It's been a while since I've written anything. The title means "I made you wait," or, more naturally in English, "Thank you for waiting." It's said over and over again here - even if you haven't been waiting, people serving you will say it.

I haven't experienced all that much culture shock here in Japan, but this is one area where Japan and the US are so very different: people are unbelievably polite, sometimes so much that it makes me uncomfortable. I myself try to be polite as much as possible, but I often am selfish and impolite, and even when I am being polite, it can't even come close to the great lengths taken by the people that I have stayed with since I got here.

My friend Kazumi and her family in Kishiwada/Osaka, another friend in Nara, Tomo, and the family I am staying with at the moment here in Hiroshima, the Fujiwaras, have gone to great lengths to make me comfortable, taking care of almost everything for me.

I appreciate this so much, but I am not accustomed to it and not sure how to respond in return. I feel unworthy of it, especially since I am not much of a host myself. It seems so natural to them - perhaps living here for a while, it'll become natural for me as well.

So, I've finally reached Hiroshima, and after a few days of sightseeing I plan to start looking for a job. I'm glad, in the end, that I chose Hiroshima - it is a beautiful place, surrounded by mountains, with much of the big-city conveniences of larger cities but without the overwhelming size of cities like Osaka or Tokyo. I don't know if I'll end up here, but if I do I think it will be fairly easy to settle in.

Today, Fujiwara (his given name is Shinsuke, but I usually call him just Fuji-san) and I went to Miyajima, with the famous Torii. It is an island fairly far away from the main city and is very beautiful.

No caption :(