Life of D: 1st Week in Japan

Hi, this is D, I’m back!

GJH is still very busy so you guys shall bear with me for now, lol.

So, it has been slightly more than a week since I moved to Japan. I’m actually really excited to share with all of you the interesting and peculiar things I’ve experienced here but I never really got down to it because I couldn’t decide what’s the best way to share the information, be it through writing, through pictures, or through video footages that I’ve managed to shoot (when I remember to, lol). I was also a bit hesitant posting photos here because GJH seldom do that; I’m not sure if I should break his blog’s style like this.

So anyway, let me share some interesting and sometimes, ridiculous, observations and experience I’ve had so far.

*I’ll go ahead and include some photos, since GJH told me I can ‘fully invade’ his blog, lol.*

No. 1: There is no chocolate milk in Japan
This is absolutely devastating. Okay, this may sound a bit unfair because there actually is but I am not counting it as chocolate milk because it tastes like crap or it’s those Van Houten cocoa drink, which is not the kind of ‘chocolate milk’ I have in mind. Just ONE brand in the huge supermarket that we went to had milk in chocolate flavour! And funny enough, the brand is called Gaba (lol?). You know how in Singapore you get Meiji milk in all sorts of flavour? Well, guess what, they do not exist in Japan at all. I can’t really take fresh milk (I can’t stand the taste) so I can only have my cereal with chocolate milk. Now that chocolate milk doesn’t exist in Japan, I’m stuck to yogurt with my cereal. And erm, that is if they sell those flavoured yogurt as well, which I’ve yet to find out *fingers crossed

No. 2: Thin walls in Japan
The walls in Japan are super thin and porous. I’m not sure if it is so for mansions and houses (those property that looks like what we call flats/condo and landed/semi-d in Singapore) but here where GJH lives in, which is a small rental unit (at most 20sqm) that resembles living in a ‘container’ (lol), I can hear his neighbours walking at home, talking on the phone, and, well, even their phone’s vibration. I’m not kidding. I get woken up by his neighbour’s alarm every other morning and as of yesterday, thanks to Japan’s match against Belgium, I realised that his alarm rings every morning at 530am. No surprise that no musical instruments are allowed when you live in such housing.

Additionally, the walls are apparently soft or porous or something. GJH could easily use a pin or thumbtack and poke it through the wall to hold notes, photo frames etc. I tried using my finger nail to poke the wall and true enough, an indentation formed. I guess that’s how soft and/or thin the wall is!

In case you are curious, the ‘container’ housing I was referring to looks like this:

No. 3: Buying 2nd-hand goods
Now, I have come to realise by now that Japanese are really, really, really, environmentally friendly. I won’t go into details but apart from trash sorting, people actually even wash plastic bottles clean before throwing them away at the recycle area with bottle caps separated (wow, just wowww). Probably related to this ideology of generating least waste plus how getting rid of waste is so difficult in Japan, Japanese tend to maintain their appliances and things in general e.g. books, electronics etc in really good condition, perhaps so that the lifespan of the item can be extended or so that they can be sold or passed on to someone else. Because of this culture and, in a way, trust in how others are handling their things, it became perfectly reasonable and wise to purchase pre-owned items instead of new ones. Not only does it make more economical sense, it also generates lesser waste. GJH and I actually bought our washing machine (he never had one before) and fridge from this place called Treasure Factory (short form トレファク tore-faku HAHA)…

That’s him, alright.

And interestingly, they actually provide you a cute kei-truck to drive your purchase home yourself.

This truck is the tiniest truck I’ve ever seen and like kei-jidosha, this is a kei-truck. Basically, they are ‘power limited’ vehicles that are just meant for you to get your daily commute done, not meant for long trips or fast rides.

So when the truck was handed over to us, the workers have already placed our washing machine and fridge loaded behind, for us to deliver home ourselves.

Okay, it is obviously too dark for the photos to show properly, hahaa.

GJH unloading our purchase. You can imagine, with his skinny self and my useless female self, we struggled quite a bit before we finally got the appliances into our tiny apartment, lol. Kudos to the staff though, who had placed carpets and rugs below the appliances, so all we had to do was pull the carpet/rugs to ‘move’ the appliances from inner side of the truck to unload it. We used the same trick to move the items in our apartment.

And our lovely fridge, which we totally got lucky with. It was an outlet product, which means it was on display in the outlet and never been used before.

We ain’t gonna deny it. We got it not just because it is almost new but more because it is a Hisense fridge, one of the major sponsors of World Cup 2018. GJH and I have been so hooked on World Cup, we even got the jerseys to go with it! Our hearts were crushed last night when Japan lost in the last minute during extra time. But we are proud of Japan! Very.

Anyway, that was our mini adventure, buying washing machine and fridge, lol. After all was done, we just drove back the truck to return it within the stipulated time frame and that’s it.

I think I will end here for now, and in my next post, I’ll either share a bit about the sink and bathroom drains/traps in Japan, which I absolutely love and hate, or I will write about signing up a new phone line in Japan, which is still an on-going pain right now for me.

Let’s hope GJH manage to write something before I do!

Till then,
D.

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