Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Last few days for AM in Japan

As I write this I am in Vancouver, having just finished my first day of work.
Sorry I cannot include any photos. I cannot upload photos until my iphone is back on the internet.

But back to Japan;
A few days before leaving Japan the neighbour with the un-secured wifi network lost internet connectivity so I was unable to do any updates.

Friday we went to Mihama, where Tokyo Disney is located. We couldn’t really afford to pay $160 to get in when we would have to take it in turns doing the fun rides. So we hung out in the Disney themed palazzo style shopping area bordering Disney land. We had Disney tunes playing and had lunch in the ridiculous rainforest cafĂ©. Not a wall could be seen through the dense forest with bird noises and animatronic elephants, monkeys, birds, giant butterflies, crocs and a simulated thunderstorm every 30 minutes that scared the crap out of the 3 year olds sitting next to us. There were tears…. Neo wasn’t bothered though, and couldn’t understand why the girls were crying. She really enjoyed the floor to ceeling fish tanks too.

After taking advantage of the sales, we rode the Disney train. It’s a mikey mouse monorail that circles around Tokyo Disney and Disney sea. We were lucky to get the front seat and I put Neo up on the massive dashboard. Its driverless so the front is a big flat dashboard type area under the sloping windscreen.

We did a few laps of Disney and Neo stood against the glass and got lots of waves as we pulled into the various stations around Disney. That night we set off some fireworks. We bought a few kiddie friendly ones (in addition to the fireworks I bought previously) and went to the park in the apartment complex. It hindsight it wasn’t the best place for a discrete fireworks show, situated inbetween two 14 story high apartment blocks. I wasn’t sure what I had bought, id just grabbed fireworks that I recognized from my childhood (thanks Dad). Fotunately id got a packet of these wicked little dynamite sticks with wings attached. Once lit They kind of jumped up 3 metres into the air then with a loud WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSHHHHHHHHHHHHH they left a comet like trail as they took off into the air. With the blessing of a strong westerly I almost shot a few into the balcony’s of the neighbouring apartment block. After a spasm of sparks a burnt thumb and half a dozen ICBM smoke trails into the darkness I realized the kids were scared and had run off with the scared adults. I was standing alone amongst the smoke trails of my little pre-emptive strike against apartment block D in Makurai Family Heights. With the sound of dogs barking and babies screaming I stopped, and the scared adults and kids returned so they could enjoy some handheld colourful smoking sparklers. How childish i thought…

Next day was Saturday. The kids were off school (Chisako san puts them in school every summer holidays for 3 weeks so they are familiar with the Japanese schooling and better prepared for their eventual return to Japan) so we took the baseball kit to the park. We got Chisako san and Rumiko san to come along and woman the bases. They kind of manned the bases but at one stage there were 3 batters, Ryo pitching and me running around like crazy. 5 man baseball doesn’t quite work when one batter gets to first base and then a fielder decides to bat, then repeat. Anyway, it was fun and the kids loved it. It was over 30 degrees, 90% humidity (im guessing) and we were all soaked with sweat and pretty damn stinky. So we went straight to lunch at a sushi train place! Ive been wanting to go back to this place since we arrived in Japan and being my last day I got to choose the meals woohoo.
That night I cooked Mexican tacos again cause the kids love it and this would be my last chance until we see them next time which could be a year or so away.
Rumi and I limited ourselves to two tacos each cause we planned to go out later and eat again. Round 10pm we left to do some Izakaya style. (Food to go with drinking)

Last day – I started off with a dose of oxygen. This time I had 50 minutes worth and was buzzing with energy and a sharp mind when I left. Rode the bike back to a family restaurant called Fujiya to meet the gang for lunch, then went home to watch some pixar short films and finish my packing.
It was sad to leave. Nephew Ryo was a bit sad and couldn’t understand why I had to go start a new job. I think he was especially sad cause I was taking my iphone with me along with the cool games he was getting addicted too ☺

I wish Neo understood what was happening. She kept wanting to walk and cuddle mum and other antics when we were waiting for the taxi but when I was driving off waving goodbye she had such a confused worried look on her face. I pictured it all the way to Canada and just wanted to give her a hug. Rumi said Neo woke up sobbing the last two nights since ive been away. Its so strange how the sadness of your child can create such happiness. Not happiness due to the sadness, but happiness due to the cause of the sadness. To feel so important and loved, its one of the joys of parenthood that empathy and previous experience has never come close to preparing me for.

So here I am, sitting at the end of day one of my new job in my new suit. I explained to Rumi a new job demanded a new suit but she knew the truth is I couldn’t fit into any of my old suits.
Was it the midnight ramens? The raw chicken and raw heart? The four day buffet bender? The 12 course dinner followed by 9 course breaky? The daily cake ritual demanded by the girls?
Actually I was just a bit chubby when we left Australia and strangely ive lost a kg or so despite consumption figures to embarrass the bumpers off a hummer.

Well I don’t think there will be much to update in the coming weeks. Im basically learning the ropes at my new company, and next week traveling to Toronto and Atlanta to visit some customers.
Drinks at the owners house next Friday night, then I fly out at lunch Saturday and get into Japan via the dateline a day later. 24 hours post we head back home to Sydney after the biggest challenge of our trip, packing for the return journey. Im not sure you can fully appreciate how big a task this will be.
The amount of stuff we have aquired over the last few months is extraordinary. Lucky the return journey home is business class, but I fear we will still be hit with some excess baggage charges. Im picturing suitcases ocky-strapped to the roof of the megane for the ride from airport to home.

Signing off for now. I will send a final update from Japan and with time, updates on any interesting observations or activities in Vancouver over the next fortnight.

Andee in Vancouver, BC

Random pic of neo. Looking like a girl this time


  1. As much as i am going to miss your updates andy it will be great to have you all home and hear more about your adventures! Hope you are having a good time in vancouver, it must be so exciting starting your new job. xox

  2. It al sounds very exciting and one great adventure after the other. Looking forard to when you are all home.
    Cant wait to see the little one walking
    love mum