Friday, June 12, 2009

Japan, Futurama's got nothing on you

Everything you ever heard about Japan? All true. ALL of it. You have got to see my new apartment. And if I ever come across my camera again, you will.

The front door looks like a bank safe. You slide the key card in the side of the lock mechanism and then turn a dial to get in. The apartment itself is small but with more buttons than an aeroplane; a super advanced aeroplane which has extra buttons on buttons because there's just that many. There's a button for circulating the air in the apartment every 24 hours (Tokyo is humid and mould can be a problem). There's a button for circulating the air in the bathroom when you take a shower and one to make it hot for drying clothes you have hung up in there. There's also an option to make that air cold... but I dunno why. Then there's the control for the general air conditioning in the apartment and another panel (complete, I think, with video) for talking to people at the front door while you consider letting them in.

The apartment is furnished so I have all the essentials; a bed, TV, internet, washing machine ... rice cooker. There is no shower curtain around the bath. Instead, bath and shower are separated off from the sink and toilet by a glass door so that whole area can get wet.

To be fair, this apartment is almost brand new, so it's perhaps not fair to say all of Tokyo is living like this. That said, it appears almost all cars (even older models) have built in GPS systems and features such as wing mirrors that automatically slide against the car when it is parked (to avoid getting clipped in narrow streets): Options usually available only on executive cars in Europe and the US.

Apartment trash, it transpires, is complicated. Is it recyclable? If so, separate it into bottles, cans and plastic and put in the appropriate bin. Okay, I'm used to that. Is it burnable?  I .... have no idea. Yet the answer depends on whether my garbage goes into a blue or brown bag. Perhaps I should try first on my gas stove :-\

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