Sunday, October 6, 2019

Visitor From Japan

A friend of my wife visited from Japan and stayed with us last weekend. This was Akyo's first time traveling outside of Japan.

She speaks very little English but had an app on her phone that translated Japanese to English and vice versa. We all were fascinated by the technology and it worked pretty well. It enabled Kai to speak with Akyo and he seemed to enjoy the tech-enabled conversation more than just a regular one. He talked with her a bit longer than the usual one or two sentences he normally says to others.

Though the translation wasn't always perfect.

The funniest time was when Akyo tried to tell Kai that she had seen many photographs of him. But as the word "Kai" translates to "seashells" in Japanese, what came out of the phone was "I have seen many photos of seashells." We all got a big laugh out of that.

My wife enjoyed taking her friend around downtown Chicago. They went to all of the popular Chicago sightseeing spots including Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, to the top of the John Hancock Center (now under a different name), as well as the Chicago Architectural Boat Tour.

Kai and I joined them to go see Blue Man Group. The three of us had seen the show a few years ago in Orlando, and we looked forward to seeing it again. It was the perfect show for foreign tourists who don't speak much English as no words are spoken and there is a lot of physical comedy.

After the show, we introduced Akyo to Chicago deep dish pizza at Giordano's.

On Akyo's last night with us, we were all invited to Kai's aunt's place for Rosh Hashanah dinner. Although Kai doesn't particularly converse with anyone, he enjoys seeing all of his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

We don't get to see everyone altogether like this very often, and it was a fun evening.

Before she left, Akyo told my wife how well behaved Kai was. She works with special needs kids back in Japan so she has experience with challenging kids and Kai seemed very calm compared to other kids. At least he was on this weekend. :)

When we have company, I often wish Kai would make more of an effort to interact with them. It often seems like he just like to spend the whole time on his phone or iPad just engrossed in his own interests. And so it surprised me when a few days after Akyo left, Kai told me "I miss Akyo-san. I hope she comes back to see us."

So he does notice people! :)

Well, hopefully she will come back to see us, and they can chat some more.


  1. I am guessing that Akyo’s experience gives her an openness that makes children comfortable around her. It is good that Kai picked up on that. Kai is a true introvert, a covert close observer of human nature. He understands far more than he lets on.

    That is the deepest dish of pizza I have ever seen. That sort of pizza is rare in the West.

    Kai really looks mature in the picture in front of the Blue Man Group poster.

    1. That could be... he seemed to feel really comfortable around her right away.

      Ha, that is a real Chicago deep dish pizza for sure.

      Kai is definitely looking more grown up than just a few months ago.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...