Saturday, December 02, 2006

Shannon's Final Japan Post

Hi, everyone. This is Shannon, and this may be my last “Japan trip” post because we leave tomorrow around 11:30 a.m. for the airport.

Josh has been doing his seminar all day here in Tokyo. Sono went along with him, and I stayed behind with Grandma Sato and the children, since JQ is still recovering and Emma appeared a bit flushed today. They came home this evening just before I started writing this post, and left again for dinner. They reported that close to 750 people came to the conference which is excellent for Japan, and many more than they had originally expected. It is neat to see Josh making a difference here and being able to encourage these people in the Lord. Maybe he can report more on this…or tell about it next Sunday in church.

I have really enjoyed being here in Tokyo. The place where we are staying is in a very residential part of Tokyo, and it is so quaint. There is so much more to explore. Even tonight, while going to the grocery store (today has been all about food for the trip home), I discovered a new area that I didn’t know was so close. I have really enjoyed the walks I’ve gotten to take, and seeing the local people. About a mile’s walk away is a busier, more “big city” part of Tokyo, where we went three days in a row. This was where Josh took all the pictures of the food a few posts ago. I went back there today to purchase food for our trip. That was quite the adventure—taking a taxi by myself (I would have preferred to walk, but because the kids are under the weather, I didn’t want to be gone long), purchasing food (most everything is written in Japanese characters), and getting home (the taxi driver dropped me off in the wrong place – but I found my way on foot).

Here is a list of the food I purchased there (by pointing at what I wanted and holding up the number of fingers for quantity) for lunch and for the trip home:

For lunch today for the kids, myself and Grandma Sato:
1 large Sesame Bean Sprout Salad
2 Chicken on Skewers
2 Chicken with Spring Onion on Skewers
2 what I thought was Beef on Skewers but turned out to be Gizzard on Skewers which turned out to be Skewers in the trash can
A small bag of clementines
Some sweet bread and 2 sticky buns
1 package of tiny fried crabs for G’ma Sato (she loves these)
For the flight home for everyone:
1 package Brie Cheese
1 package Cheddar Cheese
1 Loaf of French Bread
10 cucumber maki rolls for Josh (like california rolls, only just cucumber)
12 chicken on skewers (yakatori)
3 small sesame bean sprout salads
3 containers of cashews
2 packages of raisins
1 package Hersheys kisses
1 package Ricola cough drops
There. Now you know what we’ll be eating for lunch. Isn’t that funny?

Speaking of funny, Sono, Josh’s mother, loves to laugh at my Japanese, because I keep saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. For instance, I learned, “nice to meet you” which is “Ha-je-me-mash-tay” but accidentally said it AFTER I had spent time talking with people. It turns out that it is only something you say when you first meet them. Then the other thing I said wrong was when I was buying Joshua Quinn’s clogs. I had learned that “Oi-shee” meant “very good” but I didn’t know that it was like saying “delicious! So after I bought the clogs I said to the salesman, “Oishee,” because I was happy to find them and thought it was “very good.” But what I really said was that Joshua Quinn’s clogs were delicious.

The last thing I have to say is that bikes are all over this city. They are just as common as cars and you really do have to watch out for them or you can get hit. Both male and female bikers ride really fast, and basically as if they were in a car. They don’t look at you and smile. They are on a serious mission to get somewhere and they are not timid. Joshua Quinn almost got hit today when we came around a corner and almost collided with a biker. Also, there aren’t really sidewalks and the roads are narrow, so everyone is sharing the road. But it also makes for a very interesting time. Most bikes have at least one basket on their bike and many have two. Mothers will put babies in the baskets, strap babies to their backs while riding, or some have child seats attached to their bikes. I’ve several mothers carrying two babies with her on her bicycle.

Well, although I really would like just a few more days to explore, I am also looking forward to being home and seeing all the faces of the dear people I love the most – our family, friends, our beloved church, and my dearest little one, Mary Kate. And Lord willing, I am looking forward to warming my home with a Christmas tree, and enjoying the little mundane things that make my home my own.

A few prayer requests for the way home would be:
-protection for Josh from a travel migraine (he had a very bad one coming)
-pray that JQ’s terrible cough would improve and not worsen
-pray that Emma would not get the flu that JQ had (we got word tonight that everyone in the Broman family has been vomiting & JQ all the children played together quite a bit last week)
-joyful hearts during the long journey
-smooth adjustment back to Eastern Standard Time
Thanks for keeping up with us via the blog. It has been fun to share this trip with you!



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