Thanksgiving abroad is unsurprisingly just like every other day of the week here; wake up, work, have kids wipe mysterious things on your pants, make dinner, shower, bed. The routine looked the same yesterday, and it’ll look the same as tomorrow.
It’s very underwhelming.
I decided to be spontaneous and get on a train bound for Tokyo this past weekend. (Or in my case, a series of trains because I had about 4 transfers before I arrived at my final destination). I was off to visit the one place I really wanted to visit, but didn’t get a chance to during vacation a few weeks ago. I was headed for the MORI Building in Odaiba, Tokyo to see the teamLab: Borderless digital art exhibition.
But let’s back it up to a very important conversation that I had the week prior, that helped kick off this adventure.
Or more precisely, shit happens.
Excuse the profanity, but last week was a three day week that started with plenty of excitement (and not the good, fun kind.)
Monday morning, I’m told I have a trial student coming in for the first few hours of the day to test out how she reacts to being in an English speaking environment. This little girl’s father will be in Toyohashi for the next two years on a contract for work and it will be her first time in Japan for an extended amount of time (I can relate.) She was a cute little thing though, quiet and followed the crowd of my tiny hurricanes around the room. She was visibly disoriented though, but who wouldn’t be when you’re freshly transplanted from Vietnam and don’t speak a lick of English or Japanese?
Finished month two! I was going to say conquered, but I think May conquered me more than I conquered it… Month two was better. I don’t think I needed as much coaxing off the ledges as I did in April, but I still have many doubts.
For those of you who know me, you might know that sharing isn’t one of my strong points. But in my defense, I have gotten better at it! Let me rewind though, this train of thought was brought on by our daily park time.
Tonight is the final night of my first extended break with the preschool, and my oh my, has it been wonderful!
This past week was Golden Week in Japan. Golden Week is a collection of four national holidays spread out over the span of seven days, including conveniently placed weekends. It makes for one of the busy travel times in Japan during the year, the others being New Year’s and Obon, (so if you’re planning on coming to visit during those times, travellers be warned). I elected to stay put and have a mini staycation instead of venturing too far.
I’ve been doing it all along without even realizing it.
I’ve been watching my kiddos for about a month (holy cow, didn’t think I’d last that long) and its fascinating watching them pick up connector toys, stick them together, and proclaim loudly, “its a bullet train!!” and take off pushing the thing across the floor, dodging kids and tables in their mad dash. It’s astounding and so genuinely pure and simple I can’t help but smile. That is, until the bullet train and its driver accidentally run over my feet/legs/fingers…
You will survive the weeks you think you can’t.
This week was a tough one. I know it’s only my second full week here, but it was a doozy. Emotions ran high from the start and continued through the week, each day seeming longer than the previous. I had one toe on the ledge and had to be talked down multiple times.
My first spring in Japan and it is mesmerizing.
New beginnings are scary and they happen at all points in our lives.
Even though this was my first full week spent here in Toyohashi, it was only a two day school week with the students. Thursday was the preschool opening ceremony and Friday was spent mostly playing outside. Even though it was an abbreviated week, man oh man, they were still a busy and stressful two days!