When I say we live in Japan, most people conjure an image of Tokyo and all that urban insanity. But while most expats do live in the major metropolitan areas, we are in a little village outside of a sleepy tourist town. And for me, it’s the perfect setting. I never was a city girl, though it would probably sound cooler if I could say I am. This is a place where a toddler can wander while her mother follows slowly behind only protecting her from the occasional car or a random pile of manure.
Here we go.
Wearing her lucky button.
We drop sticks into the rivers that drain from the rice paddies and watch them float away.
Flapping her arms and crying ‘caw caw’ to the crows.
Taking a little rest.
When we were having a weekend away recently, the baby lost one of her shoes. Just one. And we had to buy her new ones. For $50. OH MY GOD I KNOW. But we had to go the first store that opened (shops do not open early here, my friends, and we have a walker who likes to walk) and these were what she walked out in. They are made in Japan, so at least the price tag meant we didn’t pay for shoes made by a child slave….right? And there she goes, marching in the mud.
Breathe it in.
Watching the trains roll by.
A mural. The theme seemed to be safety.
Again with the mud.
Sigh. The shoes. My god the shoes.
And what do we have here?! This poor child’s path was blocked by our baby for 5 full minutes. Her mother spoke a bit of English, by some sheer miracle, and thanked me for taking a chance on Japan after the earthquake last year. She told me how her father literally had to run for his life from the tsunami, and he later told her all he could think about was holding her in his arms again. It was so touching to have her share such a thing.
Enough fresh air for one morning, I think.