Tuesday 30 June 2009

Why not chaps?

I stole this MeMe from somewhere and I have nothing interesting to write about, so here it is. Actually, we had a fight with SIL that was kinda interesting but I just can't be arsed writing about it today. Manyana, manyana...

So here you go, I don't do 'tagging,' if that's what the blogging kids are calling it these days but if you want to jump on the narcissistic bandwagon, be my guest!

65 things...

1. First thing you wash in the shower?
My face, hate having a dirty face.

2. What color is your favorite hoodie?
Well technically it's not mine... But Ryota's green and grey hoodie.

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?
Definitely, Ashton has incredibly kissable cheeks.

4. Do you plan outfits?

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now?
Sleepy, it's 5:30am...

6. Whats the closest thing to you that is red?
Our Internet cable.

7. What was the last dream you remember having?
Ryota and I robbed a bank and both went to gaol for 15 years even though he was the one who shot somebody.

8. Did you meet anybody new today?
It's 5 freakin 30. So no.

9. What are you craving right now?

10. Do you floss?

11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?
The yummy Lebanese cabbage rolls we used to eat when I was a wee lass.

12. Are you emotional?
Not as much as I used to be.

13. Have you ever counted to 1,000?
I've attempted when counting sheep but never had the patience.

14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?
Sensitive teeth, lick.

15. Do you like your hair?
Not especially but don't really dislike it either.

16. Do you like yourself?

17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush?
Why not, he can't be that bad. Can he...?

18. What are you listening to right now?
Japanese politicians rabbiting on on the telly.

19. Are your parents strict?
Dad has his moments but not really.

20. Would you go sky diving?
I'd love to.

21. Do you like cottage cheese?
If I'm dieting.

22. Have you ever met a celebrity?
Nobody worth writing home about.

23. Do you rent movies often?
Only blue ray discs, otherwise clicky click for me.

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in?
Without a doubt, there are many sparkly things.

25. How many countries have you visited?
I think 7...8?

26. Have you made a prank phone call?
When I lived at home all the time.

27. Ever been on a train?
Recently no, but yes.

28. Brown or white eggs?
Brown, although apparently there's no difference.

29.Do you have a cell-phone?
Yes but I've turned against it since wanting an iPhone.

30. Do you use chap stick?

31. Do you own a gun?
I've never held a gun.

32. Can you use chop sticks?
I'm the choppy master.

33. Who are you going to be with tonight?
My husband and my son. And possibly a heard of in-laws.

34. Are you too forgiving?
Yes, but not forgetful.

35. Ever been in love?
Many times.

36. What is your best friend(s) doing tomorrow?
Holidaying in Italy the lucky duck. And the other one is working I think.

37. Ever have cream puffs?

38. Last time you cried?
Mother's day.

39. What was the last question you asked?
What kind of bento do you want?

40. Favorite time of the year?

41. Do you have any tattoos?
I do. 5 soon to be 6.

42. Are you sarcastic?
yes, but not so much in Japan, it's just lost on thee.

43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect?
The movie? Yes.

44. Ever walked into a wall?

45. Favorite color?

46. Have you ever slapped someone?
Does on the tooshy count?

47. Is your hair curly?

48. What was the last CD you bought?
A blank one to make for the car.

49. Do looks matter?

50. Could you ever forgive a cheater?
We all make mistakes... but no.

51. Is your phone bill sky high?
Nope . very low since I disappeared into the anti-social mother cave.

52. Do you like your life right now?
Yes and No.

53. Do you sleep with the TV on?
No, Japanese TV would send me insane if I watched it for tool long. I used to though.

54. Can you handle the truth?
Probably not.

55. Do you have good vision?

56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people?
I wouldn't expect so.

57. How often do you talk on the phone?
Not very often at all these days.

58. The last person you held hands with?
Ryota, we hold hands in our sleep, how weird!

59. What are you wearing?
Grey shorts and a very old black sleeping top.

60.What is your favorite animal?

61. Where was your default picture taken?
Where did I steal this from? Facebook perhaps... so it would be at a studio.

62. Can you hula hoop?
Yup, these hips were made for hulain'

63. Do you have a job?
No, housewife doesn't count. I very much want one again though.

64. What was the most recent thing you bought?
A massive costco pizza. 1400 yen pizza cut into four, That's about 400 yen per meal times 4 for two people, Now that's cheap eatin!

65. Have you ever crawled through a window?
Yes, in my drinking days, keys were frequently lost/forgotten.

P.S. Happy Canadia day my leaf bearing friends!


Announcing the arrival of yet another exercise machine that I probably won't use in about a month....

Here is my Rodeo Boy III! It's fun and hurts my stomach so I'm hoping I can get rid of my baby tummy by November when I do the 10km run!

I have a morbid fascination with buying two things: Exercise equipment and stationary...
Bizarre I know.
I've bought most fad type exercise things: Punching bag, DVDs, Sit-up contraption, weights, treadmill, ski thingy, exercise ball... Most are still in my parents garage being cursed daily when my dad stubs his toes on them and my exercise ball lies slightly deflated in our closet but to be fair I couldn't look at it due to post traumatic stress induced by using one of them when giving birth...

Not much else happening, it's raining and soooooo fucking sticky, I hate it!
SIL isn't talking to us but I don't know why, it could be something I did but when I find out I'll post it here!

Anyway, Ryota will kill me if I don't use my Rodeo Boy so I better get Rodeo-ing!

