Once Upon a Tanbo


Posted on: April 6, 2009

Since people asked I thought I would write a little bit about the baby shower my friends threw for me yesterday! To be honest I was a bit out of the loop – had no idea where it was being held, who was coming until the night before, etc! So when my friend who planned it picked me up yesterday morning I was really surprised to find we were at a “kids café.” At a department store type building in Kobe – pretty much the place was a café with a huge sandbox/play equipment inside for kids to play with while their parents ate lunch and we had a private room.

The guests were 4 of my good friends (one who reads this blog, hi Sassy!!), two husbands, a 3 year old, 2 toddlers, and a baby. It was a pretty laid back affair. We all ordered lunch (really yummy spaghetti sets) and chatted while the kids ran around/got messy. After that we played a few games my friend had thought up (very fun!) and then on top of being generous enough to come all the way to Kobe I got some really cute stuff for BG! Afterwards 3 of us went out to Starbucks~ where we chatted and watched as their two little girls enjoyed playing on the big Starbucks couch.

Being in a country that does NOT do baby showers usually, I have to say I was so blessed and lucky to have not 1 but 4 friends who showed up to mine. Since all of the ladies were foreign wives, yesterday was an all English affair and I completely forgot I was in Japan for a bit. (A nice feeling)

When I first came to Japan while I was single and only here “temporarily,” I thought those who lived within the “gaijin bubble” were silly and vowed never to do it. However – as time went by and I eventually got married I now know that my friendships with other ladies in a similar situation to me have been the crux of support while living in Japan. (Other than Ryohei – who despite my complaining about him – is a wonderfully loving and supportive husband)

I really am so thankful to have such wonderful friends. Friends that I’ve made through random internet groups, friends that I’ve made through blogs… also for the people who I haven’t met in real life (yet), but continue to support me through reading and commenting on my blog. I’ve never had a strong network of female friends until now and I really do appreciate and treasure the relationships that I have and will continue to have as I live in Japan.

Anyways I am going to stop before I turn to complete and utter mush. But I had a great day – and I am going to spend the last month I have here enjoying the time I have close to my Kansai friends. Coming up next weekend – girigiri (last minute) Sakura viewing! Now I just have to make it the 4 grueling workdays until then…


6 Responses to "Arigato~"

yay for baby showers, kid friendly cafes and more starbucks!! And hanami – even if it is under sakura-less trees!! Our sakura have started falling off already 😦

Oh.. I am so happy you were able to enjoy this, I think showers is a must be it bridal or otherwise- having gone to a few myself.. they are just so much fun.

I almost forgot.. with Ms. Monsters arrival I am getting behind on everything.. you’ll need to send me your new addy when you move so I can get some goodies at to ya.

This is so bias.. but I love shopping for girls..lol

That sounds like so much fun!

And I hear you on the evolution of feelings about the gaijin bubble. By the time you move up here you’ll be travelling an hour to meet another foreign mum. well that’s what I do, anyway… ;P

That sounds like so much fun! They don’t do showers here either but my best friend threw me one when I was pregnant with Dylan and we had it at a pizza place! 😀 It wasn’t a huge deal like they do in the States but it was great just being with friends, I totally understand what you mean by valuing other “foreign” friendships. Its one thing when you’re here for a year studying abroad and never interacting with the locals but another thing when you’re here permanently. Personally I think being married to a local fills your quota of local interaction for like, ever.

I’m so glad you had fun, you needed a bright spot in your week! Enjoy your hanami!

I think there’s a difference too between living almost entirely in the bubble (i.e. complete inability or desire to learn any of the language, refusal to eat any of the local food, no interest in local news/events, non-participation in local holidays, no interaction with local residents…etc.) and wanting some good old easy to understand friendships. Perhaps it’s even harder in a culture where the politeness and roundabout-ness makes it difficult to assess the other person’s feelings? In most ways, I find it much easier to relate to the Chinese, Korean and Thai students in my Japanese class than to many of the Japanese women (in my own age group) that I’ve met. This is a big generalization (I get along with my Japanese sisters-in-law really well) and doesn’t always apply, but I think it may add an extra wrinkle. When you’re undergoing a major life change I think it’s totally normal to look for support from those we’re most comfortable with – for whatever reason. So glad you found that!

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