Monday, May 26, 2008

refills, t.p. and rant

In Japan, a lot of items have tsumekae (refills), they usually come in these thick foil type bags that become flat after emptying them into a container.

Most of my cosmetics, laundry stuff and bathroom cleaners come like this. This way, you keep using the container you originally bought and the refills don't need to be sold in a new plastic/glass container.

The other day at the supermarket, I was pondering which t.p. (toilet paper) could give me the most for my money.

The brand that I usually buy (the one on the left), is the cheapest...258 yen (about US$2.58) for 12 rolls.

The brand on the right, was a whopping 468 yen (about US$4.68) for 8 rolls.

The catch...each roll that I usually buy is only 30 meters. The brand on the right, one roll is 90 meters! (3 of my rolls fit into 1 roll of the new brand)

So, the 468 yen is actually like my purchasing 2 packages of 12-rolls...which comes out cheaper than the brand I usually buy. Let's see if it lasts longer.

This next part is a rant....

In Japan, when you buy books, they ask you if you want them to cover your books. I don't take these covers, because it is a waste of a tree. I think it is interesting while riding public transportation to see what people are reading. Only thing is that most everyone in Japan covers their books, so I never know what most people are reading. Satoshi on the other hand, loves these covers. I told him he should make his own cover.

He said he didn't know how. I was shocked. Growing up, we used to take old paper packages and carefully take them apart at the seams then fold them to make covers for our textbooks. When we got home, I showed him how to make a cover, I also bought him fabric covers for his books (the black ones), so he wouldn't need to take the paper covers. Still, he takes these paper covers. I asked him, "are you reading porn?" He immediately replied, "no!"

Me: "Then why do you need to cover your book?"
Him: "It is just one cover, I don't know why you're making such a big deal about it."
Me: "Everyone is saying "it is just one cover"..."

This is just one of the reasons why I think that most people in Japan, the country who preaches recycling and being green, aren't really doing their share.

Another thing that gets me is the cellophane tape on top of the saran wrap at the grocery.

In order to get to the produce that I've purchased, I need to literally pry it open! This usually ends up involving scissors and leaving the saran wrap useless and unusable. I wish they would stop wasting both saran wrap and tape.

Whew...glad to get that out of my system....hope you have a nice week!


Su-Lin said...

I saw an adorable cloth book cover from Muji and it even came with a little handle on the spine and you could zip the book closed! So neat! Unfortunately, it was a little on the small size - perhaps that's the usual size of paperbacks in Asia?

Anyway, that's a nice reusable alternative to the paper jackets!

K & S said...

I'm not sure if that is the usual size of paperbacks in Asia, Su-Lin, but the paper is different than what I was used to in the U.S.

Take care.

Lori said...

I know exactly what you mean about getting that rant out of your system. Sometimes I have to rant to someone plus take a nap to get it out of my system! :)

K & S said...

Thanks Lori! I need a nap everyday regardless of rants :)

Take care.

tamakikat said...

Hi Kat, you're post made me :)

K & S said...

glad to make you smile, Tamakikat :)

Take care.

Kathy said...

hey kat!
your posts reflecting culture shocks are definitely the ones i find most interesting - tidbits into life in japan that we wouldn't have otherwise glad you got the rants out of your system! ^_^

K & S said...

Thanks Kathy :)

Take care.

rowena said...

Loved your "eco"-rant...wish we had the possibility of refills here! Plastic, plastic, plastic. It irritates the heck out of me that some countries still haven't gotten with the program. As for the t.p., Kat you are too much (and I am mathematically challenged). I just go for the softest brand. hee hee

K & S said...

Thanks Rowena, I am mathematically challenged too so it took me awhile to figure everything out in the store :p

Take care.