The Sakura blossoms are out everywhere…in stores near you. As for outside, they’re chugging along doing their best to keep up with commercial media. Good luck, little blossoms.
Some experiences this week: Everyone was still sick.
We knocked on the door of a deaf old obaasan whom we wanted to visit and the equivalent of the UPS guy showed up simultaneously. The woman’s son comes to the door, looks at us, takes the package and leaves, door still wide open. We yell inside to see if she will hear us, or the son, or anyone, will, but no one comes for about ten minutes. At this point things were just awkward so we shut the door and left. I’m still confused…
We had lots of lessons, and were able to meet with several people we haven’t all transfer, thanks to other plans falling through. I have a strong testimony of #backup plans. One of the families we visited is Spanish-speaking, and we came right as the children were doing their English homework so I had a good time speaking Spanglishese (Spanish + Japanese + English).
One woman told us how much she hated gossip and then proceeded to gossip about the gossipers. I had a hard time explaining that one too.
We were able to visit our friend In the hospital and I found out she was born in 1922. She’s still strong and kicking, determined to get released from the hospital despite her cancer and go home to be with her dog. It’s heartbreaking but always so touching to spend time with her, and church members have really stepped it up and have someone visiting her almost daily so she isn’t lonely.
One day we took a 50-minute train ride to get to the base, but my companion forgot her ID (gaijin) card and so we ended up leaving her behind with our friend who just got baptized and they went out for dessert and a follow-up lesson while I went on-base to our appointment, which included bowling and helping a woman from Turkey get over her fear of preparing a presentation on her religion at a school event. She was so kind, and it was so sad that she was so afraid to do something as simple as a presentation of her beliefs, things she holds dear, due to the prejudice and judgment of others. In Turkey she also uses the term sister to others, except it’s ‘abla’. So now she calls me Smiley-abla.
Lastly, I made a huge mistake. It was quite literally, the worst. We went to visit a referral and just as I was about to ring her doorbell, her husband comes around the corner in a suit, carrying a white gift. We start talking to him and before we leave I make mention of the present, thinking he’s bringing it home for his wife. This is the conversation, translated into English:
Me: “nice bag”
Him: “oh… It’s from a funeral.”
Him: “no… A *funeral.*”
Me (slightly confused)… “Oh, well Good luck!”
…. Let it be known that ‘soshiki’ and ‘so~shiki’ sound way too similar, the former meaning new organization/company, and the latter meaning funeral.
Suffice to say, I will not be showing my face at that house again. I haven’t messed up this badly since before I came to Japan.
That’s all for this week. Pray for me. I need it, clearly.