My daughter has arrived in Tokyo for her summer vacation. In truth, I do not know how much “vacation” it is, as she seems to find nothing here amusing!
Perhaps it is her age (just turned 12), or her general personality – but she finds none of the charm in Tokyo that I do. For her, it is too hot, too crowded, too far to walk, too boring, too bright, too expensive, too…too!
I have already received the lecture from her that I should move back to the States. I know she misses her friends in Bellingham WA, as do I, but it is difficult to get across to her that I like this foreign country, I am better employed here, and feel all manner of electronic means are great for staying in contact with friends? On her side, she hates sending emails, IM chats, or even the phone – so if she cannot “see” her friends, she dislikes the effort.
Regardless of her complaining – I think she has had SOME fun. She went to Kidzania Tokyo recently. If you are not familiar with Kidzania, it was a company started in Monterrey Mexico. Basically it is an employment city, built to kid size. Children up to age 15 can enter Kidzania and try working at various kid-sized jobs; dentist, designer, pizza maker, etc. They learn background information about the job, and then get to perform some easy tasks related to the job. They also get PAID in Kidzania money – which they can use in the gift shop before they leave. My daughter tried jobs of: scientist, dentist, fashion designer, ice cream shop worker, and Coca Cola bottler. She said she actually got to make a soda!
We have also eaten at the restaurant she enjoys best here: Saizeriya. Decent, inexpensive Italian style food. You really cannot go wrong with spaghetti and meat sauce. We went to a friend’s home for Korean BBQ – food was great AND they had a small cake for her birthday.
Some nights we go outside and light sparklers. Other nights she treks along with me to a private English lesson. My students seem amazed that she is only 12 as she could pass for Japanese age 15!
This coming weekend, we will go to Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea. She seems more excited about the hotel stay with big bathtub and soft bed – than the rides and amusements. Truthfully, I am pretty eager for the big relaxing bath myself!
Future plans for her visit include trips to a Science Museum and Shinagawa Aquarium – she loves penguins. She has also requested shopping for M.A.C cosmetics. Just what all 12 year olds need – expensive make-up! (I grumble because I am willing to pay the money for M.A.C for her…but always feel guilty spending that much money on myself. No, no – Maybelline is fine for me!)