J-E's blog

Monday, April 21, 2008

Loving your Neighbor

So I pretty much had broken hearts Tokyo style today. I hung out with the homeless people and hooked them up with some food, but it was almost impossible to have any conversations with them. You know how it's hard to understand some homeless people in America because their minds are twisted, well imagine that except they were speaking in Japanese.

All in all it was a great experience, God is showing me a lot of things about what love your neighbor really means and how far I am from it.

This is our last night here, it's going to be a crazy rush to get everything done tomorrow and make it to the plane on time, but all of you don't have to miss me for much longer. =)

Sunday, April 20, 2008


So Bank of America put a block on Francis' card and he can't get money. Luckily I'm still good, so I can take care of both of us. Only two nights left.

I decided to go off on my own tomorrow. I'm going to let God guide me and I want to be open to listen to Him. I'm probably gonna end up going to a shrine and just sitting in silence listening to God and seeing where He wants to take me from there. I'll be back in Cali at 12 pm on Tuesday. I pray God's will be done with me while I'm here.

Friday, April 18, 2008


We're back in Tokyo after our trip to Kyoto and Hiroshima. It was amazing, probably the highlight of the trip so far.

Kyoto has a bunch of shrines from the old Japanese days, we visited the golden tower, the rock garden and the 1001 statues. I will post some pictures of all of them later once I get the chance. My favorite was probably the 1001 statues, they had 28 guardian deities stationed in front of all the statues and they had a story about each one. From the god who controls the sea, to the old woman god who cares for children. The rock garden was super serene as well. It was raining at the time so it was so relaxing to listen to the water drop on the rocks while meditating at the garden.

I also did the weirdest thing of the trip so far in Kyoto. I ate sparrow, bones and everything. It was actually very good and I kept the skull and tail bone as a souvenir. I named her Stacey the sparrow and she's in my backpack right now, skewered on a stick.

Hiroshima was eye opening. It was a shock to see what kind of destruction occurred at because of the nuclear bomb. We throw that around so lightly back home, it's stunning to hear that some presidential candidates would consider a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

Story time.

On the way back from Hiroshima we had to make a transfer at Shin-Osaka. While we were on the train I read the beginning of ShinKanjin and thought it was going to say Shin-Osaka so we got off at the wrong stop. We tried to book another ticket, but the guy said it was all sold out and we wouldn't make it back to Tokyo in time. Francis was super pissed, so I decided to just hop on the sold out train and see what happens. We were able to ride to Shin-Osaka, but then we had to transfer to Kyoto and we missed our original ticket. We hopped on a random train again, but this time they were checking for tickets. Francis wanted to take out his original ticket and play ignorant, but I tried busting out our Japan Rail Pass, because so far everyone just looked at it and let us go ahead and lo and behold, the guy looked at it and let us go ahead. So we were able to make it to Kyoto on time and we caught our original train ride back to Tokyo on time. So all in all it was a crazy rush adventure, but we made it, but that's not all...

While we were riding the Tokyo train back to our hostel someone pushed the emergency brake. This caused a 15 minute slow down in the rails and that caused a 15 minute build up of people at the next station. The train was so packed full of people that they people were ramming their way in. We were lucky enough to have seats, but the people standing up were so tightly squeezed together. I felt so bad for them. One of them had their shopping bag rip open and all their items spilled on the ground. Francis was nice enough to offer them a plastic bag to throw all the stuff in. I love having the opportunity to show that Americans aren't as selfish and stupid as the stereotypes claim. It made me happy in my heart. We almost didn't make it off the train because so many people were trying to get on, but someone helped us out. It was quite the blessing.

Anyways, I hope all of you are doing well, we only have 4 more days here so we're going to make the most of it. Leave me a comment/message if you want anything from Japan!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hookah Water

Hey everyone, so right now is my last 20 minutes at the hostel. We're about to head out to Kyoto to visit all of the old shrines and then we're off to Hiroshima to see the result of WWII.

Yesterday kinda sucked, we spent about 3-4 hours trying to figure out where to exchange our rail pass vouchers and then another 30 minutes to figure out how to use the above ground train. Because of that we tried to head to the Imperial Palace, but it was closed, then we tried to go to the Tokyo Museum of Art, but it was closed as well. We ended up going to Yokohama and just walking around. I guess Yokohama is where the car scene is at, so Francis was having joygasms every 10 seconds as a nice car drove by. I think 30% of his pictures so far are of cars he's seen.

We had an interesting experience at a restaurant yesterday. We had been walking around all day and we finally stopped to get some food and we were stoked when they brought out water. I don't know what they did to the water, but it tasted like the water at the bottom of my hookah. Francis thinks it might have been heated using coals, so it had that ashy cig taste, It might have been some sort of bitter tea water too. I don't know, but it sucked. We were very happy when they finally brought out coca-cola.

Anyways, all of you are in my prayers, I hope things are going well wherever you are!

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Reminder to Stop

I've been meditating on Psalm 3 lately, here's a little excerpt that stood out to me.

