pen pals: carrie + nami

There’s nothing better than making fast friends with a stranger. Especially when not speaking the same language.


A bit of backstory… Matt started going to the Chief Blackhawk Antique Motorcycle Swap Meet in Davenport, Iowa several years ago. I joined Matt for the trip the following year, and since then, it has become a family tradition to head to Iowa every September for the meet.


I remember him sending me pictures via text that first year, specifically pics of a Japanese crew that had made the pilgrimage to Davenport. He had no clue who these kids were, but he loved their pants! And so did I.


Yet again last September, we saw the same motorcycle enthusiasts from Japan at the meet… all still wearing the same pants from years past. Finally, instead of just gawking at them (and their pants), we introduced ourselves…


Without speaking the same language, we had a beautiful conversation. But all I could really understand them to say was, “I love your pants.” (I had on a pair of our women’s chino trousers named Pontes)


I said, “Wait. No. I love YOUR pants! I have loved your pants for 3 years!”


They giggled, I giggled. We were both having an affair with each other’s pants.


Later that night, we hung out in the pits at the vintage motorcycle race. Our new friends – Nami, Mikiko, Take, and Masa – were there, as well.


Mikiko approached me again saying, “I love your pants.”


I said, “Ok. Let’s trade.”


With body/sign language, I showed her what I meant: You take your pants off and give them to me. I take my pants off and give them to you. She blushed and then ran off to update her crew.


Nami, who spoke a bit of English, came back with Mikiko and said, “We accept your plan.”


So we wrangled up about 10 guys from the pits and told them to form a circle around Mikiko and me, eyes to the outside of the circle. We both dropped our drawers in the makeshift dressing room and quickly pulled up our new pants.



Since then, Mikiko, Nami and I have become pen pals, and forever we will be friends/sisters because of having each others’ pants.





P.S. My first correspondence from Nami:



I’m NAMI. I met you in DAVENPORT.

Sorry, I’m sorry for the delay in the mail.

I arrived my home, last Thursday.

Please waiting for the poster…


Because I print one sheet at a time. 


I saw your web site.

Pants that you have MIKIKO and trade, right? 

Your work…It is very nice pants.

Please you see our website.


Our project are:

MASA; building motorcycle.

TAKE; made lethercrafts(ex. helmets,seat..)

MIKIKO; made clothes.

NAMI; designning Graphic(poster,sticker..) & website.


By the way

I want a photo that I took and MIKIKO with PICKERS, you do not know the people who have taken?

If you know, please let me know.


I will e-mail, but also slower reply.(because I’m not good at English)