Tuesday, January 11, 2011
First Day at School and Other Firsts
Almost everything we do these days is a first but today was special. It was my son Kelby's first day at his Japanese kindergarten. We had originally planned to have the kids attend an English language school but I miscalculated the distance. Happily we found a wonderful school just up the hill from our house in Miyamae, Kawasaki.
Today was the first day of the winter term. My daughter Fiona also started but only two days a week in the morning. Considering how different everything is and that only some of the teachers speak some English, my kids did pretty well. I had a hard time sleeping last night worrying about it all. After all, I am not used to being with my kids full time, let alone used to being with them in a place so different that just getting through an average day, feels like work. We've been here exactly 16 days but who is counting?
The gardener in me got some satisfaction Yesterday as we found what passes for Home Depot or OSH in these parts and I was able to buy three packs of seeds, some potting soil and a single pot of Johnny jump ups. I have also started a very small compost pile as of today, mostly made up of the greens from Daikon I picked up for 100 yen from a farm stand up the street. The fact that we have neighbor's with little garden plots is one of the real advantages of our little neighborhood. This time of year our options are limited to daikon, kale, leeks (or maybe these are just green onions on steroids) and mystery greens. But they are fresh and cheap and about as local as you can get.n
I found out that the top of daikon is sweeter than the bottom and that daikon is sweeter in winter because of the cold. I guess that is one good thing about the cold.