Here is a good likeness of Ashton's face when he sees me bucking up and down on the Rodeo Boy, it cracks him up!

Saturday 27 June 2009

I still ❤ u 4eva JPN!!!

Because in what other country could this happen?

Tell me, in what other country could you take a serious(?) political party, and slap an English name on it like "The happiness realization party..." ????

I must say though, if a dirty-blooded gaijin such as myself was ever allowed a vote, Kyoko-chan would get mine. (If only the Royal Host waitress could see me reading hiragana and, SHOCK ,kanji!! She may just keel over!)
It's a nice break to see a sista' doin it for herself (or the happiness realization party) instead of the sea of grey-haired wankers who grace the posters around erection time. Looks like she even got her hair all coiffed for the occasion.

I wonder about the policies of the Happiness realization party, I really do.

And on the sexism note, has anyone seen the commercial(?) warning(?) on TV about people calling up old folks pretending to be their son/grandson and scamming money?? It may only be on cable, and yes, this is another Japanese commercial rant.
So phone rings, granny picks up and the scammer says it's her son and needs money, she agrees and says she's going to the ATM right now. Dude comes on and says "Ooookkkuuuussssaaaannnn, you should be more careful!" So she picks up the phone again and instead of saying either;
A) You good for nothing little bastard, if you really are my son, stop relying on mummy and daddy for funds and get a job ya little leech! or
B) I know you're a con-artist because you sound nothing like my son you scum of the earth low-life, get some balls and rob a bank instead of picking on old grannies!
No no, she says: "Hmmm, wait a minute I have to talk to my husband."
WTF is with that??? What age are we living in? Of course husband will know what to do, becasue men are just sooooo less prone to scams.

Unbelievable, blatant sexism in 2009 but I still love you Japan, becasue you can still make me laugh and snap a photograph on my way to the supermarket.

Wednesday 24 June 2009


Well, that's what the headline very well could have been had I not contained myself.

I think I'm pretty reasonable when it comes to being foreign in this country.
I can put up with the stares.
I smile and wave when a gaggle of Junior High School girls point and say, 'look at that American!!' "Hellllooooo American!!!!"
I grit my teeth when someone comments on how "big" I am, sure I know they mean tall and there is a language issue, it's all good.
Unlike some of my friends I don't get angry when someone responds to my Japanese in horribly incorrect English that I can barely understand.
As per Green eyed Geisha's complaints today I can put up with non-apologetic umbrella bashing during rainy season.
I manage to just give slightly puzzled smiles when grilled about my foreign 'high' nose or 'sauce' face.

All these things usually don't bother me that much.

But the other day, the royal host waitress just. Went. Too. Far.

As I mentioned, we went to get Ash's passport the other day, and a few things annoyed me in the morning so I guess I was pissed to begin with.
For example, the morning of passport day, we went to Midori denka to buy my Rodeo Boy III. (Stay tuned Monday when it arrives for pictures and the Rodeo Boy III back story!)
Now Ashton tends to go a bit mental in Midori Denka so we usually carry him instead of putting him in the baby car stroller, I think all the bright lights and incessant jingles get to him. Don't blame the little fella, hell if it wasn't for the free massage chair scamming I'd be going mental too.

After we'd made our purchase and had been informed that it wouldn't arrive until Sunday I huffingly went to the register clutching our credit card while Ryota dealt with the squirming, shrieking, not-so-cute-today baby. When I gave the register lady our credit card (which is in Ryota's name) she hesitated to give me the pen and said she needed the cardholder to sign the receipt. Ryota was walking around with Ash and I explained this but she gave me an apology and said she really needed him to sign. I was tempted to tell her my name was Ryota but instead I called the 'cardholder' over and he told the lady that I was his wife and it was fine if I signed. She persisted to piss me off and apologised with pleading eyes for him to respond to her love of rules and sign the paper. So I took over baby duty and he scribbled on the paper. Fuck me lady I'm obviously not stealing his credit card, who cares who signs!? A few more 'moshiwakenai's' and bowing later, we were out.

After bitching with Ryota on how 'atama ga katai' Japanese staff are, we went to our local photo shop to get Ash's passport pici, they told us they couldn't do it and directed us to another shop. That shop told us the same thing.
This went on until the 5th store finally said they did baby passport pictures. The shop where we ended up were actually really nice and said they'd give us a good deal on portraits of Ash if they could use the pictures to put up on their wall, so I'm glad we actually ended up there! It was a family run store and the Grandad spent about 15 minutes holding Ash and parading him around to his customers exclaiming how cute he was.

So it's like I took 2 steps back with the photo shop hunting and 1 step forward with the nice family.

Anyway, on to the Royal Host twit.

I'm not a huge fan of Royal Host as far as family restaurants are concerned, more of a Gusto girl, although the comfy boothes and club sandwich with chips are always pretty good after a big night on the piss.
In the old days, when going for lunch on a hot day I would have been searching for the place with the cheapest, coldest beer I could down at 1pm but as priorities have changed I now search for places where the baby ca.. stroller will fit and whether or not there is a nappy change table on the premises. So Royal Host it was.

It was air-conditioned, nice and big, and not too busy, perfect. We settled in to our booth and Ashton was giving everyone big gummy grins. The waitress brought us our iced water with a big smile and all was dandy, I was even forgetting the midori denka incident.

While Ryota was in the toilet our waitress (who was about 50 I imagine) came over and asked if I had any toys with us for Ashton. Now my Japanese isn't perfect, but the fact that I could understand and respond to this fairly random question I think indicates that I can speak Japanese, no?

