Our trip to Hokkaido (the northern island of Japan) started out typically with Mr. D and I almost missing our flight. This is a fairly run of the mill occurrence for us so I won’t go into details. Basically it involved the both of us dashing down various Tokyo train platforms and screaming in rudimentary Japanese at everyone we knocked out of our way. At the time I thought we were saying that we were late and in a hurry. Upon later reflection however, I realized that it was more along the lines of- “Excuse me! We are very busy! We are very slow! We are slow and busy! Please! We are slow!” When we got to the airport we again announced to the airline clerks that we were both slow and busy. Obviously used to slow and busy foreigners, they escorted us quickly to our plane with the utmost courtesy.
The trip after that was absolutely fantastic. We went with our friends Jenn, Paul and little Lucy Momo (Peach) who was born two days after Nico. The two babies are fantastic friends and can spend many a happy minute yanking a cell phone back and forth out of each other’s hands and delving into one another’s nostrils. One can also be depended on to make the other laugh simply by crying. Little sadists.
The first day we went to the Snow Festival in Sapporo, the place where you can find just about any cartoon character you can think of sculpted entirely out of ice and snow. After about two hours of wandering around in the frigid cold however, I started to get restless. “What’s up with all these stupid kid’s characters they’ve got here? I’m sick of Miffy and who cares about Pokemon?” “I think the kids like it” said Mr. D. “Kids? Yeah, whatever. Don’t they see enough of this crap in their lives already? Do they really need to see it all made out of snow too? Most of them are over there huddled in the igloo anyway. Why don’t they just give the people what they really want to see? Paris Hilton’s head made entirely out of ice cubes. Or why not carve J.Lo’s ass or sculpt a life sized George Clooney just stepping out of the shower? Now that would really be something. Or how about 150 chihuahuas all perched on telephone polls just like the birds in that Hitchcock movie! Imagine how cool that would be!
The next day we left Sapporo and took a bus up to the ski resort. I was a bit reluctant to leave our inn. Not because it was such a great place to stay but rather because it was situated right next door to a place called “The Body Laboratory.” This was proclaimed on a decrepit little sign hanging off of the building with no storefront in sight. I assumed it was on the second floor and had no end of fun speculating about what exactly they might do at “The Body Laboratory”. I imagined it must be something incredibly sci-fi and wicked. Sewing eyelids onto kneecaps or dying people purple. Staying next door to a place like this made me feel as though my life was very thrilling in a 1960s spy sort of way. I imagined myself in a cat suit with Nico strapped to my back wearing a matching infant sized cat suit. We’d lower ourselves down into The Body Laboratory via a rope through the roof and set all those purple people free. (In the middle of writing this I took a break in order to google “The Body Laboratory” and guess what? Not one single match for a business with that name. This makes me think the whole thing may be even more on the down-low than I’d previously thought. Must make further covert inquiries…)
Once we got to the resort, we commenced to have two absolutely fantastic days of skiing. The snow was perfect and the famous Hokkaido crab was delicious. Nico and Lucy Momo had fun too with the exception of one unfortunate incident when an entire crew of cafeteria ladies descended upon them while they were playing in the ski lodge. Before I even realized what had happened, both Lucy and Nico had been scooped up into the arms of two of the ladies while the rest of them immediately whipped out their cell phones in order to take pictures of the little gaijin (foreign) babies. Of course they both screamed their heads off but luckily the trauma was short lived and they were soon back to sucking on the wheels of their strollers and taking turns knocking each other down. Later, they even took a bath together which was pretty damned adorable. During the bath I was caught on video in all my glory, dumping an entire bottle of white baby shampoo on top of Nico’s head. Luckily, Nico didn’t seem to notice that it looked as though a Golden Eagle (or similar bird of very large stature) had just taken a giant shit upon his head and we all carried on.
Now we’re back in Tokyo and life is returning to normal. Nico is lying on his belly behind me, picking lint off the carpet and putting it in his mouth. As for me, I’m still wondering when that person with the broom will get here.