The Love Bus was riding around Moscow's suburbs.
In the Bus, Japan's Love representative, Hide was sitting next to the very shy Aya .
Hide「Which one is it！」
Aya 「This one! Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,. This one」
Hide「I'm not done yet! Your so impatient」
Hide「Stop it. Ok, ok, ok ,ok, ok. Ha, ha, ha. Are you in kindergarten? Ok, ok. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha」
From Hide 's diary:“I wanna get to know Aya more, and I want her to get to know me. The time we're spending together now is important”
After a two hour ride.
Mie「Oh, I love this smell」
Aya 「Yeah, we're deep into the nature」
They had arrived to one of Moscow's suburban villages.
That person was Sasha the driver's friend, Tatianna.
Sasha「This place is called "daacha"」
"Daacha" means "cabin".During the Soviet era, parts of the nationalized land were given to the people, where cabins called "daacha" were built. There one could live self-sufficiently, from growing vegetables in the field, and drinking natural spring water. It is said that 70% of Moscow's citizens were able to taste the "daacha" slow life.
Then Tatianna said:
Tatianna「Give me a hand and I'll treat you to some tea」
And they were off to gather home-made Russian tea. But for some reason, they went in the forest.
There was a 150 year old fir tree.
Tatianna「Ok, get me some fir cones」
「There's some here」
When they finished gathering fir cones as they had been told.
Tatianna「We have to boil water in that samovar」
A samovar is a 19th century water boiling device. It works by burning fuel in the middle part and water in the surrounding part in order to make it boil.
「You put that in there？」
Actually, it is said that when you use fir cones as fuel the tea absorbs the aroma and becomes tasty.
Then, after a 10 minute wait, the delicious tea was ready.
「Wow. It looks good, wow」
What they had there was two kinds of indispensable Russian jam.
In Japan it is customary to put some (jam) in your tea. However...
Arashi「You eat it?」
Mie「And then drink the tea」
Arashi「Delicious, delicious. Like, it adds to the tasteあ」
Aya 「Aaah, it's good！」
The next day, TK, the Yankee-flavored one was sitting next to Mie , the Kansai gal, on whom he had a lock.
Mie「That's it, that's it...」
Mie「It will be Umechan 's birthday soon, you know」
Mie was talking about Umechan 's approaching birthday.
TK「We should save some money for a present or something. Like, something exciting would certainly be nice」
FromTK 's diary: “I want to help Mie. I'll do my best as the treasurer”
TK the treasurer started to manage their frugal life.
TK「Ok everybody, check the money you have left」
First, he collected any leftover pocket money. Furthermore, their daily lunch consisted of bread only. Of course, even while eatingTK was counting the money.
TK“For Umechan （'s birthday party）, I start thinking and counting the money we can use from 5 in the morning”
Thanks toTK 's efforts they were steadily saving money.
On the day of Umechan 's birthday, the other six had borrowed the hotel's restaurant and were decorating it.
Group「Happy birthday to you!」
Group「Happy birthday dear Umechan♪」
「Here you are, Umechan」
The birthday party, including alcohol too, was a big success！
Then Suuzan gave Umechan a present.
Umechan「Wow, that's great！」
It was a portrait of Umechan. It was so resembling, it was almost scary.
That night, there was TK who had made sure the party was a success.
TK「Man, I'm so drunk」
Influenced by his drunken condition, he found it in himself to call out Mie.Then, Mie arrived.
Mie「What？What you just said was weird」
TK「Weird？Yeah, well, it's like, compared to when we're inside, such a situation is proper to make the conversation roll」
TK「In view of the success of the party, I was thinking, like you came up with the idea and I was the treasurer, I wanted to ask you what you thought about the time we spent as friends... 」
Mie「You stink！You reek of alcohol！」
TK「Sorry about that. Bear with me here」
Mie「TK,you shouldn't escape through alcohol」
Mie「It's really not good」
Mie「If you can't do things with your own strength it's meaningless」
Mie「Otherwise you'll need alcohol forever」
Mie「No more vodka」
TK wanted to have a serious talk, but he got scolded instead.
That day in TK's diary: “It was the first time I was scolded by a girl. Man, what a (good) feeling！”
The next day, the Love Bus was leaving Moscow, the capital, and riding on a road going east. In the Bus,Suuzan and Mie were sitting next to each other. Mie , the Kansai girl, wears a navel ring and loves fashion. On the other hand,Suuzan is a young man devoting his life to painting, hoping to become a painter.