I told her yes, we have toys, and no, we didn't need any scummy, second-hand, drooled on toys from the royal host toy box.
We then chatted for at least a few minutes about how old Ashton was blah blah blah. We chatted. IN JAPANESE.

Ryota came back and we ordered our food, which for the record was a 'Japanese colorful set' for me and Katsudon for Ryota. The colorful set wasn't so colourful in the end but quite tasty all the same. When twitty McWaitress lady brought Ryota's food, she also brought our utensils and turned TO RYOTA and said "Can she use chopsticks?"
I fucking hate this cunting question. How can she not know that I would be able to use chopsticks? I'm clearly not on holiday, I clearly live in Japan. I talked to her in Japanese, why would she ask that question but more importantly why the fuck would she ask RYOTA that question??
Ryota gave a sly smile because he knows how much that question pisses me off and started to respond but I cut him off with a curt "Yes I can use them."

The curtness was obviously lost on her because when she came back with my food she asked Ryota "Oh, can she drink Miso soup too?"
I was still bitching about the chopstick question while she made the miso soup remark.
Now if I was eating sashimi, I could possibly understand surprise but miso fucking soup?? You can buy miso in Woolies now!

Ryota and I had a discussion about it when she left the table and he claimed she was being kind, which I get, that's why I didn't spear her eyeball with the chopsticks and throw the scalding miso soup in her face. But I tried to explain to him it was like him going to Australia and the staff turning to me and asking if he could use a knife and fork and if he could eat fish and chips. He said I should just let it go, she was being nice.

I have now vowed to not go back to Royal Host. Well, until the next time I want to sleep on the comfy chairs while waiting for the first train in a drunken stupor.


You know, if I hadn't been through 27 hours of excrucuiating pain of childbirth, ripped within millimetres of my bumhole, (hehe, sorry!) and have photographic evidence of Ashton actually being mine, I would swear he wasn't.

What do you think??

Me when I was a bub...

Mini Ryota-san...
And of course we all know what little Ashton boy looks like...
Doesn't he look exactly like Ryota?? Ok, I'll take the lack of hair and little piggy nose as mine but those chubby legs and cute lil sticking out ears are all Ryota!
We took these photos of Ash yesterday for his passport, I was worried they wouldn't let the smiley one be his passport picture, but they were all like "Ohhhh it's so cuuuutttteee, let's use this one!!!" Totally different to the Australian passport office where they wouldn't take any pictures of him with his mouth open!
Ash and I are going home in September for 3 weeks and then my mum will come back to Japan for 2 weeks, hence the Japanese passport making events of yesterday. I'm excited to go home and everyone wants to see Ash but there are bound to be some family arguments, we'll see anyway!

Sunday 21 June 2009

Fights and father's day

Wow, rainy season is definitely here! I'm planning on going back to bed to listen to the rain soon. We've had an interesting few days full of exciting arguments, prezzies, losing things and make-overs.

So Friday night Ryota and I had a huge fight. I'm talkin door slammin', name callin' good old fashioned fighting. I believe this is only the second time we've had a fight like it. Very soul cleansing, even if stressful at the time. It was partially my fault at the beginning, but after that I'm putting it all on drama queen boy. hehe.
It started out with the haircut. Ryota has been whinging that he needs a haircut for a while now but with his work schedule it's been impossible for him to go get one. So the other night his mum volunteered to cut his hair and he agreed after lots of umming and ahhing. Of course I needed some entertainment on a dull Thursday night so I encouraged it. Any of you that know Ryota, will understand that he is very fashion conscious, (much more than me) and generally takes pride in his appearance. So he started freaking out as soon as his mum hacked into his hair as I knew he would. So after she had butchered the back and given me a turn at butchering, we all decided for the sake of family peace we should just quit and Ryota should go to the salon the next day.
Friday after work Ryota called the salon and asked if he could go right then. (about 5pm) They said they had no openings until 7:30pm and me going into housewife mode did a batsu sign with my arms and just said "dinner, bath, dame!" So Ryota said no and hung up the phone. As soon as he had hung up I changed my mind thinking we could just have dinner either later or earlier and I would get Ash bathed while Ryota was at the salon but Ryota was already in a huff going on about how he has no time rah rah rah. I'd explain his side of the story but it's my blog and I'll discriminate if I wanna.
I felt bad and begged him to just call back and go get a freaking haircut but he was on a stubborn rant by that time. I wasn't pissed off until after about 10 minutes of back and forth when I finally said "I've apologised and said you should go, now it's up to you." After that he was all mocking me with comments like "Oh my god dinner is so important, we can't miss a dinner like we have every night!" That's when I lost it and almost threw a plate at his head while screaming in a shrill voice "You fucking make dinner every night and try and stick to a cunting schedule and see how you like it, cock!!!!" haha sorry for the foul language.
This went on for quite a while, I don't like fighting, it makes me feel sick so after a nasty comment about how bread would have been better than rice while I was serving dinner I proceeded to cry and not touch my dinner. hehe what a sook I am! Now I think about it, I should start a fight every meal time, I'll definitely lose weight!
We didn't keep it up for too long though, I went for a run slamming the door behind me and cooled off, we apologised, love love, done.

