Well, I was planning on going to 渋谷 or 秋葉原 (Shibuya or Akihabara) for some kind of excitement, but then I saw the weather outside:
And decided it wouldn’t be the best day for it. So I went back to sleep 🙂 When I woke back up, I decided today was kind of a bust, so I thought I’d share with you some of the more mundane things about life in Tokyo. I think it’s fascinating to look at simple things such as taking a bath, doing laundry, or taking out the trash in another culture (especially if you are completely unfamiliar with it). I’ll even take a trip to Sunkus again and show you what a convenience store looks like 🙂
First off, I took a bath in this contraption:
Don’t let its appearance fool you, while it looks like a normal bathtub, it has this attached to it:
This thing not only digitally controls the temperature of the water you fill it with, it can optionally keep the water at whatever temperature you want it to stay. Yes, like a Jacuzzi. Cool, huh?
Also, you never have to worry about overfilling the tub because if any water spills out:
You’ll notice there is also a drain outside of the tub. Oh, and an optional showerhead outside the tub as well. (For quick showers, obviously). Actually, Japanese typically clean themseleves outside the tub first (with soap), and then relax in the bathtub (without using soap), so they can systematically share it with the rest of the household and not waste the hot water).
In any case, I took a bath in here and read a few chapters of the 漫画 コナン (Detective Conan).
It’s about a genius detective who gets poisoned and ends up being shrunk into a child. Sounds kinda lame at first, but when he still thinks like an adult, frames like this:
(The hot girl he liked when he was an adult grabs him thinking he is just some cute kid and hugs him saying he is so cute and he thinks: む…胸が… I won’t translate, just take a look at the expression on his face and you’ll figure it out 😉 )
After the bath, I decided to do some laundry (against my better judgment since it might’ve rained). Here is an excellent look at a typical washing machine in Japan.
With no less than 13 buttons and pretty lights on it. Here is the amount of crap my girlfriend tells me to use when doing laundry:
Here is how much crap I actually put into the machine:
This is what happens when I turn it on:
Honestly, I’ve always been a cold water washing sort of person (because I am lazy, as I have said before). So I just throw everything in, make sure it’s on cold, and then let the machine do the rest. The machine actually seems to weigh the laundry and adjust the cycle time based on the weight of how much stuff you put in, which is one less thing I have to care about. Pretty spiffy.
My wonderful Breakfast, courtesy of Lawson’s convenience store:
It was a caramel-filled pastry and I still want another one 🙂
Laundry finished, and I had to hang the stuff out to dry. This is quite a foreign concept to many Americans, since we have the best Drying Machines in the world. Be thankful for that. No other country comes close. This is due to no other country having the infrastructure for the extra exhaust port and the 40 amps of power needed to run the damn things. In Japan (just as in Europe), any dryer that attempts to dry your clothes will simply heat them up and cook your clothes. So they’ll be hot and wet, not really a good thing. With that said:
I did some other various boring things like studying and entering sentences into Anki until Lunchtime. For that, I headed out to the convenience store, Sunkus, and noticed a few things on the way.
This space in front of the front door is kinda sacred in every Japanese home. With very few exceptions, Your shoes will not go beyond this area.
Outside of every front door to a house or apartment, you’ll see a place for umbrellas. Coming from Phoenix Arizona, this is odd enough since it rains once a year there. But even after living in Europe, seeing people leave their personal possessions outside their door (and never have them stolen) is baffling. I’ll let you guess which one I recently broke by taking it out into a Typhoon.
Trash rules are really complex and involve dividing your stuff into plastic, aluminum, paper, non-combustible, and alien eggs. Apparently there is some actual system to it, such as what this picture shows. However:
It all ends up in the same place anyway.
In the convenience store, everything looks similar to what you would expect in one in the states, or even in Europe. However, upon closer inspection:
You’ll find hard liquor right next to the tea,
An entire aisle dedicated to Ramen.
A vast selection of SoyJoy. I’m still not happy with what SoyJoy did to my lip. It still hurts. 馬鹿ソイジョイ！
Anyway, this was lunch:
It was a grilled chicken pasta/salad thing and it was fantastic. It set me back less than 300 Yen ($3).
Spent the rest of the day studying and other normal things (went to Veloce again). However, on my way back home, I noticed something creepy had happened to my neighborhood! Here:
四手！（しで）Shide! Apparently, someone strung up those little white zig-zag pieces of paper all along the streets. These are usually found throughout 神道 (shinto) shrines to keep away bad spirits. Which either means that there will be some sort of 祭り festival coming up soon, or… they have found out that I am in the neighborhood, and they are trying to cast me out! 😉
I came back home and had this wonderful treat for dinner:
That would be 魚介豚骨（ぎょかいとんこつ）(Seafood with Pork uh, belly and bones) Ramen. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds:
じゃー I’m tired, so I’m going to bed now 🙂 お休みなさい！
Japanese Language Learning for the rest of us.