hey all. i'm feeling kinda craptacular right now for some reason, but i had a good day. it's monday, my "sunday," and i rolled out of bed at 8:30 and made myself some walnut chocolate chip pancakes for...maybe the first time since i moved in?? they were delicious. too bad i had to eat them all myself!
my world has been expanding a little at a time as i figure out where things are, and i've been trying to reach my chore destinations via different routes so i can see more of the city. today i discovered a cheap sushi restaurant and possibly a shorter route to work and also what looked like a huge second hand store. i keep reminding myself, "these places are near you! you can actually take advantage of them!" it's so hard to believe after three (hundred) years of living in the Brigadoon of japan.
i then meandered to the grocery store/mall i mentioned before. it was marvelously clean and free of people. mondays are the best days to visit malls. it's like the whole place exists just for you (the fantasy of an only child, huh?). i got to really see what the mall had, and it's a pretty unique place for japan (imho). there are window seats by the library (!?), an outdoor terrace by the food court, and some strawberry rilakkuma paraphernalia (megan we must go back when you visit). if i can't find a grassy place to read (my eternal quest), maybe i'll just adjourn to the mall on my days off and read there over some tapioca tea...or starbucks pumpkin lattes...or baskin robbins ice cream...
in the grocery store i love (hereafter referred to as apita), i got offered a kimchee cucumber by the kimchee bar man. yes, they have a whole table of different kinds of kimchee, and a man who just waits there to help you with it. it just so happens cucumber kimchee is my favorite, so i was pretty happy. the guy was truly engaging and started the, "...so where are you from?" line of questioning, but after that he asked more interesting questions than most people do, and he also told me he worked for mitsukoshi department store in nagoya (he was a loaner for the day, maybe?) and enjoyed talking to all the foreign people who came in. i liked him. we had a good old chat (it always helps when they only ask you questions you understand), and i left thinking, "that's why i freaking love this store."
my weekends are getting good. saturday night i went up to nagoya to stay with fern and meet some of her friends, which was sooo wonderful. i've desperately needed some quality laughing and chatting time with other christian women. it's been forever. even better, we're going to do it every week! i feel honored to have been included so naturally in their group. also incredible was the salmon salad with yogurt and hummus for dressing (i was more than a little skeptical) with roasted pumpkin all mixing together into a gorgeous meal. we caught the last train to nagoya station and took a looong walk through the dark city streets to get to fern's apartment. seriously, a 1 am walk through underpasses and along abandoned roads. nowhere but japan would someone like me be doing something like that.
after church the next day, we had a stunning meal at sora, where soy banana shakes taste like this
and then happened across a store with soft, big, beautiful BAGELS. i could have eaten four on the spot.
so, that's the best update i can do feeling the way i do, but i'll put up some more pictures of my apartment like i said i would.
here's the front of the building.
the view from my front window.
the new, improved laundry room with a cover for the hideous washing machine.
and my friendly neighborhood rice field. seriously. in the middle of the city. i love it; it makes the most wonderful sound when the wind blows and is so GREEN.