Tuesday, 27 April 2010


Cos nothing fills up blog space like photos, and it has been awhile. We've had a great time enjoying what good weather there has been this spring biking round looking at cherry blossoms and running round parks to tire the monster out. Not as much beer involved as I would have liked but I'm sure my liver will thank me in a few years. So here are my Spring best shots!



Bubbles are so much better from this angle...

I think this was a "Stop pulling my fucking hair!!!!" face from me.
Sunday park trip



I think this is the shot of the season, pure joy.

WTF corn man?!

Aww family shot with bemused J-kid in background.
Princess P showing us her lumber jacking skills!

Happy little chubster.

Me proving to the world I can't do a chin-up to save my life or dignity.

How not Japan does this look!?

Hmmmm cooooffffffeeeee. Not until you're at least 3 son.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

The rules of dish...

We've had the rules of rice and futons, it's time for the dishes people! Man I should make these crucial cultural lessons into a handy little book for the fresh-faced gaijin gals who naively stamp their inkan on the marriage square.

Now, I haven't been the best housewife since I've been married, but since April, my points have gone waaaay up. Bento and every one's brekky in the morning and insanely delicious dinners, OK, maybe not insanely, but fucking tasty! I may even dare to say I could be compared to some watered-down, soy sauce-wielding version of Nigella (minus the sexual innuendos and seductive tasting techniques)...
Seems like all 3 of us have been sick for like the last year, and I think it may have been due to the fact we ate hardly any fruit and veggies at all, so I took action and decided every meal must include at least 3 veggies, ambitious! Of course it helps that I have some extra time on my hands with the monster at kindy, when I start working next month we may be back to our alternate menu of udon one night, McDonalds the next..

Anyway, back to the pressing topic at hand, the rules of dish....! Japanese style eating is good in some ways, in that you get to eat lots of little bits of stuff as opposed to the big clump of something on the plate in the western world, however the downside of this (for the common housewife like myself) is that you end up having to wash 50 fucking million different types of dishes and plates and soy sauce dishes and all kinds of crap. But you know, I can handle the washing-up, no biggie, it's the dish rules that still baffles me, and here they are:

The rules of dish

1) All people should have the same pattern on their dish, no mixing up patterns/materials/colours.

2)A soup bowl, despite being the same size as a normal rice bowl, may not, under any circumstances be used for rice.

3) A tiny teeny mini dish must be used for soy sauce, no pouring straight on the food.

4) No mixing foods on dishes, they will contaminate each other and you will die a slow horrible death (if you haven't already died from sleeping on a futon that has seen moonlight that is)

5) Every person must have their own dish to collect various foods from the dishes in the middle of the table. This dish is the only flexible one, do with it as you will to the point of no mixing foods directly on it.

See, they don't even make sense in writing!
We have so many dishes in our kitchen, but according to Ryota, we have no rice bowls, I dared to put the rice in ceramic salad bowls (I had no fucking idea they were salad bowls to begin with, trust me, the naked gaijin eye can't tell the difference.) and he looked at it and said "don't we have any rice bowls??" And I was all "Fuck you buddy, you won't need a bowl in a minute because you'll be wearing it mother fucker!!!" That's what I was thinking anyway, but I was well impressed with myself when I managed to keep my cool and say "味かわるの?" (Will it change the taste?) And I didn't even say it in a pissed-off gaijin temper way, it was more like a 'slightly smart arse, almost genuine question' kind of way too. He buttoned up pretty quickly when he failed to provide an adequate explanation as to why the dish mattered.

Ah well, live and learn, maybe next time I should introduce some Greek culture into our house and start smashing the bastards. Whaaap Ahhhh! (Again with those bloody phonetics...)

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


Been ages!

Don't worry, I haven't packed up and left for the outback or anything (although suitcase has a spare pair of undies and a toothbrush just in case!), just been pretty busy with Ryo-chan's new job, Ash at kindy, all of us sick AGAIN(?!) and general day to day shite.

Ash is slowly getting used to kindy, although still screaming and giving me big guilt trips as I leave, when I shut the door he stretches his arms out and squeezes out huge crocodile tears just to wrench at my heart strings that little bit extra. Although my fears and guilt were put a little bit to rest the other day, Ash was particularly distressed and I just got all overwhelmed and started blubbering as I was walking out. Of course all the genki teachers were all "Maaamaaaa! Doushitan?!!" And I was all "Kawaaii *sniff* souu *sob* Yameyou kanaaa" *blubber blubber* God I'm a fucking idiot.
Sensei then herded me back to the classroom and was like, "look! look through the window!" And fuck me, I look through the window and the little bastard is poking another kid's head with a plastic fork and laughing! No tears in sight! I felt much better after that, they assured me he does this every morning, about 2 minutes of tears and then fine!

