As I write this, the news from the U.S. says that Bush won Florida
and the outlook is not good.
Maybe we should stay in Japan for another 4 years? yikes.
Halloween and Mia’s birthday were the two big events of this month.
Mia’s birthday was great. We had a Jack o Lantern pinata and many
children over to our apartment. (andit took all 12 of the children to
actually break open the Pinata. Finally Naoto had to cheat and tear
it open with his hands)
Halloween was not so great. Mia got freaked out by the older
children’s scary costumes and screamed to go home. We had gone to the
local U.S. military base and were in base housing. She was okay for
the first two houses. Then some rubber masked boys came by. Even when
they took their masks off so she could see they were boys underneath
Ah well, there’s always next year.
On Monday, I went to Tama Midori kindergarten to put in an
application for Mia for next spring. I went to the front hall, handed
in my application, bowed to the vice-principal (who’s married to the
principal), paid my 35 dollars, and received a receipt for Mia’s
Yes, she (and I) will be interviewed for kindergarten. Then they will
let us know by mail if we are accepted or not. The odds are good we
will be accepted, but I am still making Naoto practice questions like
“What is your name” and “where do you live” and “what is your
favorite color” in Japanese with Mia this week. She can answer all
those in English fairly well, but I am worried about her Japanese.
I am also worried about MY Japanese. What do I do if they ask me
something like “so please explain in detail your methods of child
rearing so far and how your goals relate to Tama Midori’s goals for
students” or even “what will your child bring to the Tama Midori
family?” or what if they ask “name your and your husband’s entire
What am I going to wear? What should Mia wear? Please don’t let me
forget to bring her “inside shoes” for the school! What if Mia
spontaneously gets Japanese Amnesia and throws up on the Vice
Ye gods, what am I getting myself into?
The kindergarten saga begins. And Kindergarten doesn’t actually start
until next April!
I am currently addicted to two Autumn treats (meaning they come out
in autumn and are seasonal) here in Japan: white coffee and marinated
“White Coffee” is the brand name of a milk coffee product from
Yakult. I quote from the bottle “tasty coffee and smooth milk. A
great combination. Enjoy your WHITE COFFEE.” On the side of the can
is a Starbuck’s inspired checklist of things including “coffee”,
“decaf”, “milk”, and “topping.”
Of course you can’t really put a topping in a can, and neither can
you actually buy decaf coffee in Japan (other than at rare specialty
stores.) So of course only the “milk” and “coffee” are checked. In
case you were confused by “white coffee” and weren’t sure what you
were actually getting. But you have to speak English in order to
figure all this stuff out.
Marinated pork buns are this year’s marketing twist on the
chinese-style steamed buns that appear on schedule in Autumn at
convenience stores everywhere in Japan. They are sold in these
little, glass cases that keep them warmed and gooey.
Also available are pizza steamed buns, cheese steamed buns, seafood
gratin and chocolate steamed buns.
But the marinated pork are the best!
love and light,
p.s. on the writing front, a story of mine titled “The Wind Knew
Her Name” is currently being published in the paper ‘zine “Flytrap
It is a story about an ESL teacher married to a Japanese guy in
Chiba, Japan. She finds herself helping an ancient spirit court one
of her surfer students who has a terrible secret.