Watching the sunrise on my balcony

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Japanese Apartment

I wanted to share what my apartment looks like. It is a Japanese style apartment with an ocean view; about 10 minutes walk to the beach. These pictures are taken the day I moved in.

All the windows here are covered in these bamboo mats

Japanese style sliding doors made with paper and wood

I'm so close to the ocean
Japanese apartments come completely unfurnished so you have to buy the fridge, the stove, the air conditioner ect… Luckily I bought it all from my predecessor, so all I had to do was move it up one flight of stairs from the third floor to the fourth.  Everything I bought was written in Japanese (obviously). For the first couple of days I had no idea how to turn on the air conditioner, and it was sooooo hot here. For the first week I couldn’t cook anything because I was too scared I would blow up the microwave/oven.  The microwaves here are very different from back home. Here they are ovens and microwaves together. You can put metal trays in them when you are using the oven but if you accidentally press microwave it is a BIG problem. So that being said, I didn’t go near it until I could find out how to use it.  So what I did was, I took a camera with me everywhere I went and anything that I wanted to know what it said I would just snap a shot and then bring it to school. The teachers at school have decoded everything in my house, except for the air conditioner. I actually took the remote to the Internet shop where I knew a guy spoke English and had him write down what everything on the remote was. I am sure he thought I was nuts but was happy to help! I get mail from time to time that I can’t read either. So all this gets brought to work and my colleagues try to help me.

These are the instructions???
Japan has a very interesting garbage system. When I moved in, I was given a huge time table with pictures and colors and that was what I was suppose to follow each week. Now, since I couldn’t read it, I took it to school and asked someone to explain it to me.  So how it works is there are three different colored bags that you have to buy from the grocery store. You have to buy them from a grocery store in your own town because your town name is written on the bag. Each town has different colored bags that go out on different days. Let’s say you buy a blue bag with a different towns name written on it and then try to put it out on the day you are scheduled for, they wont pick it up. Also if you put something in the bag that shouldn’t be in there (and they check) they will not even take the garbage. Then they will put a big strip of yellow tape on it, which basically indicates that you are too incompetent to figure out the garbage system. I have never experienced this yellow tape thing yet but I have heard and seen all about it! 

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