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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

So Much to Learn (Part 2)

I love Japan. Why? The plumber did not charge us for a service call or for driving all the way out to see us…three times. He did not charge us for diagnosing the problems and researching part numbers. He did not charge us for finding a place that could fix our pump for $250. He did not charge us for anything. He helped a company from Oita City to find our home and show them the damage. The plumber asked for nothing in return. I will always be in debt to the plumber and I will return the debt by helping others that could use my help. That’s how things work in the Japan countryside.
Have I told you how wonderful my neighbor was? She contacted her son who works for one of the largest home builders in Japan. He immediately started looking for a replacement water heater. Later in the week, he came to our home and advised us to change to a propane water heater system. With the change, we would not have to worry about pipes bursting anymore. He quickly figured out how to run the gas to the heater. Later, he called and worked out a deal with the gas company to come out and install the new gas lines for free. How much? Free. As long as we stayed loyal to the gas company they would take care of us. How’s that for service? Our neighbor’s son is currently working out a way to get a water heater for close to nothing. The problem is that it is so hard to find parts. Before the tsunami, he could have easily obtained a water heater. My neighbor, her son, the gas company, the plumber…everyone was so generous and helpful.

Last year, I had spent some time with our neighbor’s husband. He was very knowledgeable in log homes and just about everything else. He carefully researched his home and used only the very best materials and craftsmanship. He was in the hospital for a year when I had seen him. He actually visited me there because I needed to see a doctor for an intestinal problem. We talked about our relocating to Japan and Tsukahara. He told me, “Ganbatte.” That was the last time I saw him. We had sent them a personalized Christmas card. Later, we had wondered how he was doing, so we called. We were asked by the neighbor if I was psychic because her husband had just passed away a couple of days before. I could not speak as I was choked with tears. I had hoped that we could have shared more time together.
I understand why the neighbor’s son has been so helpful. He lives 2 hours away and is worried about his mom. Living in Tsukahara is tough and without her husband around, she has a difficult and lonely life to look forward to. Her son wants us to move to Tsukahara and be neighbors as soon as possible and he will do whatever it takes to get that done. Goen…which means fate. I often heard that word over the course of our recent trip. I believe that we create our own fate. From the first time I saw Sakura (the neighbour’s dog) greet us two years ago, till now, fate has guided us to Tsukahara and Japan. We have decided to move in October.
George

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