Thursday, May 29, 2008

Orange blossom scented walks, the crazy neighbor and hell is coming

Ok.....Lots has happened since my last post. We will start with the crazy neighbor. There is this "obasan" or "baba" (kind of means old lady ....and she calls herself this....the word "obasan" is a whole topic I should blog about another time) who lives downstairs. I have lived here for 5.5 years and the only I trouble I had with her before was her parking in my spot-I don't have a car but my friends and assistant do so needless to say, I need my spot. Well since I took over the "little house" (my office) she has gone off the deep end. She has been acting so out of character for a Japanese woman that people think she must have gone off her rocker. First she yells at my honey and calls him "baka" (means idiot but really a bad word in Japanese) and tells him that since we have both places it is troublesome for her! Ummm....excuse me? She is not the landlady or area leader (another blog topic) or in any way affected by the fact that we have 2 places. Another day she bangs on the door while my assistant is working and demands to know who she is...umm....I pay my assistant well but not enough to be yelled at by a strange old woman! Then the last straw was 2 weeks ago. My honey and I were downstairs in the office working past midnight and she banged on the door. I asked "dare desuka? (who is it?) and I could tell by the surprise in her voice that she had thought that it was my assistant working. She demanded that we don't work past 10 because we keep her awake. I said no. I told her that this is our office and she can't tell us what to do. I was soooo angry because had it been my assistant she would have really yelled at her. And I was mad because there is no way we can affect her sleep-the office is not attached to the apartment building. We didn't have music playing or the outside lights on and the lights around the building are brighter than our inside lights (plus we have blinds on the windows). We finally complained to the company that owns the building. They came over and talked to us and said that they know she is a "difficult" person etc. Then they suddenly started offering to pay for things! They offered, and in fact had someone come over to fix our air conditioner hose (it looks fabulous now) and they offered to pay for other things. I was in shock! In Japan landlords are famous for NOT paying for anything and in fact when you leave a building you have to pay THOUSANDS of dollars in "damages" never mind that you pay THOUSANDS of dollars (well, the equivalent) in key money just to get the place. So....they must have been scared that we would move out! The people next to obasan moved out and I always wondered if it was because of her. So...since then all has been ok. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Orange blossom scented walks. OMG!!! The last few weeks, while taking our evening walk, the most fabulous and heavenly smell has been everywhere. I don't know about you but orange blossoms are my favorite scent! I must have looked like a dog sniffing and breathing deeply to try to smell as much of it while I could. I tell you those walks are sometimes just the best things....beautiful stars, the sound of the wind in the trees, the scent of orange blossoms and walking with my honey....what could be better?

Sick. I got sick again! Started with a cold sore. Then a sore throat followed by a major cold. I can't believe I got a cold again! I had one in April and missed work and I missed 2 days of work again! Sadly it seems I might have passed it on to my honey....he tells me I gave him "bad chi". This is his thing lately....everything negative has to do with "bad chi" and he is constantly telling me to "smudge" (smudging, basically is using incense to clean a room's energy-get rid of the "bad" energy or to invite in "good" energy). I swear we keep our favorite etsy incense maker in business!^__^

What else?...Oh we have had our first few sales on our new site! YIPEE! Due to being sick I haven't put up much but I will soon!

Oh...yeah...."hell is coming"...this refers to the fact that summer is around the corner! We have had some hot humid days and it is just a warning that soon there will be 4 months of hell (June-September). In June there is "tsuyu" which means rainy season and after that....hell. Hot, soggy "beta beta" (means sticky or muggy) terrible weather that makes me question why I live in such a place. It means mold growing on your shoes in your closet (hasn't happened to me but it is common), mold everywhere, where (in my opinion) there is little difference between day and night-both suck! I love it when people use the word "sultry" like "it was a sultry night"...sounds almost romantic but really what it means is that even your bra and panties are soaked with sweat...nothing romantic about that! Hmmm... I should keep the rest of this rant for when it really is that hot and humid!

