Squid and Oreos Anybody?

Ok…not together.  But yes, I ate some squid today!  muahaha. 

I’m part of the Ladies’ Cell Group with Samantha and Aki, and another lady from the Philippines named Maris.  Since it was our first time meeting since I got here, we went casual and had an early lunch at a restaurant in Chofu, near where Maris lives and teaches.  The drive there from the Center was all along the shore of the Kamon Strait, and was so beautiful.  We drove under the big bridge that connects the Honshu and Kyushu islands.  It was so pretty, even in the dreary raininess that was today. 

This restaurant was pretty neat.  It had hot plates installed on the tables.  The style of food is called okonomiyaki, which is kind of like an omelette of sorts.  When you order, they bring everything out raw in a bowl, you mix it all up, and then put it on the heated plates and cook your food, even flipping it when the “omelette” gets done on the bottom.  It was pretty yummy. 

After that, we came back to the Center and I did a little grocery shopping and lesson planning.  Such an exciting way to spend the afternoon.  I’ve had some recent experiences of people approaching me to practice their English.  It’s pretty funny, because I would expect that kind of behavior when I was in China.  But in Japan, everyone is so gentle and timid…hardly anyone approaches someone they don’t know unless they absolutely have to, and even then, the apologies and bowing are sooo intense, it’s like they have put themselves through real physical pain.  It’s so strange, the diametric opposite characteristics of the two cultures, but I feel like I’m fitting in to it fairly well. 

I had a little trouble getting on the train today, to go to Kawanaka.  I couldn’t find my listing on the time table, so I went ahead up to the platform and had to ask a conductor.  He was just as befuddled by my asking him…all I knew how to say was, Ayaragi-eki?  (Ayaragi station?)  What happened was that my train at that particular time was being conjoined to another train on the same track…so it wasn’t listed by itself on the board.  I was soo glad to step off the train and be in the right district…I don’t know if I could’ve found my way back. 

It was super rainy this evening, and it was very dark by the time my private lesson with an English teacher was over.  She was so kind to give me a ride to the station and even insisted on driving me from now on.  I was the only one there, which, in America would be very intimidating…but here, it isn’t so scary.  Misa, the English teacher, was asking me about idioms, expressions, and proverbs.  A lot of groundwork has been laid with her about Christianity, and she’s very open about it.  I told her that some of the proverbs popular in America actually come from the Bible, and I showed her the book.  She was so excited, and since she has a Bible at home, she said she’d look at them.  I pointed out the particular ones, Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and also a soft answer turns away wrath.  She laughed and said that one was for her.  I think she has a Chinese spirit…but don’t ever tell her I said so!

I think I’m getting more acclamated to the language too.  I’m starting to pick out certain words from dialogues…so that even though I don’t understand completely what’s being said, I get a word here and there.  I still have trouble speaking anything though…thank goodness that body language is relatively similar around the world.  🙂  Oh, and my skin…my face is still kind of dry, but not as bad as it was.  My biggest issue right now is the skin from my neck to my chin.  It’s very dry and kind of flaring into a rash at certain times of the day…particularly the morning and evening.  I think it’s allergies, since this is the time of year for me to be affected by the trees.  Keep me in your prayers…I know it helps!  Thanks!

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