Thursday, July 14, 2011


Thank You, Lord!!!

Yesterday I got an e-mail from Takumi.

"Hi Tani-san, I just came back from my trip yesterday."

Trip? Trip? Did I hear anything about Takumi going on a trip?

"I walked and skateboarded and hitchhiked around the LA area."


"In order, I went to LA, North Hollywood, West Hills, Topanga, Malibu, Oxnard, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Carpintaria, Lake Casitas, Ojai, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Santa Clarita, Palmdale, Victorville, and finally to West Covina to see the family."

I can't believe my son. I sure am glad I learned after the fact.

Two years ago, Takumi came back to Japan for the summer and spent a week hitchhiking and skateboarding around northern Japan. Even then I thought it a daring thing to do. There are NO hitchhikers in Japan and while Japan is a fairly safe country, still... the crime rate is rising.

But hitchhiking in California?! In Los Angeles?! That sounds extremely dangerous!

Later yesterday I got to chat with Takumi.

"So...I got your e-mail this morning. I was surprised you were hitchhiking around California. That sounds dangerous. Aren't there a lot of strange people in California?" (Sorry.... I can say that... I am from California!) "Nobody attacked you? Nobody tried to steal your money? (Did you have money?) Nobody tried to kill you?"

"One person gave me $40 after dropping me off."

"Wow! That's amazing! Why? Did you look so down and out?"

"I guess it reminded him of his old times or something. Most people who pick up hitchhikers used to hitchhike too. Everyone looked happy when they dropped me off."

Takumi took pictures along his way and I have to admit, in all the pictures that he took at arm length of himself and the people who picked him up, everyone was smiling broadly! Women picked him up! Couples picked him up! Former hippies picked him up!

For the most part Takumi slept on the beach or in parking lots or in the desert. He said it was cold at night but his pictures show him with a sunburn so I guess it was hot during the day.

Once back at my mother's house, Marcy wouldn't hear of him hitchhiking back to Long Beach! I can picture her freaking out that her nephew is living so dangerously! She drove him the hour back home. When I am not around to worry about my son it is nice to know that Marcy does it for me!

So, Takumi and California have proved me wrong. There are A LOT of nice people willing to pick up hitchhikers! I am really happy to learn that! Thank You, Lord again!

But Takumi... no more hitchhiking trips please...

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