Cell Phone Obsession

Americans are completely obsessed with their cell phones!! Holy cow! I had never realized it before, but when you live in a country where cell phones never ring, and you rarely see anyone talking on them in public, you are fully able to realize how obnoxious public cell phone usage can be. I cant even tell you how many cell phones I have heard ringing, and how many conversations that Ive overheard. Its crazy!

I mean, people even answer their phones while they are in the dressing room. What could you have to talk about when you are changing your clothes and half naked in a public place? I think the nakedness would take precedence over the phone, but I guess not.

My first dressing room experience was pretty funny. I was trying on clothes when I heard the woman next to me say hello. I wondered if she needed some help because she repeated her hello after a second. I was getting ready to respond in case she had some kind of clothing emergency like a stuck zipper or a missize gone wrong, when I heard her start a conversation with whomever she was on the phone with. I just felt very fortunate that I hadnt actually spoken aloud. That would have been pretty embarrassing.

So, all of this cell phone usage is definitely one thing that I wont miss when I go back. I will be very happy for the quiet, texting world of Japan.

Embarrassingly Big!

I went to Wal-Mart today with my brother and felt more than a little overwhelmed by the hugeness of it all. But I think that the worst part was the shopping cart. This thing was ginormous!! Seriously, I was embarrassed to push it around the size because it was so big, despite the fact that everyone else had the same exact cart as me. No wonder stores here are so big, they have to accommodate the size of the buggies!

Going Back

Well, I am 99.9% packed. I still have to figure out what to wear tomorrow, what to put in my carry-on, and then zip my suitcase shut. All the gifts have been bought and packed, the clothes and accessories have been packed, the dishes have been washed and the laundry done. All that is left is the trash and a shower in the morning, and maybe a quick sweep with the broom around my room. I will be on a plane in less than twelve hours, starting the long trip home for the holidays. So, wish me luck that I will make the big fly with no problems and I will be able to find my brother and dad in the airport. Because, for some reason, my brother has been gripped with a blind panic that we wont be able to recognize each other even though we just talked on webcam two weeks ago.

Onward to America!

Things I Love about Japan

~The Usami family!!

~NEF and all its craziness, from praise band to Willies very tandemized sermons

~I never, never have to zip my purse shut, no matter how crowded the place.

~Wearing colored tights with my skirts

~Unlocking the puzzle that is Japanese

~My job, especially my cute kids!

~Persimmons, natto, sashimi, and ume throat lozenges

~Public transportation and the ability to read a book while commuting

~The true convenience of convenience stores

~Living with Jen and all the silliness that that ensues

~Coins are not totally useless here

~Starbucks with friends

Bicycle Mishaps

This morning, I nearly ran a woman down with my bike.

Components: a small road, lots of cars parked on both sides of it, a group of teenage boys, an oncoming car, an old woman, and a certain blogger who was running late for work.

I tried to swerve around the old woman and in between the boys and the car, but I didnt judge my incoming speed with the movements of the car as I swerved. I slammed on my brakes at just the last minute, squealed to a partial stop dangerously close to this old woman. When I realized that I wasnt going to do her bodily harm, (which took about half a second), I yelled sorry over my shoulder and continued my mad pedaling to the station. The whole incident took about ten seconds, but good thing I had some quick reaction time! And I just made it to the station to get on the train, and just made it to work, clocking in with only two minutes to spare!