January 13th, 2018
Saturday with Stephanie
I meet Stephanie downstairs around 8:20 am because we planned to go to the school together. I apologized to her and told her what happened on our way to the school and how I was also sorry that Maggie was so worried that she even contacted her and got everyone panicking. I also told her again that her directions where fin, I didn’t get lost to Morioka station. For some reason, she still believed that I got lost on my way to the Morioka station. Maybe Maggie said something that made her think that but I do remember telling her yesterday that I got lost at Ichinoseki Station. But anyway, we got to the school and I observed Stephanie for 8 hours.
Going Out For A Deleted Birthday Dinner
It was finally 5:30 and we planned to go out to eat for a deleted birthday dinner. Since I had all this training moved to a new country and didn’t know anyone. I couldn’t really celebrate my birthday so Stephanie recommended on Thursday that we go out for dinner on Saturday night after work. Stephanie original planned to go to one of the restaurants next to our place. There were two restaurants, one was a curry place owned by a family and another was a Japanese western style. I have already been to the curry shop so we decided to go to the Japanese style restaurant. We walked back to our apartment and dropped off some of our belongings and went to the restaurant. The restaurant looked closed. The lights were turned off on the outside. Stephanie said there is usually a sign placed outside and the outside lights would be on. She thought maybe we came too early because some shops open around 6 pm. But it was after 6 pm and everything looked closed. There were some lights on inside and we saw a woman come downstairs. I tried knocking on the door a few times and an older woman came to the door. Stephanie knew Japanese and she was able to talk to her and ask her if they were closed for the night. The women told Stephanie the shop has closed down and won’t open back up. We were both sad about this. I haven’t even tried the restaurant yet and Stephanie loved eating there. Stephanie had another place in mind and we went to a pub. The pub was set up for foreigners. They had an English menu and there were some English speaking people there and some Japanese people there. We came early so the pub wasn’t too busy. There were a lot of foreigner’s poster and objects all over the place. The owner (master in Japanese I found out) had on a cap that had dreadlocks hanging from it. The owner and the waitresses seem to know Stephanie. I asked her if she comes her a lot and she said no, but it was just recently that she has because her family was in town and they went to this pub a lot and she had another friend that came to see her and she brought her friend here too. We got to sit up on the second floor at a table that had booth size chairs. We looked over the menu and the menu had a lot of foreign food like fish and chips, pizza, nachos, and so on. Stephanie asked how did I feel about smokers and I told her I can’t be around second-hand smoke because I’m allergic to it. She then said, “Good, because she doesn’t like the second-hand smoke and we will have to leave early because more people will come and the place can get a bit busy and covered in smoke.” She said if you come early its fine like now but later on it gets pretty bad in the pub. We both placed our order. We both got fish and chips and both got a different alcohol beverage. I got a strawberry ice-cream alcohol drink. Even though it’s cold outside, I still love having ice cream and it’s even better with a little alcohol in it.
Our drinks came first. My drink was so good!! It was delicious. The ice-cream seemed to
be the frozen one where it comes out of the machine still a bit frozen but it’s not completely soft ice cream either. It came in a thick glass and had some melted ice-cream on the bottom with alcohol. I don’t usually drink much but I would defiantly come back
for this. Then our dinner came. It was breaded fried fish fingers with French fries. It came with ranch dipping sauce (not exactly ranch, it was their form of tartar sauce but it was thicker and tasted more like ranch) and some ketchup. I forgot to take a picture of it because after eating the ice cream beverage, I was cold again and the food was nice and hot. I haven’t had fish and chips in awhile so it was nice to have good/bad food once in awhile. After we were done eating, I wasn’t planning on getting another drink because I’m trying to save my money since I don’t have any income coming in yet. But while I was looking at the menu, I found a nice warm alcohol drink that was cheaper than my other drink. It was pretty much hot chocolate with alcohol. I decided to order that one because it was a hot drink.
After we were done with our drinks we head out and back to our apartment. I had to go to church in the morning and hopefully, I don’t get lost. The directions seem easy enough to get to. I’m also hoping someone here can help me out with my cell phone problem and also could tell me the bus number to get to Aeon Shopping Mall. We will see soon.
Morioka Bible Baptist Church
I’m not a Baptist but the only two churches that are near where I live is a Catholic Church or a Baptist Church. I believe in evangelical but with not many options to pick from in Morioka, I had to go with this Baptist church. From there website, they seem to be open-minded and very welcoming to different types of Christian beliefs. Hopefully, I can form some relationships with some of the locals or missionaries here.
