yesterday i woke up at 7am. yuck. this was after three hours of sleep so i was pretty tired, but no matter how little sleep i get and how much more i enjoy sleeping in, there is something...optimistic about getting up early. so i got ready and i took my car to the shop because the air conditioning wasn't working and driving in a hot car is just horrible. horrible. the night before sarah and i had worked out a plan so that i would walk the four blocks to the trax station and ride to downtown salt lake to hang around and stuff. good plan. as i was leaving i almost put my flipflops on, but then thought, 'oh i'll only be walking a total of 14 blocks, all spaced out quite nicely.' so i wore flats. bad plan.
the trax station was not where the website said it would be. i walked around for awhile and called sarah who looked the address up again. and after walking around for an hour and getting stopped by the longest train in the world (seriously, 10 minutes passed and i still couldn't see the end of the train) i finally found the trax station. it's surrounded by industrial (and run-down) buildings and was not ON the roads it was supposed to be on, but back behind buildings that were on the said roads.
whatever. i got on trax and road downtown where i walked to gourmandise, ordered a blueberry biscuit, and started reading the news. gourmandise is a little bakery downtown that is wonderful. it has great desserts. GREAT. i have yet to eat actual food there but i'm sure it's good because it kept getting busier and busier as the day went on. also they have free wifi. so i read my daily news and started some blog posts and such. at 11:30 ben and sophie picked me up and ben dropped us off at an indian restaurant. i love indian food. i especially love nan. and sophie and i got to talk and try to decipher the barely audible head waiter's jokes.
we then walked back to sophies place. on the way we got to stop in this really cute store that sophie knew. i don't remember it's name... we also saw several antiques stores and hipsters hanging out along the sidewalks thinking about how much cooler they are then everyone else. quite the sightseeing tour.
then i walked back to the trax. once the train was moving i pulled out my newsweek. i don't want to talk to people on trains. i got my full of that in tokyo. but at the next stop patrick sat down across from me. apparently my newsweek wasn't a big enough hint for patrick. he started talking, asking me a million questions, and even though i buried my nose back into my newsweek after every question he kept going and soon i was pulled into this conversation with a total stranger on the southbound sandy trax. patrick moved to salt lake three and a half weeks ago in hopes of finding a job. he left behind his two, count that-two, 15-year-old daughters in chicago. and of course there are no jobs here, so he hasn't been able to find work. he also hasn't been able to find a "female" (his word, not mine) (obviously) because all the "females" he meets here are "effed up." they act totally interested one day and then are incredibly distant the next. and then they go back to being interested and patrick just can't understand them. it took all i had not to laugh at this because it is really hard to imagine that girls in chicago are any different from the girls he was describing. i'd always thought that most girls did just that. but anyway, i couldn't help but feel sorry for patrick. he seemed to be the typical down and out of work american, which sadly is so so common these days. after he got off the train i realized that i don't understand the economy at all. where did all the jobs go? and if people can't afford to pay workers anymore because they don't have the money then...where did all the money go?
anyway. walking from the trax station to the car place was incredibly painful. my feet had had it and i was sunburned and my old lady hip was hurting. but i got there. somehow. three hundred bucks to fix the air-conditioning, the headlight, and get an oil change. ugh. but when i got in the car-HEAVEN! the air blew cold! ice cold! so wonderful!
then i headed to provo. now typically this would have taken less than an hour. but for some reason there was "congestion" on the highway. it was so crazy busy we were going 15 miles an hour the whole way to provo. so i was late meeting laura and brandon and takako (kawasaki takako...she lived in chiba and shibuya and kumamoto in case any of you know her) at the mtc. we were going to volunteer at the trc, which is where you listen to missionaries give the lessons. it requires pretending, which i HATE, but i can do it because it's volunteering. so i got there forty minutes late and they hadn't started yet. which was weird. they didn't need japanese right away, so taka-chan and i listened to two missionaries from mexico who are learning english. they were so adorable and hard to understand. amazingly taka-chan (who is japanese) understood them much better than i did. and i wondered if i would be able to understand the missionaries learning japanese better than a japanese person. questionable. anyway, at the end we started talking to these elders and one of them is going to pocatello! which is where my sister is serving a mission. i told him all about her and i'm going to email her about him. elder merino.
then they asked us to stay for japanese. all four of us got to listen to ONE japanese elder give a lesson. he was originally called to italy, but he doesn't speak english almost at all. so he struggled for a week trying to learn italian through english. can you even imagine? so he got his mission call changed to hawaii and now he's learning english with a tutor that speaks japanese. he told us that he was so grateful for the opportunity to finally bear his testimony to people who could understand him. and it was great. and i felt so bad for him. how hard would it be to not be able to communicate with ANYONE. to have a companion that couldn't understand a word you said. muzukashii na.
then we went to strawberry days in pleasant grove. we ate strawberries and cream and rode a ride. it was a ride i'd been on a hundred times, but this one was SO much faster. i think all four of us laughed hysterically the entire time. it was really a fun night. a good mix of english and japanese and funnel cakes.
so that was my yesterday. i'm sure i forgot a million things. if you remember something you can just add a comment. i'm exhausted, sunburnt, and my feet are all cut up-but it really was a super awesome day.