Friday, January 02, 2009

A pretty normal New Year's Day here in Nagasaki

It's late and I should be tired because we had a full day....full as in "busy" and full as in "Oh my God, I can't eat another bite!! Hey! Is there any crab left?"....but I'm not really tired. I'm like Issei sometimes....tomorrow is a holiday so going to sleep at the regular time is just silly! {smile}.

We did a lot of walking and climbing of stairs today...but we weren't the only would have thought the cold air would have kept many inside!! But, no...the streetcar was packed and the sidewalk we were walking on was almost dangerous there were so many people.
In Japan, the first visit to the shrine (or temple) is very important and though this visit can be done on any day, most people will try to go on Jan. 1. We went to the largest shrine here in's waaaaay up on top of a hill and there are many,many, many stairs to climb. (Actually...when my mom first came to Japan, she thought I was trying to kill her because I made her climb those stairs...granted, it was in August and freakin' hot and humid, but I did have a cold beer in my backpack as incentive!!)

And then there was the
Random Act of Kindness that almost gave a woman in a wheelchair a heart attack!!

At the place right before the last set of stairs before the entrance to the shrine, we had stopped to take a family photo. As we were about to start our climb again, I noticed an older woman in a wheelchair, slowly inching her way across the way. Keep in mind that the surface of this area is all rocks...and they are not very even. At one point, she got kind of stuck and her chair wouldn't roll up and over.....the people just kept walking around her, no one bothering to stop and help. So....I walked up behind her, took hold of the handles on the back of her chair and leaned in asking (in my most polite of Japanese) if I could help her.

She thanked me and said yes.....I pushed her to a place where she could take over again and as she was turning around to thank me....she realized that I was NOT a Japanese person. If you could put into English what her reaction was, it would be something like this, "ThankyouaaaaaaAAHH!"

I smiled.

She smiled back, bowed her head, then raised her head and looked me in the eyes and said, "Your Japanese is really good."

I laughed...."Thank you very much. Happy New Year."

To which she replied, "Hoppy New yee-ah."

That was just the best.

And so now....the slide show. Enjoy.

I hope that you are having a good New Year's Day.
If you're watching football, I hope your team wins.
If you are running a race today, I hope you do good.
If you are staying at home, I hope you are warm and you are with your family or friends.
And...if you are not with anyone today...thank you for stopping by and visiting us...vicarious visits are good, too!!


Nancy said...

I want to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.So glad I found the link to your blog once again.I have enjoyed catching up with you but there is lots more to read for another day.I so enjoy reading about the Japanese traditions.The new Italian restaurant sounds really nice.Sort of funny that the name sounds a lot like our Grape Nuts cereal and you had some to show what they were like!
Happy New Year!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I do love me some boys climbing trees!

Hapy New Year!

smalltownmom said...

Wonderful slide show! Thank you, Debblie! Happy New Year!

ms-teacher said...

Loved the slide show. You are off to an awesome 2009!

phd in yogurtry said...

It is so cool that you can speak Japanese, and the fact that you surprised the wheelchair lady? That is awesome beyond words. I love the little good luck charms. I could stand to carry around portable luck.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

What a fantastically fun slideshow - thank you! And all of your boys (grown-up one included) are so handsome :)

Happy new year!

3rdEyeMuse said...

what an awesomely wonderful day! thanks for sharing the slideshow ... I don't know if I could have stopped at only 4 charms ... :)

here's wishing you and yours health, happiness & laughter throughout 2009.

Mommy2Twinkies-Deb said...

I've never been to Nagasaki, but it looks wonderful! Beautiful. What great photos. I wish you and your family a very happy New Year!

PS-I love your new header! How cute!

Michael said...

Happy Moo Year!!! (I was cracking up at the comment you left with Nancy...too funny!)

Ginaagain said...

Happy New Year! It looks like you had a fantastic day.

Janet said...

Thank you for the glimpse into Japanese culture again :-)

Oh, and I love the new design!