The past few weeks have been madness, in a good way, mostly. Weather has fluctuated between pouring rain and high heat and humidity, so we never know what to wear or bring anymore when we leave the house. I opt for bringing nothing because I’m lazy and end up biking home in high downpour.
I went to the zoo for the first time here! There’s actually a free zoo that’s spread throughout a park with shrines all over.
This is Watanabe Shimai with a tiger, hear her roar:
Could have been a bit more exciting….
Anyways. We also experienced an incredibly racist woman who in one breath insulted us and then told us to go back to our own countries (she refused to believe my Douryou was Japanese, she kept calling her Korean), saying that people shouldn’t ever leave their nations but should be loyal to them. And then she complemented my teeth. So I’d say the conversation went pretty well all in all.
One woman invited us over and then tried selling us insurance, which you know as missionaries we can’t exactly do, so that was unfortunate.
We happened upon a group of people on the bank of the river where people gather to smoke and drink and catch up on neighborhood gossip, and as we started talking to them, one man told me I looked like the Virgin Mary and then started doing the Hail Mary sign repeatedly. I wasn’t really sure how to respond to that…
One afternoon we had left our bikes somewhere in the city and were out an about meeting people and teaching lessons until the evening, when we realized we couldn’t remember where our bikes were or how to get there. So in the dark we meandered around until we ended up in a somewhat sketchy area. One old ojiisan was riding a motorcycle in circles in an intersection, there was an enormous pile of used goods and trash that people where fighting over, and I’m sure my Douryou and I looked a bit out of place, considering I didn’t see a single woman, or anyone under fifty, for about three blocks.
Finally we found our bikes and as we were leaving the area a police car showed up and the officer started stopping people. The police glanced at me three times to the point where when the light turned green at the traffic light (because obviously I’m a good citizen and obey traffic laws) I bolted faster than I think I ever have in a cycling sprint race. Wise? Maybe not, but I was glad to be out of there.
Besides that…. We’ve been teaching and meeting with lots of people in the Ex-pat community lately, which is a lot of fun – everyone is so diverse! Some of the usual people we teach have been really busy this week so that’s been a struggle, but it’s given us a chance to explore our area more, and I finally have most of the the area around Yokohama and Yamate memorized!
It’s really starting to feel like home. In fact, three separate people even came and asked me for directions recently, so basically I’m officially a resident.
I got the chance to go visit the temple today, which was an amazing experience, and to document here is our temple (I didn’t take this picture) and our Yamate district:
Forgive the sporadic nature of this post. Being under a time crunch can do that to you.
Pictures of Yamate for your enjoyment!
All my love!