Sunday, November 7, 2010

What I have (and what I do not)

I wanted to write this on Friday, but I was too tired and my brain was not willing to do anything but sit around and watch bad, but amusing Japanese dramas with Shuji.

I had planned to write a "Friday I'm in Love" kind of post even though I would be copy-catting little sis, but feel justified about copying because I like looking at the things that she is "in love" with and by the time this Friday had rolled around I was incapable of original thought.

It didn't happen, so this post is going to be a skewed version of a Friday I'm in love...

OK-- the title says What I have (and what I do not) I feel like I shouldn't start with the "what I do not" have part because it will either make me sound like a whiner even though it will allow me to kvetch a bit. So I will start with a kind of "count your blessings" prologue to the Veruca Salt part.

Before I go further I feel compelled to say--once again, (I know it is getting repetitive but...) I am so very, very grateful for having a flush toilet. 15 years of pit john really did scar me. Or maybe I am not scarred, maybe I am lucky because I will never, ever take that blue water going round and round the porcelain god (yep it IS a god!!) for granted. Forgive me for the broken record bits. Blame it on age or post-pit-traumatic disorder. Regardless of its origins, I AM grateful for my beautiful white throne.

So, what other "things" do I feel particularly happy about owning? Well, for one my slow cooker--this is a complete steal from little sis, but she is so right about how nice it is to smell it cooking all day and oooooh the joy of coming home from work or a from a long, long hike and having a whole meal ready. Another thing that I am happy about is our bath. It is not as gorgeous as this one but it is very big and Japanese and nice for soaking sore muscles. Once you have had a bath in Japan--providing that you are a "bath person", not a "shower person"--kind of like whether you are a cat or a dog person. If you are, you know it. Anyway, once you have gone the Japanese way, there is no going back. We have a continuous gas water heater, so we never, ever run out of hot water. Sweet.

There are more things in our house that bring a smile to my face, like my bread machine (boy does the general consumer here LOVE white bread...heavy sigh) and finally having an oven that will cook 24 cookies all at once! But if I go on and on about the joy my appliances bring, it will get boring and I will not feel the relief that a good whinge brings.

So let's get to the woe is me "What I Do Not Have" part:
--I do not have a dishwasher. They didn't used to even exist in Japan and now they (especially the built in ones) are bragging/show offy items for people with NEW homes or "mansions" and built in "system" kitchens. I don't have a new home, a system kitchen or a mansion, and I don't want a massive box-like appliance to take up my already limited counter space. I feel lucky that I even have a counter. Besides, even if I had the space, every time I wanted to use it I would have to connect it to the kitchen taps. I wouldn't be able to cook anything else or even pour a glass of water if I were using the dishwasher so no-no, I do not have one of those. (This may sound like sour grapes, but I really don't want to pay 500 to 1,000 dollars worth of yen for a machine that will only wash 3 plates, a couple of bowls and a glass or two at the same time.) So, I guess, what I really want is something that I will probably never get in Japan.

The other thing that I would like is an "American sized" washer dryer set. I have been hanging out my laundry for 22 years and counting. On the one hand, I feel superior to those who are wasting the earth's precious resources every time they fling in a sheet of bounce, blithely push the "permanent press" button and carelessly twist the timer. But in the winter, when my hands are turning red from the cold or when my Levis have been hanging out for three days and are beginning to go moldy because the humidity and rain will not let up, then I feel sorry for myself. And it is true that sometimes when it is too wet or when I have decided to wash EVERYTHING in the house at once, (it is pretty amazing how much my little 4.5 kilo limit washer can spit out in a morning) we throw all the large items into trash bags and drag them down to the landromat. The coin laundries are amazing here. They are made for the housewife--clean with big picture windows and good lighting, huge folding tables, carts for dumping your dried items in that you can wheel up to a table and just dig in--fold and fold to your heart's content. And the washers and driers are bigger than some people's apartments. Well, that might be an exaggeration, but they can handle a queen size comforter. Still, I would like a huge washer/dryer like all of my perfectly middle class relatives back in the States have.

So, that is my list (and I *do* love a list) of happy to have and wish I had things.
So that is the end of today's post and I am heading off to soak in my wonderful bath and then count sheep (if not blessings) under my clean comforter and sheets on my Simmon's mattress. Ah joy.
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