Oh I almost forgot, another reason we had a fight that day was Ryota had lost his phone. I say lost, he actually left it on the top of his car and drove off, the dope. So he was already in a bad mood becasue of that. We I decided it would be a good idea if Ryota took my phone and I got an iphone, you know, becasue Ryota's job is outside and a new phone would be a waste because it would get all dirty or airborne again... Only one problem with this, my phone is bright pink... That's what stickers are for right!? Ryota finally agreed to this scheme of mine and then we discovered someone had handed the phone to the police. Damn honest people ruining my new phone scam!!!! So that's all good, I'm sure Ryota will be just as clumsy in the future.

Yesterday was a nice relaxing father's day. I got Ryota's prezzies and cards and arranged them in Ash's bed so when he woke up I made Ryota go get him and he was surprised by the gifts. He loved the shorts I got him and was also pretty impressed with the mug. I was happy, he seemed genuinely chuffed, although a little guilty and promised me mother's day would be special next year. After prezzies and brekky we went window shopping at the Kobe outlet shopping place. It was way too hot, crowded and I don't really like many of the shops there, but it was a nice drive and good to get out of the house on such a muggy day.

Now for some photos!

Dinner at a Nepalese restaurant, yummy!!!

Stealth tooth fairy shot!!!

Ashton wriggled his way round sideways in his bed all by himself!



With Daddy on father's day, new shorts.

New cup.

Happy Fahter's day Daddy!!!

Hope everyone had a good weekend! Now let's get through this miserable weather!

Thursday 18 June 2009

Slight MIL tiff or maybe just my bad mood

Thank you for all the get well wishes! They worked, or at least the antibiotics did! My tonsils are about half the size they were and only the bottom of them are covered in white muck, they still hurt a bit but nothing compared to what they were. As I type I am actually patiently waiting for little Ash to wake up so I can dump him drop him off at the in-laws and go for a run!

Yesterday was not the best day. It started by the big glass framed picture of Ash that I have been asking Ryota to put on the wall for at least 3 weeks smashing because it was resting against the wall. It really freaked me out because the night before, MIL dropped her mobile phone smashing the screen, so now we have her phone with a picture of Ash as her background all smashed and his little face behind the smashed glass frame, freaky!

Anyway, after the glass incident I accidentally fucked up SIL's camera somehow, not deleting the photos when I copied them to my computer, but for some reason they don't appear on her camera anymore when she switches it on. Then it all went downhill because we went to SSOK, or ソック in Japanese.

Has anyone been there?? It's in Mino, which I guess is about half an hour, 40 minutes from Osaka. There are lots of warehouse type shops but they are all waayyyy too swanky to get any real warehouse shopping bargains. I should have known.

5 reasons I don't like SSOK:

1) It looks exactly like a department store
2) It's really not that cheap
3) They don't allow bags of any kind or strollers, it's wallet only.
4) They don't allow strollers and I happen to have an incredibly heavy 4 month old
5) The name SSOK annoys me and sounds like sock

WTF is with the no stroller rule?! Discrimination much?? I wonder if they allow wheelchairs? I'm guessing not. Is it to reduce shoplifting??? Because if it is, they are sooooo silly, they have double the staff at the registers so they can seal your bags up with 400 meters of tape. The money they save on shrinkage from shoplifting is nothing compared to the overheads from staff salaries they must be paying.
You also need a card to get in and the lady informed us that only 2 people could enter on one card, so MIL went to register for another card but the lady got distracted and about 20 people strolled in without being checked if they had a card. Not. Happy. Jan.

On to the 'I was annoyed with MIL to the point my face flushed red.' Note that because I'd taken a disliking to SSOK I was probably cranky already.
Luckily for us, we have one of those BabyBjorn holdy thingies that we could have shoved Ash in. But nooooo that would be way too easy, becasue my family-in-law like to show off with Ash, BIL decided he would hold him. I grumbled that the baby sling had no meaning, but whatever, if he wants to get a backache from holding him on one side that's his choice.
After BIL complained about said backache (try doing it everyday wimpy!) MIL took over with holding him. when MIL's back got sore she said she would hold him in the sling. This is when I got peeved.
The sling is pretty annoying actually, it's not one of those nice, hippy, one piece of material ones, it's one with all kinds of hooks and belts on it, and me being a big boobed giant, it's set just right for me. I explained this to MIL and said I was fine to hold him, as the sling was already on my back and ready for him just to slide in.

MIL protested. I said I'd hold him. She said she would hold him. This went on for I swear about 5 minutes until I said strongly and with my flushed face that it was easier if I held him. Put. Him. In. Now.

There was no argument and it is a tiny thing, but sometimes I feel like my voice is lost in translation somewhere, I shouldn't have to say something a million times before I'm heard.
I appreciate all MIL's help, I really do, and I need it living here. But they sometimes forget that lived in Japan for 3 years by myself and did just fine. If I can do something, I want to try and do it myself.

I overreacted a bit to the holder thing but I really think it was a build up of a lot of things lately where I'm starting to feel like a baby who can't do anything by herself.

Anyway, Ashton boy is hollerin' so I'm off for a run! That 10km isn't going to run itself in November!

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Strep throat update

*Warning: The end of this post contains a fairly gross picture of my infected tonsils, if those things make you ill, please close now!

So Monday night, after I went to see Dr Smartarse I was confident the medicine and painkillers would kick in and I would start to feel a little bit better. No such luck.

When we went to bed I was going from a raging sweaty fever to cold chills, I couldn't swallow properly and was horribly dizzy. My body also felt like it was made of stone it was so heavy. Not fun at all.

Ashton was being a very good little lad for me though, and Ryota was helping out getting me cold packs all night and woke up with me every time despite having to wake up at 5:30am the next morning to go to work.

