Hello from Maine!

Hello everyone, from chilly Maine, northeast USA! This is where I grew up as a child, and I wanted to return one more time before leaving for Japan. Maine is known for lobster, probably more than anything else. We have a spoken accent here: the "er" sounds a lot like "ah," so words like "lobster" sound like "lobstah". That is, if you're a real native, but for some reason I don't use that accent even though I grew up here. Not sure why. I went with my father, who still lives here, to the lobster shack today to buy some to cook at home. It's considered a special treat because it's a little bit expensive, even here, where it comes from. But in New York it's much more expensive. And as far as I know, you don't see much lobster in Japan. So I felt it was a last chance to have the experience and enjoy it. Absolutely delicious... If you find yourself in Maine, visit Portland. It's worth the trip, and you can find this store pictured here when you are in the Old Port (the center of downtown). Maine has a charming countryside feeling, and I'll miss it when I'm gone, but I think that in Shikoku I'm likely to find similar charm.


Oishii Tabemono!

Today I was invited to a New Year's party, where lots of delicious food had been prepared and was generously served. Pictured here are very delicate sliced rolls of egg (the yellow), fish cake (the pink) and I'm not sure what the white one is but it was all so tasty! Not pictured is the wonderful mochi soup, which was actually the center of the cusine. I'm sorry but I was so busy eating I totally forgot to take more pictures. The event was at a Japanese Christian church, which was itself an interesting experience. When I think of Japanese religions, I often think of shrines, temples, Shinto, Buddhism, and so on. But the sermon at this service focused on Corinthians, from the Bible, although I couldn't understand well what was being said. The language was of course Biblical translation, so it was all the more difficult to understand. What was interesting was catching the switch in politeness levels between when Christ is speaking and when someone else is speaking. The only equivalents I can think of are thee versus thou. In any case, if you get an opportunity to experiment with either of these experiences, I would say, try it! It was very welcoming and an interesting life experience. Also worth mentioning is that New Year's was still being observed on January 6th at this event. Goes to show how important New Year's is within Japanese culture, even among Christians, while Christmas itself seems to take a back seat. Interesting...