Today we go to Ebina city to meet with a friend of my wife’s. She has not seen her since highschool. I am not sure how they got in contact, but she has a baby about the same age as my daughter. So we go to Ebina station, where there is also a shopping area. In Japan most if not all train stations have major shopping areas around them. It is hot and humid in Japan this time of year and fairly uncomfortable to be outside. The mall is crowded and the original restaurant/cafe they planned top meet at is packed. So we find an outdoor place which would be nice but it is hot and humid. We haven’t eaten lunch so we order from the 4 items on the menu. It was not bad but quiet expensive and they had no cola, so I had a bitter ice coffee which I could not make any better by adding sugar.
My wife’s friend is tall and looks, mmm, older than 40. Which is unusual as asians typically look younger than their age. She and her family are nice, the baby is cute and her husband actually speaks a few words of english. But I do not try to start a conversation as I do not want to say something rude or inappropriate. You never know when something you say will be missinterpreted or you will use something considered unkind by the culture. And I don’t want to embarrass him if that is all the english he knows. I need to learn Japanese… someday I will. My son already knows more Japanese than me, which actually at three he knew more than I did. So we eat and then walk around the mall. There is a small train for kids to ride.
Which of course my son must do… so we wait for the train. When it comes it is decided that I will ride with him… although it is unecessary. But the other dad rides with his son and so to keep him company I go along. The train was really a little cart pulling little cars behind it, all made to look like a train. So it did not ride on a track like a real train. It went at a leisurely pace of 1.5 mph. Slow enough for my wife and the other mom to walk along with it as it wound its way through the mall. Finally the ride comes to the end and we get out, somewhat like a circus clown car.
I found out later that my wife did not know this person in high school. They just attended at the same time… they actually met online at a reunion site. They had a few things in common, mostly the babies and decided to meet when we got to Japan. I was surprised that my wife did that. It is interesting, as when I asked her a few questions like what do they do, she did not know. But she said they corresponded via e-mail regularly and that they know each other pretty well. If I did the same thing my wife would be shocked.
After meeting with the friend we go to visit dad at the hospital. He is about the same and we stay only a short while. It is about 6pm and I am starting to feel tired again. By the time we get home I crash to sleep. The futon while soft and thick is rather uncomfortable for me. Especially now that I am over 40. My body aches in the morning. And then there is the fact that there are no chairs, which is hard for me to deal with. Again my legs are old now and sitting cross legged with out a back support is very hard for me to do all the time.