Mari in a very dirty chair under blossoming plum trees…
We had a great afternoon. A couple from the preschool offered to watch our kids for a couple of hours, so Hitomi and I went to Tama Center (Minami Osawa). We ate Italian food then sat in Starbucks for awhile. Very nice. Before moving last year we had a friend who would babysit for us once a week, but we haven’t had such a person nearby since then. The concept of “babysitting” (having someone watch your kids while you go out) is not common in Japan, and it would be awkward to even suggest it unless you know someone pretty well. In this case, my wife had offered to trade babysitting with another couple weekly. As it turned out, we traded once each. Now they are withdrawing their little girl from the preschool, so it’s unlikely we’ll see much more of them from here on. It’s really too bad.
On a “happy” note, I’ve decided that I’m used to Japanese style Italian food and even able to enjoy it without comparing it to American-style Italian food. I used to think that Japanese style sauce tasted a bit like Heinz spagetti-o sauce — too strong of a tomato flavor. There are still some sauces that I don’t like at all (typical meat sauce hardens into a orange lard-like substance when it sits out…). But I really like the lighter garlic and tomato/basil sauces that most places feature. Lots and lots of garlic.
Any food that has lots and lots of garlic in it is usually good enough for me.