Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Duggars Went to Asia

If the trip was three weeks and ten days of it was in Japan, was 11 days of it in China? Something didn't add up there, but obviously a lot of the trip wasn't included in these three vacation installments. I personally found the Kyoto segment to be the best of the three, but it was pretty interesting to see the family's reactions to everything that they did over in Asia. I was as annoyed as ever at JimBob not really caring that he didn't speak the language, but his ignorance is nothing new. I was intrigued that they chose to include Anna buying and taking a pregnancy test when the result came back as negative, but maybe that was simply to play up the ending and get viewers to tune in for the new season, where she carries baby #3 as her husband and father-in-law try to work off some extra pounds. I'm curious to see what TLC can find to keep filming about this family, are you? 

19 Kids and Counting: Duggars Do Asia "Tokyo, Japan" (Special): For this trip, the family needs 250 changes of clothes (10 days worth) and 50 pairs of shoes (two per person). [haha, Grandma packs herself.] 29 suitcases and 10 carry-ons later, 25 people are out the door three minutes early. [which is probably a record for them!] However, they ended up running for the gate because it took so long to check all of the luggage. [figures!] Aya and Tomo, their guides, met them at the airport, and led them via an hour-long bus ride to the hotel. [that WAS a beautiful view! but I don't understand where these guides went for the bulk of the rest of the trip??]

The next morning they celebrate Michelle's birthday with a traditional Japanese breakfast, including miso soup, rice, fermented soy beans, dried seaweed, boiled fish, and green tea cake. Surprisingly, Jordyn was one of the more adventurous eaters.

The next stop was to exchange money, then off to the "100 yen store" for some souvenirs and to see if they could find anything that was imported from America. [they could not.] They also struggle to find someone who can speak English so they can get directions. [what happened to their guides? and have they given up dressing everyone in the same color? only some family members do it. and they didn't have any maps or anything with them??] The girls go shopping for kimonos for the little girls, and Anna and Josh take a mini-excursion to get caricatures. [I don't believe it was coincidence that the whole family showed up at the same place...] Then, they take rides on rickshaws, and Joseph even tried pulling one!

On to a "sushi academy" where they start the experience by hunting around at a fish market for the ingredients. [this was kinda boring, I thought.] Michelle's team includes Grandma, Josh, John-David, Jill, Joseph, Joy Anna, Jeremiah, Jason, Justin, Jackson, Jennifer, and Mackynzie. JimBob's team featured Anna, Jana, Jessa, Jinger, Josiah, Jedidiah, James, Johannah, Josie, and Michael. They needed to find tachiuo, iwagaki, tai, tako, and hamachi in ten minutes, and Anna managed to power through the language barrier while Michelle's team cheated and bought multiple items from the same vendor. [I love that Michelle defaulted to "si" for yes!] Still, JimBob is declared the loser and has to eat Josie's sushi. [what an odd penalty!] Anna didn't have to work with the raw fish because she was trying to get pregnant. 

19 Kids and Counting: Duggars Do Asia "Kyoto, Japan" (Special): This episode actually starts in Tokyo. The family does a live television appearance, then had a bus take them to another show. They see a huge statue, some fish cutting, try some fresh-cut tuna, and go to an indoor carnival of sorts that had a bunch of activities. They tried to catch as many goldfish as they could in one minute with paper nets - the entire family caught 30 in one minute, whereas the Japanese master caught 22. [wow!]

Then, they took a bullet train (Shinkansen) two and a half hours to get to Kyoto, 325 miles away. JimBob again struggled to get directions in English, but made sure to say "Gracias" in appreciation to gestures. [eye roll!] The next day, the older girls and Michelle tried out the traditional look of Japanese makeup and kimonos. [neat... but I bet it was overpriced.] Jinger found it disturbing, so it took her a while to say "yes." Meanwhile, the boys had Samurai lessons with fake swords. They act out a scene from a movie, which they altered to fit the Duggars a bit. [haha, "not all pickles and hairspray" instead of "peaches and cream."]
Another thing they did was check out a capsule hotel, where everyone took a nap in a pod. [I honestly never even knew these existed until a friend of mine went to Japan a couple of years ago!] Anna snuck off to buy a pregnancy test to take while they're in China. Everyone went for dinner at a place that specializes in pickled items on buffet. There were 25 different pickled dishes, and most of the kids liked the pickled cucumbers best. [haha, how boring! I personally love pickled radishes!]

19 Kids and Counting: Duggars Do Asia "Beijing, China" (Special): It was a 3.5-hour flight to Beijing from Kyoto, and the first sight there is Tiananman Square. JimBob buys 24 tickets for less than $8 (who didn't pay?), but the subway cars are so full that the family has to wait for several trains, and even then they had to split into multiple cars to have room. [it happens. not a big deal.] JimBob asks their cameraman to teach them a few Chinese phrases and some etiquette. [now?? wasn't this something they could have been working on??]

The next day, they head to the Great Wall of China and spend the night in a small village. This gives them a more authentic experience, complete with a home-cooked meal. [cool.] That night, Josh and Anna snuck off so she could take the pregnancy test she bought in Japan, which turns out to be negative. [she didn't seem too disappointed... but I guess she got used to seeing negative results when they were trying for Mackynzie.] It rained the next day, so the family goes souvenir shopping, and JimBob negotiated to pay $16 for items for the family. They see another section of the wall and then head back to Beijing.

Then, Scott and Courtney, part of the production team, head to the hospital because her water breaks. [yikes!] Jana and Jill go to the hospital to be there for Courtney, but there are a lot of different regulations, like not allowing Courtney to move around and trying to keep Scott from the delivery room. Scott makes his way in anyway, and the baby is born within an hour of active labor. [dang!] After the baby (Leah Adee) was born, they couldn't see her for three days, as she was in the NICU on oxygen. [I don't think I could handle that. I'd be so super paranoid of what was happening to my little one without me there!] Meanwhile, the Duggars kept touring Beijing, enjoying the cuisine. After some Peking duck, they go to Snack Street and see scorpions, sparrows, and fried snake.

The family does a service project at an orphanage where they spend time with the children, bring them shoes and backpacks, and write wishes on ribbons to tie onto the trees as a blessing. [interesting...] Michelle then hints around that maybe their family will consider adopting in the future. [...ummm...?]

Anna's most memorable moments were baby Leah and going to the orphanage. [really? Things you could have done in America?] Jill talks about the Great Wall and the markets. [why not ask any of the middle-age kids what they enjoyed??]

Two days after they get home, Anna finds out that she IS pregnant, but she's waiting to announce it to the family.
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