☆ Cherry blossoms have bloomed in Hyde Park, New York.

The cherry blossoms have bloomed at our brewery in New York. The double cherry blossoms had been blooming a few days ago, but today the Yoshino cherry blossoms have also started to bloom, although they are still one-fourth in bloom. We planted about 30 cherry trees on the premises because our brewery is the Japanese sake brewery, so it will be magnificent when they are in full bloom in a few years.

My secret goal for next year is to enjoy viewing cherry blossoms in Japan first, and then to drink sake while viewing cherry blossoms bloom in front of our brewery in the U.S. 3 to 4 weeks later! Generally, drinking sake outdoors is restricted in the U.S., but they are very generous to allow us to drink DASSAI Blue while viewing the cherry blossoms in a particular area of the brewery's grounds. I guess they recognized "having a drink while viewing the cherry blossoms" as a part of the Japanese cultures. Rather, I suspect they just wanted to drink sake themselves....

By the way, there is also a stage in the garden of the brewery. If you are confident, you can do karaoke here.

☆Scary! Scary! Scary!

I told you in a previous newsletter that I bought a Ford Mustang as my "treat" for being an expat, but if my wife does not learn to drive, she will have nothing to do at home here and will have to stay indoors. I was actually hesitating, but I reluctantly decided to have her practice driving. She drives reasonably well in Yamaguchi even though she is not a very good driver, so I thought that she would be able to get used to driving in the U.S. as well. I am sure she thinks so, too.

I don't want her to be able to go anywhere by car, but I let her drive my car and am sitting next to her on the way to and from work so that she can go back and forth between our home and the brewery. However, this is really scary for me. Moreover, the Mustang has a lot of horsepower. Thus, my body swings back and forth. People in the U.S. may be aware of the danger, so they don't come too close to us thankfully. We were never pulled over by others.

Of course, this was her first time to have the steering wheel on the left side of the car and to drive on the right side of the road. I am always sitting next to her on the car, and this is “outrageously scary”! However, I have no choice but to have her drive while sitting next to hear, so we spend "15 minutes of terror" every day. I am sure this fear will make my hair white. (Nope, my hair has already gone white!!!)

☆I can't complain so much.

As I was talking about this, I heard that the three of them who were posted here rented a car at JFK airport and drove two and a half hours to Poughkeepsie, where they were living, partly because they have luggage. They also said “I was scared". Considering what they experienced, I think I would be punished if I said "scary" about “15 minutes of terror”.