Last Sunday was our turn to clean the neighbourhood community centre. This activity causes massive eye-rolling on my part as a9 it's cleaned after every use so there is really no need for each sub-group of the neighbourhood to clean it AGAIN each weekend. There is literally nothing to clean!
And also, the arranged start time is 8:00. But I have never been in over 10 years here where we weren't FINISHED by 8:00.
Huh? How is that possible you ask?
Well, everyone is in a race to be early. not just early, the earliest. So when I arrived at 7:45 half the team were already there. Ridiculous!
Anyway this time there was a rather surprising outcome of neighbourhood community centre cleaning and it started with good morning:
Good morning. You have been very busy lately! (this is my immediate downhill neighbour. The one who used to tell me that I had such incredibly energetic children, truly the picture of vitality and good health. Pretty sure the subtext was they were unbearably loud but she always smiles when she talks and I made a conscious decision to take everything at face value. If she wants to complain I reserve the right to make her do it straight up! So there's probably some subtext here but who knows what it is so let's just smile and keep the conversation going.)
Yes, we finally finished rice planting so now it's just weeding, seeding and keeping the frass trimmed around the edges of the fields.
And you have wheat, too.
Yes, as soon as wet season is over we'll be harvesting.
Wow! You're really into farming!
Yes, I keep having more ideas of what I want to grow. I think I'm lucky I we've run out of field or I'd be out there with a headlamp. haha!
There's plenty of land available if you want to expand you know. (This is the head of our neighbourhood sub-committee, head of the local JA and the head son of one of the big clans in the neighbourhood. He is also 6 feet tall and speaks in a cool baritone. I'm kind of in awe of him.)
Really? In Okubo?
Yes! (the next few minutes consisted of a number of neighbours discussing unused fields around us in a horrible code that I have yet to be able to crack- the childhood nicknames of the patriarchs of each family- Tecchan, Yoshi, Tatsu etc. so I just kind of stood there but it ended up with the neighbours coming to an agreement on a field that would be perfect for our needs.)
We finished cleaning and I went home and K innocently asked
How was cleaning?
I'm sure he was expecting me to say same as usual or probably 'guess what time we finished? No go on, guess!)
I don't think he was expecting
What do you think about taking on another 2500 m2 of field?
But, after some courtesy visits (chaperoned by the bigwig) that's what we've done!
Say hello to the new field:
Every bit of brown in that picture is ours to use. Wow!! Look at the possibilities!!
And I will stop complaining (at least for a while) at the pointlessness of neighbourhood community centre cleaning!