Sunday, December 28, 2008

The new neighbors

I learned from the English speaking doorman that a new family with three children was moving into the vacant apartment on our floor. I had high hopes that it would be another expat family with three children, the same ages and genders of our kids and that they would attend the same school, although it would be okay if they went someplace else. I can hope right? I then learned that they were Japanese - sigh. But, their nameplate was in English unlike all the other Japanese families whose nameplates were in character form. Maybe they were Japanese American. The movers came, no sign of the people. Then we saw a kid's bike, looked like Nicholas's size - red, a boy maybe? Okay, now I would just be happy if a boy Nick's age moved in. We wait.

Today the doorbell rang. The family came by to say hello. They came bearing gifts- a nice assortment of cookies from the bakery down the street. You see in Japan, when a new family moves into the building they bring you something. Now that's one tradition that just doesn't make sense. Why should they have to go to the trouble? I did explain to them that we do just the opposite in America (or well, some people do). Then I felt badly because I hadn't brought them anything. But in all honesty, I wasn't even sure they were living there yet, all we had seen were their things. No noise, nothing.

They were very sweet and obviously spoke English. Hooray! By their side were two little ones, a 6 year-0ld girl, and a boy about 18 months. They also had a 2 month-old boy. Oh well. Yes, I am a little disappointed. The genders were the right order, unfortunately, they were just 4 years behind us. They came from a nearby Tokyo neighborhood and moved to be closer to the girl's school. Before that they lived in Hong Kong and Singapore, so they are familiar with the expat life. I imagine I will see the mom around a bit, and maybe even become friends, who knows. At least I'll have someone I can ask to explain my rice cooker to me. I did buy one, and this time it is actually a rice cooker.


jwill said...

well, of course I'm disappointed that the little girl isn't a little boy, but maybe, maybe Nicholas would stoop to playing with a girl? At the very least, perhaps you will find a friend in the mom. that would be really nice..just someone to borrow sugar and sympathy from :-)

jwill said...

that was from judy

JUDY WENDT said...

Does this mean you should have brought gifts to your neighbors when you moved in? How are you supposed
to know stuff like that?

susanaw said...

Just so you know, the OLD neighbors will be buying YOU gifts when you come back! Our kids are almost just the right age and miss you lots!! Happy New Year!! I have a card that made it to our mailbox somehow that I need to send out to you and a belated Holiday Card from us. Tell Nick that Grant is almost losing his 3rd tooth in less than 6 weeks! Can't wait to play with you this summer! A long weekend at the cabin end of June has your name on it!!