1. Japan has weird post-apocalyptic nanotech insects.
2. We are a 3-futon family. What that means is Tim and I get crammed onto one while the kids roll around their futons, then onto the bare tatami, then eventually crash into the shoji screen doors, waking up the entire house including the soul of Tim's grandmother living in the shrine closet behind us.
3. It is never too early to educate your children on the atrocities done by the Japanese imperialists in Korea. Look at our poor little Emily weeping at the Emperor's Gate over her conflicted ancestry!
Actually, Emily's misery was entirely her own. She was apparently so traumatized by this point, she was clinging onto her pacifier, blankie, AND a stuffed animal for comfort at all times, and could not even bear to stand on her own two feet anywhere. Every time someone spoke to her in Japanese she would bawl. Very embarrassing for us, but there was really nothing we could do at that point other than drag her wailing ass with us everywhere.
4. Japan has no lack for cute-crazy-quirky things to distract you with.
Even the cemeteries TOTTEMO quirky DESU!!!!!!!!!!
5. Japanese people never exactly mean what they exactly say. For
example, from the beginning, my MIL almost always introduced me with
"Doesn't she have nice skin? And she's so smart, you can talk to her
about anything." I recently found out what she actually meant is that
I'm ugly and lazy; like if I was actually good-looking she would say I
was beautiful, not point out the only non-vomit-inducing characteristic
about me, and the reason why I'm so smart and good at conversation is
because I sit on my ass all day reading shit and not catering to people's needs.
A more positive example occurred when we were at Shibuya Station to board the Narita Express. We had 40 minutes before the train departed (they run every hour), so Mo, a friend of Tim's, offered to take me shopping to buy some souvenirs since up to that point we hadn't had the opportunity. I asked for Hello Kitty, and she said "We have 10-15 minutes to get there, then 10-15 minutes shopping, then 10-15 minutes to get back." That sounded really tight to me, so I asked her if she was absolutely positive we have time, and she cheerfully said "YES! Of course!"
So off we went, through the maze underground, then above ground, until we arrived at the shop, and I shopped my little heart out. I asked after what seemed like 5 minutes if we needed to leave, and I was always greeted with a confident smile and a "We have time!" When I finally checked out, Mo was frantically texting her mom, who was with Tim and the kids back at the station. When I asked what was wrong, she smiled and said, "We must run." It took us 15 minutes walking at a brisk pace to navigate to the store, now we had less than 10 minutes to make it back. Holy Jeebus. I actually RAN, folks...ran through the turnstiles, past salarymen who cracked up at the 100-kg behemoth dragging $200 worth of Hello Kitty crap behind her, clutching onto the waistband of her falling jeans, while Mo, in hot pants and kitten heels urged me to "run a little fast, please." Once we reached the platform with a minute to spare, I had to stop, I was so winded. I glared at the conductor, who glared back, waving his white-gloved hand in a "HURRY UP HEIFER" motion, daring him to close the doors on me. He didn't. Tim was cracking up too hard to lecture me, and I spent most of the ride trying not to vomit. This was a hard-earned lesson to not trust a word Japanese people say, and helped me resolve to start some kind of exercise routine if I got back home in one piece.