Happenings in Japan

Recycling is a big thing in Japan. Once a month, at least in the area where I live, everyone gets together and sorts their collected recyclable rubbish into neat, orderly piles ready for collection. At 7 in the morning. And they enjoy doing it, as you can see.

But I feel this is all somewhat wrong. Recycling should not be promoted. If it is then people get the feeling that they are doing something good, and that producing all this rubbish is acceptable. Instead I feel that the initial consumerism which causes all the rubbish should be discouraged. Especially in Japan, where people seemingly cannot buy anything if it is not wrapped in several layers of plastic.

Also, the other day I sent a huge package back home to New Zealand. About 30kg of books. I opted to buy insurance, and estimated the value of the books at $2000 (yea right, but hey, if it gets lost I'll be rich). The insurance cost me about NZ$10, which is pretty cheap. Then, today, there's a knock on the door and the postman is returning the package. He says that the maximum insurance for New Zealand is only about $1500, and that because of this (the mistake the post office made) I now have to hold onto the package until they refund all my money, including the initial postage, into a bank account (which can take a week, and means Kotomi has to go to the bank to get money back, etc.). Then I can send it again. And this is all over NZ$2.50. I seriously wanted to throw the box at the postman.

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