After nearly 20 years in big Tokyo I was feeling burned out in my not-so-successful "career" in the service industry, knocking on several ceilings....so after a chance discovery of cheap old farmhouses we set out towards the countryside - but still close enough for my wife to further pursue her working live, commuting by Shinkansen while I would take care of the house and kids and build my own little cafe at home...
Our first bump came when we realized that the bank wasn't willing to give a loan for an old rundown house on some worthless property in the "Hinterland". So, we changed plans and will be building a new house. We already bought the plot last year, with about 400 square meters size, and I have started the vegetable garden beforehand, next project will be the garden house.
03 October, 2011
We finally have our "family-outing" gear together: I got myself a big Kona Mountain Bike (Model "Fire Mountain" which are exactly the readings for the two kanji that describe "Volcano" in Japanese, very fitting because one sits quite close to here!) after my "fake" Louis Garneau double-suspension cross bike crashed out under me, the design of the Japanese company that sells the bikes here apparently couldn't cope with my "bloddy foreigner" weight, also it might had to do with the fact that I never did any maintenance on the suspension! Hiromi still has her Bianchi Passo lightweight bike, also I mistreated it for the few months during which I was without my own. And for Hannah we found a Hamax Baby seat, which is attached via adapter to the seat post with two detachable pipes, making it easy to use on a different bike and most important works like a suspension, making Hannah swing up and down when we hit the rough sidewalks here. Actually on the first trip some of the milk that she had sipped before departure did swing up only and not down when she did and somehow found it's way out, but Hannah enjoyed the ride nevertheless.
Unfortunately autumn has arrived by now in Karuizawa, not letting the temperature rise above 20 degrees, so it's hard to fit a longer ride into Hannah's busy schedule of eat, drink, sleep as I am not sure whether she could sleep on the child seat with the large helmet preventing her from leaning her head against the back rest.
So we made just a short trip in the afternoon and stopped at a Cafe called "Le Petit Nid" which pleasantly surprised me by offering quite professional service without too high prices, as many places around here that are built in the vicinity of the many summer-house areas think it's enough to have about 2 kind of cakes to serve, charge good money, but do a lot of talking because they are run by old-timers, retired workers who do it more for fun than anything. And the owner is an avid biker as well it seems, having two Bianchi bikes and two other Italian road bikes standing around and inside the cafe. Unfortunately he was to busy with orders as to engage into some small talk about Coffee and Biking, so we might just have to visit that place again.