Julia: Good morning! But shouldn't you be going to bed right now to get ready for Japan? Don't they sleep when we're awake?
Julia is right. Japan is on the other side of the earth so the sun is over there when it is night-time here, and vice versa. Their time is almost directly opposite of ours. They are 13 hours ahead of us. So I am typing this at 11:oo at night, but in Japan, it is 12 noon tomorrow! I could call Japan right now and talk to someone tomorrow! When we take our 13-hour flight home, we will arrive in the U.S. at about the same time we took off ! Weird, huh? Are we going to bed in the morning to prepare now? Well, no. We figure that the long flight over there will toss our systems into confusion and then we'll try to get lots of sunlight, water, light meals, and activity to help re-set our internal clocks. When you go to bed, think of us because we'll be waking up to enjoy tomorrow in Japan.
Julia: Is it true that only wealthy people can eat rice in Japan?
Hmm... this is not the case now, but it sounded familiar to me too. We did a little Google searching and learned that the Japanese have been growing rice for over 2,000 years. Because it can be stored, powerful leaders have hoarded rice during some periods of history and at one point rice was used to pay taxes instead of money. But now, everyone in Japan eats rice as part of pretty much every meal. In fact, the word for rice, gohan, can also be used as a synonym for meal. In Japan, I was often asked what was the one thing we eat with every meal. Bread? Potato? I didn't have a good answer because we don't have a common food for every meal, but when in Japan, we will try to eat like they do. Think of us when you are eating your Cheerios because I will be serving rice for breakfast.