BBQFor dinner we had a BBQ with the fisherman and told him about our plans to meet Taro’s family in Shirahama and then go to Shingu to hook up with the SDF. He didn’t want to come with us, but we told him that we’d be back after we caught up with Taro’s family. It was really nice to have some fresh food again. He had onions in his garden, and had also caught some shrimp earlier. It’s impossible to describe how amazing it was to eating shrimp from the barbie after only eating dried or instant food for so long.

While we were eating, a centipede scurried out of the nowhere and joined the party. I’d never seen insects like this in New Zealand and they really freak me out. I didn’t know they were poisonous until I came to Japan, but apparently they can give you a proper bite. I pushed my chair out backwards and jumped up when I saw it. Probably a bigger reaction than was warranted. The fisherman, who’s name I never caught laughed at me, and Ayako picked up the disgusting beast with some tongs and popped it into the BBQ. In case you were wondering, roast centipede smells bad.

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We slept in the garage, and got up early. After a little more rice planting, we thanked the man and told him we’d be back to see him soon. He didn’t seem particularly interested in us, and now that I think about it, he didn’t ask a single question. I think he might have been happy for the company, but it’s difficult to say. He seemed quite distant or removed from everything. As though he was just taking everything as it came and wasn’t surprised about anything. The only time his voice rose was when we talked about the news or the government. More than anything I got the feeling that he didn’t like being lied to and taken for a fool. I do hope he’s okay and we can catch up with him again after we meet Taro’s family.

After leaving his house, we drove along more windy, rural roads until we reached the family house. The lack of contact had Alex worried, and after some heated debate with Taro, we decided to watch the house for a few hours, while he continued to attempt to call his brother. The house does look like it has been set up well from first appearances. It appears that his brother had the foresight to set up two cars parked in opposite directions in front. Presumably so that they can make an escape in either direction, should the need arise.

Taro still hasn’t been able to connect with his brother, and we have seen no movement from the house, so all we can do now is to go and check it out. There’s a feeling of nervous excitement in the air. We might finally be able to stay somewhere safe for a while. Things have definitely picked up and all things considered, I am strangely optimistic about how things are going to turn out. The fisherman, Taro’s family and then meeting up with SDF (Self Defence Force). Those are all positive steps and I think it’s a sign that we are heading in the right direction. Maybe the government is right, and the worst of it is over.

Still in the car watching the house. Taro is going to knock on the door, and if no one answers, he will enter first. It’s not like all of those American movies where everyone has guns. The best we’ve got in case things go pear shaped are Alex’s baseball bat with the nails in it, two spades, a few knives and a hammer. It looks like it’s time to go in. Wish us luck.

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