So, the first thing is all the plastic bags you get when you go shopping. The check out person meticulously packs everything into a plastic carrier bag, reciting what it is you have bought and how much it costs. Butter, fish, meat, spam, spam, spam, veg, etc are put into individual plastic bags before careful placement in the mother plastic bag. The Japanese phrase I use most is ” Sumimasen, biniro bukuro gekko desu.” which I think means ” Go easy with the plastic bags brother.”
The second thing is the closed Post Offices on Saturday and Sunday. These means sending stuff, which tends to be an indicator of living abroad, becomes an activity squeezed in between meetings and gentle dozes in the office.
Today I rush off to send a Xmas present to one of my sons. It is a fragile ceramic object that is to travel across the world to Switzerland. Thinks of all the mosses, waters, slaps, and styles and associated breakages scenarios that lie between us and Geneva. I am worried.
OK they may be closed on the weekend but when Japanese Post Offices are open they are gelignite.
I show my object, the young man goes “Hai!!” He produces a box, a huge roll of bubble wrap, wraps the object, carefully pads out the rest of the box with more bubble wrap, shows me where he has carefully positioned the Xmas card and asks me for permission to close the box. Oh, ye who have grown tired of life, go to the Post Office in Onna son for a curative injection of milk of human kindness.