23 May 2010

Meguro Church, Tokyo!

I was supposed to attend an event in Tokyo today, particularly at the Komaba Campus of the University of Tokyo.  The event starts 9am and will be until 5pm.  That meant I have to get the 7:20am bus to get there on time.  That meant I had to be up 6:30am latest.  I've never been up that early here!

But I did try, and I had my alarms set at 6:30am...  To no avail.  I woke up at 7am but got up at... 8am!  I was ready to leave at 9am.  The latest I would arrive at the event venue would be 11am.  I would miss the Sunday mass at the venue.  I cancelled my trip there.  Instead I took the 10:20am bus to get to Meguro Church.  I got to the church around 12:10pm already!  Almost a two hour trip!  (Inclusive of the waiting for the trains, and the walking.)

Anyways, this is by far the largest church I've been to since coming here.  More Filipinos as expected.  But also more non-Filipino foreigners.  And like in the mass I attended in Tachikawa, there was a baptism ceremony for two adults and one very cute little girl, as well as a First Communion ceremony for the two newly baptized Catholic adults.  Of course, it's Pentecost Sunday so the priest was wearing a red vestment. :-)

I also met up with Prof Germar, one of my master's thesis advisers, at the church.  And after mass we saw some of my former undergrad schoolmates from UP (also BS Civil Engineering grads) who are now taking their PhD, masters, or working here in Japan.  We decided to have (late) lunch together at this "Italian" place (I'm sure my Italian colleagues here in TPU would disagree), but actually what I like about that place is that it's tabehodai (eat-all-you-can/buffet).  The second thing I like about the place is that it can be as cheap as just 1000 yen for a buffet lunch meal!  Of course, I like that it's Italian.  I like fresh green salads with Italian dressing.  And Caesar salad with grilled chicken.  There was also "spicy" chicken nuggets, and a few other yummy stuff.  Just a few.  There was only one pasta dish on the buffet menu.  Overall, it's not great but... it's great (for me)!  Oh, but I have one complaint about the place though I would understand why they do it: they have very small plates for the buffet!  Each plate was just probably 6 inches in diameter.  So imagine how many trips I had to make!

On my way home, I dropped by the Atsugi Basu Senta (bus center) to look for the ramen place I used to visit 5 years ago with my colleagues back then (who have since earned their PhD degrees).  It was closed!  I don't know if it was only closed on Sundays or open only at certain times but...  Well there's one less place to visit.

By the way, it was rainy the whole day.  A little cool but not so cold - people were wearing plain t-shirts still.  Daytime high was just 21 degrees.

For dinner I cooked my own rice yet again, and ate siomai (Tagalog for Chinese dumplings) dipped in Kikkoman soy sauce, some side veggies, some takoyaki, and a banana.  The frozen takoyaki doesn't come close to being like the freshly prepared ones.  But it was a hearty meal.  Thank God for all the blessings.

P.S.  Last night before I drank my milk and went to sleep, I made one bowl of sinigang soup - I brought with me some Knorr Sabaw ng Sinigang (or is it Mama Sita Sinigang Mix?), dropped about a teaspoon into a bowl of hot water, and voila.  Didn't taste the same as the real thing though, maybe because there's no pork, veggies (most specially onions and tomatoes!), and fish sauce in there which add to the overall flavor of the real deal.  Oh well, I loved it nonetheless.  Thank God indeed for all the blessings.  :-)

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