As promised, I went to Brasserie Quixote for lunch yesterday. It was great.. Samantha was supposed to go with me, but we misjudged the time and she had a class starting at 1 so she couldn’t go with me. So, I went by myself…which was still a blast! I started off from the Center and went to the traffic light to cross the street. As I was walking up, I saw a man drive up next to the little restaurant, park and get out. He waved at the woman walking up to the crosswalk and she waved back and then he went inside. I figured she knew him, so I said, “Konichiwa” and motioned to the restaurant and asked if it was good food (through English and hand motions…I’m not that good at Japanese at all yet). She looked at me then nodded and said yes. I motioned that I was hungry, and the light turned so we started walking. She had several bags in her hands, but continued on to the door of the restaurant. She motioned for me to come inside, and we were the only three people in the place. It was slightly bigger than the other restaurant, but not really that much bigger.
She said something to the man/owner, and he grinned and motioned for me to have a seat. At this point, I kind of froze. I didn’t know what to do. I sat down with my back against the wall so that I could keep my eyes on the restaurant…I wanted to be an active observer if a lot of people came in. No one else came in, though…the whole time I was there. He asked me what I wanted to eat, and I asked if he had udon…which he said no. I froze again. I had my Japanese phrase book out and began flipping frantically through the menu listing in it. He came over to the table and was looking at the book…I still didn’t have any idea. Every time I mentioned something, he said no. So, I showed him my book, and asked him to look through the listings. The menu had both the hiragana/katakana and the romanji (english transliteration), and then the English translation. He then pointed at an egg omelette with fried rice (omuraiss) and asked if that was ok. I nodded quickly and he was off behind the counter to start cooking.
While I was waiting for my food, the woman came over and began to talk with me. I think she felt bad that I was sitting by myself…but neither of us had much understanding of each others’ language. We picked through some random comments and phrases…and got our names settled, and even our ages. I asked if the owner was her father…at this point he had come back and was watching us talk and would add his name and age and whatnot as the questions rose up. He had pretty good English…much better than the woman…and much better than my Japanese. Turns out that he is the conductor for the Shimonoseki Wind Ensemble and Shirayama plays the clarinet. I was so excited…since music, more than anything, is my second language…so I asked when the next concert was. It’s June 15th at 2pm, and I told them I want to go. It’s a free concert and the man is going to bring my ticket down to the Center for me once they’re cut. Shirayama has a solo for that concert too, so I’m excited to go and hear! I was really sad that I didn’t get to hear the Cincinnati Symphony before I left…so I’m excited to be able to listen to a large instrumental group play while I’m here. They were excited that I play violin too. They were really interested in it. I’m not near as good as the Japanese violinists, but it did provide some great conversation for us in the next hour and half that I was there.
By the way, did I mention that the Cranes, another family on our team here, used to work for the Cincinnati Symphony?? David was concert master and I forget what Marcy did, but I talked with David about the directors and guest instrumentalists…he has met Joshua Bell! and Jesus Lopez-Cobos, and Paavo Jaarvi, and Erich Kunzel. I was soo jealous…I mean…Joshua Bell and Paavo! I would love to meet either of those men…but just to hear them in concert is enough. I’ve seen Paavo conduct the CSO several times, and Erich…but I have yet to see Joshua Bell perform. That would be a dream come true.
So, back to the restaurant..I’m very excited. I’m going to frequent that place. I have been praying for God to give me a focal point, and to give it to me quickly, so that I can be the most productive with my time here. He has, in my student Mika and her friend Hiroka, and now in this restaurant. I’m hoping to be able to build some good relationships with these people. Yesterday Mika stopped by the Center to give me some special udon noodles. Her parents were in the car waiting for her, so I went down to meet them and they were very nice. I’m very glad that I got to meet them and they can see who their daughter is spending time with. It’s very hard to meet Japanese families, and you are seldom invited into their homes, so I’m glad God provided that opportunity for me to meet them.
On another note, the ladies on my team met up today for a prayer time. I am so excited that I get to serve with these wonderful women. They are great, and I feel like I am going to learn so much from them. Aki said today that it seems I’ve been here for such a long time already…she has to remind herself that I’ve only been here for a few weeks. She said I fit in perfectly. Isn’t that how God works? 🙂