Sunday, November 26, 2006

Laundry - the neverending battle

Let's start off with something rather blaise, but necessary--laundry.

If you're lucky you will at least have a mini washing machine in you apartment. Mini in that it can wash about 1/2 the amount of an American washer so you will be forced to wash laundry4-5 times a week.

Even the smallest dryers will cost you a minimum of 300 US dollars or 3o,000 yen, so unless you both have the room and plan on staying at least 2 years, it's not worth it. Every single apartment I've ever seen has a small balcony or patio or something that allows you to hang your clothes out doors.

Bike Grease STAIN REMOVAL: As 99% of the foreigners here will be forced to only have their bikes for local transportation, you will at some point get bike grease on your clothes. This happened recently and after searching the web (my stain book didn't cover that type of clothing disaster.), I found a rather curious "cure" and it WORKS!!
--> Let that one piece of clothing run through the whole washing cycle by itself, but instead of using any stain remover or detergent, add a can of COKE. After it goes through one whole wash and rinse cycle, you can wash it normally with other clothes. ^.^
I used this trick on my favorite light beige pair of pants and they came out perfectly.
I couldn't believe it.

WARNING FOR WOMEN: Do NOT hang your underwear outdoors! Japanese men have a weird fetish about women's underwear (hence the used underwear vending machines in the seedier areas of metropolitan cities), and it may be stolen. If you have to hang it outside, make sure you only do it while you are at home. This applies to people living on the uppen floors, too. There's nothing more exotic than a foreign women's underwear (apparently).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

"Brief" Introduction

I have lived in Japan going on 3 years now and have taught in both the private school (juku) and the public school systems.
Fortunately for me, I speak both Japanese and English, but even so, I had to find out everything myself when I got here. There is no ONE, encompassing resource for people either trying to live in Japan now or trying to prepare before they go. So, I figured, all my hard work, blood-sweat-and-tears (and many, many, MANY hours) searching should not go to waste.

Depending on popularity/public-demand, I may offer a full website with more resources, but for right now, I want to get a feel for public reception with a BLOG only.

UPDATES: At this point in time, I expect to update on a weekly basis.

FIREFOX: I strongly, highly recommend you download Firefox from any of the links on this page. Windows has limited features, is not standards-compliant, and regularly crashes. Case in Point: Although I rarely use the Windows XP portion of my laptop, lately I have been. Previously, I kept up-to-date on American news by watching cbs and msnbc online. I upgraded to IE 7 and now, instead of the news, I get a giant GREEN screen. Comparatively, with FIREFOX, there have been no online video issues/problems. Runs smooth as a whistle. ;>

If you are interested in watching any of the free movies or TV shows on the many sites I will be listing, you will want a stable web browser because many of the sites are hosted "overseas" where the bandwidth isn't so good and having to reload a show FROM SCRATCH you just spent 20 minutes waiting for is .....*deleted for content* ;)

Besides, with Firefox you can do all this and more:
  • Block ads with adblock and filterset G.

  • Download the videos to watch later with VideoDownloader extension.

  • Use the most sophisticated tabbed browsing system available. Once you learn to use tabs, you’ll never go back to having tons of open windows.

I am an ovo-lacto vegetarian who did SysAdmin work for over 6 years and currently runs three OS systems on her laptop. I know a thing or 2 about computers. ;> Do yourself a favor and download Firefox.

  • Where and How to watch LOTS of free online movies and TV

  • Public vs. Private Schools-the reality of the system

  • Public vs. Private Schools-handling Japanese students

  • Where to find food - regular and vegen

  • What do those characters on my home appliances mean?

  • Battling the 3 Extremes - heat, humidity, cold

  • Straight Facts @ NOVA & AEON - compiled reports

  • various ESL resources

    As this site is run by popular demand, please leave any requests for answers/advice on certain topics on any post with the "comments" link. (simply leave the comment anonymously.) Or leave a note on the "messages" board to the right. Comments there are not publicly displayed, but go straight to the private account.