Another installment of our Kag City vacation log... I got up early this morning and got some schtuff outta the way so I'm rarin' to go.
And we found out today, BTW, that Kaki will come to join us on 29 December! Yay!!! Anyone else who wants to take a long vacation and spend 24 hours traveling, you are welcome here. We've got a nice stretch of floor all ready and waiting. I promise you'll get at least 5 minutes of alone time in the bathroom too. That is an ironclad promise.
Later on Thurs night we hit a Korean restaurant w/ a friend from Kikai. Nearby the Tenmonkan district is what I guess is the nightlife section of town, w/ lotsa clubs, restaurants, and less savory establishments. It took us a while to find a Korean restau, since Aub wanted to go to the one where she had eaten 3 months before. We failed to find it but found another good one and had a good time talking in partly Japanese and English.
Friday was rainy rainy. But fortunately our friends had offered to drive us to nearby Chiran, which hosts really cool 500 year old samurai houses and gardens. Beforehand, Aub and I bussed into town and found a really neat French-themed restaurant in the Tenmonkan district. I had an Indonesian dish and Aubrey a Korean dish - go figure. But there were lots of cool picturebooks of France on the coffeetable, so we had some nice nostalgia time. We later arrived in Chiran and the rain relented a bit so we could take a long walk thru town. There were quite a few other tourists in the neighborhood, but it was still picturesque. Interestingly, quite a few of these houses seem either to be private residences (a few) or restaurants/tearooms (a lot), much like the buildings at the Sengan'en garden we had visited the previous day. It surprised me to see "historical landmarks" made into businesses. We actually took time to drink tea in one of these places, and this is recorded in pic form below - look for the bowl of green frothy concoction, which was green tea powder mixed into hot water. To its right is sthg that resembles a cockroach (thanks Troy), but really it's a crescent of green tea jelly w/ a little flower for ornamentation. Neither tasted all that good, but taken together they were less bad. But later this bad taste was redeemed by a visit to an English museum in the same town, where we purchased fruity herbal teas and apricot jelly. On the hour-long drive back to Kagoshima, we were still making Japanese/English conversation and I asked about politics. Which led for some reason to Mikoko's question: "You're Christians. You believe that Jesus punishes bad people, right?"
Now, let me ask a question of you Christians out there - do you know what you would say when asked a question like that? Give it some thought for just a second. It is a common MISunderstanding about Christian belief that "Jesus punishes bad people," and implication is yet more of a misunderstanding, that Jesus does not punish good people. But if you don't follow what the Bible has to say about it, you're a bit stuck.
At any rate, we thanked God for the opportunity and proceeded to share the truth of what Jesus came for (to save bad people, which we ALL are, every one of us) and such. No, our Japanese is not all that, but w/ dictionaries, a bit of English on the other side, and patience, we were able to make ourselves understood.
That night we got to do sthg that is sorely missed here in Kikai. We went out w/ the previously-mentioned Masumi to a quaint upstairs cafe for dinner and then to Tully's Coffee for late-night coffee. Ah, a late-night coffeehouse - it's a bit of a low priority until you can't go to one, I must say. I don't know why, I just gravitate towards it. Anyway, we had more fun and fruitful conversation, during which we ended up sharing "life slogans." We really felt freedom to share, and so had no fear to introduce Masumi to biblical ideas regarding her 2 life slogans, both of which stand in stark contrast to biblical teaching. Not surprising, but that's what we're here for.
Can't say, despite all the fun that was had, that we were full of energy once the night was done. Ooff. And I'm no longer full of energy for typing, so I'll take it up again soon.