Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The 'Club'

Connor and I headed over to the Tokyo American Club (TAC) today. I think I have mentioned this place before. Unfortunately, the location isn't ideal. Its a 17 minute bus ride to the train station where we pick up the shuttle that takes us to the club. So it's about a 40 minute journey door to door. They are in the process of building a new facility that is much closer to us. I imagine it will be finished when it is time for us to leave Tokyo. It's a great space to hang out, especially if you need to just be someplace where everyone speaks English. It's a one stop shop, restaurants, hair cut, spa, fitness center, UPS center, childcare, library, and all the signs are in English. They offer so much for the expats, it's really great. Anyone can become a member, it's not exclusive to the expat community.

Fortunately, our membership is paid through Jack's work, one of our benefits. But, everything else still costs money - childcare, fitness classes, sports programs for the kids (ouch, this is not the YMCA), so I choke a bit as I am still trying to get used to the cost of living here in Tokyo. So after childcare, fitness class and lunch, the day is starting to add up. At least I took the bus here and avoided the 1500 Yen cab ride. We head up to the library and video center. It's great! Packed with tons of stuff. We check out our books and videos and then I learn that the videos cost money - ugh. Of course I had to add up our day, and in retrospect it wasn't that bad - compared to what? I don't know.

Connor and I had a great day. My main goal was simply put him in childcare, work out and have lunch together. We accomplished that. Lunch was interesting as I watched a Japanese mom eat with her toddler and then another Western mom eat with her toddler. The Japanese child was fully clothed covered in a smock, arms and all. His mother placed a few pieces of pasta in his dish as a time as he pierced a piece with his fork, but occasionally used his fingers. She then proceeded to clean his hands with a new wipe almost after each time he ate with his hands. Then there was the other child. His mother gave him the full plate of pasta which he happily dug into with no bib or utensils. Upon finishing, his mom pulled him out of the high chair and a pile of spaghetti fell off of his body. She pulled out one wipe and gave him a quick swipe. Too funny. Two different worlds.

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