I felt like piercing MIL and SIL with that same plastic fork the next week though...

The kindy teachers all make a trip round to the house of EVERY ONE OF THEIR STUDENTS! How's that for dedication!? Anyway, teacher came to our house and I tried pretty hard to follow all the Japanese like protocol for the meeting, as in clean the house, not be in my P.J's etc. SIL also said she'd bring over some green tea as we were out, thanks sis, so nice of you! Or so I thought...
Meeting went fine, I understood everything, the teacher was nice and we chatted for a good 20 minutes. Now I'm also aware of the J-protocol of seating, you shouldn't be higher than the sensei but I freakin offered her the sofa 3 TIMES ad she was determined to sit on the floor, so I was like, fine I'll sit on the sofa (we don't exactly live in a palace, it would have been cramped to sit on the floor next to her). I also offered her a kit kat to have with her tea or take with her, sounds normal right?? WRONG! Seems I failed on all teacher meeting points and SIL swiftly told MIL all about it the minute she got home.

Now this would have been fine, I could handle the in-laws 'in-house bitching', but it was the next day that really fucking pissed me off, MIL came with me to get Ash from kindy for some reason I can't remember and this is something how it went:

MIL: Oh sensei, thank you I apologise so much for yesterday!!! Sorry!

Me: (Thinking what the fuck is she apologising for?? For not being there??)

Sensei: Oh no, not a problem!

MIL: I couldn't believe it when I heard you were sat on the floor and had a kit kat!! Sorry!!!

Me: (Smiling like an idiot and looking for nearest blunt object.)

Sensei: Oh it's fine!

Oh no she diden'!!!!! (Phonetics aren't my strong point...) But what the fuck man!? Don't apologise for your stupid gaijin daughter, not without consulting her first and especially not in front of her!!! MIL really does have a good heart and I know the whole 'the family is one unit' thing is big here but god I was pissed.

Next year I'm clearing the floor of all kotatsu and kotatsu related goods so we can both suffer on the floor, will brew the tea myself and make some manju cake, and lock SIL the fuck out. Live and learn!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Sometimes I just want OUT!

Look at this, post everyday! I'd like to say it's a part of my April new year plan, but it's not, just a freak thing and the fact I have more time with Ash at kindy...

So, on to today's ranty jumbled mess of words. I say April is the month that gaijin fall in love with Japan again, but I think I'm becoming immune to it's powers.. Perhaps I know that after spring, comes the gruelling, sweaty furnace known as Osaka summer, or that those beautiful cherry blossoms only last a week, and then they become a mess of dirty pink petals for the Obachans to sweep up. Or maybe it's just that the weather this year seems much colder for April so I still feel like it's winter...

Whatever it is, I'm feeling distinctly anti-living-in-Japan at the moment. Wait, maybe it's living with the in-laws! If I really think about it, all rants in this post (there's only 2, don't worry) relate to them!

First thing that's pissed me off- The dentist.
I fucking hate the dentist in any country, but more so in Japan, where they drill your teeth for like 10 minutes and then set up about 28 other appointments for you. I'd rather it just be all over and done with in one go like the Aussie dentists. And I'll admit, I do get a few twangs of pain here and there in my teeth, but nothing serious or that I've felt the need to drag my arse to the dentist. I may have mentioned this to MIL on literally one occasion (my first mistake). So yesterday I was more than a little pissed when Ryota informed me I was going to the dentist next week. Ummm, rewind there buddy, since when?? He then cheerily went on to say that MIL had taken the liberty of making an appointment for me that I wasn't to miss. Err is she going to wipe my arse for me too that day?? My face then began to resemble a tomato as I said if I wanted/needed to go to the cunting dentist (my words exactly, although a little lost on poor Ryo-chan who wasn't expecting the sudden outburst)that I would make an appointment, and go myself.
It's not a huge deal, and I know her intentions were good, but fuck me it pisses me off. If I want or need help I'll be asking for it, if not, Fuck off!

Next thing, I felt a little homesick yesterday, it was Easter and I don't know why, my family have never done anything special at Easter, maybe a dinner together or something, but nothing in particular so not sure why I was being such a pussy baby, but I just felt some kind of.... lack of family maybe?? Of course Ryo-chan gave me a big hug and said that I could go home any time I wanted for a holiday no matter what the cost blah blah blah, but he doesn't quite get that I don't really want to go back, I just miss certain things.
Anyway, then today, still felt a little of the homesick pangs and was also thinking how I'm going to miss the cherry blossoms if I don't see some soon, then, as I came back from the supermarket run, I see all the in-laws leaving the house. I asked Alien SIL where they were off to and she gave me a sullen "Going to see cherry blossoms" in her usual fucking sulky alien way.
Now this is what I don't get, they stick their fucking noses in when I don't need fucking dentists appointments, but blatantly don't invite me places with them when it's something I actually want to be included in...

