I’m back in New Jersey now. Unfortunately, my car  wouldn’t start today so instead of being out and about I’ve been at home this morning cleaning and sorting through my things. At the moment, I am waiting for AAA to come to the house and try to start the car and possibly tow it to an auto repair shop.

I arrived in Seattle last Tuesday and spent a few days there, and then I arrived in NJ late Saturday night. Reverse culture shock is tough! Some of the most irritating things thus far have been:

1) people talking loudly on their cell phones on the bus about all sorts of personal business (in Japan talking on your cell on the bus/ train is prohibited)

2) one man screaming on his cell phone using the f-word and other profanity with blatant disregard for those around him (I scolded him politely and then moved my seat)

3) public transportation not being on time (one bus was 15 minutes late! in Japan everything in ON TIME 99.5% of the time to the minute)

4) having to pay $40 to take my bags on the flight from Seattle to Philly – crazy!

5) horrible customer service – slow service, long lines, no pride in one’s job, not really caring about customers

Oh well…hopefully things will get easier. Here are some of my favorite photos from Seattle:


A wonderful market in Seattle


loved all the colors of the organic fruits and veggies



shot inside the market


so many fresh, delictible fruits


beautiful flower bouquets on display



fresh fish




funny shirt


fancy caramel apples


these cost about $8 per apple!


hadn’t seen anything this sweet in a while



Puerto Rican food- I had forgotten how HUGE American portions are!


Seattle has a plethora of amazing restaurants. I was amazed at how many places there were to choose from!

I am so, so glad I got to stop in Seattle. What an amazing city! I didn’t get to see Mt. Ranier, though, but maybe another time.

In other news, I have been wanting to write this for a while, and now I finally can – I am dating someone, a wonderful guy named Matthias (pronounced Mah-tee-us). He is German and has been living in Japan for the past six years. I hardly know where to begin to describe what a great guy he is, but the most important things are that he plans to be a long-term missionary in Japan, he loves God with all his heart, and we both love learning about other cultures and meeting people from all over the world. He is especially gifted at languages (he speaks four fluently, including Japanese) and spent time a high school exchange student in PA and speaks flawless English without any accent at all. He plans to visit me for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait – I am counting the days. I’m sure I’ll write more about him later on this blog. That’s all for now!