Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's Murda.

Living off base has some distinct advantages, like being able to walk to the 24-hour Japanese grocery store, the train station, a Japanese version of Denny's with a 200 yen ($2.50) beverage bar (non-alcoholic, you lushes), a sushi-go-round, a Japanese version of Michaels called "Craft Heart" and so much more!

Yet, there are drawbacks. I've always considered myself an environmentalist (it only makes sense, right?), I definitely don't litter, and my mom always taught us to use the recycling box as kids. Joe and I really stepped things up when we moved to Germany and our apartment had a garbage sorting area where you split things into biodegradable (food waste), paper, and plastic. Then you save up your glass bottles and take them down the street to throw them in appropriate bins for their color.

So I thought I was ready for the Japanese recycling system, but I was wrong. First of all, we have garbage pick-up five days a week. When we moved in, we got a calendar with a different color for every day and a somewhat crude English translation with it. The good: the "combustibles" are collected twice a week. This includes food waste, kleenex, etc. However, there are different pick-up days for cardboard and white paper. The plastics are divided into PET plastics (specially marked as recyclable) and all other kinds of plastic. There is no such thing as restmüll here in Japan. I would remember this word as being basically "the rest" after you recycle what you can. Every single thing here has its specific day in the month to be collected!

The problem with this arises when you (ahem, when WE) are moving into a new house and are buying things off the internet to organize your new life. This means our subtle recycling area is actually an overflowing monstrosity of cardboard boxes, packaging peanuts, the accompanying plastic packaging, and the paper filler inside! 

I'm still trying to whittle away at this project but in the meantime, it's murda.

/my uptown problems 

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