Monday, March 2, 2009

Hello, I'm Your Cousin...

I would often joke that if I were to go to the mall, the Strip, or let's face it... pretty much anywhere in Las Vegas- I would most likely run into a family member.

And the crazy thing is... I actually would!

It's because my dad has nine brothers and three sisters AND making babies is a high Lebanese cultural value... boy does my family value it. I have forty one first cousins and twenty one aunts and uncles and I know every single one of them. This is just on my dad's side and with the exception of four, they are all roaming around Las Vegas just waiting to be found.

Though my mom's family is much smaller, with only one sister and one brother, her family of five made a decent dent in the cousin department. However the likelihood of running into any of them here is pretty slim since they all live in Japan.

My mom was the only one to leave the home country when she got her big break as a showgirl in the 70's (Anyone out there see Tokyo Holiday?). The last time I saw anyone on my mom's side of my family I was in my teens... until last week.

My cousin, Noriko, arrived on Wednesday. She is my mom's brother's daughter. This was the second time we met.

I don't have many memories of my trip to Japan, at the age of 12, besides my first squatty potty experience and Tokyo Disneyland... however I do remember hanging out with a nurse. We met up in downtown Tokyo and she was wearing her new starched white nurses uniform and triangle shaped nurse's cap.

Today Noriko is a head surgical nurse in her hospital and has fallen in love with a fellow bone doctor, who was presenting at a medical convention in Las Vegas. Her very own McDreamy! It was a great visit. My mom played translator since Noriko's English was very limited. This is ironic, though, since often people need me to translate my mom's English into English. And we enjoyed all the fun Vegas-y things that locals only do when guest come into town.

 Like this...

And this... They made us pose like that, by the way...

Even though we didn't have long and lengthy conversations (due to the language barrier), there was something special about our time together. Through lots of smiles, hugs and charades style conversations, we bonded as international cousins do.
I look forward to seeing Noriko again... hopefully soon... maybe next time in Japan.


Teri said...

I don't believe they made you pose like that, I think it's the Japanese show girl in you. And the part of you that wanted to perform with the USO.

Anyway... what a great family you have. Glad you got to spend time with this cousin. And, sheesh, that's a lot of local relatives.

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