Friday, October 5, 2012

The Return Of Japan Boy


We waited for him....


... and waited.

For what seemed like for. ev. er.


... and then there he was!


 There were sweet little gifts from him and his host family.
The sweetest.


 ... and new fashions.
Chesty bonds and Japanese headbands, who'd have thought?


He's leaving me little surprises. 


Some wave.

So many stories to hear.... and not for the faint hearted either. If I'd have known that he was going to have to rise at 6am, ride a bike to the train station, then catch 2 trains for half an hour, then ride another bike for ONE HOUR, to the school every day... and then do the same again home at night, in the dark, with no helmet, with cars whooshing by, getting home to his host family by 9pm...... I would have thought twice about signing that consent form.

He thought it was UNREAL... all of it. His host family spoke not ONE word of English. He loved them, and chatted to them and played the piano for them and told them deadly Australian snake stories, all in Japanese. He said he spoke to anyone who would listen to him, anyone who didn't have headphones in their ears..... so he could speak his Japanese. He walked up to strangers and asked about their lives. He talked to little children, who were so cute he "could eat their cheeks". He learnt so many new phrases... colloquial speak. He revelled in every delicious moment. And it was delicious. His eyes get really wide when he speaks of the food. 

I could so travel with this boy. He sounds like me.

Now there's an idea!

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60 comments:

  1. Travel is the window to the soul...welcome home to your traveler!!!

    Kat

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  2. A-M your son sounds like he had the most wonderful experience. Funny, we just hosted a Japanese student and one of the requirements was that we had to drive the student to school. Maybe they need to do the same LOL. Sandy x

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    1. Different standards going the other way! xx

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  3. That is just so fab, I envy him big time, haha! :-)

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  4. He looks just like my boy :) yes bonds singlets and headbands are the thing! I agree with about the trip to the school, a bit scary.

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    1. What is it with the chesty bonds and that age group? I can't get mine out of them. Would please one of my trolls no end... the one who is always going on about me being a bogan! xx

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  5. Part of the reason I live this crazy life that I do..is so I can afford to be the one that shows my boys the world...I'm almost there..we are almost there..travel and all its learning will teach you more about the world,its people and yourself than a year in the classroom.
    x Deb

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    1. I so agree. We are now contemplating putting the house on hold to travel together over Christmas. Experiences are priceless. Plenty of time to build. xx

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  6. Wow, huge day for him to get to school, and quite scary from a mama's perspective!
    Glad he is home safe and had a wonderful time!

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    1. I was mortified and he loved every minute of it. He said the route was so scenic he was pinching himself every day. xx

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  7. What an amazing experience...the building of memories for life.

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    1. So true. Memories to build on. I am so grateful I could give him the opportunity. xx

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  8. Wow you must be proud of how he took it all in his stride. Little brother must be glad to have him home too.xx

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    1. Little brother has not left him alone. I have caught big son gazing wistfully out the window whilst little one is attached to him. What are you thinking of son? "Japan". xx

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  9. Sounds wonderful! I just love the photo of the little one standing on the chair, waiting! I spent 18 months in a long distance relationship spending far too many moments standing in arrivals....waiting....waiting....waiting! So I know how you all felt! xx

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    1. The wait almost killed us all. Bravo to you with the long distance thing. Would have taken stamina! xx

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  10. How wonderful A-M! Hasn't he grown up? It sounds like a life changing experience for your son. Really fantastic!

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  11. Oh wow, what an experience he has had. Well done to both of you. xT

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    1. Yeah, well done me! I fretted the entire time. xx

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  12. brilliant, sounds like he had a sensational time! xx

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    1. He embraced and revelled in everything he could. So proud of his gumption! xx

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  13. My eldest spent five weeks in Germany at about the same age, and although his reading and writing of German was excellent, he was quite worried about his oral skills. The funny thing is, when you're dropped in the middle of somewhere where you have no choice but to speak the language, your skills rapidly improve. We spoke to him on the phone after he'd been there two weeks and he was laughing at his fears and said "Mum, it's weird - I'm even thinking in German!".

    I think it's a wonderful thing to be able to give them that experience. :)

    So glad your boy's home safe and sound. x

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    1. That's exactly what my son said, "Mum, I was thinking in Japanese". Amazing stuff! xx

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  14. It is best not to know these things until well after the fact, I think. What a great time he has had. I did chuckle as I read thinking, it sounds like you on your travels.

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    1. He is so animated in his 'adventure recounts'. Yep, reminds me of me! Must be a genetic thing. xx

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  15. How wonderful! It will forever change him - open his eyes to the world. How was little brother when he saw big brother come through those doors at the airport? I can imagine him nearly launching himself off that chair with excitement.

