The neat thing about small towns, is that each one comes with their own set of festivals and traditions. We were lucky enough that one of these festivals overlapped with one of precious our days off, so we got the chance to experience it!
And of course, since we seem to be a walking spectacle, we became the unintentional center of attention during this festival.
How many times can you say that you and some friends jumped in the car and took a road trip to the tallest and most famous mountain in Japan?
Now I can say that I’ve done it.
And we did it right. We rented a car, left early, brought plenty of snacks, and stopped at (almost) all of the rest stops on the highway. Between the company, spontaneity, and absurdity of it all, it was the recipe for a perfect Sunday.
How old were you when you first learned how to use chopsticks?
But the real kind, not the cheater kind that have the ends tied together. The kind where you can hold one in each hand and stab the food — which I’ve since learned is a big no no. I think I was somewhere in the mid-teens range. (Did I guess right Dad?) And then even after learning, I hardly used them on a daily basis. Maybe they got used when we had Chinese take out at home or when we went out to Asian restaurants. But even then, forks were always on the table as a viable second option.
Its different here.
Before starting this whole adventure, if you asked me what a 3 year old was capable of, I’d probably have responded with “very little…they’re 3…”. Before this I’d had very limited interaction with this age group before and therefore my understanding of their understanding of the universe was nonexistent at best.
Now if you ask me that question, boy do I have a much different response!
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.
When you’re three, each day is filled with extreme heartbreaking, melt down inducing, world ending drama.
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.
Listening to a room full of three year olds singing (or trying to sing) The Hokey Pokey and Five Little Monkey’s is both hysterical and terrifying.
These little monsters are still learning their left from right (although to be fair, sometimes I struggle with that too) so I have to keep my expectations in check when they are singing along to anything. They like to either shout all the words, because they think that means they are singing faster; or they will whisper while doing the hand motions because they are focusing so hard on learning the “choreography”. There is a very very very small in between those two reactions.
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.