PostBombing Part 1 – the Journey

22 Jul

Beware, I am about to post-bomb gaijinwife with as many posts in a row as it takes to ‘catch you up’ on our transition to life in the Land of the Long White Cloud (Aotearoa – tis mystical Maori name for NZ) once again. Apologies to people who end up here after searching the web for something like how to send a bomb through the post. Piss off.

The Journey…

For some reason mothers, myself included, enjoy hearing about how hard it is for other people to take their kids on long haul trips. What embarrassing perils will unfold. Lord knows I hate people that post shit like ‘my child slept for 13 hours of the 12 hour flight. In fact I had to WAKE THEM UP to go through customs.’ ….

To parents of really small people, oh, within the age range of about 5 months to 4 years, it does. get. easier. I say 5 months because ‘in hindsight’ traveling with boob sucking babies that can’t walk, don’t want to crawl down the entire length of the plane, press everything, spend three hours playing scream slash peek-a-boo with the old Korean woman five rows back yaddah yaddah is EASY shit. The worst that can happen is you might end up flashing a shadow nipple on the big screen (in the day of the big screen and I ‘think’ it only happened twice and I was so tired I didn’t even care) or end up standing at the back of the plane for ten hours singing ‘100 bottles of beer on the wall’ over and fuckin over again – or whatever your lullaby might happen to be.

Toddlers are hard shit. Those bastards are into everything.

Three also sucks monkey nuts because you might possibly have a baby as well and trying to change a toddler in the 1cm by 1cm toilet cubicle with a baby on your hip slash boob is just about fuckin impossible – but not completely – cause I know.  I’m going to brag and say I’ve even done it with a baby, a one year old AND a two year old – while hub was back in his seat drinking a beer. Cause you know, the kids HAVE TO GO WITH MUMMY.

Oh the joy.

And I question why I started drinking so much.

But I digress. This post is meant to be about our trip home this time – with a 5, 6 and 8 year old, and 3 Nintendo DSLs.

We had to wake the kids at 4 in the morning. Got them dressed and into the already packed car. I think Ryu and I fell asleep for about half an hour but the other two were wide awake. We were first in line to check in – not because I’m teacher’s pet but because the airline had told me to get their early because I didn’t have the credit card I used to pay for the tickets with – because remember my bank automatically cut it off after someone in Merica tried to use it to purchase something to the value of 67 cents. There was a bit of confusion but fortunately the kids were being naughty enough (hence I was looking stressed enough) for them to let me off with a ‘warning’. I still don’t get how the airline can demand the card after the amount has already been taken out of the account. They have their mula so what do they care?

We spend an hour waiting with daddy – the boys game and Marina and him go and eat ice-cream floats at 9am in the morning. Last date with daddy for a while.

We go through security and then spend forty minutes playing silly games, including something with Ryu that included a really long run up and then that leap like the one off dirty dancing where Patrick Swayze holds Baby above his head – only I couldn’t quite do that and Ryu ended up pulling my top down and I think I flashed a tour group full of Koreans.

The first flight to Seoul is only an hour so it’s up, eat sammy, down, disembark. The Incheon airport is pretty impressive but a money pit if you are walking around it with children, so I opted to pay for the transit hotel. You pay in 6 hour blocks and we only needed it for 4 but still I think it was the more economical option and as it turned out, Ryu, Marina and I slept for two hours and I even had a shower so win win.

The big plane has a 3-3-3 seating arrangement so the three kids are together and I am across the aisle. We settle in, seat belts on, games ready to be started as soon as we’ve taken off etc.

A mother and her two children (my guess would be 5 and 8) were sitting behind my three. After the seatbelt sign has been switched off I watch as, in unison, my three start playing electronic devices and she takes out some paper plates and some craft modeling clay slash foam. It probably wouldn’t have interfered with  the airplane controls so she probably could have taken it out a bit earlier but nevermind. I’m surprised she even got it through security as she had 5 different pottles that had more than 50ml or grams in each one.

The foam stuff is pretty cool and it leaves me feeling slightly inadequate – especially when she leans over and asks me to tell my children to turn the sound down on their devices. They all have earphones on (cool ones with penguins and frogs on the ears – super cool, awesome, so cool in fact I’d probably make them wear them even if they were crafting) and am amazed she can even hear games. Must have superman hearing because when I get on a plane, any plane at all, I suddenly can’t hear and have to shout.

Despite resembling children of the corn my kids play contentedly for an hour. Crafty kids craft for 15 minutes and then the older one starts singing a song and the younger one curls into a ball and sucks on a huge muslin cloth.

Tick one for gaijinwife. My kids don’t suck on muslin, or thumbs.

NOT that I was comparing…

Then it was dinner time and I had ordered the kids meal for my three. Spag and meatballs. Wahooo. They eat at least half of everything. Crafty kids’ mum has ordered them a special meal that comes with a green lid marked with SPINACH. After approximately 39 seconds of random picking the kids declare they have had enough. I can only presume she had to spend the rest of the evening feeding them raisins and chia seeds.

