A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 3 - Saturday, November 19

It's my fault.

I understood that my extended Japan family wanted to share their country with me, I really did.  But honest, I went to Japan to spend time with my son, his wife and most especially with my grandson.  So I was sending out really strong, "Can we stay home today?" vibes.

My wish was granted.

It rained all day.  Poured sometimes.  And I stayed happily tucked in with the people I came to see.  It was awesome.

Since we spent the day in the apartment, let me share some of the features of their home that I particularly liked and wish I could duplicate here.

No garbage disposal.

We have a commercial grade garbage disposal in our home and I've never been sorry we made the investment.  It will grind up just about anything.

If you turn it on.  If you push the food down into it, and turn it on.  Which seems beyond some people in the house, because I come out most mornings to make my breakfast to find a pile of goobery, rotting food sitting on top of the garbage disposal.  I have to push it down into the unit, but because it's so loud (remember, commercial grade) I don't run it; don't want to wake all the others up.

Not too appetizing.

In Japan, this is an extra-large drain opening with a drop-in filter unit.  It's lined with a water-permeable paper.  Over the course of the day you just push the food into the opening (no black plastic trap on top to prevent food from falling in easily) and at the end of the day you take it up, knot the top and throw the whole thing away.

I don't know why it seemed cleaner to me, but it did and I was wishing we could have something similar here.

Soba delivery.

I love soba.  Soba is noodles made from buckwheat.  You eat them cold after dipping in a "soup."  One evening I offered to pay for delivery of soba for dinner and the kids made the call.  I was expecting some of those little paper boxes like we get Chinese take-out served in here.  Instead, a delivery man brought this big laquered tray with three serving trays (loaded with soba) stacked on it.  There was a bottle of "soup" and three crockery bowls.  Hashi (chopsticks) were also included.  After enjoying the meal (I had the regular order and couldn't eat all of it) I asked if we needed to return the service to the restaurant (across the street).  No, I was told, we just rinse everything and leave it outside the door.  It sat there for a day or two, then disappeared, presumably picked up by someone from the restaurant.

I want elegant soba delivery.

Line dryers.  Sort of.

I learned that most people in Japan - including my family - have washing machines but not dryers.  Instead they have these plastic clip things.  My daughter-in-law can hang about a basket full of wet clothes on this one (large size).  Once everything is hung she opens the sliding glass door onto the balcony, picks up the whole unit and hangs it from the rod installed over the balcony for laundry by a strong hook at the top of the plastic unit.  I'm jealous.  We used to have a clothesline, but we had installed it in a place where 1) it didn't get much sun and 2) it was under the plum tree and stuff kept falling on the clothes.  Add that I never seemed to have time to do the laundry in the morning so that I could hang the clothes and let them dry all day.  Long story short, I rarely used the line and ended up taking it out.  But there's nothing like several hours in the sun to really freshen your white socks, and I love crawling into the bed onto sheets that have been line dried.

I was able to buy a small version of this hanger at the 100 yen store.  I'm going to try it for a year (I can hang it from one of my plant hooks and dry a load of socks at a time).  If I do use it and if it works as I hope, I will buy a larger one (or two) next year.

About today (November 29) - I'm having a hard time re-adjusting timewise now that I'm home.  My alarm went off at the usual time but I must not have been awake when I turned it off.  Instead of getting up at my usual 5:30 am, I slept until after 7:00.  A bit of a push to be ready for work but I made it.  I'm guessing it will take as long - over a week - to readjust to the time difference now that I'm back as it took to adjust when I got there.  It's really only a problem because I keep dozing off while trying to grade papers.

How embarrassing.

No comments: