Summer in Hayama

It must be summer in Hayama machi, because it is taking me longer to get everywhere, by car or by foot. It now takes about 5 minutes to cross the road to get to the grocery store, whereas I am usually able just dash across (not making eye contact with anyone, because jaywalking is seen as a major threat to the social order). The cars are smaller, but so are the streets so I think it all averages out to American beach town congestion levels.

Other signs that it is summer include:

They are building bars on our beach! Is there anything better than drinking on a beach on a summer’s night and then just stumbling back to your house? They’re so close that I think the baby monitor would still be in range.

Building bars by the beach.

I had to buy a Japanese lawn mower to take care of our little weed patch. It’s red and makes a pleasant whirring noise and I love it. It’s my favorite thing I’ve bought in Japan.

When can babies start doing lawn work?

I also bought a little Japanese grill. I had my first major grilling failure last night when I couldn’t light it. Humiliating–I think this might be the first time in my life that my father will be really disappointed in me. My chimney starter is either in storage in Virginia, in storage in Rhode Island, or still in the basement of the house in Newport. The Japanese only use hardwood charcoal and I could not get those suckers lit with an entire book of matches. Rob even went and bought more matches, but no dice. Not finding a chimney anywhere, today I bought something called “lighter cubes.” We’ll see how those work.

Chip has an inflatable pool. While it is not as awesome, thrifty, and green as Alex’s pool, it does exhort “Let’s Enjoy Summer.”

I think you forgot something.

Yes, let’s!

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