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    1. Lets just say we were the loudest family there and made quite a scene. Had to. Big son said as he walked towards us, "I knew you'd be the noisiest".

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  16. The traveling to and from school doesn't surprise me at all A-Me, students in Japan have many freedoms compared to Aussie kids. When we stay in Tokyo students in uniform can be seen from very early til late at night just going about their business. Many have extra curricular activities and public transport is so phenomenal there it's the best method of getting around. Plus it is so safe.
    One day you will visit and see for yourself how it all works and you'll understand why my family admire the people and culture as we do.

    I'm so thrilled B loved his trip and his host family. Travel and experiencing other countries is The greatest education and something I'm very passionate about.
    xx

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    1. Oh I've gotta get there. With him as my translator! xx

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  17. Sounds just like his mother! The enthusiasm is infectious. Makes ME want to travel now... xxx

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    1. Oh me too! Already scheming the next trip. xx

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  18. Like mother like son. What an amazing adventure he's had. And this is only just the beginning - you and I know what that travel bug is like. Enjoy your weekend A-M, it's Thanksgiving here so I'll be giving thanks for amazing bloggy friends like you.

    XX,
    Andrea

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    1. You are a darling Andrea. Thinking of skiing Whistler at Christmas. Are you far from Vancouver? xx

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  19. Sounds like he has a way of telling traveling stories like his Mum...... Amazing how they go away one way and life experience sends them home with a new confidence. I saw this in my niece when she did the same trip last year. So A-M are you thinking of taking him to New York? :-)

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    1. Would love to take him to NY. Might start with a family ski trip first. Only a few years before he heads to Uni so limited opportunities to travel as a family. Time is running out! xx

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  20. So glad he is home safe and sound A-M!! I dont think you would find too many Aussie kids prepared to travel that much to get to school!!! lol

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    1. He used to whinge when I made him walk up the street to his school. I don't think he will any more. xx

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  21. Wonderful to read all about him getting home and all the great experiences! I bit my lip however when I read about the bike riding to school stuff in the heavy traffic without bike helmet at night etc, gosh! His understanding of the world and his horizons are becoming so much wider now. Congratulations to everyone. Mxx

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  22. What a fabulous trip. He looks so cool in his singlet and headband!! Mind you, my eye kept wandering to The Chair.

    Love the little surprises around the house.

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    1. Oh the chair! So many stories to tell! xx

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  23. How fabulous!!! I'm so glad he safe and home with all of the wonderful experiences. Your boy is so good and smart, I know you so proud. All my love, Heidi

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  24. He even looks so much older in his Chesty Bond - what a wonderful, life-enhancing, eye-opening trip! As for the bike riding - well, some things are far better heard in retrospect! You must be so proud and thankful.

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    1. Very proud Tricia. And thankful. xx

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  25. p.s. I love the worn edge on several of your photos

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    1. Instagram Tricia. Transported over from Instagram. xx

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  26. I feel like one of those annoying relatives who always used to pat our heads, marvelling at how tall we've got... but I have to say it again - he is so grown up! Surely I haven't been following your blog for that long!

    It's making me look at my two boys and realising how fast it will go! I can't imagine letting mine ride two trains and ride a bike in a foreign country - much better that it all happened without you knowing - those apron strings are strong! A x

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    1. Oh you're lovely. Maybe you have been following for that long! He's really grown in the past 2 years. Once they start high school, they become men overnight. xx

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  27. Hey AM, wonderful post, reminds me so much of my lad! Sent you a reminder email for next week, hope you got it, xxxx Katherine

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    1. Yes lovely. Will reply. Inbox is a mess! xx

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  28. Welcome back Japan-boy!!!

    A-M, how do you keep THE armchair in such perfect condition?

    B

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    1. I think the secret is keeping it out of direct sunlight. I sit on it every day so it's used morning, noon and night! Maybe because the fabric is by 'Ralph'? It's good quality fabric. xx

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  29. What an amazing adventure your son has had. It sounds as though he made the most of it and will always remember it fondly.

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  30. What a gorgeous boy. You must be so proud of him. I am thrilled for him that he had such a life enhancing experience. Japan is a bug that once it bites you,you are never free of wanting to return. I can understand his whistful dreamings.
    I am pleased for you that he is back safe. You wouldn't want to stop them travelling, but it is a huge relief when they return home.

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  31. I'd say he takes after you! No fear about chatting up strangers to learn about their lives and interests. To think he can do it in Japanese....I'm so impressed. You must be bursting with pride.

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  32. My 16 year old daughter has just signed up to go trekking in India next year with school. On the one hand I am excited for her, on the other...I am terrified! I bet you breathed a sigh of relief to see your boy back in one piece. It doesn't seem long ago that I worried about my daughter just crossing the road.

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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx