16 May 2010

Laundry, Bike, Mass, Grocery

Woke up quite early and did my laundry.  I think I should do my laundry weekly, at least for my colored clothes.  The washing machine is too small for 2 weeks worth of my colored clothes.  It was sun-shiny the whole day.  Yay!

Lunch was my own cooked rice, and this Okra dish and this mixed fried stuff (sausage, burger, chicken, hashbrowns) I bought from our friendly neighbourhood convenience store.

Then I went by bike to the Atsugi Trellis (or AT), but only just to park there.  I took the bus going to downtown Atsugi, then walked as usual to the Atsugi Catholic Church.  I hesitated on bring my bike all the way to the church because I didn't know if there are areas particularly in downtown Atsugi where bikes are not allowed.  I think there might not be any.  Anyways, it's also a 30-minute bike ride from home to the church.  Quite long.  It's downhill going there, but it's uphill coming back!  So by parking the bike midway, it wasn't as tiring, and at the same time I saved around 90 pesos in bus fare!  Actually, me not being used to riding the bike, my knees are feeling a little tired even after just 15-minute bike rides to AT (and another 15 back)!

Then Mass.  I learned that the priest's name is something like Father Brunsfield or something.  There were battalions of Filipinos in church today.  Most churches here don't have weekly masses in English, so many Filipinos tend to attend mass in different churches.  I think a lot of the people in attendance today were from outside of Atsugi.  Anyways, the usual "issues" you would encounter in the Philippines: you can actually HEAR people "whispering," friends who see each other only once a week so they "catch up" on each other's stories, and then lots of babies crying, and toddlers and early elementary school kids running around... during the mass!  I think the priest noticed the unusually noisy crowd today and asked to have a moment of silence after communion.  Didn't work.  My theory: English is not the Filipino's first language!  It didn't register.  The priest was too kind to not insist on the moment of silence, or to ask everyone to keep the noise down if not totally out.  If I had another choice, I wouldn't attend mass there again!  While I try my best to listen to the readings and the homily and to all the prayers, it can be really distracting.  Specially in such a small church.

One other thing I noticed was that many songs were unfamiliar.  Personally I knew "As The Deer" and "You Shall Be Clothed in Power from On High," but I don't think the others knew those songs.  I didn't know many of the other songs.  And then, like the choir in Tachikawa, the choir doesn't adjust to the situation.  Back in Tachikawa, the song ended already but the guitarists kept on playing; they insisted the song should end in the way they think it should or in the (only) way they know how.  Unnecessarily took up people's time.  When you are leading people into prayer or a choir and a people into song, you stay aware of what's happening.  You don't just pray.  You don't just play the music and sing.  Anyways, of course I will still attend mass in Atsugi during the 3rd Sunday of the month.  In fact, I would really like it if there were masses in English every Sunday in Atsugi!  Oh and as usual, the priest briefly spoke in Japanese during his homily, to the ~three or more locals present.

Anyways, so back to AT I went.  Bike's still there.  Great!  And I dropped by my favorite store - the 100-yen store - and bought a couple of pitchers.  On my previous visit I bought these filters you attach to the faucet.  From what I know, tap water here is safe to drink.  Whenever I drink straight from the tap, I don't have any problems at all.  But I noticed that when I refrigerate tap water and drink it later, there's some kind of smell and taste that comes out.  I thought it was just the container...  But it was really bad!  But when I started to use that filter - no more of that bad taste and smell.  So now I plan to store water in the fridge in the new pitcher I bought.  Actually the other pitcher, I will use for making iced green tea.

How to make iced green tea: steep one green tea bag in a mug of hot water for around 3 to 5 minutes, remove the tea bag, put the green tea in a 1 liter pitcher, add water and ice until you have a liter of green tea, then add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar (or to taste).  Voila!  Tastes like C2.  I'm excited about this.  I've done this before.  Now, I can save on some vending machine expenses. :-D

Anyways, so I did my groceries and only had this on my list: banana, ketchup, and juice.  And then the "difficult" part about doing the groceries: you tend to buy more than what you listed!  But it's not that I won't consume these other things I bought.  I bought my dinner for tonight: sushi, teriyaki chicken, cherry tomatoes on the sides, and banana.  But actually I also bought my dinner for the succeeding nights: ready-to-heat-then-eat takoyaki balls, pizza, side veggies, shrimp cake, and... I forgot what else.  There are so much interesting stuff here, food-wise, and not just the usual Japanese food, but also Japanese-style food.  Like their desserts and stuff.  Last night actually I had this interesting ice cream sandwich that cost around $1.30 equivalently.  Yummy.  Very, very yummy.

Well the plus side about all this is that my refrigerator isn't so lonely anymore...  (Yeah right!)  Ehehehe. :-D

And then so I got home, took my hung-dry clothes inside the apartment (but I didn't fold them yet - I don't know if they're all dry already), packed some rice and then ate dinner here at my desk.  Yikes, the biking today and yesterday is really draining, but I welcome it because I think it's good for my health.  I hope to bike more regularly!

That's it for now.  Time to chat with my love. :-D

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