I don’t know how I forgot these in my previous lists of Things I’ll Miss About Japan, since they were very important to me when I was there, but here they are:

NO GARBAGE. It was just amazing to not see garbage. There were no garbage cans either, or practically none. Basically, everyone was responsible for their garbage. You carried it with you until you were home or work or somewhere that had a garbage can. The Shinkansen platforms had garbage cans, which makes sense, since people could be on those trains all day and have a lot of plastic bento boxes and such. There were none in the spotlessly clean public bathroom, because there were no paper towels. You brought your own hand towel where ever you went.

We came home to find someone had dumped a broken old desk and sundry other crap in front of our house. There is not the Japanese way. No one would dump a pile of garbage in public, especially not on someone else’s property. It sucked to come home to.

The other things I miss: cutefied public service announcement. All public service announcement had cute drawings. ALL OF THEM. It seemed weird at first, but then I got used to them, and then I kind of liked them. At the last day of my trip, I saw a drawing of a crying garbage can (where was the real one? I don’t even know). It was crying because the garbage was overflowing and falling on the ground. This made the garbage can so sad. Poor garbage can! Then I saw one of a crying handbag. It looked wistfully at its departing owner, who had left it behind in the bicycle basket (yes, people actually do that. And, people do not lock their bikes, either). A black-gloved thief was just about to snatch it, and it would never see it’s owner again. Poor handbag!

I also saying angry mountains, crying deer (being chased by people with sticks), helpful chipmunks with fire extinguishers, the aforementioned smiling body organs, and this: THE ULTIMATE JAPANESE PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:



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