I think the low point of the night was when I had just gotten to sleep and had a horrible dream.; My face was trapped under a yakiniku grill and I was looking up through it with my mouth wide open and all of Ryota's family were taking hot pieces of yakiniku meat and dropping it down my throat...hehe classic 'I was hot and my throat was killing me' dream, but scary all the same.

The pain was so intense I woke up crying in my sleep, and I'm talking big fat crocodile tears running down my face. Ryota woke me up becasue he said my face was all screwed up in pain. My temperature was still 38 and I was just miserable when Ryota went to work. I had noooo energy, even lifting Ash (well, he is almost 10kgs!) was an effort and I didn't want to have a dizzy spell and drop the poor little tyke!

So Ash was off to the in-laws for the morning while I tried to sleep, but it was impossible with my throat so bad.

The day pretty much continued this way, my fever going up and down and me feeling either crappy or a little less crappy. In the afternoon I thought I'd check my tonsils to see if the swelling had gone down but they were even worse and covered in more white stuff than I've ever seen before. I still wasn't that concerned though, I was taking my meds properly and I know these things take time. When MIL got home and demanded to take my temp herself in case I was 'gaman-ing' it and inspect my tonsils she went into a major panic and almost started crying at the white gunk. It was pretty disgusting. She told me that I had "kabi" on my tonsils. Kabi? Mould?? haha, I was like "kabi, as in kabi-killer???" (Kabi-killer is a cleaning product in Japan that is great for bathrooms and stuff.) She was like 'Yes! Yes! Kabi! Like the black grimy stuff in the shower!!"

Gee thanks MIL, I feel soooooo much better about the festering flesh blocking the back of my throat now...

So it was off to an emergency trip back to the clinic, where Dr Smartarse said it had indeed gotten worse instead of better and I was to have a drip of antibiotics immediately. MIL was hovering over me and asking over and over if it hurt yet, which was a little off-putting, but it didn't hurt at all and the nurse was very nice. It's weird, I used to HATE needles of any kind but now I don't mind them at all and actually donate blood!

That was yesterday, and I'm happy to say I feel a lot better today after the antibiotics. I have to go back to the clinic today for another drip and keep taking the meds but I think the worst is definitely over.

I was so worried about little Ash getting it, but Dr Smartarse assured me that magical breastmilk will fight off any germs that are passed on to him. Ryota, however is not drinking magical milk and had a bit of a sore throat yesterday, so I'm worried I've infected him, although he sweats so much at work I think he'll be able to fight it off.

Feeling genki enough to go warehouse shopping today, woohoo!

And now, for the extremly gross photo of my tonsils. This was taken last night and today they haven't changed that much but I'm hoping they will improve some time today!

There's like no space between them!!!

Monday 15 June 2009

Strep throat Monday

I woke up this morning with a really sore throat, actually I'll rephrase that appropriately, I woke up with a really fucking bastard sore throat, pardon my french.
It been a long time since I've had one so bad, I was gagging because my tonsils were so swollen. I used to get sore throats a lot when I was a kid but recently I've been fine.

But like the good wifey I am, I still got up and made Ryota's bento, although it was a 'pull anything out of the freezer and shove it in the microwave' kind of bento. I did the housework and made curry in the morning, but by lunch time I knew it was bad. I couldn't swallow properly and I couldn't eat anything. In Aussie I never took my temperature, but since I've lived in Japan I've joined the 'fever-obsessed' hoards and checked this morning, it was 36.3 which is normal for me, when I checked at lunch it was 37.4 so it was definitely on the rise.

So it was of to the clinic I went. I so miss the days of strolling into my local medical centre where all illnesses are treated, swiping my magical medicare card which ensures the government will pay for my consultation and strolling out again loaded up with my penicillin. But no, in Japan there is a clinic for every single illness, you have to pay, and you end up with 588 different types of medicine and sprays, or they tell you to sleep. Err, with a four month old???

When we got to the clinic I filled out the little paper and the nurse took my temperature, it was 38.2 at the clinic, I don't do Fahrenheit but because I love my yankee friends so much it's about 101. The nurse gave me the 'talk to the hand gesture' and was all like, "Get your foreign ass in that isolation room right now girlfriend" except she said it in a really polite way... She insisted that I was shindoi and I should lie down but I was stressing too much from all the googling on buta influenza I'd done and insisted I wasn't that shindoi and was just fine in the chair.

The doc we go to is very interesting, he had mouth cancer so now talks through a microphone, kids (and me) are terrified of him. He is also the doctor that discovered Junpei's leukemia so we all have much respect for him but the bastard scared the hell out of me.
As soon as he saw I had a fever and learned I was from Australia he whipped out the giant cotton bud and proceeded to shove it down my throat and up my nose while informing me that Australia was now phase 6 in the flu stakes.
The test results took about 10 minutes and I was stressing the whole time. When he called my name, I swear he was so non-Japanese, I don't think a Japanese doctor has ever screwed around with my head but the doc made a big dramatic silence and kept me waiting for what seemed like forever before telling me I tested negative for flu and was still chuckling at my terrified expression when he told my I did test positive for strep throat.
Again, Bastard.

I was very relieved and went and got my medicine, I'm feeling a little better now but still can't eat anything and my tonsils are still huge. Being sick with a baby is so much worse, escape to bed is impossible! Ryota was a sweetheart though and brought home ice cream, pudding and vitamin drinks so I'm gorging on pudding guilt-free!

