First, Etsuko and Akira's house, where I'm staying. Japanese homes are quite simple, not too much furniture cluttering the rooms. I love it! I have a very pleasant room that I try to keep clean, which isn't too hard given I don't have much stuff.
Of course on my first day here I committed a huge cultural faux paux. I walked down the stairs in my shoes, big no-no. In Japan, you always take your shoes off at the front door, never wearing shoes inside the house. Etsuko immediately noticed my mistake and thought it was sooo funny... so hilarious that the story was retold to Akira at the dinner table that evening.
Next on the walk. There is a cute park about two blocks away. In the morning there are a bunch of older people playing a croquet-type game and I love walking past the adorable Japanese children.
|Ok, so it was kinda hot when I walked past and there weren't any cute kids for the picture...|
Another block from the park is huge shopping mall.
I came here to get a few things my first day in Japan. As I was feeling overwhelmed by the language barrier and other new things going on around me, I became aware of something very familiar. Yep, a Miley Cyrus song was playing in background. As I walked past other stores I was greeted by "Call Me Maybe" and even a couple great country songs. Never thought I would be comforted by Miley Cyrus, but in the midst of the chaos around me, it was oddly calming.
Back outside, I have to explain that there are vending machines of drinks everywhere. In fact, there is one right outside Etsuko's house! One of Bailey's first questions for me when I skyped with the family after arriving was, "Is there pop in Japan?" (Her priorities are always quite clear.) So I checked the vending machines and...
As I continue to walk through the streets on this warm day...
... I will inevitably take out one of the many towels and handkerchiefs I have acquired to wipe the sweat off my face and neck. I did this when I was skyping with the family too only to see Bailey on the other end wipe her face and neck with her napkin in imitation. Nice try, Bailey! The climate in Oregon is no comparison to Japan.
Well, that concludes the walk for now. There is so much more I could talk about, like the food. Oh my goodness, the food is amazing, it may deserve a post of its own in the future.