While walking around the rice paddies with my 3 year old daughter exploring, I came across a lean-to. The rice farmers used it to store things, to get themselves out of the sun, and run their ropes from it near harvest time to scare off the birds from eating their crop.

If you are interested in what products the locals use, the contents of the lean-to gave me some good insights. There was a Japanese made stone for sharpening their cutting knives, a particular brand of water additive for sweetening their drink, and a type of match for burning the end remains of the crop before the next harvest. Farmers here are not known to make a lot of money so to splurge on a imported product from Japan certainly was interesting.

Secondly, some time ago I spoke to a western European guy making great coffee and his own gelato, and asked him, "Why be buried in this area? You could be on the tour bus route and make a lot of money as your product is great." To which he replied, "I feel good just servicing the local community". I then felt slightly guilty by even having mentioned that to him. One year later, I noticed today while cruising on the bike, he has changed his location, and lo and behold, his parking lot in front of the shop was jam packed, and so was his car park opposite (shops don't generally have a secondary parking lot) with buses and tour guides everywhere. A faint grin ran over my lips, as I was obviously surprised. Cash is obviously king!


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