Miracles of miracles, my kids slept about 6 hours and I had to wake them for breakfast which was pork cutlet, blueberry muffin, yoghurt and some kind of brownie. Fortunately crafty kids got a similar version – well it had the muffin and brownie at least as the girl started yelling excitedly that she had two sweet things, two sweet things, and could she have both. By the time her mum had decided whether it would be OK or not my three had scoffed down said sweet things, had the yoghurt, discarded the pork cutlet for breakfast (fair play), and were animated and excited over having found the plug to recharge their games – down near the bottom of the seat would you believe – found by Shou by sheer chance as had to tunnel under breakfast trays to get out and go to loo.

We arrived in Auckland, got our bags, found a taxi and arrived at my sisters at 9am ready for coffee and a trip to the scooter park, lunch and a 4pm booking at JUMP – which is wall to wall trampolines. Bloody fabulous place and a great time was had by all, self included – although I tried to do a back flip but obviously last time I did a back flip I was 30kg lighter and body rotated faster. Only just made it to my knees. Ah well, fortunately the trip didn’t start with my breaking my neck.

Need less to say we all had a great sleep that night!

and actually, despite my eagerness to get five posts out to you in one go I am feeling sleepy.

Will fill you in tomorrow on our digs and our car, and how the kids managed their first few days at school…

fun fun fun

SDGH&QL

 

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17 Responses to “PostBombing Part 1 – the Journey”

  1. colorbynumbers July 22, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    sounds like all in all you had a pretty good flight 🙂 Hoping things are going well and you don’t go through any reverse culture shock (I certainly did!).

    • gaijinwife July 22, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

      Yes, definitely a bit of reverse culture shock. Especially when I am reminded how not cheap NZ is now. Gaaah. I just spent 2,000 yen on eggs benny and a coffee. I’m sure that wouldn’t happen in Japan…

      • Deb July 25, 2014 at 9:01 am #

        NZ has got ridiculously expensive: especially for food that is vaguely healthy. Everyone at home still asks about Japan’s high cost of living. Ummm those days are definitely over!

  2. Debra July 22, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Nice work on the flight, I bet the pottery/spinach kids were wishing they were part of your crew ….

    • gaijinwife July 22, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

      They actually weren’t that interested – BUT, after craft time failed to entertain for more than 20 minutes they were allowed on the inflight games AND I think to watch gasp, movies.

  3. Grace July 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Hey, good to hear from you, was thinking about you yesterday and wondering how you were getting on… We bought my then 7 year old son a DS for our long flight to Australia – it worked a treat, especially when you find the plug socket to recharge up the batteries!!

    • gaijinwife July 22, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

      Shou got his before a long haul too and now they are all old enough to pretty much play the same games – if Shou helps Ryu with the reading bits. They usually play role play-ish ‘yokai-watch’ which has a lot of reading. I just tell myself its language development…. and yay for the plug sockets! What a find.

  4. Susie July 22, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    Did you tell the woman to have her kids lower their voices because they were singing? I would have, but then again I am petty that way.

    • gaijinwife July 22, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

      They were being very loud when they first woke up and everyone else was asleep. I looked at them a couple of times and she asked them to quieten down a bit. When I saw them out the other side of customs I very nearly wished her a happy stay but stopped when I realized I would be interrupting a conversation between her shoe and her son’s sneaker….

  5. Tracy July 23, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    Welcome Home :-). It sounds like the flight over was pretty good especially with 3 kids, well done:-). I hope the kids love it here and get the most out of their Kiwi immersion. Make the most of the close proximity to amazing vineyards while you are here.

    • gaijinwife July 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

      Thanks Tracy. So far the kids are having a great time and Marina has only had a ‘daaaaaaady, I waaaaaant daaaaaaaady’ moment twice 🙂 I am trying my best at the moment to ignore fact surrounded by fabulous vineyards. So far so good 😉

  6. Mr sekimachihato July 23, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    What nationality was crafty kids’ mum?
    Just building an image in my mind.

    • gaijinwife July 25, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      My PhD in Accent Detection puts them as from somewhere in the UK.

  7. Polly July 23, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    yay for making it back home! cant imagine undertaking that journey alone with three kids…! did that HS student end up coming with you? sounds like it might have been a better flight than certain others i remember you writing about… haha.
    how exciting that theyre properly going to school! i bet theyll all be speaking fluent english in no time..

    • gaijinwife July 25, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

      Thanks Polly. The school girl arrives tomorrow! Which reminds me must remember to text her mum now before she puts her on the plane alone. They will both be freaking out.
      Ryu’s first week was by far the most productive on the ‘coming out of his wheel and speaking English’ front. Fingers crossed. xx

  8. Susan July 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    So happy to see you back posting again & looking forward to hearing all the details. I know the exact type of granola mom you mean – gotta feel sorry for those poor kids, especially if they think finding two sweet things in one meal is the Most Exciting Thing Ever!

    • gaijinwife July 25, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      LOL – yes, that was quite interesting. 2 sweet things mummy. Wow, life doesn’t get better than this. I applaud the mum actually in being able to obviously stick to some sound hard and fast parenting techniques that I fail at. My kids get a muesli bar AND two biscuits i their lunch every day… gah

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Mrs D Is Going Without

Too much wine in rural Japan

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