Monday, 3 October 2011

4 sleeps, last sleep at home

All the remaining foodstuffs, laundry products and grog are on the dining table and pantry shelves ready for tomorrow morning’s friend ‘shopping’ spree.

Wrapping paper and cards are difficult to buy in Japan so I’ve put all our ‘leftover’s aside too. Gifts are usually wrapped in Furokshi’s, or gift wrapped at point of purchase as opposed to paper and ribbon.

We can’t take grog with us so there’s about a dozen bottles of white, red and spirits available.

                                Tonight’s our last night at Leyton House.

I remember seeing Leyton House only a few weeks after we arrived. I had emailed the International Womens Club Yokohama from Dublin and made arrangements to meet one of the committee members for lunch with Mia in Motomachi.

Long story short, one of the other ladies invited me back to her place for a coffee to meet a neighbour who had a little boy in what would be MissM’s class  - they lived in Leyton house.

I thought ‘WOW these apartments are HUGE and sunny. Well laid out.’ Loved the location, right in Chinatown!

Who knew we’d end up living here. Mind you, it didn’t take us long to realize ‘e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e is shown an apartment in Leyton House, or houses in Kirrin Village, or on The Bluff as they are all so close to school.

When the real estate agent showed me 9 properties, only one or two were OK, he said he had one more to show me that wasn’t on the list. It was Leyton house. I was happy to take it sight unseen but he insisted on showing me.

We picked DH and MissM up from Starbucks and saw apt 504 together. We ALL loved it the minute we walked in.

As we think back over the past nearly 3 years here, we remember fondly the dinner parties, the play dates, the coffee’n’chats while the kids were at school, all the wonderful chalk drawing the kids did on the balcony, watching Mia master skipping on the balcony, sharing her sand’n’water table with friends.

We’ve enjoyed sharing #504 with visitors: Mum, in-laws, Davis’, cousins James and Cameron, Scott Family. Can’t forget MsLene from the National Danish Gymnastic Team. It was such a shame BoM and family had to cancel their trip in April, as did MissH.

Our neighbours have been a blessing (as were our neighbours in Dublin). Friendly, generous, helpful families who have been THERE when we’ve been sick, or can’t get to Costco, or needed MissM picked up from school cos I’m running late back from Tokyo.

Living in Chinatown, in Yokohama has been an awesome experience. We have loved the color, the sights, the sounds, the festivals, the music, the smell of roasted chestnuts (not so nice), the food, the crowds. Loved walking thru there looking so obviously like we don’t belong, when we were ‘local residents’
One of the 7 Gates in Chinatown 
Our favourite Chefs in Chinatown at Kappa Udon

Welcoming in The Year of the Tiger with thousands of others

The festivals in Chinatown are colourful and very noisy

There are two temples in Chinatown. This is the one we visited when we got married

The smell of incense from the Temples

The incredible smells of fresh food permeate the air

Probably the only smell we didn't enjoy - roasted chestnuts

The menu at our favourite dim sum resttaurant

Best get ready for lunch (boy am I going to earn my Curves membership)

With friendship

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