Yesterday we went for a drive to Ota (a couple of cities away from Maebashi). They have an AEON shopping centre like near here and I wanted to see what it was like. Just to go and have a look around somewhere different and not have to be outside in the freezing cold!

Yusuke drove us there, and it was a really nice drive. I don’t think he really understood why I wanted to go there, but just a change of scenery is nice sometimes. I am always driving around here, so wanted to see somewhere else. The towns on the way there were really small and isolated. Would NOT like to live there!

We arrived at the shopping centre an hour and a half later. It was absolutely packed. Yesterday was a national holiday (Coming of Age Day), so the centre was packed with families. We went to eat in the food court and it was really tough to find a seat. There were people “saving seats” while a member of their family went off to get the food. Thing was, it took about 5 or 10 minutes to get the food. If everyone just sat down when they had their food, they would be finished by the time somebody else wanted to find a seat!

The play area was not good really. There was a little play area, but you had to pay to get in, and it wasn’t really so great. Other than that, there were lots of kiddy amusement type machines which made a real racket. Hannah and Yusuke had a ride on a patrol car that just wiggled from side to side, but there was a steering wheel, so Hannah was well away! The good thing is that she rarely cries when the ride stops or it’s time to leave.

These days she has started walking around the house touching things and looking at me to see if it’s a “yes” or a “no” and she now understands a lot of what I say (including “put it back”, which makes it a lot less tiring for me!). When I look at a lot of other children running wild, I feel very lucky!

So we had a look around for quite a while. The centre was one floor smaller than the one in Takasaki, and the overall feeling there wasn’t great, but it was still nice to go somewhere different.

I drove back in the dark (yuk) while Yusuke slept and Hannah and I sang. We eventually got home at around six, just in time to feed Hannah and get her organised for bed!


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