Then Suuzan said:
Suuzan「How much a year do you spend on clothes？」
Mie「What？It depends on the situation, on the day. I don't by really expensive clothes, you know」
Suuzan「In a month, about 10 000 yen a month？」
Mie「Let me see, I usually spend as much as 30 000 yen a month」
Suuzan is the opposite type.
Suuzan「I don't spend more than 7000 yen a year」
Mie「No！You're kidding！！How do you do that？Where do you shop？The flea market or something？」
Suuzan「Yeah, sometimes at the flea market. Basically I don't buy clothes」
Mie「Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha」
Suuzan「I bought only this (T-shirt) for 500 yen」
Mie「That's cheap！At the flea market？」
Suuzan「No, not at the flea market. At a regular second hand shop」
Mie「Oh, second hand shops, eh?」
Suuzan「Even for used clothes, like 500, if it's not under a 1000 yen there's no way I'm buying anything！」
Mie「Really, you're so strict」
Suuzan「Well, strict... I bear with that, but if I wanna eat good rice and curry, like, I'd rather spend money on food...」
That day in Mie 's diary “Suuzan is really weird, seriously. Our lives are too different. There's no mistake, we're really opposites”
Only on Ainori would such different people be able to meet.
After a four hour ride, they arrived at Nizhny Novgorod.During the Soviet era, the city prospered in the ammunition business. It was an industrial city were foreigners were forbidden to enter.
The group had gone to a restaurant for lunch.
「Here's the food」
Mie「That looks really good. What is it?」
It was Russia's homemade 「Pel'meni」They're Russian style steamed dumplings in a small jar, shut with an egg, similar to a "chawanmushi".
Mie「Hot！Hot！Oh, it's good！It's good！」
TK「It suits the Japanese taste, you know」
Umechan「It's been a while since I had something like that♥」
That's afternoon, with a serious expression on his face, Arashi was writing down something. Arashi was writing in his now well-known 「Power Up notebook」.The 「Power Up notebook」 is where Arashi disorderly keeps the important knowledge he gets from books and people. Let's see what knowledge Arashi has added during his trip in Russia.
・If you concentrate on something even for only an hour a day, in a month it will amount to something considerable.
・When someone refuses to buy something from you, that's when the real selling game starts.
・Idling: when a car's engine is not in use.
・気にしないで :・・・NO PLOBLEM*
・Hiragana writing tips (literally :class) **
「あ」(ah)・・・Round and slow
「ら」(ra)・・・Slow and towards the side
「し」(shi)・・・Slow and quick
Arashi was certainly more empowered.
*(ki ni shinai de = don't worry about it)
**(What's funny about this is that hiragana is the first syllabary Japanese learn from as early as kindergarten)
The next day, Hide, Japan's Love Representative, had invited the shy Aya ,25, for a boat ride.
Restless, he couldn't say anything. 5 minutes later...
Hide「Back in senior high, what, what, committee were you sitting on？」
Hide「Back in senior high, ha ,ha, ha back in senior high school...」
Aya 「What？What committee...」
Hide「What committee were you sitting on？」
Aya 「What committee？I don't know, I don't remember」
Hide「Right, you don't remember」
Hide「Everybody forgets that, seriously」
Aya 「Yeah, you do, ha, ha」
Hide「Like, like you know, err, eeeerrr, you know, like. I have this habit of saying "like" you know」
Aya 「Yeah, like...」
Hide「Like, eeeerrrr, eerr, sometimes you know」
Aya 「Are you ok？Are you cool？」
Hide「Yeah, I'm cool. I'm cool, right? I'm always cool」
Hide“What the...？I thought I was cool. I should be. I wonder if I wasn't restless. I thought, maybe I look like a kid. Which is it? I'm not Yuu, for crying out loud. I don't think I have such shortcomings. Aaah, but like, like, that was a bit sad back there”
Hide , who said it was sad, was looking happy.
That other night was the one that triggered Hide 's emotions. On that night, Hide said the following.
Hide「Maybe, in the near future, I'll say the word. That "two letter" (note: Japanese kana = すき = su ki = I like you) word」
That word you tell someone when you think about them so much... But to say that word, it takes a lot of courage...
