I’ve been back about three weeks now and some cultural issues have smacked me in the face. I knew they were coming, but while living in the states it is easy to forget. The thing that I am dealing with now that is sooooo difficult is the heat. The temps are in the 80’s which is not intolerable when home with the fans running. I was in a department store the other day and there was no air conditioning running, only fans. It was suffocating. It is my opinion that the Japanese are cold-blooded by nature. I am not, especially as I have hit the stage of mid-life. When I am at the gym, ladies are working out in long sleeves. The other day a lady entered the gym in a coat. When she took it off, she had on a sweater and long sleeves. I was stunned. It was hot and humid out. I was sweating, I mean, perspiring in my short sleeve t-shirt. The Japanese seem to live by the calendar. We have another week until it is officially summer, so even if the temps are high, they are still wearing warmer clothes. I cannot comprehend it.
In our area, they have closed a nuclear plant. There is nothing wrong with it other than it is old. Due to what is going on at Fukushima, it was closed in order to be reinforced. Because of this, we have to conserve power. That may mean very little air conditioning this summer. Factories are staggering their days off this summer to help spread the power around. One man in our church will have to work Saturday and Sunday through the months of July and August. This will be a difficult time for many. Please pray for us as we brace for the heat of summer.
I am gradually working my way back into the Japanese way of life. In some ways, it is easy. In some ways, it is not so easy. God is faithful and He gives grace where and when needed. Many exciting things have been happening. I know that these things have been allowed by our gracious God to help ease me back into the life He has called me too.
Until the next time…