Friday 12 June 2009


Nooh mentioned she could imagine Ash as a little bad boy harley rider and Nay said she'd like to see more photos of Ash... so here you are girls, my little gangsta in all his bad ass glory!!!

Move over biatches, the demanding gaijin and her jumbo sized baby are in town!

I got my hair done today! Yay! It took 5 freakin hours but it was worth it, it was also 5 hours of chatting with my Hide-kun who I have a major crush on, damn shame we were talking about Ryota most of the time. hehe

I promised myself I wasn't going to go blond again because it is too hard and expensive to maintain, but I really do prefer being blond, it just makes me feel better. So I got some more blond and a cut today.

My Hide-kun was nervous today, I was very much fitting the demanding gaijin stereotype. I brought a picture with me (of Victoria Beckham bizarrely, it was just the right colour) and explained to him that if I walked out of the salon with a shock of orange hair which is what I have got in the past when I've asked for blond in Japan, I would be very angry and have to give him a spanking. Ewwww, haha OK I didn't say that but I made it very clear with what I wanted which I don't usually do.
He went to work, picture in one hand, colouring brush in the other and kept nervously checking the colour while I watched like a hawk. Poor pet, I really do love him. I think there's a picture of him on the salon website, I'll try and post it.

5 reasons I love Japanese hair salons.
#1- The head and shoulder massages are soooooo good.
#2- They chat to you just the right amount.
#3- You can watch DVDs while your hair is done.
#4- They have wicked good drinks, not just tea and coffee.
#5- They follow you out the door bowing and screaming 'thank you' until they can't see you anymore.

Yesterday Ashton had his 4 month check-up. It was nothing like I imagined, every 4 month old and their mama from the city was there, literally!
I got the usual glance to me, glance to MIL and gawk at Ashton with an occasional "Ohhh he's so white!" thrown in, which is fine.
We all had to line up with our little neked, squirming bundles for weighing and measuring and stuff. I was stalking the other baby's nappies and they were ALL S or M size!! The L stamped on the bum of Ash's nappy seemed to stand out so much more because I was looking.

So when we got to the weigh in table, he was put on the scale and in an extremely loud voice the lady exclaimed "9.5KG'S!!?? HE'S THE BIGGEST BABY HERE TODAY! OUR SCALE ONLY GOES TO 10! LUCKY HE'S NOT ANY BIGGER!!!" I slinked away red-faced with my economy sized offspring but saw all the other mums were giving me encouraging smiles so I didn't feel that bad. Out of 60 babies, he was the biggest in weight and length! (When do babies graduate from being long to being tall?? When they can walk??)
He's fine though, no problems to report and the nice doc assured me because he's also very long, (69cm) it just means he's going to be tall and he's all balanced out. Phew!

Also, as per Sara's request, here is the picture of the mug I got Ryota for father's day, or rather a picture of me trying to balance a baby and a mug while taking a picture...

Take 1...

Take 2...

Hope everyone has a great and safe weekend!

Thursday 11 June 2009

And now, just for a change... some more useless info about me!

Lulu tagged me for this meme and I usually have trouble thinking of slightly amusing or entertaining answers but this one is pretty easy and straightforward so here you go,

I don't know if I have enough friends to tag eight people!? Wow, very sad indeed, so if you feel the need go ahead and do it!

Eight things I am looking forward to:
1) Going back to Aussie in September
2) My ma coming to Japan in October
3) Starting our own business
4) Ryota not having to work such long hours
5) Getting my hairs did tomorrow
6) Going to the beach this summer
7) Losing weight and being a super hot mum (hehe this should be titled 8 dreams that will never happen)
8) Doing absolutely nothing on Sunday

Eight things I did yesterday:
1) Ate cold stone ice cream
2) Bought my dad and FIL'S birthday presents
3) Drove to Nishinomiya gardens BY MYSELF! WooHoo!
4) Sent packages to my friends
5) Went running in the rain
6) Got straight in the hot shower after running in the rain and ended up with itchy red legs. Freakin hate that!
7) Got told by my family-in-law I may have cancer because I have a sore back. Thanks guys...
8) Scammed yakiniku at MIL's house

Eight things I wish I could do:
1) Teleport
2) Start our own business
3) Lose my baby tummy
4) Be a good mum
5) Go on holidays twice a year
6) Get a massage that doesn't cost the same amount as one of those holidays
7) Do the 10km run in November
8) Buy a super dooper new oven

Eight shows I watch:
1) The Sopranos
2) Family guy
3) Phoenix nights
4) The simpsons
5) The biggest loser
6) The hills
7) The money and the power
8) Extras

Eight favorite fruits:
1) Mango
2) Pineapple
3) Watermelon
4) Rockmelon
5) Banana
6) Kiwi
7) Passionfruit
8) Strawberries

Eight places I’d like to travel:
1) Morocco
2) Greece
3) Korea
4) Okinawa
5) America
6) Canada
7) South Africa
8) Central Australia

Eight places I’ve lived:
1) Balgownie, Australia
2) Osaka, Japan
3) Hyogo, Japan
4) I
5) really
6) hate
7) moving
8) house

Monday 8 June 2009

The tale of the turtle and the tooth fairy

No biffs on Sunday, definite tension and ignoring but no out right screaming matches. Shame really.

