Monday, April 18, 2011


I had meant to post earlier, but my brain had been sufficiently numbed by the experience of running 153 speaking tests over 5 classes, trying to convince my school's administration office that it's okay to give the school's credit card to a foreigner, and going to a post office twice in order to mail something (my Pen Pal package) once. That's a long and negative story, so I'll let it slide for now.

Instead, let me tell you about Totoro and wii...

It's my youngest nephew's birthday next month, and I'm having the two young siblings dilemma: being a far-flung uncle, do I get a little something for my oldest nephew as well, even if it's not his birthday?

Prior to becoming an uncle, I always felt it was a little bit stupid to by the non-birthday nephew a gift on his brother's birthday - let's celebrate the birthday boy on his big day, after-all. But now, it's not so clear. For my oldest nephew, I sent money home to my mom with instructions to buy Miyazaki's My Neighbour, Totoro. That movie has now attained legendary status in my family, and I hope my dad follows-through on his promise to show the movie to his friends.

I'm glad that my oldest nephew, CJ, really digs the movie, and I'm glad that his younger brother, Little Bear digs it equally as much. So, the DVD kind of becomes a gift for both of them.

Apparently, they have recently discovered the latest Miyazaki flick, Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea and were equally charmed by its weirdness. It would seem that Studio Ghibli stuff (fairly available here in Korea) would become a great source for future Christmas and birthday gifts to send home.

I knew I had to get some Totoro action for the boys, but can I really give a super-cool stuffed Totoro to Little Bear when that would clearly be a gift which, by rights, would reside primarily in Little Bear's room and rarely get to spend quality time with CJ? How would that be fair when the two lads had so happily shared CJ's DVD gift? These are the questions that greatly vex an uncle.

I think I have my answer: after trekking down to COEX mall after school today, I met the rabbit at Ani-land, a stationary and gift store that deals primarily in Anime product - Studio Ghibli product featuring prominently. We found two rather handsome Totoros, and ignoring my initial intention to get the small white Totoro for Little Bear, and the bigger gray one for CJ, I decided on the following: I'll send money to my sister to buy the Ponyo DVD for Little Bear's May birthday, I'll send some Pepero and a couple of Totoro key-chains to hang-off backpacks, and the two awesome Totoros along with their little white Totoro friends will be boxed-up as Christmas gifts when I'm back in Canada next December. So, don't tell the boys, Spanky! I'm thinking the smiley one for Little Bear and the more serious one for Christian James.

There - done! And now you know my Totoro story. And now the rabbit and I have finished our Canadian nephew Christmas shopping. The best thing is that the Totoros are both made in Japan - where all good Totoros should be made.

We wrapped-up our impromptu COEX day with some bibimbap at a modest Korean restaurant and before we left, I introduced the rabbit and myself to Mariokart wii at a display in front of Bandi & Lunis bookstore. I'd never played the game before, though I must say, even after a few rounds, I'm sure I'd prefer the DS version.

The rabbit, on the other hand, quickly moved from nervous and confused to giddy and giggly as all heck in the matter of 3 races. She was doing the classic raise the controller to bounce up over the mushrooms routine - just as my sister did back in the 8-bit days. Only now, the game actually benefits from such Tom-foolery. My, how times have changed...

1 comment:

Rock Steady said...

Those are so cute!!!! Your nephews are going to love them, thoughtful uncle!