I screenshot the direction like normal and the directions seem pretty straightforward. Just take a left and a right and walk straight or about 10 minutes and I should be there. That’s exactly what I did and I found the church without any problems. I came 30 minutes early and had no clue where to go. There were two floors. The first floor had children inside and I remember on their website that they had children’s Sunday school around 9:30 am and the service starts at 10:30 am. I saw older women walk in and just watched her for a bit. She hung up her coat and I showed her my picture of the address of the church and asked if this was the place. All in English of course but she seemed to understand what I was saying. She didn’t know English and she was able to help me anyway. She told me the service was upstairs on the second floor. I just followed her and once we got upstairs, she managed to find some other people that could help me. They didn’t know English either but we managed. They gave me a form to fill out as a new member. The form was in English and Japanese. It also asked if I was Baptist and I pointed to the question and said I wasn’t a Baptist that I was a Christian. They were ok with that the and I handed back the form to them. They were trying to find me an English bible because my bible was still in a box somewhere, and they found a Japanese bible but I told them I didn’t know Japanese. And for some reason, I asked in Chinese if they had an English Bible. I said the word ‘English’ in Chinese without thinking about it and the Japanese women seem to understand that I was speaking Chinese because she handed me a bilingual English and Chinese bible. I told them this bible would work and they let me walk into the chapel. There weren’t many people there yet. I wanted to hide out in the back but the older Japanese woman was pointing to go up further. So I found a pew that was in the middle. I sat in front of another older women and she knew some English and started talking to me. We just talked about basic things. What’s my name, where are you from, where do you work, where do you live, why did you come to Japan, and so on. After a while, the church started filling up. More and more people started walking in. So far, I only saw one foreigner walk in and she sat somewhere else. Then a foreign guy walked in and sat in front of me. He looked like he was about 25 years old. He was tall with brown reddish hair that was a little curly. His face looks like he hasn’t shaved in a few days. He was wearing a blue flannel shirt, blue jeans, and sneakers. What stood out me the most were his big rings that he was wearing on his fingers. I don’t usually see guys wearing big rings. He said hi to me and I said hi back. Then a Japanese guy with his girlfriend(just assuming it’s his girlfriend, not sure. They walked in together and were with each other all day at church) walked in and sat next to the foreign guy. The Japanese guy looked young, I would say about 23 years old, he was thin, a little taller than me with black fluffy hair. His girlfriend was a little shorter than him, with long, black hair and white skin. She was wearing a sweater with a long blue skirt on. The foreign guy seemed to know the Japanese guy because he said something in Japanese to the Japanese guy. Then the Japanese guy turns around and introduced himself. The Japanese guy is name Whiskey. Then the foreigner guy said he was sorry about not introducing himself earlier and said his name is Aleksey. Before service began Alexksey switch seats and sat next to me. He started telling me that there is a translation of the service on Line that I could use. I told him that I didn’t have internet on my phone and let me borrow his. He had two phones on him. He connected to the Line group and got the translation going for me on Line. He went and got some headphones for me to use. Once I put the headphones in my ears I was able to understand the Pastor and what the sermon is about.
It was going on noon when the service started wrapping up. It was a good service. I was struggling to stay awake but it was a good one. The pastor talked about how we shouldn’t be boasting about ourselves and referred to 2 Corinthians for reference. After the service, I gave back Alexksey phone and told him thanks. We talked for a little bit and I asked him where he was from. He said he was from California and I asked him how he got internet on his phone. He said he is with the JET program and they take care of all that for you. He also mention a girl name Carmen that I should meet and how she might be able to help me. She also part of the JET program. Then not long after he said that Carmen walks up to us and introduce herself. She started telling me how everyone would usually go out for lunch but because of winter camp, they have sandwiches delivered to the church and just eat downstairs. So we headed downstairs to eat. I got in line to buy my sandwich just like everyone else. I was trying my best to listen to the Japanese women in front of me. From what I could tell, she was asking the older women about the sandwiches. Each sandwich had different meat inside and it was all written down in Japanese with the prices on it. The sandwich on the right towards the middle had chicken inside. Since that’s all I could gather from the conversation, I decided to go with the chicken sandwich. I didn’t notice but Whisky was right behind me. He asked me if I could read Japanese and I told him no and he decided to start telling me what each sandwich was. I was about to tell him that it was ok to become I think I know which sandwich I want but I let him translate each sandwich for me. I stopped him once he reached the chicken part. I pointed to the chicken sandwich to the older women and she told me the price of the sandwich. I paid for my sandwich and sat down. After I sat down, this woman came up to me with her kid. She looked familiar to me. I remember on the website that they had some missionaries at this church. She was a little shorter than I was; she had short black hair and was carrying her little boy in her arms. Her little boy looks about 2 years old. She introduced herself. Her name is Tomo and she is Japanese. Her husband is David and he did the translation on the Line group that I heard earlier during the sermon. She seemed really nice and we talked a little bit. Carmen sat next to me on my left-hand side. I asked her where she was from and where she worked and she told me she is from Singapore and she works in a senior High School with the JET program. I then started asking her about getting internet on my phone. I told her my problem with not being able to get a contract for a phone. She started looking up directions for me on how to get to Kojima. Kojima is one of the bigger electronic stores that aren’t that far from Morioka Train Station. You need to walk past the train station and pass two lights and the store it right there on the right. It’s a pretty big store with a red and white sign on the building. Tomo also said I might be able to get a contract with a smaller company. Since the top three networks require a two-year contract and your visa needs to say two years on it. Than Carmen told me how the church has Wi-Fi that I could use. I logged into the church Wi-Fi and was able to add Carmen to my Line contact information. If I have any other questions she might be able to help me.
After I was done eating Tomo told me she and her husband can drop me off at Kojima on their way home but I have to walk my way back. I told her that would be great and I should be fine walking back. As long I can find Morioka Station and I can find my way back home. We got around to go and David was getting the car and Tomo started getting the children around. I talked to Carmen for a little bit more and then we said our goodbyes and I told her I will see her next week. David came back to get his wife and the children and we all went outside together to the car. The children got in first and Tomo sat in the back and I sat in the passenger side seat. Her husband drove to the post office first to drop off a letter and then we were off. On our way, they asked more questions about my life in Taiwan and what brought me to Japan and things. Then we were about to drive past a building called Aiina. This building has a library inside and offers free Japanese class. They can also arrange for you a tutor that can go around your busy schedule. I might have to take up there offer on getting a tutor because I really need to learn how to speak Japanese first and start incorporating writing later on. I will have to visit this building when I have time. We finally arrive at Kojima. They dropped me off in the parking garage area and I said my goodbye to them. Now, maybe I can finally get a phone.
Will I finally get a cell phone with internet? Also, what happens if you use too much electricity in your home in Japan? Find out next time on The Arita Report. Hehe Have a nice day.