There is something to be said about the sound of light and small drops hitting the soil, the roofs in syncopation, creating a nearly hypnotic track, even in 3deg C. With grey skies and the cold shroud as setting, one cannot ask for a better inspiration for morose writings.
No one talks in the train or bus in Japan, we are politely reminded by an automated message not to use our mobile phones and to buckle up for our safety. Bus drivers were as helpful as they could be even if they didn’t speak an iota of English. In the small city of Nirasaki, one doesn’t get many tourists but there is a Nan House, serving one of the better curries I’ve tasted, perhaps because both chefs and staff are from Nepal. And just a few blocks away, Nirasaki is also home to a Philippines convenience stall. What on earth would Philippines and Nepalese be doing in this town of 31,000 - I do not know. However, they are surviving. Needless to say, the fish is fresh, bountiful and variety more than my usual conveyor belt supplies back in Singapore.
Aki and Mika live in a small house at the edge of rice fields, with a calming, beautiful view of hills, bare branches interspersed with evergreens, Mount Fuji in the very far distance, visible on a clear day and utterly obscured on this rainy day. If you were fanciful, you can absolutely imagine yourself as Jet Li standing in the pathways between the fields, executing graceful tai-chi moves to the sound of your own heartbeat. Me, I would most likely flounder and acquire soil as my new foundation.
Kazuki is 8 months old and there isn’t a baby who receives more love and affection: Kazuki on mom’s back while she cooks, does laundry or potters around the house: Kazuki straddled in front of mom with her backpack at the back while we go for walks, or grocery shopping. It is rare that Kazuki is without the warmth of Mom’s cocoon. Kazuki falls asleep on mom’s back and not many other places. Dad and mom move in a natural rhythm, taking turns on their watch, if he is left to his own devices. An active baby such as this one makes him king of this domain, where you can’t tear your eyes from him, even a second, keeping dangerous things out of reach from his grabby hands and curious mouth. The life is idyllic, simple but full, and one might say ideal for the nurturing of young’un. Summertime brings fresh fruits and vegetables to the doorsteps, directly from the farm just outside their home, and Nirasaki is known for its peaches, and quality wined grapes. Your lungs welcome this air, devoid of pollution found in cities, your body relaxes with the slower paced life, stress almost at a negligible level.
Quiet is a new definition to this city girl. Once night descends, all I can hear is my own breathing. Never have my eyes willingly close when the hour hand struck 10, as sun sets at 5pm tricking my body thinking the night far darker than its supposedly early time.
My body adjusts to the copious amount of sleep happily and my brain wondered where the day went.