The Japanese Politeness
Several hours before Chloe's birthday party Eric decided he needed to trim the plants and bushes in front of the house and over the ledge facing the street (we are a level above the ground and have bushes hanging over). While working on the plants, a neighbor from another street was walking by and told Eric he wasn't doing it right. So, he goes home and gets some of his gardening tools and works on the front yard with Eric for an hour. It was like 90 degrees and 90% humidity and he's out there working on our yard! 15 minutes before the party was to begin, they were still out there! Eric had to politely tell him guests were coming and off he went.
Yesterday I decided to make several loaves of Banana Ginger Bread and send a loaf over to his house. Warm and wrapped in foil I sent Eric to take it to his house. I always wondered if he was married, never seen a woman at the house or with him. Eric said the wife opened the door and said she'd check to see if he was home. Strange...I always know when Eric is home. Anyway, Eric gave them the bread and came home.
I sent Eric to another neighbor with the second loaf. She had given us a big bag of homemade cookies awhile back and I never reciprocated. Loaves given, Eric back home, I feel good.
Just after dinner our doorbell rang. It was the neighbor that helped garden...he brought us a watermelon. You may think that's strange, but it's common for Japanese to bring produce as gifts since it's so expensive (especially the good stuff). Haven't cracked into it yet since I had bought a little chunk of watermelon earlier that day from the store. Now he's helped us with our yard and given us watermelon, darn, I need to catch up and even the scale.
Just minutes after getting in the kids in the bath, the doorbell rings. Always nerve racking when Eric isn't hear since my Japanese conversation skills are pretty low. It was the other neighbor I sent banana bread to. I thought, "Oh no...what did you bring?" I understood she thanked me for the bread yesterday and asked if I like peaches. We do. She pulls out a peaches in jelly and gave it to me. We haven't tried it since we just got it...maybe after dinner. Looks like I need to even the scale with her too!