Terrifying Two Year Old
7/21/07 - 7/21/07
Narita airport is an hour by train and an hour and a half by bus from central Tokyo. Ben, Stacy and I were meeting friends of friends at the Grand Hyatt to get keys to an apartment, and a bus was the most direct route. After stashing our overstuffed suitcases in the compartments below, we grabbed seats near the middle of the bus, Stacy and I on the right and Ben to the left and forward. Soon after, Tiger and his mom boarded the bus and eventually took the two seats behind Ben.
Tiger's mom spoke to him in English, but to little effect. The two and a half year old, as we later learned, was a barrel of a child. At no less than 50 lbs his stout mother could barely contain him let alone pick him up. His nearly shaved head and 6 inch tail of hair in the back added to his young sumo wrestler image. Mom's inability to handle him physically gave Tiger free reign within the confines of his window seat. This included climbing the curtains, temper tantrums ameliorated with a one liter Nalgene sized bottle, and frequent tugging matches with the handle on the back of Ben's seat.
One a couple occasions I made polite conversation with Tiger's mom, yes that is his real name. I even tried talking to him, but he met my attempt with an stone faced stare that proclaimed his indifference for my existence. Determined not to be intimidated by a two year old, I held his stare. Soon he bored of the effort, glanced at his mom long enough to smile and went back to reefing on Ben's seat.
His antics were briefly interrupted by our first stop. He leaned over his mom to watch the departing passengers. As 5-7 year old boy came by with his parents Tiger struck with his first startling the boy and provoking apologies from Tiger's mom.
Ben took the opportunity to change seats rather than endure the wrath of young Tiger for the remainder of the ride. Despite wining the staring contest, I must admit that the boy was intimidating. I hope he doesn't grow up into as big a bully as he appeared to be on our 90 minute bus ride.