On A Walk

When I say we live in Japan, most people conjure an image of Tokyo and all that urban insanity. But while most expats do live in the major metropolitan areas, we are in a little village outside of a sleepy tourist town. And for me, it’s the perfect setting. I never was a city girl, though it would probably sound cooler if I could say I am. This is a place where a toddler can wander while her mother follows slowly behind only protecting her from the occasional car or a random pile of manure.

Here we go.

Wearing her lucky button.

We drop sticks into the rivers that drain from the rice paddies and watch them float away.

Flapping her arms and crying ‘caw caw’ to the crows.

Taking a little rest.

When we were having a weekend away recently, the baby lost one of her shoes. Just one. And we had to buy her new ones. For $50. OH MY GOD I KNOW. But we had to go the first store that opened (shops do not open early here, my friends, and we have a walker who likes to walk) and these were what she walked out in. They are made in Japan, so at least the price tag meant we didn’t pay for shoes made by a child slave….right? And there she goes, marching in the mud.

Breathe it in.

Best friends.

Watching the trains roll by.

A mural. The theme seemed to be safety.

Again with the mud.

Sigh. The shoes. My god the shoes.

This crouch indicates that a dog is coming near.

A dachsund you say? And what a nice little sweater he has.

And what do we have here?! This poor child’s path was blocked by our baby for 5 full minutes. Her mother spoke a bit of English, by some sheer miracle, and thanked me for taking a chance on Japan after the earthquake last year. She told me how her father literally had to run for his life from the tsunami, and he later told her all he could think about was holding her in his arms again. It was so touching to have her share such a thing.

See you later! Mata ne!

Enough fresh air for one morning, I think.

5 thoughts on “On A Walk

  1. My gosh it’s like I’m looking at a cross between toddler Dave and baby Mad with a little Lane thrown in for good measure. She’s so freakin’ cute Lane!

  2. So many questions and thoughts after this post… First that little girl is wearing a mask, should V be wearing one? What is with the Japanese wearing medical masks? Even in the great outdoors…? Second, my own OCD-ness will be put the test of all tests with mud and a child and buying them clothes with money that they will just trash. (See ANMJ’s newest Target-kid-clothes post yes? Aaah but then clothing made with little hands? Eeee.) Lastly, from the looks of it, that mom you chatted with looked very stylish, no? Puffer vest, printed denim all put on for a walk outside in a small town… I may need to raise my own standards. I will ask you to encourage me while we are ‘moms about town’ this summer. xoxo

    1. 1. They wear masks for a lot of reasons, mostly I get all N. American indignant on them (partly because the masks make me feel paranoid) but the reason this girl wore one is because the air was ‘cold’ and that cold air can hurt them/make them sick? They also wear them if they are sick or if they are afraid of getting sick like in crowded places or airplanes, etc. Which does kind of make sense. I have seen kids V’s age wearing masks, but there is no way in hell she’d keep one on…so. Forget it.

      2. You are going to have to let that go. Some clothes have to be cheap, but I do believe in a quality shoe. They stomp around a ton, think of how you feel in a cheap shoe? Same for baby. These are canvas and thereby very washable.

      3. She also had on like a HUGE brimmed sunhat, and was kind of jogging alongside the bikes? We can work on our mom about town style, but sometimes I just need some yoga pants, yo.

  3. Please, please tell me what type of shoes those are? I’m desperately trying to find shoes for my 14 month old that:
    a) fit (good luck)
    b) stay on (again, good luck)
    c) don’t look obnoxious (those shoes make me realize perhaps there is hope that I could even shoot for fashionable?!?)
    And are comfortable, of course! So far we have two pairs, different brands, different closure styles, both pop off every 2 minutes. Grrrr.
    Thx!

    1. I hear you Leah! I hate that SO many of the shoe options have licensed characters all over them. Ewwww.

      These shoes are from http://mikihouse-usa.com/ Miki House, a Japanese company and the quality is really good. The velcro is wide and can be made quite tight, I’ve only had one of the shoes fall off once. They are really good quality, I like the feel of the sole, etc and I feel fine having her walk endlessly on pavement in them! She hasn’t worn any other shoes since we SPLURGED on these!

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