A few people have commented that our new lives seem totally hunky dory, filled with nothing but fantastic foods and twinkling LEDs. Well, those are just the parts that are fun to share. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about my new state of non-employment. But moving to a new place is hard, especially when you suddenly find yourself in the grocery store and completely illiterate.
While making my to-do list this morning, it occurred to me that perhaps some of you would be interested to hear how I spend my time. So, with a bit of commentary, here is my list for today:
- Laundry – check!
This entails a bike ride, with laundry bag strapped to my back, to a nearby laundromat. I have no idea what cycle, water temperature, speed the machine is using, I just plop in my coins and push the big orange button. Most of the clothes then hang dry in our bathroom, where there is a special wet t-shirt button on the exhaust fan.
- Buy weird spray deodorant – check!
I snapped a photo so you can see what I’m working with. It is really hard to find deodorant, I’ve been to 5 places already (I found Dan some imported Speed Stick and it cost me $8). Finally, I discover these spray cans. I have no idea what they mean, so I pick blue hoping it is the least fruity/flowery. Hopefully it’s not blueberry.
Update – consider this a victory! Though my armpits are tingling, is that bad?
- Clean apartment – check!
I do this often, perhaps because our apartment is teeeeny and stuff accumulates. Luckily the process takes me approximately 3 minutes. This includes sweeping up the small animal hair I shed everyday. Yeah, gross, but it’s hot and I’m a mammal, dammit.
- Pick up groceries for dinner – check!
In an effort to save some yen, I make dinner at home most nights and we save eating-out for the weekends. I have become an expert at wandering the aisles of the 6 groceries stores and 2 produce stands within biking distance of our neighborhood. I usually avoid the “international” grocery store, though it does have a basket of dented produce in the back for cheap. Yep, I’m that girl buying the ugly peppers. The time of day I go out affects my grocery store choice, since some have better lunch bentos than others. I also now avoid the one where the cranky cashier yelled at me for not understanding the word “chopsticks.” Her loss, because now I don’t know what she is going do with those ugly tomatoes.
- Study Japanese – hmm, working on it…
On a normal day I spend my entire morning going back and forth between Rosetta Stone and my list of 2,000 kanji to memorize. I can now read the sign for “fire extinguisher” and tell you that no, I do not speak Japanese. I’m on kanji #250 and feel that the road ahead is very long.
I’ve been moving a bit slow this week due to a doozy of a summer cold. As I’ve mentioned to anyone that will listen to me whine (in English), snot and sweat should never mingle. I’ve had a few Japanese folks tell me that my cold is certainly due to the heat. I’m sort of curious to see if that has any scientific backing, but don’t have the energy to move from the couch to the desk to look it up. And, because I desperately want them to be my friends, I will nod and smile at just about anything they say.
Today my to-do list also includes packing, since Dan and I are heading to South Korea tomorrow morning. A work trip for him, I’m riding out the free stay at a hotel in downtown Seoul, and in a very uncharacteristic move am rather unprepared for the week in a new place (though, it was on the plane to Tokyo that I first realized I didn’t know any words in Japanese). So forgive me if the blogosphere is a little quiet next week – I’ll be sure to file my report when I get back.
Happy weekend, everyone!