My younger sister visited me last week. She bought her ticket to come on Standby, meaning that she could only get a seat if there was one available on the plane, otherwise she’d have to change her flight and possibly pay a little extra. She works as cabin crew, so I think that’s the only way you can get one of these tickets (I may be wrong), and they are super cheap. However, when there is only one flight per day to Tokyo, it’s a big risk. Strangely enough, the day before, she had her friend (who works for that particular airline) to check seat availability and she said there was LOADS of space. The following day, she arrived at the airport only for them to tell her that the flight had been cancelled. No warnings, “technical problems” was the cause. Thinking it could have been because they didn’t want to send out an almost empty plane, she had to go home and wait until the next day.
So the next flight was arriving at Haneda, which is in Tokyo as opposed to Narita, the main international airport, which is in Chiba. Only the flight was scheduled to arrive at 5a.m. Totally fine, and there is a bus from there to Gunma. Only the first bus leaves at 10:50…erm, not fine. After a little deliberation, I decided that I couldn’t leave her to wait for the bus, and the trains seemed a little tricky to navigate, let alone after a 12 hour flight and in a country where you don’t speak the language and very few people speak English. So I decided that I would go and pick her up. The waking up in the middle of the night part is no problem at all. I figured I should leave at about 3a.m. to get there by about 6ish, giving her time to get through customs and baggage. Y reckoned that I could leave F at home and that she would be fine without milk. I wasn’t going for that, since I knew we wouldn’t be back until mid-morning, and although she wouldn’t starve, she would probably get dehydrated, and besides, I am not ready to be apart from her quite yet. I pondered getting a breast pump, but I knew the only good ones are really pricey, and then there’s the bottles and the sterilising equipment and I probably wouldn’t use it again. So I decided to take her with me. The worst that could happen is that she would cry on the whole of Shuto Expressway where there isn’t a parking stop for miles and miles and is often a whole load of traffic jams. Except there weren’t any traffic jams (on the way anyway), and we whizzed through and she slept the WHOLE way. It was about two and a half hours, so I didn’t need to stop anyway. I had coffee and music, and thanks to newborn sleeping patterns, I was used to being awake at a weird time.
Thankfully the flight arrived only a little later at half past five and we were there on time to meet her, as well as in time for a little feed beforehand. F was an angel, thankfully. We stopped a little on the way home, for a masso poo explosion after she DID scream on Shuto for about fifteen minutes. When we stopped and I picked her up, the poor thing had tears all over her face and was worn out from the crying and stressing. After a nappy change and a feed she was all smiles again though. We arrived home at around eleven, and it was really great to see my sister again.
We had a fun week, despite not really going out to see lots of things. Thankfully, I don’t feel much pressure from her as we are really comfortable around each other and say what we think. So when she said that she’d come to see us and not Japan, I was grateful. I’m only just getting used to breastfeeding out in public, since F and I have just got the hang of feeding at two months. So I hadn’t really been out much before now. The children loved having time with their auntie, and I was really grateful to have an extra pair of baby holding arms while I was cooking dinner/doing laundry.
We did go up to Sakurayama in Fujioka to see the winter cherry blossoms which bloom from November to December, although unfortunately there wasn’t much blossom! Thankfully, the Japanese gardens around there were beautiful, and it was lovely to see the autumn leaves.
My sister left on Sunday. It was a nine day visit that really flew by. The children and I were really glad to see her go 😦 especially as I don’t know when the four of us are going to be able to afford a flight back to the U.K. again. But not to dwell! My elder sister is coming to visit for the last weekend of November on the way back from a business trip involving Hong Kong and New Zealand, so I’m really excited about that! Then my Mum is coming to see us in February for a whole month, so I really have a lot of things to look forward to.
F is growing more and more each day. She’s still tiny, but she looks big to me already. She’s smiling lots, and loves to listen to songs and chatter. She makes the cutest cooing sounds, loves her baths, sleeps really well at night, waking up for feeds, but falling asleep straight afterwards, and is a really calm little baby. She had a slight cold, which I was worried about, and it really affected her sleep since she couldn’t breathe through her nose. Fortunately she was able to feed still, and after a trip to the doctor and a negative RS Virus test, my mind was put to rest and she’s getting better and better. Now the fun begins 🙂