Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ups and Downs

We have had some interesting ups and downs the past couple of days... You might want to read this post to get some background on how Tetsu adapts to being in the States. To put it bluntly, he doesn't.

There is obviously a Japanese time schedule and an American time schedule in our household. When someone says "Get ready because we want to go out." to Tetsu that means we are going out in the next 15 minutes (or less). I know when we are in Japan, that when Tetsu says "let's go!" he means now. But when my Southern California family says we are going out, that may mean sometime this morning... or maybe sometime today. In between the initial "let's go!" people go take showers or saunter off to the hamburger shop. They may start washing a car or drive away to get other people to join us.

I take it all in stride and Takumi and Leiya have become pretty laid back themselves, but that doesn't really gel well with Tetsu. In fact the way we all take delays as part of normal, summer life puts Tetsu in the lonely minority and it is pushing his stress levels high!

Yesterday night late, our family said our goodbyes to Toni who was going back to Michigan. We've had a great week with him! Lots of hugs, lots of shaking of hands and wishing well. We arrived at the airport around 9:00. ...and proceeded to wait in a check-in line... for hours. An unmoving check-in line. The departure's panel flashed "flight delayed" but no explanations, no apologies. Tetsu started fuming. At after 11:00 when someone at the counter finally talked with Toni (and Leiya) they find out that the plane ISN'T flying off this night and everyone is being re-routed to other flights... Or being booked into hotels... or being told to come back tomorrow when surely there will be a flight out.

Leiya and Toni cheerfully and apologetically come back to where Tetsu and I are waiting (they get another day together). Tetsu doesn't know where to turn his frustration. He is not irritated with Leiya and Toni... He isn't really irritated with me, though he wishes I were doing a better job of informing him of the airline's imbecilities (of course I don't know anything either)... He can't be irritated with my family who is so calm about sudden plan changes. I guess he is most upset with the Southern California mentality about taking things as they come, not worrying about unseen mix-ups, the cheerful, blase attitudes (from everybody, the people who wait in the dumb lines and the people manning the airline computers). Tetsu often spouts off about how "this wouldn't happen in Japan" and "how can everybody be so inefficient and so non-caring?" and "why aren't YOU PEOPLE getting upset!"

Today is Tetsu's birthday. But he is holed up in bed with the beginning of an ulcer. The rest of us are walking around on tiptoes. But hey! We're all here for a good time so I guess those of us who can, will...

Hopefully Toni will get a flight out tonight. I don't think I'll invite Tetsu to come with us to the airport...

No comments: