten. When I got on the bus, I found out they did not take paper bills. The bus driver waved us in and said. “It’s raining, don’t worry about it!” 

We get to the hotel and found that I had made the reservations for the wrong night. Yeah, once again not thinking things through well and tine zones and flight times and such get confusing. (I need people to check my work!) The guy at the hotel was great, but since I booked with Expedia I had to get them to change the reservation. Two phone numbers later I get a real chatty agent (chatty not being desirable at the moment) who told me since it was last the cancellation time I would probably have to pay for another night. She called the hotel, and seemed shocked my buddy Ian (the hotel guy) told her he was willing to forego the penalty and just charge me the regular rate and cancel the other reservation. The rate ended up being almost $2 less….so I saved money with this debacle.  Though it was not worth having to o listen to Chatty Cathy. Though Ian and I bonded through eye rolls.

One more point about hotels….we don’t stay at the Hilton or anything American if we can help it. Part of life in other countries is seeing what their hotels are like. Last night in Vancouver we had no elevator, no air conditioning, and we shared a bathroom with others on our hall. But it was quiet, serviceable, and had a certain charm. And it was in budget…so we have more money to spend on more important travel things.

I’m the same way about restaurants. I typically want local restaurants, and try to avoid any chain I could eat in at home. Maggie is happiest eating at places she knows, and eating a limited variety of food. I used to be like that…..I hope she becomes a bit more adventurous as she has some great culinary experiences.

This morning I made Maggie walk 30 minutes, mostly uphill, to get to the train station. We did stop on the way for a delicious breakfast at a really nice local restaurant. I made sure she knew how to spot a subway station, how to purchase the tickets, and how to know what train to get on. She figured it all out.

So now we sit at the gate at the airport, Maggie eating a Subway sandwich because you never know what airplane food will be, and not being n adventurous eater Japan scares her. I, of course, look forward to it. We’ll get to Tokyo around 5 p.m, on Friday, their time. We will have to get all of our luggage by train to where we are staying for the first 3-night stint.,..someone’s apartment we rented on Airbnb. After we find the apartment, the instructions for getting the key seem to be not be level of geocaching (boxes and codes and safes and more codes.)  I’ll let you know how that goes!