The usual Japanese family story goes like this; ancestors are 'pure blooded' Japanese and likely to be related to some great samurai warrior. Great granny and grandpa were probably first cousins who got married to keep the blood extra pure. Granny and grandpa may not be cousins but lived in the same neighbourhood, had their marriage arranged for them and went by the usual model of grandpa works his whole life while granny stays home and cooks. Mum and dad may be slightly unconventional in that they may have come from different prefectures and shock horror, mum might have juggled a job while making the bento and picking up after the rest of her family.
Ok, I'm obviously making ridiculous sweeping generalisations but I'm going to say a lot of families are pretty 'normal' compared to the western standard and the divorce rate is on the rise but still quite low.

Ryota's family is definitely not typical in Japan and it's complicated and difficult to explain but I'll give it a crack.

I'll start with his mum's side, his grandfather (who died about 5 years ago) was married and had two daughters, (Ryota's aunties) however these were with his secret first wife who is a mystery and Ryota's sister and brother still don't know about.

He then married Ryota's grandma and had another baby with her (Ryota's mum). His first wife may have died, but then why the mystery? I'll try and get it out of someone one day. Grandparents on his dad's side were pretty normal (both died) except that his grandfather was an abusive alcoholic who nobody liked very much...

Next is Ryota's mum and dad (Yuki and Sadaji). His dad has a twin brother and also a younger brother. Yuki and Sadaji got married young and had Ryota the same age as I was when I had Ash, (25) 3 years later came Uru and 2 years after that came Junpei. Sadaji was known as a bit of a bad boy riding a motorbike and it was suspected he had cheated probably more than once but was swept under the carpet for a long time.

Yuki is not a typical quiet, polite Japanese lady. She's very outspoken and, not feisty but... hmmm, crazy, but in a good way. A lot of people think she is Chinese or Thai as she doesn't act in a typically Japanese way.

When Junpei was about 8 years old he got Leukemia and, as expected, this put a strain on the whole family. He was very close to dying and was in hospital for about a year, thankfully he made a miracle recovery. It was then that Yuki and Sadaji's marriage started to go downhill and Yuki suspected that he was cheating on her. So one day she made him a bento before work but he said he didn't need it, she was upset and thought it was too early for him to be going to work, so, she followed him. hehe, I told you she wasn't typically Japanese!

She followed him to an apartment and as it was obvious it had lied about going to work, followed him in to the apartment building. It then turned out that it was his girlfriend's apartment, and just like in the TV shows, she confronted him as he came out the door... and here comes the clincher...holding the bento that his girlfriend had made!!! A script writer couldn't have done a better job eh!

Yuki had a tanty, got over it, and then divorced his arse, much respect for my MIL for that move. Yuki now has a boyfriend who we all love but they rarely see each other because he lives so far away, that's a whooollleee different story for another day.

Pretty dramatic hey! I'm sure there are a lot more dirty little family secrets that I will discover in the future though.

Ooops, I almost forgot about the title of the post! Sadaji married the girlfriend and they live quite close to us in the same city. We call them 'turtle and tooth fairy'. Turtle is Ryota's dad and tooth fairy is his Dad's new wife. The kids aren't keen on the tooth fairy, obviously there are 'you took my father away' issues, she isn't that bad but it isn't the same for me.

As for the names... I'm ashamed to say that turtle was my creation, just because he looks like a turtle hehe. And I can't remember who came up with the tooth fairy title but it's not very nice, tooth fairy has extremely scary jutting out front teeth which Ryota says are going to spear Ashton every time she hugs him. It's horrible they take the piss out of her so much but I guess it's just natural for them.

Here's a picture of me with Ryota's dad, slightly turtlesque don't you think??!!

Ryota hates cheating because of his dad, so I guess something good did come out of the whole situation...

On the Ashron front, he has taken to shoving his feet in his mouth, here are a couple of cute picies. Apologies for my boob shot in the background!

How the hell does he get his whole toe in there to suck!?
He's definitely Japanese, loves bath time!
Hope everyone is having a great week!

Saturday 6 June 2009

10 things

Is it really lame that I love the movie '10 things I hate about you' ? The story isn't particularly that great and Heath Ledger was never one of my favourites dead or alive, (although he was pretty hot in a singlet) but I think I like the main chick, Julia... Morris? No, that's an Australian comedian. Stiles...? I can't be arsed checking, but that girl. She just seems less fake than some other actors, or maybe she is acting like she is less fake which makes her a good actor...? I digress.
I like the movie and haven't seen it for ages, trip to tsutaya might be in order. That's a big lie, I just want an excuse to get on the scooter.
So here are my 10 things I love and hate about Japan.

10 things I hate about Japan

1) The racism. Not towards 'cute' whities like myself but towards other asian races, especially Korea and China, but that's a rant for another post.

2) The lack of rule bendism. Bendism is never going to be a word... But staff or officials will never bend the rules for you here, I like it in some ways, but only when it suits me! hehe

3) Predictability. Again, this is something that I like in some ways, but everything here seems to be quite predictable; service, people's response to behaviour etc. Maybe uniformity is a better choice of words...?

4) Air quality. Being from a coastal city in Australia I crave windy clear days with blue skies and puffy white clouds.

5) Crowds. I could not be short here, it would drive me nuts, the fact that I am 6ft tall and usually tower over the hoards of people is great.

6) 'Cuteness'. Sometimes it all just gets too much.

7) The 'lucky girl' sprite ad on TV. Following on from #6, has anyone seen this commercial?? It has a 'cute' J-girl singing horrible horrible english lyrics in a voice that makes me want to rip my ears off. Lyrics include; "handsome guy watching me!" "big money hitting me" I AM A LUCKY GAAAAARRRRLLL!"

