Wednesday, April 14, 2010

There are still days

Sometimes people ask me if I've gotten used to living in Japan or if there are still things that bother me. The answer to both questions is "yes." Life has gotten a lot smoother for me, but there are still things that really frustrate me.

Yesterday I was cleaning my apartment, trying to clear out some junk that has been taking up space, and I filled a couple of non-burnable bags. In Japan, we sort our trash into burnable and non-burnable garbage, which are collected on different days. I can deal with that. But sometimes there will randomly be a day when the trash isn't collected. Today was such a day. So now I have four bags of non-burnables crowding my entranceway, and the next non-burnable collection won't be until next week!

There was probably a notice or something, but if so I didn't notice it anywhere. And of course the city website isn't updated with such information. So yes, there are still things that frustrate me.





  1. I think that temperament plays a huge role in whether or not things bother people in general, and it has nothing to do with being in a foreign culture. People get irked by stuff everywhere based on the level of hassle or inconvenience. Of course there are going to be things that still bother you in Japan. There are things that bother Japanese people in Japan. It's not a matter of cultural adjustment.

    People on my block sometimes put trash out at the wrong time for the very reasons that you're annoyed. That's Japanese people. It's not only foreigners who get put out by the erratic trash pick-up schedules. Clearly, they'd rather violate the rules than clutter their entryway with garbage.

    Personally, I think that adjusting and knowing Japan better makes parts of living here less tolerable because ignorance was bliss. The more you know, the more you are engaged in the real, troublesome aspects of living here. And there is nothing wrong with that. They're the things that the natives are annoyed by as well, so why should we be any different?

  2. You're quite right, Orchid. I think, though, that I would have been less annoyed had I known ahead of time that there would be no collection. It's probably my failure, since I can't imagine there wasn't some kind of flier or posting somewhere about it...but still, the fact that this kind of thing never happened back where I lived back home makes this a "Japan-related annoyance" to me.

  3. unlucky, dude. Rubbish collection where I'm at runs like clockwork. At least for the past three years, anyway.
    What pisses me off is the whole last train thing we have in Tokyo, and no night buses. It's forced me into a dissolute life of crazed all-nighters, fueled by dance and alcohol.

  4. Hello Paul-san, live in Itami-shi.. It's near my hometown, Kobe. I liked watching AHIRU at Oyaike park.
    Anyway, below message is about the cancellation of garbage collection posted in Itami-shi website.
    4 月15日(木)~21日(水)の期間
    プラスチック製容器包装・ モデル地区の空き缶の分別収集ができません
    Is this what you were talking about? However, normally very few people will check their city website to make sure if the garbage trucks will come or not on the collection day...
    BTW, no more nazonazo (riddle)?

  5. Ah, しまった!I didn't mean to let slip that I live in Itami. Ah well, guess it doesn't matter.

    You're from Kobe, Taeko? Yay Kansai!

    あぁそうなんや!気が付かなかった!Where on the website did you see that? I couldn't find it. Thanks for finding it, though!

    I'll be posting more なぞなぞ soon. I can't go too quickly or I will run out. =)

  6. G Dawg - yeah, same deal over here in Kansai. As a result I wind up not staying out too late most weekends unless I'm near a friend's place. =\

  7. Haha, yeah, in Tokyo there are effectively two points that correspond to the U.S. "last call": right before the last train... and the one right before the *first* train ;)

  8. For the record, that garbage stuff happens in the states too. Like when the state has off holidays that federal doesn't, so you don't associate it because, hey - the mail gets delivered. E.G. Lincoln's Birthday and Election Day. Another example is when there''s snow. The guys are out plowing so the garbage doesn't get picked up... but it MIGHT get picked up depending on how well the snow removal goes.

  9. What annoys me is old people still look at me like I'm going to stab them and take their wallet. I think they're either scared of my tie or my college education.

  10.'re not going to stab them and take their wallet?

  11. I remember reading a survey on what annoys people most on Japanese trains (survey of Japanese people) and top of the list was the sound of sharply intaken air by old dudes. You know, when they make that sucking noise with their teeth, as if in annoyance? MAN THAT PISSES ME OFF!!!!

  12. Haha...yeah, I know that sound well.