JAPAN: Watching and Waiting

JAPAN: Watching and Waiting

Teru-teru Bozu

As I write, the kids (and my husband) are glued to the TV, watching the weather, trying to determine when and where Typhoon #17 will make landfall, carefully calculating whether or not they will have to go to school (and work).

I’ve spent the morning doing laundry while I can (having no dryer puts the laundry at the mercy of the heavens), doing the grocery shopping while I can, and bringing inside anything that might be blown away or blown into a window. Been there, done that, paid 5000 yen.

The winds have picked up a bit, and the air has turned heavy and humid. The children have to periodically brush away the curtains that keep being blown into their faces as they play by the open window on the floor.

They will go to bed tonight, excited and anxious, like American kids waiting for a snow day. Except of course there will be no playing outside in a typhoon! They’re looking forward to staying home, watching daytime TV, building a metropolis out of legos, and (I’ll be honest) fighting with each other. (more…)

Melanie Oda (Japan)

If you ask Melanie Oda where she is from, she will answer "Georgia." (Unless you ask her in Japanese. Then she will say "America.") It sounds nice, and it's a one-word answer, which is what most people expect. The truth is more complex. She moved around several small towns in the south growing up. Such is life when your father is a Southern Baptist preacher of the hellfire and brimstone variety. She came to Japan in 2000 as an assistant language teacher, and has never managed to leave. She currently resides in Yokohama, on the outskirts of Tokyo (but please don't tell anyone she described it that way! Citizens of Yokohama have a lot of pride). No one is more surprised to find her here, married to a Japanese man and with two bilingual children (aged four and seven), than herself. And possibly her mother. You can read more about her misadventures in Asia on her blog, HamakkoMommy.

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