Friday, June 27, 2008

Tokyo-ing: 5 little known things about the Tokyo Palmers

1. Bekah is ah-maze-ing with a map. I mean, she really knows how to get around. Tokyo, I mean. We did end up in a funny Yakitori place where none of the waiters spoke English and we had mistakenly left Jesse at home. Bekah was at least a bit useful in her Japanese reading abilities, but I flipped through the 10-page long menu several times expecting the Japanese to just miraculously return to me. After several hilarious exchanges between waitress and dumb gaijin (us), she suggested "Mix?" We gratefully accepted and Bekah graciously consumed the cow innards on sticks that came to our table.
2. Jesse clearly rivals (referring to the twin phenomena) on the kids/housecleaning detail. He babysat while Bekah and I went out for a couple of long day/night trips, and we came back to sleeping babes and a totally clean house. Also amazingly, he was still in a good mood.
This picture is of Jesse and Bekah on their date that never happened, because they were too busy being good hosts and taking me out.

3. Miriam=Fashionista: Miriam and Gwyn really know what they like. Gwyn is also fashionable, but I have to credit her older sister with her taste. I think that Miriam and Gwyn did not wear pants the entire time I was in Tokyo, which says something about their wardrobe, especially because they changed clothes at least 5 times a day. I loved their knee socks the most. These say the most about their fashion sense, because it was hot in Tokyo and knee socks were definitely a statement about fashion over comfort.

4. Gwyn is a champion explanationist. You may have seen Bekah's post on her precocity, but I have to reemphasize it here. Mostly you just don't expect to meet a girl this young with this much reasoning power.
Jesse: I don't want you to play with this [metal rod]. You shouldn't touch it, okay?
Gwyn: But sometimes I touch it.
Jesse: But I don't want you to.
Gwyn: I know, Mom tells me not to, but sometimes I do anyway. You should put it up high so I don't have to touch it.
Jesse: You should practice self control-- then I wouldn't have to put it up high.
Gwyn: I can't do that. Sometimes Mom tells me not to do something, and then I want to do it. So you should put it up high, okay?
Gwyn explained many things to me over the course of the trip, usually about her decision making processes. I think she thought it was weird that I laughed so much when she presented her perfectly Gwynnian logic.
5. Who knew that Laie dwellers like us could thrive in a megacity like Tokyo? Jesse confessed to existentialist questioning from time to time, but mostly he seems to enjoy it. Everyone was nice enough to trot me around to their favorite places and shop way too much. Even Jesse has become tempered to Tokyo expectations. Bekah and I bought crazy deliciousness from an expensive bakery (food will be reserved for a later post) and Jesse was excited when we got home with the goods and I never once saw him flinch at Tokyo prices. Bekah's eyes glistened at sumo practice (although it may have been reflections of fat men's sweat). Miriam loves playing late at school with her Japanese friends and uses Japanese phrases in her every day kid speech. Even Gwyn's pronunciation of her sister's name--"Mee-dee-um-chan" is Japanese. Everyone looks forward to Matsuri and yukatas, co-op food ordering, weekly shrine and temple tours, and daily romps at the local parks. There's a language that the ex-pat group (a large one--another surprise to me) has that radiates love for Tokyo. I never would have guessed that it might actually be painful for them to leave this place.
Thanks for letting me stay. I had a wonderful time. I miss you already!


Jesse said...

Great post. Thanks for coming to visit and being a fun, easy guest. Tokyo is much more fun with friends to show it to. It's pretty brave to go on a solo vacation with an almost two year old, although she was mostly great. The last double melt down of Gwyn and Amaya on the train ride home from the onsen was pretty classic though. Good stuff. We straightened a bit today (rearranged and straightened our mounds of stuff) and noticed a few things that got left behind. The taiyaki pan, bottle brushes, and some odds and ends. Let us know what to do.

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

Oh, how I love the music on your blog!

This was such a good post. Hooray for vacations. I love "Mee-dee-um-chan" very cute. Your pictures are great. I can't wait to see more food pictures and hear more about your trip. That last picture of Tokyo is impressive I felt a little homesick for Sao Paulo.

Pamela Palmer said...

I'm so glad you went. Wish I could say the same for myself. And I'm glad you'll be in Hawaii when I get back. Hawaii had any rain?