4 To the LORD I cry aloud,
and he answers me from his holy hill.

5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.

6 I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.

David spends the first half of the verse crying to God saying that so many men surround him. He is constantly on the run, fleeing from his son absalom, when he does something odd, he lies down and sleeps. He decided to stop crying out and God sustained him. Then David woke up with no fear, because he completely trusted God to take care of him.

It was a reminder for me to just have faith. I always tend to spend time crying out to God, but I rarely ever sit back and let God sustain me like He promised He would.

Pic Update

I don't feel like talking much today so this will be a picture update. Sorry about the picture orientation, I'm not in the mood to fix it. Enjoy.

First picture in Japan.

They cut off Francis' body to keep him from the children.


My dream came true in Japan.

Hey everyone, you can stop looking I found Jesus

Francis on the crapper

The Colonel watching over us.



Wedding cake in Hawaii, I loved the wedding colors

Our first train ride

Our hostel cubbies

Me falling onto the subway tracks

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Colonel

Today was a get adjusted to Japan day for Francis and I. We decided to just wander around tokyo and pick random subway stops to exit and explore. It's so much more confusing than Europe, nothing here is intuitive, but we're starting to get the hang of it. There was a lot of walking done and I'm the only one that's super tired cuz I spend all day sitting on my butt at work while Francis spends all day standing up at Costco.

We did a lot of shopping and picture taking. We both bought some clothes and gifts for our friends. Japan kinda has this thing for gambling, we found this huge 6 story arcade and half the floors were dedicated to gambling machines. And this other building had about 600 gambling machines and almost all of them were taken. It was nuts, I wanted to try one out, but I couldn't understand what was going on for the life of me.

So there's kinda this weird thing going on here. Every once in a while we'll see a few people wearing the SARS masks while they're walking around. One lady at the airport went to go kiss her child, but she wouldn't take the mask off. It seems the ones who wear it are really paranoid of getting sick again. I even see couples walking together and one of them is wearing the mask, imagine walking along with your boyfriend or girlfriend and you can't kiss them because they have a mask on their face. It would be horrible to be with someone who is that paranoid. I don't understand why it's acceptable here.

The hostel we're staying at is huge there's 10 stories and like 20 cubbies on each floor. Almost everyone here speaks some sort of English so it's a nice break from the confusion outside. I walked into the shower room this morning and there was a fat hairy naked guy standing there drying himself off. It was really odd. There's also this really annoying British girl at our hostel and I want to punch her every time she opens her mouth. She keeps saying the word karaoke, but she says it in the most annoying high pitched voice, It sounds like Kay-Ray-Oh-Key, I think England has moved up to my number 2 spot of most hated countries.

Anyways, It seems whenever we go somewhere awesome we find the Colonel there. KFC has our backs here in Japan. He's some sort of good luck charm or something.

Here's to more of the Colonel

Friday, April 11, 2008

First post from Japan

Hey everyone, I`m typing this from Japan!

Hawaii was pretty sweet, my flight got delayed for about 3 hours and then the taxi driver got "lost" on the way to the wedding and I barely made it on time, but I got overcharged and I had to change in the parking lot. The wedding was great though, very beautiful and I'm super happy for Ryan and Selita.

At the wedding I ended up talking to some people from Chapman that I had seen around, but that I never really talked to. I was planning on just hanging out and sleeping on the beach all night, but Mike and Ben ended up letting me crash at their hotel for the night, which was super sweet of them! Ben passed out right when we got to the hotel, but Mike and I decided to go to the beach and do some night swimming. I could see my feet even though it was pitch black, that's how clear the water was.

It started getting cold so we went back to the hotel and chilled in the hot tub. I left the next morning and Mike hooked me up with a shuttle ride to the airport so that I didn't have to pay a ton of money to another shady taxi. They were so hospitable, it was such a blessing. If either of you are reading this you're always welcome in my home.

I am now in Japan waiting for Francis to show up.

The first picture I took in Japan is of myself, of course.

So, while on the plane I had a lot of reflection time and I feel like sharing some of the things I mused upon.

I am a person that adores all things unique and original. I absolutely abhor the trite and cliche. I love being able to experience something that no one else has experienced. I love getting gifts that are personalized to me, a gift that no one else in the world has ever received. I love things that take thought and creativity to make and enjoy. I think that's why I love large cities so much. Everything is always different and unique depending on the area, whereas nature (for the most part) is pretty much the same thing I've seen 2 million times over. Cliche ideas suck, do something different! Stand out! Stop regurgitating the same thoughts that have been feed to you all your life! Just think for yourself.

Until next time.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Japan Announcement

Men and women, huge update coming up.

I'm currently sitting at work finishing things up before I leave for Hawaii and Japan. I will be spending one night in Hawaii for a wedding and then Francisco will be meeting me in Japan for 10 days.

Japan ain't ready.

I will do my best to update my blog during the trip so you can hear about our adventures.

I trust the fort will be held down while I'm gone.

Keep it real.