Making Glass | Get Around Get around I get Around
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Get Around Get around I get Around

25 Jul Get Around Get around I get Around

Perhaps it’s because both of  my kids spent the better half  this week either puking & pooping or teething and low grade fevers & 10 diapers a day then  passing the general unsettling feeling back and forth to me, but for the first time in Japan at week three I’m tired. I had to actually stop on that big hill on the way home with the Ikea cart overflowing with $230 in groceries the fruit stand bag with $20. full of fresh fruit hanging from the break of the Bugaboo counterbalance by Lennon sleeping in the carriage and Sofi riding on the step  just to rest… more than once. Sofi was feeling much better after only Puking first thing in the AM, (she’s not sick- It’s just her go to position) she was in fact just constipated I made her eat bananas and drink water ti’ll she puked… not on purpose it only took 3 bites… but then she pooped what she described as a Brachiosaurus!  Unfortunately I can confirm this, because I told her to show me before she flushed the proof just in-case she decided to “pretend” she had pooped, as she had apparently done the day before. Yes indeed it looked much like the dinosaur in question sans the colour scheme they are now showing dinos in these days. She stopped her usual stream of chatter about being an agent and jumping from the rooftop of the temple to that tree to talk to me directly

Sofi- “Dad, you look tired, you know what that man said at the store, I think you should get a car so you don’t have to cray all these groceries and me and Lennon home every day”

The National Azabu local Expat Suppa  has free Parking quite a luxury in Tokyo but we live in Minato-ku between the German and French embassies and there are plenty of people who won’t walk the two blocks to get their groceries. I could Have them delivered for free in a few weeks if I didn’t care what I was paying for food and I knew what they had because delivery is free but we don’t have that kind of lifestyle so I carefully formulated my answer.

Me-“True I’m tired today- but we have this nice shrine to rest by  it smells so nice <sniff>  that’s incense it reminds me of my father,  besides we can go by the fruit stand for fresh fruit  and it’s only four blocks or so home not so far to go to the store”

Sofi- “Dad the Jewel is less than 4 blocks from home I don’t remember ever walking to get groceries”

True as it is in the United States of my former life, I never had the time to walk to the grocery store, 4 blocks from home. Now that I’m an expat of all of 3 weeks,  it’s summer, I’m not yet scheduled to the point that every minuet of every day is precious. For now my job is simply to make sure everything goes as smoothly as it can at home. Try to discover all we need to make the household function  as comfortably as possible. Back in the States  if I get the kids to school and their perspective appointments play dates and activities on time,  walk the dog, cook the dinner fix, straighten, clean, the house, and when everyone else’s schedule permits I still need to regularly workout to keep my various abused body parts from seizing up; Otherwise leaving me useless to everyone.  I have to find time to eat a meal or two and go to the bathroom and I schedule two guys nights a week so I have some time to unplug, though that time can get sequestered into household time too.

In I don’t really have only one adult friend other than my wife, not including the neighbors, and it’s not like I can go anywhere without the kids. I have a Helper for now she comes from 9 to 5 two days a week but that gives me enough time to walk to the Supa or the Drug store and try to figure out cleaning supplies and back home. Our Helper Bing Takes the kids to various parks in the area both days she comes too then she cleans the house and dose laundry. During the other days I take the kids to the park or shrines museums we also take the subway or the Chii buss our local bus that is for kids and seniors. this biggest issue is Lennon is always in a stroller and Sofia is riding behind on the platform boring! after 4-6 hours roaming Tokyo she flat out needs to sit down if were an hour or more walk from home we have to keep going and then she’s not even looking around anymore. So here lies the rub to car or not to car I suppose it’s inevitable we’ll get a car because we want to travel outside Tokyo the question lies how much will we use it? I know I probably use my bicycle more to go to the store than the car. I’d like to tell you I’ts because It’s silly to go to the store in a car when it’s so close but the truth of the matter is parking in Tokyo is scarce and parking fines are steep! I would like to have a motorcycle here, I can see getting around a whole lot easier here on a bike, the streets are just more suited for it.

Now if I can just pass the second half of the drivers exam.  The first half of the drivers exam was given on a computer screen you have to get 7 out of 10 questions right to pass. I got 100%!  this is not all that much of an accomplishment the questions are insultingly simple.

Ex. if you are driving in a lane marked for buses only  like this ( a graphic of bunch of kanji on the street lane with a buss on it)  is it OK for you to drive in it even if there are on other cars around? (yes or no)

Erika got one wrong because she said she didn’t understand how to select the correct answer on the screen…  I guess that’s how you weed out ones who are too dumb to drive in Japan… case in point- she recovered quickly and passed. In her defense the computer gives you a practice question. I selected another practice,  and it said very well we will begin…

The Road test is Given in Japanese. The explanation for this is: You’re in Japan so you should know how to take the road test in Japanese. I’m told the beginning of the lesson will be the instructor explaining this to me even though he knows I don’t understand.  They had no trouble explaining you also need a separate licence exam for a manual or automatic car motorcycle over 50 CC and  250 CC. We were given A useful list of terms to memories.

Japanese Drivers Licence Terms 1

Japanese Drivers Licence Terms 1


Gasoline costs about $7.00 a gallon in japan. Now I understand why there are so many Lamborghini’s are in our neighborhood. The dealer is down the street and so is the gas station. Who can afford both the car and to fill it other than to drive it around the block to the gas station (lol)

Helpful Japanese Terms

Helpful Japanese Terms

 When they say safety check the car, they expect you to get outside the car and check all around the car and the undercarriage.

 traffic signals are Red Yellow and Blue

traffic signals are Red Yellow and Blue

Red means stop but flashing yellow means go…

I guess there’s no point in worrying about it too much just wish Me luck please, I don’t test well, and I’m dyslexic (lol)

Danny Marder

Daniel N. Marder is a Visual Artist, Teacher, Writer, Cook, Consumer, Critic, Primary Care provider of two growing & inquisitive children, and Husband on an enthusiastic pursuit of the brilliant experience of life. Sometimes funny sometimes strange always seems like it should be in someone 's screen play and then they started blogging.

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