Monday, March 12, 2012

I've realised that.....

The following is a list that came to me this evening as I was making dinner - 10 Realizations that I've recently come to - some relating to Japan, others not so much.  Knowing that I couldn't possibly put all of them onto a Facebook status update, I am forced to return to my ever neglected blog.  Here goes....

  1.  Pinterest is a newly acquired unhealthy obsession.  It is here that I can create bulletin boards for clothes that I will never purchase, recipes that I will most likely not try and party ideas that would rival Martha Stewart - who am I kidding??  I'm sure that I'll eventually grow weary or discouraged (am I the only one who doesn't scrapbook or knit?), but in the interim it's a fun way to live vicariously through others.  When I create a board for a child or pet that I do not have, please encourage me to seek professional help. 
  2. Date night is crucial.  Preferably at a restaurant that does not give you crayons to color the (paper) table covering while you wait.  The Husband and I have date night every Saturday evening.  He (un)willingly is dragged to any restaurant in Tokyo that has been recently reviewed or raved about by friends.  This past Saturday we ventured out for Mexican food not far from our casa.   I was beyond excited as it's been a loooooong time since I've had  margaritas, chips & guac and enchiladas.  The food?  Not so great.  I'm being very kind with that review.  Margaritas = better although slightly lacking in tequila.  I don't think that it's too much to ask Rick Bayless to open a Mexican restaurant in Tokyo.  Can anyone help with this?  Desperate times.  
  3.  To pee or not to pee.  G has recently acquired the skill of peeing while standing up.  This is huge news in our house.  Unfortunately he cannot comprehend why I can't do the same and I endure a daily earnest request to "just try Mom, you can do it, just watch me!".  
  4. To quote Kate Moss (bitch, please) - Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.  Unless the skinny is referring to jeans.  I discovered today that I will never have a skinny jeans wearing hipster son.  My impulse lunch time purchase of a pair of grey Zara skinny jeans was met with "I'm not wearing those, I don't like them - too tight".  Once I did manage to get him to try them on, well repeat after me "skinny jeans are not for everyone".  No, I did not take a photo.  Dammit.  
  5. Nihongo wakarimasen - I don't understand Japanese.  I heart my new iPhone as much as the next person and there's even a Softbank (Softobanco) store in my 'hood whose employees can speak English - all is good right?  No.  All of my text messages from Softbank are in Japanese as are the voicemail prompts.  Tomorrow's Japanese class will entail reviewing all text messages as well as the voicemail prompts so I am not reduced to randomly pushing "1" "3""5" after a message in order to delete or save it.  
  6. I am addicted to Bejewelled Blitz.  "nuff said.  Other than the fact that every time I get a new high score, it is mysteriously beaten the next morning.  Unless the cat has acquired opposable thumbs  and the ability to work an iPad, the Husband is also an addict.  
  7. Planning a 4 year old's birthday party in Tokyo would challenge the most seasoned party planner. Especially when the birthday boy in question is requesting a Fireman themed party.  Due to language barrier, there are approximate 3 entertainers available to us - a magician and 2 clowns who also can dress in pirate gear and do balloon tricks and magic.  Also, the thought of 19 three and four year olds in my house sends shivers down my spine.  My newest idea is to  tour a local fire station - this is basically unheard of here in Tokyo, but am willing to beg.  But not in Japanese.  So this lovely job (begging and pleading) will fall to my husband's new assistant.  I know how to make friends.  ahem. 
  8. I own a Kindle but I much prefer an actual book.  There, I said it.  I was at the Tokyo American Club library today requesting the new book "Unorthodox - the scandalous rejection of my Hasidic roots"  A natural reading choice for a midwestern, Catholic girl I know.  Anyway,  little known fact:  growing up I was desperate to be a librarian.  Imagine my excitement when upon overhearing my book request, I was asked if I cared to join the library committee at the club.  We'll be reviewing best sellers lists and deciding which new books to order for the library, writing reviews for the monthly newsletter and generally making sure the clubs diverse membership is reflected in book and magazine choices.  Made my day.  I'm such a nerd. 
  9. We have become tourists in our own city.   In the past 3 weeks, we have been to Tokyo Tower, National Maritime Museum, and Ueno - Museum of Science and Natural History, Roy's office  and Costco.  So I kid (a bit), however I am making a concerted effort to take advantage of this amazing city and I'm taking the Husband and G along with me for the ride.  Did you know Tokyo Tower (over 1000 feet) has an amazing observation deck and 360 degree view of the city?  Of course.  However, did you also know they have a bouncy castle/play structure/ball pit/video arcade within the tower?  Highlight of the trip of course. 
  10. Yesterday was 3/11 - it's been 1 whole year since the awful earthquake, destructive tsunami and terrifying nuclear crisis struck the pacific coast of Tohoku.  Over 15, 000 people died with over 3000 still missing. The day passed quietly yesterday here in Tokyo with a memorial service attended by the emperor and empress and a moment of silence observed at 2:46 pm - the time the earthquake occurred.   Japan has worked diligently to reconstruct the damaged areas, provide humanitarian relief and of course control the nuclear power plants.  The before and after photos available in a google search, are amazing.  I will never forget that day 1 year ago - where we were, what we were doing, how frightening it was for us in Tokyo.  But more importantly, I hope to remember the resilience of the  Japanese people, their dignity in the face of disaster and their heroic efforts to return to "normal".  Hope for Japan. 
Until next time...