Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A sick child in Kita-Senri, Japan

We woke up and breakfasted in the usual manner. This morning instead of Ari refusing to get out of bed, refusing to get dressed, and then lying down and saying I'm sleepy every two minutes it was Joshua who did it. I thought that they were really good at tag teaming me, but didn't pay much attention.

We found the entrance to the right subway line, found the ticket machine, figured out the correct fare to Kita-Senri for us (450 Yen each) and the kids (230 Yen each), put the money in the machine, selected subway, 2 adults, ticket, and got price choices that topped out at 380 Yen. Off to find a ticket taker, who brought us back to the machine and showed us that we needed to hit the Sakaisuji-Hankyu Line button too. We headed off to see Kumiko.

Our plan was to meet her and go to a park. The 91.4 degree heat (a new record for June 28) and 78% humidity was brutal, but I figured with enough fluids we'd be OK. Joshua was still acting sleepy, but I paid little mind until halfway through the trip when he suddenly, violently vomited all over the floor in front of him. The Japanese people around us handed us paper towels and alerted the conductor at the next stop. Surely God was avenging my twenty five years of teasing my wife and mother-in-law. Poor Joshua just got caught in the middle.

About ten stops later we were at Kita-Senri, the end of the line. As the train came to a stop there were three railway employees waiting on the platform, exactly where the door nearest us would end up, with mops and cleaning supplies in hand.

We decided to go to Kumiko's apartment instead of the park to let Joshua rest. He fell fast asleep. Andrea sat and read while Kumiko and I took Ari to the library and a department store. This suburban store was far less fancy than the ones we'd seen in the cities. Fruit was less expensive and Kumiko, I think having heard our complaints about the lack of fruit and veggies, bought tons (watermelon, kiwi, peaches, and pineapple). I let Ari play some arcade games (yes, there was an arcade in the department store).

Kumiko, Ari and I returned home and ate a meal of paella, onigiri, cucumber, carrot, corn, potato croquettes, fruit, and desert. At the end of the meal we said the traditional Japanese thank you for a meal "gochisosamadeshita" (It was an honorable feast) and truly meant it.

Joshua woke up and puked a few more times. We returned to the hotel, Joshua vomiting along the way. He's not yet holding down liquids, so I refuse to make plans for tomorrow. We've spent a lot of the day cleaning him up and I just want to take it easy. After one more easy day, hopefully everyone will be up for a special treat I've planned for the kids, and our final night, at a ryokan.

Since we had downtime in the evening we did some laundry so that I'd have short sleeve shirts and because when packing at the last hotel we managed to put most of the kids clean clothes in the dirty laundry bag. We ate take out in our spacious hotel room. Ari had been asking for the golden arches twelve times a day and just like in the states I can't bring myself to do it, so I got Japanese food for the adults, and Mos Burger (a sort of Japanese version of McDonalds) for Ari.

As my trip comes to a close I'd like to thank some of those that made it possible: Eva and Gyuri who watched Zachary and kept him happy and safe, Christina who took him to Tennessee so he'd get a vacation too, my wife who put up with my mangled attempts to plan and execute a vacation in a foreign language and culture, and my kids who may not have been perfect angels, but behaved well enough that with a little "wabi sabi" their stubborn father could make it through the trip mostly smiling.

No comments:

Post a Comment