It’s been insanely windy this week, with the spring wind coming in strong. The sudden weather change can be pretty rough for some, and even worse for those that suffer from kafunsho (pollen allergies), or what many Japanese refer to as hay fever. Find yourself coming down with something or trying to navigate Japan’s somewhat-confusing medical system? This post might be able to help.
Since I’m going back to the U.S. for the first time in four years, I want to try and look my best! I also don’t like having to repaint my nails over and over while on vacation, so I recently got my nails done.
Although I was never much for getting my nails done in middle school or high school back in the U.S. like the other girls my age, I absolutely love getting my nails done in Japan. It’s the one monthly “treat yo’self” thing I tend do for some personal me time. 🙂 I recommend any ladies reading try it out at least once! That said, it was pretty intimidating making the first appointment when I didn’t know any Japanese nail salon lingo. So here’s a quick guide if you’re in the same boat or don’t know what to expect your first time.
Last week I had an appointment at the city hospital to have an oral surgeon remove both wisdom teeth on the left side of my mouth while I was put under general anesthesia. It wasn’t fun, but it was certainly somewhat of an adventure since I’d never a.) had a tooth pulled b.) had a surgery c.) been hospitalized before, either in the U.S. nor Japan.
Since this is kind of a major procedure, and I couldn’t find a lot of in depth or recent information about what all it entailed, including hospitalization, or what the cost would be like with national health insurance (kokumin hoken), I’ve noted everything that happened from the first appointment, up until the aftercare appointment, in this long-winded entry.
Summer is just getting started, and you know what that means: barefoot beach weather! I’m not really big on covering my feet more than I have to, so every since I was little I’ve always looked forward to sandal season. Or that is, I used to look forward to it until I first moved to Japan. After a few years of teaching on my feet for 8 hours or more a day, my feet were starting to look pretty gnarly, and I didn’t really have time to take a pumice stone to them every week.
Then a really nifty little product came out by Liberta brand, called Baby Foot. It works by using fruit acid to peel layers of dead skin, corns, and bacteria off your feet. It’s easy, safe, and natural. I tried it once and was hooked! In fact, it became so popular in Japan it’s been internationally released and many other companies have started putting out their own versions. So I thought I’d use today’s blog update to show you how Baby Foot works along with a couple of its copycats.
Okay ya’ll. I’m about leave for Singapore in a week and I wanted a few additions to my spring/summer wardrobe because it’s supposed to be in the 30s (high 80s – low 90s for you Stateside peeps), compared to the weather here that’s just barely starting to resemble something like spring.
But confession? It’s really hard for me to find good clothes in Japan. Most women’s clothing stores have a one size fits all thing going on, or if they separate into sizes there’s usually only two to choose from- M (fits like a Juniors XS-S) or L (fits more like a Juniors M). Sometimes these sizes are labelled 38 or 40, which correspond to S or M in European sizing. If you’re a non-Asian female expat or have body type bigger than this, you might be facing the same challenge.
So what to do? Well, you have two options: go domestic or go home
I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I noticed about Japanese people after I first stepped off the airplane is how put together they are. Sure there’s exceptions like sloppily dressed girls crouching outside of convenience stores or Don Quixote late at night, but for the most part people here are adept at dressing nicely no matter what the occasion.
While at the back of my head, I didn’t really think much of it and just did my own thing. I had my own sweet/goth grungy style thing going on when I first met my husband, and to be honest fashion wasn’t really his forte either. But as I realized, and no doubt you’ll also realize the longer you live here, how you present yourself reflects not only your own reputation, but that of your family and your employer. So since entering the working world and getting married I’ve been more in tune with making sure I put effort into looking my best. (I still can’t shake the habit of washing my face and putting on a comfy pair of pajamas as soon as I get in the door, though.)
Thing is, it takes a lot of work to “look your best” if you’re a woman here. Your average Japanese woman dyes her hair some shade of brown every month, and is often inclined to have her hair regularly permed/straightened for easier maintenance. Never leaving home without false eyelashes or eyelash extensions is all the rage at the moment, and getting your nails done is a much more outlandish affair than I recall back Stateside. That’s not even getting into the facial and aesthetic salon boom. I for one don’t have that kind of time or money, and if you fall into the average working foreigner group here you probably don’t either. That’s where this nifty product I picked up the other day comes in.