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It’s fun and tough to shop for our five granddaughters when we’re in Japan.  We try to find small transportable items that they’ll find intriguing and exciting and perk their curiosity about this place we visit so often.

Two of my grandchildren were very specific about what they wanted me to bring back from our last trip.  KitKats, made and sold only in Japan.  To be clear, the Japanese have taken ye olde KitKat candy and turned it from a grocery store staple into a sophisticated and quality driven product. The  300 Flavors change regularly and the most popular ones sell out. I’m not sure how my grandkids knew about this, but they were in the know before I was.  We were happy to find a KitKat Chocolotory, located only in certain department stores. After several minutes of confusion, we finally settled on a few flavors that we deemed child friendly and purchased several packages  for them.

Their younger three year old cousin was with them when we distributed the gifts.  She watched the distribution carefully, noting that she was not part of the KK hand-out, but had received something else.  Obviously, in her mind,  not as desirable.

Looking disappointed, but being the sensible and diplomatic child that she is, she looked at us and said evenly, “You know, I like candy too.!” (pronounced, cundy.)



Lesson learned.  Guess who else will be getting some Kit-Kats too?

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


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