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Saturday, January 3

2009

And so we begin another year in the Land of the Rising Sun. First, to back track a little… Christmas was wonderful. Weird outside of our front door as usual, but wonderful. Kimono Hubby actually managed to spring more than a day or two off and his blackberry finally wasn’t the bane of our headaches during his time at home! During one such period of down time, we packed up and headed to Tokyo for a night. Boy oh boy… traveling with an infant requires some planning, doesn’t it? It was a wonderful trip though filled with shopping in Roppongi, lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant Moti’s and even a happy accident where we came across a German Christmas celebration that had been installed in the center of Roppongi Hills complete with Hefeweizen beer, apple pancakes, nutcrackers and handblown glass Christmas ornaments. A little taste of home… err… if we were from Germany. But it was more American Christmas than anything we had had yet!

On Christmas Eve, we made our trek into downtown Zushi to hit up our favorite curry bar and restaurant, Matchpoint, for our new traditional dinner of sashimi and curry. Our families had made sure that we had a good Christmas day by loading us up with gifts. We would receive one to two boxes at KH’s office every day; just enough to drive the administration people in his office quite crazy as they would stuff their tiny postal room with our bulky boxes. On Christmas morning, the Kimono Pipsqueak was covered in his gifts, leaving only his poor little head sticking out so he could gulp in some fresh air. He had little interest for the chaos, but we had a blast sticking things up into his face while he got freaky wide-eyed, more from excessive overstimulation than anything resembling wonder. As usual, Christmas is not a holiday that the Japanese people take off for (remember: most aren’t Christian and the Buddha just doesn’t look good in that big red hat) so everything was business as usual. Not for us though. We stayed huddled in our house with our miniature Japanese Christmas tree blinking away in all its glory.

The big family holiday here is of course New Years. When everything shuts down and the streets go silent as people nestle into their homes with their loved ones to pound some rice. We had a couple of friends over for my family’s tradition… play games that prove you are the smartest person in the room. Our friends aren’t much on Trivial Pursuit though, so I found other oddball trivia games that didn’t tax one’s brain too much. Last year, there was pretty much nothing to watch on TV except the Japanese New Year’s game show program that they watch every year. It really isn’t that funny to us when we don’t speak their language fluently. The Armed Forces Network did decide to treat overseas American citizens with a specially-made-for-us New Years Eve program that was to run in correct time around the world. Ahh… the best of intentions. At 10 pm, right in the middle of an excellent Jason Mraz performance, the satellite signal was lost and never returned. This left us with… pretty much nothing to count down the new year with except our friend’s atomic watch. The champagne was poured and so began our quiet countdown to the year 2009. I really wanted to go outside and bang some pots and pans or shoot off a shotgun just to show our Japanese neighbors how things are done, but I was discouraged by all. Party poopers.

The next days were yet quietly spent at home. New Years Day – I made the traditional Pennsylvanian good luck pork and sauerkraut. Then the next day we were in the mood for some good ramen. We bundled up, Kimono Pipsqueak in 18 layers of clothes, and headed down town on foot. It took us only making it one block before we realized the fault in our logic – this is Japan’s biggest holiday of the year. Everything was still very, very closed. Leaving me to come up with a dinner plan and fast. Thank God for the inventor of spaghetti and Ragu.

And here we are in 2009. Wow. I feel old. Okay, not really at all. I feel pretty darn vibrant for my 35 years! Life is good. Sure, there are a few things I could work on to make it better. A few New Year’s resolutions, like… lose another 15 pounds since all the pregnancy weight is gone, stay healthy and out of the doctor’s offices for at least one whole month, finally hang the clothes on the floor of my closet up… but mostly, I am just going to enjoy more of the same good life I have been living with a loving husband and a beautiful new son. I am actually working on updating my ‘100 Things to do before I die’ list and will be posting that in the next week or so. A dear friend put her list of 16 on her blog as inspiration to get ‘er done, so why not put my whole stinking list on mine so someone can give me a good kick in the rear to keep at it. (Note that we match up on one very particular travel-related one and I say I’m all for 2010, my friend!)

For now, I’m off to enjoy another sunshine-y 50 degree day. Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy and truly blessed New Year!

1 comment:

Momo-Mama said...

Yay! So excited to hear from you and can't wait to read more!