Rice Farmer

Day 6 Sat May 21, 2005 Fukushima

Today is a rest day, Kazuo is going to work. We get up early, work on photos and journals.

Learning to trust, go with the flow, let go of the control. The money. You know Harold and I, we are both used to having our own money. We have both always worked hard, and paid our own way. We always walk around with our credit card and some cash. But we have not yet exchanged dollars for yen with Kazuo. When we can use a credit card we do, but the only places that will take it so far are some of the tolls and one hotel. Most places are not set up for credit cards, and if they are, they are not set up for international. The rest of the time Kazuo is paying and keeping track, and we're going to give him dollars for all the yen we have spent. That way they will have dollars for American shopping when they come in June, and we will have yen, and neither of us will have to pay the exchange fees. However, that means now that if we want anything, we have to ask Kazuo or Kyoko for money. Its a pretty weird feeling. Both Harold and I were raised by parents who taught us about money. Even when we were little and did not work, we had an allowance for small amounts of labor done around the home. And both us of were working and saving at a very young age, Harold with his paperboy route, and me with babysitting. So we have never been used to asking someone else for money. The first day this made me extremely uncomfortable. Here we are in a strange country, can't speak the language, don't know the culture, can't read, and yet I am the most uncomfortable because I don't have my own money.

I wrote the above paragraph this morning, and here is the response from the universe:

After lunch Harold and I decide to take a walk. Its really nice out, but hot. We walk out of the neighborhood and along the rice fields for a while. We forgot our water bottles so we stop at the little neighborhood store; however, they do not take credit cards and we have no yen. They send us to a 7-11, but they take no credit cards. We walk through some more farms, gardens, orchards, and housing areas for a mile or two. Another 7-11, but we cannot make a purchase there either. We enter a big building that turns out a gambling building. They sell water. No credit cards. But the guy pantomimes drinking, we say "hai", he motions for us to wait. We wait, he comes back with two sports waters and says "service"...Arigatou, domo arrigatou, we are bowing and thanking him. We head back home, but the water is gone by the end of the block. Passing a farmers houses, I greet him with konnichiwa and he runs into the house, and runs back out with two cokes for us. Hands them to me and says "America". Asks me a question, and I'm guessing he wants to know where in America, I answer "Chicago". Again, arrigatou, domo arrigatou, bowing. A few minutes later a truck comes down this quiet little street, stops, opens the window, and says to us "America". Asks a question, so far "Chicago" has been what they want to know, it works. He then gives me a little plastic bubble and says to me "chocolate". What is in the bubble are two hand-made foil spiders with chocolate inside. Arrigatou, domo arrigatou, more bowing and smiling. The Japanese people have given us gifts, the universe did provide. Go with the flow. Or as Kyoko would say, "don't worry, forget about it"