We are back at our fellow JET's apartment, feeling thankful that the 9:43 pm bus from Tenmonkan was late so that we didn't have either to walk or wait 30+ minutes to catch the next one back here.
We have been having a great time in Kagoshima City so far. You wanna hear about it? Fine.
Aubrey arrived here on Monday and got to the English-speaking doctor w/o a hitch. So that was good - we were a bit worried that maybe she'd have to wait some ridiculous amount of time. The next two days were spent at her conference, and she was quite bored during the day but had some fun w/ Erica and friends during the evening. We're a bit too tired to deal w/ that so far.
I (Alan) came in on the Tuesday night ferry, which is only 11 hours long. But it ended up being delayed for like 90 minutes and so didn't leave until 10 pm or something. Oy. So that meant that I would arrive in Kago City at 10 the next morning. So, got on, chilled out, studied the Bible, took a seasickness pill (that would be a pill that PREVENTS seasickness, mind you) and promptly crashed. It was great. Got up, had some breakfast, was ready to go at 9:55 am when we pulled into port. I felt really good, which is a bit different from how I felt last time I was on the all-night ferry. After that, I felt like I wanted to die. So it was a marked improvement.
I brought my bike from Kikai for $20 and so biked up to the Tenmonkan district, which is the equivalent of London's Piccadilly Circus or OKC's Bricktown or Watonga's, um, never mind. It's the entertainment part of town and it's quite entertaining, to be sure. Once there, I walked around a bit (though not too much, mind you - I had two backpacks on!), went up into the 5-story mall and took 10 minutes to absorb the Pachinko Parlor atmosphere (a Pachinko Parlor is a casino) and got good and depressed, and then took a sharp left turn once the presence of Starbucks began intruding on my consciousness. Ah, Fourbux! I marched meself right in there and ordered me a tall double-shot half-caff extra-hot soymilk hazelnut latte. At which point they informed me that they don't have decaf. So rather than risk my life drinking TWO shots of espresso, I knocked it down to a regular, not a double-shot. Enjoyed it. Except they had WAY too much foam for a latte! (Am I talking like a snob, or what?)
Now, you might think that hanging out at Starbux in a foreign land is a great place for a divine appointment, and you might even pray that God would bring you one, but you might be surprised when one lands in yo' lap. So it did and I was. A tall whitey walked into the cafe and I caught his eye and tossed a How ya doin' his direction. Once he got his drink, he came over, asked if he could join me, and then we began a long conversation. During which I was able to share the Gospel w/ him and ask him for a response. Cool - quite an encouragement. After about 2 hours I took off, but it was a good time. He was an interesting guy - French-speaking Quebecker, sailor, more recently a wine importer, world-traveler (claimed that Japan is Country #50!) and so yeah - it made for fascinating conversation, really.
At which point I was able to go meet Aubrey. But that's for another time, since I'm tired of typing now.