Here’s a gentle ‘living in Japan’ post for you all with a splash of language learning and colourful photography. Grape picking in Japan (ぶどう狩り – budou gari) is one of the many fruit-related activities one can do over the summer. And quite a delicious one, too!
A barrage of hot, accented Japanese hit my ear with no less force than a traditional wake-up call with a pail of water.
Wuh..? “Gr…grapes..?” I muttered dazily. “A farm..?”
“Come on Dave!” I pestered to my grumpy comrade not at all pleased to have been woken up early on a Sunday. “It’ll be an adventure! Not quite knowing what we’re doing or with whom…”
“Fine…fine. Call me again at 12 so I can get ready”.
I could hear his scowl down the phone line.
Roll on 1pm and Mr. Yonesaka comes by in his car to pick me up. Yes, I thought so. I’d met him a couple of times at the city hall and briefly talked about grapes. I’m terrible at remembering names and faces. I usually have to meet someone on 5 separate occasions before I sign their name into my long term memory. Exceptions seem to almost exclusively involve cute members of the opposite sex. Go figure.
It was hot work and the blasted mosquitoes got me again and again, but ultimately good fun doing a little photography and playing with Hee-chan as we gathered the grapes. It seems Mr. Yonesaka wants to recruit us to help out again next year! If the taste of the chilled kyohou we picked is anything to go by, I certainly won’t be missing out another chance to grab some! Mostly seedless, edible skins and simply divine. A far cry from the fuss and mess of eating normal Japanese grapes!
Also had a nice little experience of 人情 (ninjyou – compassion/kindness) from a little old lady in my apartment block the same day. I had so many grapes that I gave a couple of bunches to my landlord and the lady that was talking to him at the time. A couple of hours later, I have a ring at my door and the same little old lady is standing there looking a little nervous but clutching a big box of laundry detergent and energy drinks.
“You can use these, right?” she offered.
“Yes, yes. Thank you very much” I grinned in reply watching her totter off again.
Ahh, always nice to interact with the neighbours. Hope she enjoyed the grapes!