Feb. 19th, 2010

emiri: (that's mildly disturbing)
Three Things Japan Does Better Than Australia:

1. Toilet seats
Normally number 1 would be trains, but I feel like that's talked about so often that it kinda now goes without saying. But can I just say, heated toilet seats in winter? Are the [REDACTED] best idea ever. Even if the rest of me is freezing, at least my butt will always be warm.

2. Convenience
OPENING HOURS! I'm so used to everything in Australia closing at 5 except for Thursday "late night shopping" nights and a few other special exceptions. Also HUNDRED YEN SHOPS ARE MY HERO. Jus' saying. Unlike "dollar" stores in Australia where things aren't really actually a dollar, just cheap. But you can get just about anything in a hundred yen shop for ACTUALLY a hundred yen. Even in a small town like Hirakata \o/.

3. Mobile/cell phones
I [REDACTED] love my phone. JUST SAYING. If you get on a plan, you have to pay around $200 upfront for the phone? And then after you've got the phone, the monthly service fee is ridiculously small (something like $10? It's either waived or halved for me because I'm on a special contract negotiated by the university, I think, I can't remember exactly) and I can text and call ANYONE on the same service provider FOR FREE. Which is basically everyone I know in Osaka, because all the exchange students here are with the same provider since the uni practically sets it up for you, and it also seems to be the most popular service provider in the Osaka area. Texts to other providers and to email addresses are both 0.21 yen per 30 characters. (For the record, 1 yen is about 1 cent, 100 yen is about a dollar, not taking the exchange rate into account.) Which, okay, 30 characters is not a lot if you're writing in English (though it's plenty if you're writing in Japanese). If I'm not sending a monosyllabic reply to someone, usually my texts will be around 60 characters in English? But that's still only 0.42 yen. Not 42 yen. Zero-point-four-two yen. That's like half of a cent. Yeeeeeeah. It can also surf the web, but I'm near enough to a computer most days anyway that I don't bother.

Three Things Australia Does Better Than Japan:

1. Toilet paper
Japan kind of fails at toilet paper. It's like nobody in this country has ever heard of multiple-ply. I have never found toilet paper anywhere that doesn't feel like I'm not rubbing my nether regions against sandpaper.

Is it bad that my number 1 on both lists are toilet related? Anyone could just wander in here and think that I am some sort of person who spends far too much time on the loo. GOING TO THE LOO IS SERIOUS BUSINESS. Clearly.

2. Insulation
And this is really saying something, considering that insulation in Aussie houses is PRETTY BAD. Australian houses are usually designed to keep heat out, but Japanese architecture is, if anything, even worse. It's understandable in Australia where our winter is pretty much a joke compared to the rest of the world (unless you live in Tasmania, but then, that's your own fault for living in Tasmania) and we have fairly hot summers, but in Japan? Where they get snow? What the hell were they thinking? Japanese houses and buildings are bitterly cold, if anything sometimes it's colder inside than out on a sunny day! You can bet I have the heater in my room cranked up really bloody high. I love my thick futon all night long.

3. Serrated edge knives
I don't know how anyone here cuts avocadoes up or lemons or limes or basically anything you need a serrated edge knife for, because I have searched and searched and I have yet to find one ANYWHERE. 8|a

Fushigi mystery.