Oose 「Bukuro, I like you」
Mikarin「I like you」
Numatchi「I really like you, Yuukun」
Seriha「I like you, Itchi」
Junpei「I like you, Riko」
Kouji「I like you, Natchi」
Yuukun「I really, really like you」
I like you. That "two letter" (note: Japanese kana = すき = su ki = I like you) word」 that Hide never said during that trip which took him through 12 countries.
Hide“Since I've met that girl, her smile has supported me tremendously, you know. There's a part of myself that comes alive when I see her smiling face”
Hide「I like Aya 」
The real trip of the man who kept wandering to find real love seemed it was about to come to an end.
The next day, the Love Bus was riding Russia's country roads. Arashi and the shy 25 year old Aya were sitting next to each other.
Aya 「Isn't it great？Like, what a panorama, eh？」
Aya 「It's really great」
Arashi「Do you know (a TV program called) "The World From a Train Window"?」
Aya 「I love it!メッチャ好きだよ」
Aya 「Yeah, I love it」
Arashi「I really like it, too」
On that day, the Love Bus had left Nizhny Novgorod behind and was heading south.
By coincidence,Arashi and Aya happened to like the same TV program.
Arashi「I've got the idea to climb Mount Fuji」
Aya 「Mount Fuji？」
Arashi「Yeah, I wanna climb it」
Aya 「No way! Me too！！」
Arashi「Are you serious？」
Aya 「Yeah, my sister was talking about climbing Mount Fuji」
Arashi「Me too, I'm planning on climbing it」
Aya 「You're serious？」
Somehow, they also both wanted to climb Mount Fuji.
Arashi「What's your favorite movie？」
Aya 「Like, when I saw it I liked it so much, that movie made me depressed for three days」
Arashi「Which one？Which one？」
Aya ・Arashi「...in the Dark」
Arashi「It's my favorite, too」
They were really excited that they had so much in common.
A three hour ride later, they arrived at Samara, the industrial city where Soyuz, the Russian version of the Space Shuttle, was built.
Municipal tramways were riding in the city.
In fact, 90% of the tram drivers are women. During WWII, women started driving the trams since men were gone to the battlefields, and it became a woman's work till this day.
The next day, the group was buying lunch at a bakery.
Suuzan「They're all piroshiki」
"Piroshiki" bread is Russia's most representative food.
In Japan, it is mostly deep-fried, but in Russia, the baked piroshikis are popular.
At 60 yen a piece, it's really reasonable！
Back to the Love Bus, they proceeded to eat the piroshikis.
Arashi「It's really good」
Arashi「It's like a nikuman」
Mie「Yeah, it's like a nikuman」
Aya 「It's good. Might be the best (food) I had since we came to Russia」
That night, Arashi had invited Aya for a chat.
Arashi「Really？When？You graduated from a technical college in Tokyo？」
アヤ「Yeah, from a technical college. I graduated in Nakano Tokyo」
Arashi「Kubota hairstyling school？」
Aya 「How do you know it？」
Arashi「I live in Nakano」
Aya 「No way！」
It turned out Aya 's technical college was close to where Arashi lived.
Arashi「Next to the station there's Donky, then Kubota. Then Marui's main office, and here is Waseda street, right? On Waseda street there's a 7-11」
Arashi「Then there's Origin Bento」
Arashi「Do you know Netz？It's a car, a car company, you know. It's called Netz」
Aya 「Yeah, yeah」
Arashi「Wasn't there something like Yamazaki bread? Looks like Yamazaki bread. It's in that area. There's an office where you can go pay your rent. It's called the Sado office, you know?」
Aya 「I don't know」
After discovering things he had in common with Aya one after another,Arashi ended up with a monologue.
Late that night, Arashi went to the staff's room.
Apparently he had something to talk about.
Arashi「Some...Somehow I'm getting really interested in Aya , yeah. No, really, it's foolish but all those things we have in common, you'd be glad, right？And they're really precise, you know. It's like you never see that. Yeah, that's it. That's it, maybe」
That day in Arashi 's diary “ Aya and I are so alike, we've bridge the distance between us. The love switch is on. I have Aya on my mind”
Arashi had started to care about Aya .
A rival with an intellectual weapon had stood in Hide 's way！