Day 20 - Church, Sweet shops, and Dinner with Friends

Sunday, Sept. 19, 2009

What a beautiful morning.IMG_3905

We started off getting ready as usual before church. We stayed up pretty late last night, because we are finding it harder to get to sleep. I think we are fully over our jet lag but it is hard to sleep some nights.  Paul thinks its because of the different bed. We are so thankful to have a Western style bed but it is a lot firmer than our old one in Wichita.  So needless to say we haven’t been getting up and continuing our walks around Haruna. And usually we have to start the morning off with a cup of coffee. Usually I have 2 or 3 because the cups are so small. I really need to find a bigger coffee cup.

We went to church like usual. Buta-san has been pleasantly absent a lot more often these days. We are not sure if we are getting used to the smell or if the wind just blows the stink in on itself.

At church we had a few different people this morning. Some of the people that came that first Sunday have not been back yet. And we’ve had a few others come to visit. This morning we had a Japanese couple, the Otanis, that surprisingly spoke English. And to our surprise lived the the US for a number of years teaching at KU! What a small world. We enjoyed talking to them. They had moved to Takasaki fairly recently and they seem to be “church shopping”. After service everyone stayed around for a small lunch prepared by Rumiko-san. She is so sweet she always has a little something to cook up when we have visitors. We all talked for a while and then went our separate ways. We hope that the Otanis come back next week. We will pray about it and wait and see.

Around 5:00pm Rieko and Ryosuke came by to help us with a few things and they wanted to show us a few of their favorite shops. First we went to a Sweet Shop. So cute. IMG_4026

The things that the bakeries here make are beautiful.


IMG_4023Our theory is that not many people seem to “bake” at home, so this has created a thriving bakery market. We picked out a few things and took them back to share with the IMG_4022Obatas.

On our way home we stopped at a coffee house. Not like a coffee house in the US. It was more of a shop for gifts. On both levels they had a lot of antique and collectible coffee cups and saucers. Beautiful. We enjoyed looking around and the different styles. For a minute I thought I would be able to pick out my very own cup and saucer just for me. Then we started looking at the price tags. $50, $75, $80 for a coffee cup and saucer set .  No thank you. Unless I will be drinking Gold coffee from those cups, I don’t think it would be worth it. Paul got excited when we saw a set for only $15. Wait a minute. ONLY $15. Its still a tiny cup and a plate to match it. It’s funny how your perspective can change so fast as to what expensive is. Some times I try that trick on Paul. “No honey this ___ only cost me $100. Just kidding it was $50”. See there. I had his mind all in a tizzy with the $100 so $50 didn’t sound too bad ;).   (From Paul – she did do that to me once in the states! )

We started evening service at 7:00pm. Only the Nakasones came tonight. So Obata-san preached to a small crowd tonight. Since we are the only ones that speak English he usually doesn’t give us side notes of English points. We hope that we are encouraging just sitting and listening and singing in Japanese.

After church we went to dinner with Rieko and Ryosuke. They planned this last week.


They wanted to take us to one of their favorite Italian restaurants. We were excited to try Italian Japanese style. We were really glad they took us. We couldn’t read a thing on the menu. And it was not what we expected. We were trying to decide on appetizers. Rieko told us we could choose from Goose, Tuna, Salmon, Eel. UMMM We just kind of looked at each other and laughed. “Where are the Italian appetizers?”. Well we decided to go with Goose.


It was a good choice. It was slices of meat (cooked) on a bed of greens (lettuce).  Paul also was laughing at the tiny bread.

Ah, now I hope that what we ordered for dinner turns out this yummy. They brought out the entree one at a time. Mine was first. It looked really good. Soon Rieko’s came. IMG_4042She got a similar dish.

Then they brought out Ryosuke and Paul's.IMG_4043


It was kind of funny looking. Lots of shellfish legs and fish on wet noodles. Paul was a little disappointed, because there was not a lot of meat in his dish. But over all it was a great meal. We even ended with dessert. Tiramisu and a fried Apple dish. To our surprise they bought our dinner.  It was very kind.  What a blessing to have such very gracious friends.


During dinner conversation we talked a lot about the new places we had been. One place was Mr. Donut. Rieko told us that is right by her house. We also told her about Paul asking the young lady at the counter if he could buy the big milk glass and that we thought it was kind of odd that she told us “NO”. She agreed that didn’t sound right. So Paul told her what he said in Japanese . She replied “is that exactly what you said?” “Yes” he said. Then she proceeded to tell us what Paul REALLY said to the the young lady. In Japanese Paul said very calmly and polite “Excuse me, may I smash this glass?” We started laughing. Now it made since why she would say so abruptly “No” to the big American that asked if he could smash the glass!

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