I'm actually being a big baby, but still. There are times when I just wish I could grab one of my girlfriends, or my mum or sister, and go shopping in a place where my massive gaijin feet fit into the shoes and I can browse clothes that I actually like rather than some cutesy, gypsy Japanese style clothes that are usually too short for me if they fit at all because of my massive gaijin height proportions... Perhaps it's time to think of a new path that doesn't involve the land of the rising sun...? I always said if I ever hated Japan that much that I couldn't stop bitching about it I would leave sooner rather than later... I don't think I'm quite at that point yet but last night I made a bargain with myself: If Ryota's new job doesn't work out (although I really hope it does for his sake!) then we're out, it's the gods or buddha or something telling me that Japan and I are done with each other for the time being.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Happy fake new Year!

Ash had a great time at kindy today too, nice to see he misses me!

It's April! Somewhat of a new year in Japan, a time when all gaijin forget all the things that annoy them about Japan because they are blinded by alcohol fuelled flower watching parties.
I came to Japan in April and it really is just a beautiful time to be here, flowers are bloomin, sun is shining (if you're lucky enough to be in a place with no smog), and there's a sense of a fresh new start. All companies and schools/Universities also start the new year from April so students are filled with hope and enthusiasm, although that gets beaten out of them usually by golden week in the form of cram school/study/school on Saturday/clubs/extra classes/wearing school uniforms every waking second of the day.

So in the spirit of this fake new year, and Ash starting kindy, I'm making an effort to be a super organised kindy mum, the ones who's kindy stuff is all ironed and neat and labelled and shit, so, here are my fake new year's resolutions:

~Make bento for Ryota (and myself when I start working) everyday. Will be much easier as Ryota's new job starts at 9am everyday as opposed to 6!

~Keeping Ash's kindy stuff organised and orderly, this includes all kindy paperwork and 500 million pieces of paper I'm sent home with everyday.

~Try not to mutter obscenities at the ridiculousness of taking Ash's temperature EVERY SINGLE FUCKING MORNING before kindy.

~Keep the house clean and organised.

~Cook more often rather than keeping hokka hokka ben on speed dial.

OK, that's all for now, if I set too many goals I'll never keep any of them!
I didn't make a very good start though, yesterday, Ryota and I ended up at the local hospital with pair set IV drips as we were both vomiting and were burning up, I'm much better today but Ryo-chan is still moaning and writhing on the floor croaking out that he's going to die in a barely audible voice. Pussy!

Happy New April! May all your cherry blossoms be accompanied with alcohol!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

I B positive...

OK, the reason for two posts in two days is that I'm distracting myself. I just dropped Ash off at kindy for the first time (only two hours today) and all morning the in-laws and I were musing over whether he would cry or scream or go mental when I left him, and you know what, he was fine. He was running a train up another kid's head when I ducked out the door.

And then the tears started flowing (mine not his!)

I'm a pretty hard nut when it comes to the kindy issue, I think it's great for kids to interact with other kids from a young age, they learn routine and responsibility and the teacher's at the kindy are just lovely. But despite all this, I whimpered like a little baby myself as I went out the door, the head teacher slapped me on the back and told me to suck it up! MIL came with me and was also blubbering like a little girl so I was glad I wasn't the only one!

Anyway, over to the title of the post, I'm usually not a Jim Carrey face contorting fan but I love the movie Bruce almighty and watched it yesterday for old time's sake, "and my tiny little nipples went to France..." hehe
There is a part in it about blood types, which reminded me of our little excursion to the docs the other day, the real reason for the trip was for Ash's tummy bug but we also remembered that the kindy needs to know what blood type he is. As he was born in Australia he didn't get checked, cos, you know, nobody gives a fuck in Australia!

For those of you who don't know, blood type is kind of a big deal in Japan, I guess it can be compared to star signs...(?) Everybody knows what they are and roughly what they mean, Japanese people also say that you should know in case there's an accident and you need an emergency transfusion but that's bullshit, they always test first. Anyway, here are the blood type personalities broken down according to Ryota:

A types- are perfect in most ways. Friendly but a little pedantic and very smart and good looking.

O types- are kinda boring but usually get on with people and are usually smart.

AB types- are two-faced and difficult to deal with on every level. They possess some good A qualities and some bad B qualities.

B types- are lying, selfish spawns of the devil.

haha, Again with Ryota's skewed view of the world!

As you might have guessed, Ryota and everyone in his direct blood line is A type, I am AB, so Ash had a chance of being A or B but until now Ryota was convinced he was A type. But to his disappointment, turns out our little Ash is a B boy! Ryota was crushed (not really) but I told him that in Aussie blood types mean jack shit so he's all good.

OK, it's almost time to go get Ashy, I'm going to go early and peek in to see how he's getting on. *sniff!*