Walking By

How do you want to die?

I haven’t given it much thought, but I don’t want to be sprawled out on a train platform, covered in my own vomit, while people walk on by.

Like the dead woman we saw this morning.

The children have been talking about this all day, but haven’t come to the realization that she was dead. Me First just happened to see something about mice on drugs this morning and has assumed that is what happened.

I don’t know which is worse for me: having seen that poor woman or having seen those people just walk by.

Bee Battle

It started simply enough.

HRH came home from jogging, and told me he’d seen a Japanese giant hornet buzzing around our landing. Weird, we thought, hope it goes away.

And then the next morning, we saw one outside the window. The next day there were two.

Crappity crap crap holy freakin’ crap.
(To paraphrase what I was thinking.)

The problem is that these guys are incredibly aggressive (seriously, one tried to kill my window,) and also highly allergenic. I don’t know the percentage of how many stung by these little bastards will die, but it’s high enough that every website I looked out screamed out in red font not to attempt home treatment, but to call an ambulance.

Red letters, people.

And HRH said I was ‘overreacting’ by going to the building manager, instead of just burning some mosquito coils. Because, he insisted, bees hate smoke.

Let me stop my eye rolling so I can see to type…okay all good.

Unbeknownst to our resident Master of Universal Knowledge, I happen to know a little bit more about bees than your average bird. My dad, who was a kind of a Reverend Jack-of-All-Trades, kept bees for a while. Three things I know for sure- never approach a beehive head-on, don’t play on the tractor when the sugar water is out, and that it takes a shitload of smoke to get the bees subdued. Mosquito coils won’t cut it.

So I decided to take MIL’s frequent advice: smile and nod, then do what you want.

The building manager tends to brush me off, but this time she paid attention and called the Bee Guy. He located a hive, and then the neighborhood association had a meeting.

More eye rolling…Sorry. I can’t help it.

Thank my lucky stars they were scheduled to have a meeting this weekend, or we might very well all be dead.

The Bee Guy came in the middle of the night. I assume he worked his magic, since I haven’t seen a giant hornet as big as my thumb yet today.

Hoping I never have to see one so close up ever again!


So it looks like the tonsils will come out, but they want to make sure her asthma is under control before hand. Hopefully we’ll finally be on our way out of this asthmatic Hades.

I don’t have a time frame for anything yet.

But I feel hopeful that she will get good care, and thankful to live in a country where an outpatient appointment, a nose camera, and 3 x-rays only cost $23.

These shoes ain’t made for walkin’

Really, what was I thinking? Me, la reina of comfortable footwear?

I could get away with this kind of frivolous vanity in the States because I never walked any further than the car? But in Japan? Hardly.

I see women in heels here all the time. I can only assume they are masochistic or on prescription painkillers. Or very likely both. Can’t wait to get home and change.

The Appointment

Tomorrow, Me Too has an appointment with the ENT at the hospital. She may need her tonsils and adenoids out.

She’s ridiculously excited about missing school for a day and going out to lunch.

Obviously she doesn’t quite understand what is going on.

Apparently that surgery in Japan requires a 5-10 day stay in the hospital, which isn’t exactly nearby and will not allow visitors under 12.

I really don’t know how we’re gonna do this.

I know my in-laws, they will ‘help’ in the way they want to, regardless of what I need or what is best for my children. After care at Y’s school is open till 5, but if we apply for extended hours and get accepted and pay for it, he can stay until 7.

But the hospital visiting hours are until 8, so I will either have to leave Me Too alone while everyone else still has their parents there, or rely on one of my untrustworthy Japanese relatives to pick up Me First. These are the same people that have promised to help, and burned me again and again so I’m wary, to be grotesquely understated.

HRH says I’m working myself up about something that we aren’t even sure will happen yet, but honestly? He’s a d!ck. I’m working through my options, trying to get my mind around it, so if and when push does come to shove, I’m prepared and cool as a cucumber.

I wish it was me instead of her. Mom in the hospital would be a calamity and there would be people crawling out of the woodwork to help. But as long as I am mobile, I’ll always have to make do and manage and work through it alone.

Okay, pity party over. I’ll get back to getting by.

