Thursday, December 27, 2007

Winter holiday part 1

My holiday started on the 19th, just a couple of days after my wife had started her holiday. We where already at her parents place, because we can relax there more than we can at our own little house and are having fun spending time together with them.

Oba-chan in Ako

On my first day off we went to Mayuko her grandmother, a sweet old lady with a funny way off talking (she can say stuff such as kuso baba (my own grandmother can't scold further than "you old pancake lady"), the last time we had been to her place was about a year ago so it felt nice to be back again. Grandmother (obachan) is living in a small city 1.5 hour west of Kobe in the city of Ako, once a samurai town with a famous story (which I have to search up for you guys but I can' use the internet right now...see below). We went there to clean her house, to have some nice lunch in a seafood restaurant, and to give some presents to her sisters whom are living in the same town. One of her sisters was cutting some fish when we came in her garden, the fish was still moving even though it had no head.

Rokko Island

On the next day we went home for a night (we were supposed to clean the house, but it was already clean... It really was), and in the afternoon we spend our time on Rokko Island (one of two large artificial islands that kobe has build in the last 60 years). There are a lot of foreigners on Rokko island, and because of that there is also a foreigner store called the FBC (Foreigners Buyers Club), they have a very large catalogue that you can order true the internet or by phone with stuff from Holland to Australia and from stuff from the states to India. Because we already had seen their catalogue we expected to see a lot of nice stuff in the store, but it was a bit disappointing because they only had a small collection in comparison with their catalogue... but yeah anyway we've bough some peanuts and sweet chili sauce that I really love (especially to put on my chicken). After our visit we went to the a very nice Okonomiyaki restaurant on the island called Fetsuya. Some say that it's the best Okonomiyaki chain in the Kansai area, and I have to say that I was not disappointed at all.

Osaka and the Yaki-Niku restaurant

On Saturday we did some Christmas shopping in Osaka, which was fun at first but after walking around for 2 hours in main Osaka (Umeda) it's wasn't that fun anymore... Osaka is such a crowded city (imagine Amsterdam on Queens day). I've bought some Dutch cheese, and cookies for the family, and also bought a nice one piece for Mayuko (early Christmas present). After shopping we went to a very nice Yaki-niku (Japanese bbq) restaurant, with Mayuko her Brother Takuya, his wife Aki-chan and the baby Nana-chan, where we ate some delicious meat, and with delicious I really mean DELICIOUS.



Jogging and the flu

On Sunday morning, I woke up early (as usual in this holiday, because I always wake up around 8 even though I am having a holiday) and decided to join my father in law with jogging (after he got an operation at his back last year he decided to do something about his condition so he is now jogging 5 times a week for about an hour... and that on an age of 60 years old). We first walked to the park which is about 15-minutes away and in the park we run two rounds (one together, one at own pace). It's been a while since I've been jogging and I really enjoyed doing it (too bad I can't really jog near my own place, because there are too many hills up their).

After we came back, my brother decided to go to the hospital to check his condition, he had not been feeling well for about 2 days so he wanted to check it out. Back from the hospital he came with the news that he had the flu. Because he did not wanted to infect my pregnant wife he went home straight after the lunch. There goes the Christmas together, but yeah the most important thing was that Mayuko did not get infected or the other family members.
He did not had a high fever, so he could drive home (took about an hour though).

Christmas and Wii

Because we were planning on going to Tokyo on Tuesday we had decided to have Christmas on Monday. In Holland we always start with a Christmas Breakfast with bread, smoked sausage, and other small snacks, so I wanted to do the same for my Japanese family. I woke up early to go to the supermarket to buy some stuff for the breakfast, but when I came back around 9 I saw that everyone already had woken up, and that my wife was already eating rice and miso soup... there went my surprise... I was a bit disappointed and started to have a fight with my wife on Christmas morning... nice moment to have a fight.

Anyway, after the fight, we cleaned the house together and the Dutch style breakfast changed into a lunch, which was delicious and the whole family loved it. Later in the afternoon my wife made a cake, and we played some Wii together. Wii fit, a game where you can play balance games on the balance board, and do a whole body work out and yoga. A lovely game, with a lot of games in it. We also have Wii sports (favorite is tennis and bowling), Being Olympics, and Super Mario party (anyone else here with a Wii, and some nice games?).

In the evening my wife and her mom had made a very nice Chicken Christmas Dinner, and gave some presents to the parents (a Hanshin TIgers calendar, and some beer bottles (Duvel, Heineken, Guinness, etc) for dad).



Destination Tokyo.... Stop... Destination Hospital ;(

On Tuesday we got ready to go to Tokyo, we first needed to go to Shin-Osaka to take the Shinkansen (bullet train). I had a bad sleep, and woke up with a lot of pain in my neck. It was busy in the train towards Osaka, and we needed to stand for about 40 minutes. Finally after Ashiya Mayuko could sit down (pregnant and unable to sit down isn't funny).

I stood there in the train and suddenly got a bad feeling, the sound around me started to vague away, and everything in front of me as well. I needed to close my eyes, and about 3 seconds later I noticed I was laying on the floor. Blackout... Mayuko ran up towards me, and a lady gave away her chair for me. When I sat down it went a little bit better, but than suddenly I told Mayuko that I needed to close my eyes again. Again another black out, this time I was even shaking for about 3 seconds. Someone pushed the emergency button and we got out at Amagasaki station where the train conductors came immediately with a wheel chair and was brought to the Hospital with an ambulance about 30 minutes later. I was feeling a bit better again, but was shocked about what had happened, and the same goes for Mayuko. I got an MRI scan, which was pretty scary and I prayed that there was nothing wrong in my brain (a tumor or something....). I even told myself not to sleep while I was in the MRI for 15-minutes.

We were both very relieved to hear that there was nothing wrong with my brain (even though I still have to do a small check for my brain waves), and that I probably had a black-out because I was tired and felt exhausted (I have had some pretty busy months with working 6 days a week, and taking care of Mayuko because she had the morning sickness during the whole day). When we were almost finished we had decided to also do a check if I might had the flu... which I indeed had... Mayuko also did a check, and did not had the flu.


In bed...

So here I am laying in bed for already 2.5 days, all alone with only Mayuko or her mom coming up bringing me food and drinks. It feels pretty lonely, especially because the last time I slept alone was about 1.5 year ago, but on the other hand it gives me some time to give my body and my mind some rest. Mayuko is sleeping downstairs and we won't be able to sleep together for maybe another 4-5 days... meaning we might not be able to spend our new-years night together snif snif. But it's all for the baby so I guess it's just the way it is.

We also tried to cancel our trip to Tokyo, but it was too late... so we can't get any money back for 2 hotel nights and a two person shinkansen return ticket... not the most important thing but still a waste of money.

I am feeling a lot better, and even though I am having the flu, I do not have any fever and can just enjoy watching TV, playing Nintendo DS games, and sleeping.

I hope all of you had a nice Christmas, and will have a great start in the new year.

3 comments:

Zen said...

Happy new Year, Ganbatte!

bBb said...

hey there
I actually just found your blog,
I think it's very interesting that there's a young Dutch guy who lives in Japan! Ik vind Japan echt leuk ook. Sinds waneer heb je in Japan gebleven?

Ik woon in Utrecht en ik heb een blog over Hide Nakata

Anonymous said...

Hope you are 100% recovered...I was just reading your blog by chance here in the US.