It’s Tuesday afternoon here in Nagoya. Tuesday is my unofficial day off, I think.

It’s been a nice, quiet first ten days back overall. I dislike those initial days in which everything seems weird, like the Twilight Zone and the awful jet lag. This past weekend was busy with packing my things for a possible move in the next few weeks, meeting Japanese friends downtown, learning and teaching Japanese, and spending time with friends who live in my apartment complex.  A new missionary family arrived the other day named Joe and Juliet Kim – they have two little children and plan to be here in Japan for at last the next ten years. I cannot imagine committing to be here for ten years! It blows my mind but they are very committed to being missionaries here and are about to start the journey of learning the language, culture, and ways of the people. I vaguely remember just coming to Japan back in 2001 – it was a lonely and hard time that I’d rather not think about too much. But I learned a lot about this country and its people and myself during those two years in Sendai, Japan from 2001-2003.

Possibly the most interesting thing going on is that I am going to move in with a new roommate but I don’t know when. I currently live alone and while I like living alone, I cannot afford to keep paying the bills alone. I checked out the place where I might be moving and it’s bigger, nicer, newer, and fancier, plus it’s $10 cheaper a month! Not to mention a great roommate! I also will be living closer to the subway line which will help save money. I will write more about that when I know for sure if and when I am moving.

Saturday I taught the “Saturday Club” kids class at the Green Chapel and we had some new children. I enjoyed doing that and got to be with my old class again. I had been teaching there every week until December but the commute was very long and my boss decided maybe it’s just too much. All the kids from that class showed up and heard the Bible lesson, too (in Japanese). I wish I had taken photos!!!

Sunday I went to the Green Chapel for church and enjoyed that, too. A lady who is my age from Uganda was visiting the Green Chapel for the first time so I got to make a new friend. I got a funny photo of the pastor’s kids after church while we were eating:

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Miku strangling Seiru (they weren’t serious)

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Normal shot of happy siblings

I went downtown yesterday to meet my friend Yoriko who lives in Philly. She said she’ll be in Philly for the next five or six years so I will see her again when my time in Nagoya ends. She is here visiting her family (her hometown is close to Nagoya) and I was glad to see her again!

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I ran into my friend Jennifer while I was with Yoriko in a stationary shop. We went to the basement floor of the department store and enjoyed looking at the assortment of desserts and Japanese foods. You can find foot-long shrimp there, fresh baked goods, Godiva chocolates, all sorts of cakes (we saw a chocolate cake for $95), and tons of wonderful Japanese foods. We got an assortment of things such as rice balls, a fruit sandwich (fruit on white bread), hot Chinese buns with meat inside, crab croquets, etc. and sat on benches to eat.

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Shopping with Jennifer

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Beautiful Japanese food – so colorful!
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I got reprimanded after I took this photo but it was worth it. This is a giant, steaming vat of baby octopus! I have grown to like octopus since I’ve come here but not like this.

Lastly, I must write about how safe Japan is! A friend wrote on her blog, “Japan really is a safe place. I never really thought about it much before because it just seems normal here. But here are some examples. I never have to zip my purse shut or worry about it opening when Im shopping or walking around town. If someone bumps into me in a busy place, I dont panic and check the contents of my purse. I know everything is still in there and the brushing was just an accident. Likewise, men often have large wallets sticking out of their back pockets. It would be so easy to take them if someone were so inclined, but it just doesn’t happen.”

It’s so true! I left my bicycle unlocked for a whole month (not on purpose) while I was away and no one touched it. It’s weird to be a place where stealing is NOT common. Also, people turn in lost things such as cameras and purses. It’s wonderful to be in a place like this but hard to get un-used to when I go back home. I will enjoy it while it lasts!

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