Tokyo Legoland

The kids had school on Saturday, and therefore had Monday off.

I know, right?

I decided to take advantage of a perhaps less crowded weekday and take the kids to Legoland. It’s in Odaiba, which is on the bay in Tokyo. That means it’s a total pain in the ass to get to. We ended up taking a bus from Yokohama station so we wouldn’t have to deal with the trains at rush hour. The train to Yokohama was bad enough!

If, for whatever reason (like temporary insanity) you decide to take your children (or yourself. They have a grown-ups only evening event)to Legoland, then save yourself some hassle and some money and buy the mae-uri ticket online. I asked HRH to do this at work since we don’t have a printer at home, and he forgot.


At opening time, the people with tickets already got to go in right at ten. We scum without tickets were wrangled into a separate line. They didn’t even open the rope for us until 10:15. We languished in line for a good 25 minutes, despite being third from the front. There were giant lego man silhouettes on the wall and buckets of lego so the kids were occurred. But seriously if I had been PMSing that day it would have been baaad, y’all.

When we finally got in, the first area was a pseudo lego factory. This was mildly entertaining. Then there was a ride. You ride in a chariot and shoot up bad guys in an attempt to rescue the princess. DD especially was into this. I thought it was kind of lame, and not just because DS got more points than me.

Then there was a room which, basically, was Tokyo made out of lego. The lights faded every few minutes to become Tokyo at night made out of lego.

At some point there was a giant lego dragon and a lego motorcycle.

Then on the next floor was a super fantastic play area. This being Japan, most of the parents walked off and left their kids to survive as best they could. I was trying to watch mine, but they kept going off in different directions and I lost them both in about six seconds. Luckily, there was only one exit.

Me First appeared hungry and sweaty(like gross sweaty,) but as luck would have it, the play area was by the cafe. Which was crowded. And small. But we managed to get a table by miraculous intervention.

I’d read reviews in Japanese complaining that the cafe menu was too limited and mostly snacky type stuff, but to my undiscerning American palette, it was fine. Overpriced, but they had coffee so I forgive them. Me Too got an onigiri bento. Me First got curry. I had a sandwich. We shared some chips. Everyone got a drink and it came to 2500yen.

The ‘4D’ Chima movie was next. This was the highlight of our trip; both kids said it was their favorite.

There was another ride, one of those round and round things. Then several lego areas: duplo (zoo themed,) a section where you build a racecar and run it down ramps and things, then a ‘Lego Friends’ girly section.

Me Too was really excited about the girly stuff, but they weren’t the actual sets and didn’t have the girl figures, so she got bored very quickly.

Me First was really into the racecar stuff, but by this time Sister was bored and hungry.

Of course you have to go through the gift shop to get out. They had a small section where you can build your own figurines, 3 for 1000yen. So we escaped relatively unscathed.

If it was closer, we might go again, but considering the distance, I won’t suggest it again.

Enough with the four seasons already!

Today I had the very joyful task of picking out a present for a friend who is expecting.

I was looking forward to it. Who doesn’t love buying cute little things for cute little babies who haven’t been born yet?

My friend isn’t the extravagant type, but I thought I would go to a department store and spoil her a little bit.

I strolled the aisles, enjoying myself, until I came upon the cutest little outfit. Friend had said her baby was running on the big side, so I chose something slightly larger than newborn size. Something short sleeved because Japanese summer, to be frank, is a bitch.

Only rivalled by the condescending know-it-all at Takashimaya.

I ask for the item and to have it wrapped, please. She scans my body, and asks if it is for me or a friend. I haven’t yet noticed that she is the devil incarnate, so I answer that it is for a friend. She then tells me that my choice is not suitable because Japanese clothes are made with Japan’s unique four seasons in mind. Basically, she assumed I knew nothing about Japan’s ‘special’ weather, nothing about babies, and nothing about my friend.

And really, Ffs, people, there is a whole rather large swath of planet Earth that has four seasons. Let’s get over that already.

For a moment, I thought about explaining myself. I’d put thought into what I was buying based on my own experience. But then I decided to walk away. I had other things to do and would prefer to spend my money where people don’t treat me like an idiot.

So I ended up with the second cutest outfit. But I trust cute baby will make up the difference!

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