Ohayo gozaimasu ! We officially made it through our first two days of living in our new home. I thought it would be a perfect time to introduce you all to a few things that have been puzzling and torturing me for the past 48 hours. First off, please take a long look at these photos. I don’t think I ever truly understood the word “dichotomy” until I moved to Japan. No where else have I seen such complete contradiction within the same moment, space, or culture.
Want to take a bath? You THOUGHT you knew how to do this. Plug tub, turn on water , fill tub, turn off water. WRONG!!!! Now, there is a very complicated system of digital buttons you must press in a precise order. Want to call your husband and ask him to bring you a glass of wine? No problem, press the “call button” and you can blast your voice throughout the whole house. Want to reheat the water once you are in for a few minutes? SURE! Want to have your bath ready for you at 7.am. ? It does that too?
This is all really great, with the exception that there is a small Japanese lady in there (and they do make them small here) who is constantly talking at you in a language you don’t understand. Also, sometimes you just want to get it over and done with and taking the time to figure this out is mind boggling (as I heard yesterday while Paul cursed in the shower while accidentally pressing the intercom button and then proceeded to curse in Dutch because the Japanese lady would not shut up and let him be the whole time). Note to self, NEVER take a bath when guests are in house.
Oh, and lets not forget, you need to also have a control for the tub in the living area. Yes, we would not want to be unable to access the tub temperature when you are getting ready to sit down for a little bite to eat or to read a book!
Now, lets talk toilets. You know you want to. I’m sure many of you have heard about the very complicated toilets here and YES, they do everything but make you a sandwich. Try going into a public rest room and being in there for a small eternity because you need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out where the flush button is. But good news! If you are the easily embarrassed type, you can push a button and have a little ditty play to cover up the fact that you are taking a dump (but really? everyone KNOWS what you are doing once the music starts).
Here comes the “dichotomy” . You may also encounter a “squat toilet” when you are out and about. And this is exactly what it sounds like. Squat over a hole and do your business. Many of these do not come with toilet paper and lets just say that aiming takes ALOT of practice.
We have come to name our new household toilet “SHARKNADO”. This thing has a motion sensor, so any time you walk by not only does the lid open in a menacing fashion, but a blue light comes on inside the toilet bowl and lights it up and then the thing “prewashes” (no one wants a dirty bowl). It truly does bring the theme of “Jaws” to my mind each time. I will not even BEGIN to tell you how many buttons are on the panel to try and control SHARKNADO. Lets just say that I am starting to appreciate the term “you are so anal”.
When one of us forgets to close the bathroom door, you inevitably can hear another one of us screaming in mock comedy as you hear the toilet start up because we walked by. Cry’s of , “It’s trying to eat me”, or “HELP, it’s attacking”. Devon has even drawn a picture of the toilet with us running away screaming, “I HATE SHARKNADO” and posted it on his bedroom door. It’s all pretty funny I must say.
There are other surprise electronics, but I don’t feel like talking about them at the moment. Remember, I am a woman who did not own a smart phone until I moved here and would prefer to be alone in the middle of the wilderness to a casino, so this is all kind of mind blowing for me at the moment. I am tired.
Let me end this entry by inviting you into my new dining area, the tatami room. There is nothing in here but a table and legless chairs and a place to hold a simple flower arrangement. Apparently you can perform a tea ceremony in here , the act of meticulously and artfully making and pouring a pot of tea which could take up to several hours while you and your guests kneel.
Anyone seeing the contradiction yet? Okay, it’s six a.m. and I feel a strong need to visit Sharknado. If you hear music playing, stay far away. Sayonara 😉