8) Lack of greetings. I'm famous in our little neighbourhood for saying hello when I pass people I vaguely know, it shouldn't be something special, it's just good manners for me.

9) TV and over-acting in movies. As addicted as I am to some shows and dramas here, it's only for lack of anything better. The shows aren't that bad themselves, but they are ALL the same shit just done in different ways.

10) The fact that it's not really my home. Cos there's no place like home.

10 things I love about Japan

1) The food. The fact that this was on my list, let alone number 1, shows just how Japanese I have become. I still prefer Jasmine rice to Japanese rice but I shouldn't say that out loud because I'm sure there's a very old Japanese law stating this is a hanging offence.

2) Non- agressive people. Okay the drunk ranting salary-man is an exception, but people are a lot more calm here than in Aussie, especially drivers!

3) Being different. I like to stand out, it's an interesting conversation starter.

4) Spring and Autum. I love them in Aussie too but there is something special about cherry blossoms, and the boozing that comes with them.

5) The fact you can get/ drink beer anywhere and anytime and not look like a total bum. My personal favourite is beer at the movies.

6) Safety. Yes, yes, Japan is getting more dangerous blah blah blah, but I still say it is a hell of a lot safer than most places I've been as far as violent crime goes. Of course if you're a granny, don't pick up the phone because it's likely to be a con artist pretending to be your grandson needing money.

7) Efficiency. In my 4 years living here, even as a foreigner who's Japanese was pretty shite to begin with things still seem to work, nothing is impossible. Trains are also on time, a miracle in Australia.

8) Customer service. I can say there have only been a few times I've been miffed with the customer service here and even those are pretty minor compared to the crappy service back home.

9) Sleeping culture. It's not considered lazy to just take a nap when you're knackered, you just sprawl out on the tatami and have everyone step on over you.

10) Slippers. Weird choice perhaps, but I HATE having bare feet or getting my feet dirty. In Japan I am constantly wearing house slippers and love it.

We're going to Ryota's dad's house for his Grandma's one year memorial service tomorrow. She died last year so the monk will come to the house and do the chanting gig.
I was dreading sitting on my knees for an hour straight when I realised I can use Ashton to get out of it, little shit will probably sleep the whole time but I'll be pinching his fat rolls to wake him up so I can go outside I think.
It killed me last year but I had to stand (or sit) my ground because everyone expected that it was impossible for the foreigner to sit on her legs for so long. They were right, I couldn't walk for about an hour after.
There may be shochu fuelled family biffs tomorrow, Ryota's dad's side of the family are always having an argument of some kind. I hope so, I need some excitement this week. I'll let you know!

Thursday 4 June 2009

Am I the only one left who likes birthdays?

Yesterday was SIL's birthday, she turned 24 and me being a birthday fanatic, wanted to do something special, actually I just wanted to do SOMETHING.
Like most families in Japan, Ryota's family do not make a big deal of birthdays, they sometimes forget them. Talking to Ryota's uncle about it, he was all like "I don't even know when my own birthday is, let alone anyone elses!" I get this is a cultural thing, but I just can't let birthdays go by, it goes against my upbringing.

So Ryota's family have had to 'give in' and celebrate birthdays in some way, it's like it's a chore for them!
I'm all about presents, and as much as I love getting them, I like even more to think about the person and to give them something they really want or need.

My SIL is always helping me with Ash, doing my nails for free, and generally a nice person who I really appreciate so yesterday we went shopping and had ice cream, we got her a present and then had sushi and cake. It was nice. I made Ryota sign the birthday card and he actually said, "I've never written my sister a birthday card before, what do I write??" Uh... happy birthday is a start... Jesus!

I feel sorry for SIL sometimes, she's really nice (although quite fiesty when she wants to be) but literally never leaves the house, unless it's to go to work about once a week or take the dog for a walk. She's kind of the black sheep of the family, eveyone else is very social, but she's a total home body. I'm hoping when I have time for a social life again I can drag her with me!

And speaking of presents, I ordered Ryota's father's day present, and bought his anniversary gift yesterday. Father's day is a really nice mug, (he's using a crappy, chipped one at the moment) with "Ashton's daddy" written on it. And anniversary is a diesel watch, it was expensive but he's mad on diesel stuff and his watch is being held together with one of my hair elastics!

On the Ashton boy front, HE NOW WEIGHS 9.5kgs! That is very not normal for a 4 month old. He's also discovered he can hold his feet with his hands and just can't stop making the V symbol whenever he's laying down. I'll leave you with this pic, sorry for the graphic nature!

Monday 1 June 2009

Our house...

So here are a few pictures of the outside of our house, I'm trying to depict just how close it is to my in-laws' house!

This is MIL's house with the bike out front-

And this is our house-

And this is how close they are, MIL's bike, our stroller... ya get it.

Here's a further away view

And the view from my front dooor, yup, you guessed it, their front door!

Making an excuse as to why I was taking photos was interesting, I had to say my family are interested in Japanese houses! I have to laugh, or I might just cry. As I said before, good days and bad days.

Today was a bit of a bad day, possibly TMI but I was up on and off all night last night with little Ashton and his amazing vomit so when I sleepily stumbled to the toilet this morning and let out an extraordiarily loud fart I certainly didn't expect my brother-in-law to burst out laughing.

Red-faced, I quickly jumped on the internet and explored the option of us moving back to Aussie, where neighbours are at least a fart away!

Happy effing Monday! Hope you all have a good week!