January 29, 2008

School Begins, Freedom, and Jeans

Yesterday was the first day of (the very long awaited) semester at the Canadian Academy. The kids were both very excited - Jacob woke up at 1 AM, got himself completely dressed for school and came in to our room saying, "I'm ready to go school" only to learn that he could go back to bed for at least 6 hours. Lauren, thankfully doesn't get herself dressed yet.

Mike and Ilena walked the kids to school together; it's about a ten minute walk down the road -more like 20 if the kids have their druthers. Stopping at every playground and cute little statue around drags out our walk a bit. But leaving early is key - people in Japan are never late for anything.

Dropping the kids off at school was a breeze - no separation anxiety or first day jitters on the part of our children (no big surprise there). Lauren stayed through lunch and then came home at 12:30- she reported a great day - loved her teachers and the kids in the class. The heated floors in the classroom are quite a perk too! Jacob was picked up at 3:00. He also had great things to say about his new school. He was assigned a buddy, also a Jacob. The highlights of his day were recess and gym (rather predictable, we think). On Friday, his class is putting on a concert, so he is learning the songs.

The school is really incredible - we are getting to know some of the other parents, and Ilena went to an Elementary Forum this morning just to check out the latest scoop. After dropping the kids off at school, she has been able to enjoy a few hours of freedom, which seem to go by very quickly after a little run, a shop for the day's groceries and a few minutes on email catching up with friends, family and, of course StarFish.

Things continue to go well for Mike at work. Next week, he will be going on his first business trip to Yokohama (near Tokyo) where he will travel by Shinkansen.

One observation for you guys. The culture of ladies apparel in Japan, much like other non-American countries, is very fancy. No one wears jeans or sneakers. On the weekend, we noticed moms and dads out at the muddy playgrounds in slacks, dresses and rather high-heeled boots. Ilena, Mike and the kids have been very comfortable running around in jeans and sneakers.

This weekend, our friends Bob and Maho will be coming to visit us from Tokyo. They will be our first visitors and we're very excited to have them. (hint, hint, come and visit).

Finally, what's on the tube tonight?: We turned on the television tonight and had our pick of classic Spanish league soccer (FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid from 1996), two other soccer games from various places around the world, and a thrilling rugby match between Fiji and South Africa. Those Fijian guys are both huge and fast - as the announcer said - It was an "absolUTEly SUPERB match!"


Gabriel said...

We are enjoying the blog...we cant wait to hear about what Lauren and Jacob will think of their new school.

Gabi had some "homework" for school. He had to come up with certain words that began with the letter 'O'. (An animal, a name of a person, etc.) So, one of the categories was a food. So he came up with "Octopus" citing your blog as his inspiration.

michelle weiss and family

Gabriel said...

oops. Thought I typed a new comment, my old one turned up. I will try again...Here goes:

We loved hearing about the bar that fits only ten people...

and cracked up to hear that Jacob was dressed and ready to go to school at 1AM. Not so funny for you guys, probably.

You cant be late to anything? And have to dress up and wear heels? That parts sounds way too hard for us!

Everything else about being in Japan seems fascinating and fun!

-Michelle and family

jackaw said...

I strongly urge you to save your blog, your photos and your notes. With very little effort you'll be able to put together a guide for future travelers to Japan. Beth (Sutinis) should--at the very least--hook you up with an editor to help. Call it Rising with the Sun or something.

I am unexpectedly envious of your experience. It sounds so fresh and wonderful that jut following your day by day exploits brings a smile to my face.
of course Joyce has gotten an AmEx platimum card....

jackaw said...

As an aside--saw David for lunch today. Asked whether he was going to visit or not. His response in essence was, "It's not whether -- it's how and when!" We agreed we would sell Heather and Joyce and share a room in Japan. (Now that's a complete fabrication, but you get my drift....)