Japan Chorister Update!

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We are currently sitting in a tiny hole-in-the-wall coin Laundromat in the city of Nagoya. It feels like 110 degrees and it is extremely muggy, but despite the hot weather, Japan has been wonderful so far. We are seeing such interesting cities and getting such great traveling experiences. One of my favorite things about this trip is how foreign everything is. I have found Japan to be such a homogeneous place, that everyone is so surprised and excited to see a big group of American teenagers. The people here are all so sweet and run up to us in movie theaters, after concerts, in stores, and on streets, asking us for pictures and trying to indulge in conversations about where we are from and how old we are. While the culture has taken some time to get used to, it is such a friendly, welcoming one that we are all feeling completely comfortable.

Yesterday, I had an interesting experience while touring around Nagoya. A group of us were walking down a small street when all of a sudden I started to feel a stinging feeling under my shirt. In a matter of seconds, I had four strange bug bites that were extremely painful. My walking group and I started to get a little bit concerned considering the possibilities of what type of bugs could have flown into my shirt. After an unsuccessful trek to 7‐ Eleven, we finally found a Japanese drug store. With the bug bites getting worse, we desperately asked if anyone spoke English. A very friendly woman offered to translate, and after explaining to the people at the counter that I had painful bites, they asked to see them. Without going into detail, this was one of the funnier experiences I have had here in Japan. After learning how extremely modest the Japanese culture is, and after being instructed to always keep covered, I found myself standing in the middle of a big Japanese drug store in just a tank top, with five Japanese people inspecting my bug bites. In spite of the confusion and pain, it ended up being very funny. Because I kept pointing to my chest to show the bites, they were under the impression that I was I having serious heart pain, so on top of everything, Sydney frantically trying to explain that I was in fact, not having a heart attack.

You might have had to be there to understand how funny it was, but in the end I ended up getting a tube of medicine that was entirely in Japanese and the only familiar thing were pictures of bugs and the letters EX. It ended up working really well and everything was fine, but it was nonetheless a funny memory and we even got some new fans out of it because we ended up inviting the entire drug store to our Nagoya concert and they were so excited.

‐Hadley Maya