Monday, August 16, 2010

Things That Inconvenience My Life

Now onto the things I really dislike. Mostly a list of complaints. There are a lot of things in Japan that are so completely ridiculous that the foreigners have an acronym for the question we ask so often: "Why?" B.I.J. or Because It's Japan. That is the only reason we have for the nonsensical things we run across.

1. ATMs. Japan is mainly a cash-driven country. I guess a few places will take a credit card if they absolutely have to, but I dont' think I've ever seen anyone use such a thing since I've been here. But now we get to the fun part...the ATMs close at night. That's right, you heard me. There is no such thing as one staying open past 7pm, let alone 24 hours. If you need money at 9:30 at night you can forget it. You won't get any until the next morning. It's something I've had to learn to do...make sure I have enough cash on me at all times.

2. No trash cans. With the superfluous vending machines come the scarce trash cans. They seem to all have a specific dwelling such as bathrooms, train stations and McDonalds and rarely will you find them anywhere else. On the street? N-O. In Japan you are expected to take your trash home with you and throw it away in your own house. Um, okay. Even at the beach...campgrounds...forget it.

3. Laundry. I have a miniscule washing mashine outside on my porch and no dryer. But no one in Japan has a dryer. Everyone hangs their clothes outside and I really hate it. It takes forever to do laundry because I don't have much real estate space outside so I can have maybe two loads hanging out there at a time. I have to wait hours for it to dry then do more. I'm not even sure how it works in the the clothes just freeze?

4. Shoes on/off. On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. I don't see the point of having cute shoes in Japan because I have to take them off wherever I go. When I go to work I have to take them off and so I'm barefoot the rest of the day. Everyone is. Or everyone has special indoor slippers that go on the second the shoes come off. Going to a house party? Forget wearing those cute pumps you just got that perfectly complete your outfit because you have to take them off at the door and no one will ever see them. I found it quite comforting when I first arrived here running around work in my slippers but now it's become one of those things that is way more of a nuisance than a comfort.

5. Drivers. I've already posted how much I hate Japanese drivers and it hasn't changed unless it's just gotten worse. They are always in my way, going too slow, or taking up both lanes...or all three at the same time, which happens often.

6. Food going bad quickly. I guess this a good and bad thing. My fruits and vegetables start going bad incredibly fast and I've been told it's because they aren't full of preservatives like in the US. Fair enough. But when I bring bananas home I have to eat them the next day basically or else they will be too ripe by the second. Occassionally I can get maybe 2 1/2 days out of my fruit but that's pushing it. Bread is the same way...5 or 6 days out of it maybe? Not much more than that. A lot of the food actually has these little fresh packet things inside the packaging so as to keep the food from going bad even quicker. I guess a little packet of something is better than preservatives loaded into whatever I'm eating.

I'm sure I'll be adding more of these love/hate things as I live here longer...stay tuned...

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