The basics. 10.09.2013

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So, as of late last night I’ve officially survived my first week in Japan.

The Japanese seem to have mastered avoiding awkward situations and making good use of tiny spaces. For example, lots of toilets I’ve met have got a sink on the top which makes use of the water being pumped into the flushy compartment for you to wash your hands in (pre flush of course) here’s an example I filmed earlier https://vine.co/v/h5Q9neJuTHI. Also, for those of you who are pee shy or wait days for a private #2 need suffer no longer; here in every cubicle there is a ‘flush noise’ button to drown out those awkward sounds. Many loos also have bird song or music instead. So you can be sitting reading a text on the loo and if you hear birdsong coming from the next cubicle you know they mean business.

If, like me, you’re often looking for a stress free eating experience then you can visit one of Kyoto’s many vending machine restaurants. Choose a picture, put in your cash, take a ticket, give it to the chef, receive your meal. So. Easy! There’s no misunderstanding or awkwardly long wait for the bill. Also with every meal and even drink I’ve ordered I’m a cafe or restaurant so far I’ve been given free water, how’s that for great customer service.

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Train tickets, bus tickets, drinks, and even clothes, can be bought from vending machines here so one could probably avoid human contact for however long one wanted to. But I’d rather try and fail at bluffing my way through with broken Japanese than live through the dead eyes of a vending machine.

Yesterday I moved into a one bedroom apartment, I’ve not tried swinging a cat in it yet but it’s a good size I think. There’s a separate kitchen and bathroom then a big old living space that I can roll out my futon in. A futon In Japan isn’t an uncomfortable old sofa – it’s a simple fold up mattress which is thinner than our springy ones. It is almost pronounced by breathing over the ‘f’ so more like ‘hooton’. I slept very well last night, which is great because I’ve been waking up at 3 pr 4am every morning – it doesn’t make sense because that doesn’t even translate to English waking hours!! I bought lots of essential furniture yesterday from a recycle shop and my bill came to under £35, extremely reasonable.

I’ve started working at events to earn some pocket money before starting my training next week, I’ve learned some of the Kansai dialect, and I may be doing life drawing in Osaka at some point. Oh, and one of my very best friends at home got engaged yesterday so – Congratulations Sophie and Justin, I’m so happy for you :)!

Let me know if I’ve made any mistakes, it’s too hot for proof reading today.

Lots of love, Rach x