August 05, 2007

Holiday Hitching Japanese Style

Andrew (10) and I took advantage of our being free from school for about three weeks to visit our friends in Fukuoka (see pics here). We used our (now) tried and proven method of travel- hitchhiking at toll-road service areas with signs.

The 'thumb' method isn't really understood by Japanese motorists, but by positioning ourselves near the restaurants and restrooms with signs explaining what we're doing and where we're going, we get plenty of interest -- especially as 外国人 geijin (outside country people). A few folks picked us up for free English lessons, but most seemed to be motivated by a blend of various degrees of curiosity and kindness.

We had beautiful weather nearly the entire week that we were gone-- though we had to wait out the typhoon that grazed Fukuoka the night before we left to come back. Even a late night wait on the way down meant I could put my feet up and enjoy the full moon while Andrew dozed beside me.

A big THANK YOU to all the folks we met along the way and to the families with whom we stayed and played-- the Fukuoka Firecracker Home and Crystal and family-- also Funatsu-san, Aiko, Pamela, and their families-- Claudia, Megumi, and others . We love and miss you (that's why we visited!) and will look forward to seeing you again.

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