はまっこ- This is the word people born and raised in Yokohama use to describe themselves, Hamakko. It literally means “beach child,” which is ironic considering all of Yokohama’s natural beaches, save one, have been reclaimed, cemented over, and otherwise thoroughly industrialized in the years following World War II. The one remaining natural beach is more of a final resting place for unfortunate seaweed than a place to swim and enjoy the sun. It’s one station down from a newer man-made beach that is the place to hang out and pick up chicks for the younger Hamakko generation, though this beach is also hopelessly covered in seaweed most of the time. But hey, the sand is white and great for sand castles, which is enough to keep me happy.

I’ve been in Japan for 11 years, 10 of those in Yokohama, more than half of that time spent as a stay at home mom. I have two kids, and I use that term while relishing in the knowledge that it also refers to baby goats, no offense to the goats!

Me First is six years old and in first grade at the local school. I’m sure there will be plenty of entries into my Captains Log about the school system here, so I’ll save that for later.

Me Too just turned four, and she goes to the preschool behind our house twice a week. Twice a week is all I can stand. You’d think having your preschooler pit of the house for a few hours a day would mean having some time for yourself, but you would be wrong because Japanese preschool is more like a system of indentured servitude for moms than an institution for education. Good practice for elementary school, now that I think of it.

Hubby is a thirty something “salaryman,” which means he is rarely here and when he is he rains his manliness all over as if he reigns the place. We’ve got him fooled!

Otherwise My family is pretty much a Japanese version of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Wacky in-laws with no sense of boundaries right across the street? Check. Emotionally stumped older brother living with the in-laws? Check. Hubby is not as funny, kids are not as well behaved, and instead of near perfect Debra, we’re stuck with….me. But y’all get the point, right?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gaijinwife
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 21:39:39

    WELCOME to wordpress and the world of blogging!! I’ll add you to my blogroll asap – and I guarantee that getting everything out there and having bloggy support is great therapy :)



  2. Céline
    Sep 09, 2011 @ 04:05:38

    You write so well, it is a delight to read!! Thanks, Miss you


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