in japan there is an impressive system of trash sorting and disposal that rivals tax forms in its complexity. if there’s any metal on an item, it’s picked up this day. if it’s recyclable cardboard, it must have every staple and bit of tape removed and be tied with twine to be picked up on this day. electronics...another day (but what about the metal on electronics? shouldn’t that be thrown away with the metal stuff? surely it isn’t my job to dismantle everything into its component parts just to throw it away?) apparently it is. so my mission to get rid of the 10 years of stuff left in my apartment has turned out to be a little more difficult than i expected.
in other news, i was subjected to a bizarre medical exam with all the other high school teachers in spite of the full medical check required to get into the program. i won’t go into details, but i’ll just say that some old doctor got to second base with the supposed intent of listening to my heart. no under-the-shirt stethoscope modesty in japan. my translating teacher and the nurse were both helping to hold up my shirt, like i don’t have the mental or physical capacity on my own.
finally, let me tell you about cell phone minutes. you know how you might get 600 or even 1000 minutes for 50 bucks in the US? revel in the generosity of alltel and t-mobile! in japan, you get 55 minutes for 50 bucks. that’s right. who talks less than 2 minutes per day!? i’m not that popular, and even i managed to use at least 500 minutes per month. hello telepathy.