I'm sure there is more but that's it for now!


Colleen said...

That humidity and those "sultry" evenings are the one thing I never got used to when I lived there! No thanks!

Andreanna said...

I had a neighbor like that. She would freak out about the laundry room. One day she knocked on my door because I wasn't in the laundry room the moment the buzzer on the washer rang. She also would scream at us at night that we were too loud but she was the one screaming as loud as possible.

sofia said...

Hi Colleen! Yeah...I'm not 100% used to them though this will be my 11th summer so I can deal with them better. The first summer I cut off my hair, never wore makeup and wore the same 3 dresses...wore 1 went home washed it, wore the next one...repeated it every night. And I was sooo sick...couldn't keep anything down or in me for 2 weeks cause that kind of heat kills an appetite or proper digestion for me! I want to move to Vancouver for the summer! or even Hokkaido. This is my plan for the future!

sofia said...

Andreanna....I'm used to North Americans acting like this but honestly in 10 years this is only the 2nd crazy woman I have run into in Japan. They are usually soooo polite and avoid confrontation especially with a foreigner! As for your crazy lady...she sounded like fun....not! ^__^

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. I also love your online shop. Thats too bad about the trouble with your neighbor. Is it possible your neighbor (depending on her age) could be suffering from the beginning stages of Dementia or Alzheimer's? I'm not implying or trying to sound rude. I have a relative that was acting out of character, later to be diagnosed with Dementia. My parent’s neighbor has Alzheimer's disease. People can have it for years before they get dignosed.

Kelly said...

Hey, I'm so glad you finally posted again! I LOVE any fruit blossom smell. Smells so nice.
Guh.. I would die in that weather. Humidity is my official enemy. ha
Heat i can deal with as long as it s not "sticky" heat.
It's too bad you're sick. Get well soon!!

sofia said...

Hi Shari! thanks for the kind words! As for my neighbor being sick...I guess anything is possible but I will never know about it-I'm the outsider here so I never here the gossip or know what is going on which suits me fine most of the time. If she is sick I hope she gets help....thing is I have a feeling she is just an unhappy woman.

Hey Kelly! I am feeling better but now my honey has it so he isn't too happy with me! yeah...humidity is my enemy too. You know I actually moved to Vancouver from a city near Toronto to get away from the humidity but now when I go visit family in Ontario I just laugh when they complain about the humidity! It ain't nothing like here! Soon, I will question why I live here and this summer it will be worse because of my businesses and all the shopping I have to do! Usually I basically hibernate but I will have to go shopping so I am dreading the shiny tomato red face that I have once I step outside!

coffeegirl said...

Here's a story to gross you out about summer:
One summer I had an internship on Whidbey Island - you might know where it is - North of Seattle, WA, and about 90 minutes from the Canadian border. The island was humid and hot. One of my co-workers had a house that got so much shade that he actually discovered mushrooms growing in the carpet in the corner of his living room. He moved after that.

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate to the heat and humidity, we have 356 days of that.Yucks! Have you seen mold on marble floor and MUSHROOMS growing from your kitchen cabinet? I have!

sofia said...

Hi Tracy! Ok...I haven't had big issues with mold (except the bathroom)and I've never had mushrooms but my friends in Japan have. I've been to Malaysia-I could never live there! Do you an air conditioner everyday? I have wondered if part of the reason I don't have many problems is because we use the air conditioner almost all the time in the summer and maybe that pulls enough humidity out of the air so it doesn't cause too many problems. Most Japanese don't use the air conditioner the way I do!

Andreanna said...

I used to live in North America and now i live in Switzerland which is full of very reserved people. My neighbors when I lived in ohio were like super crazies but being here where most people are very polite and reserved its like woah!

In ohio I had a crazy old guy for a neighbor who thought he was a doctor. One day he barricaded me into my apartment with crap and put an alarm in front of my door at six am.

Anonymous said...

We can't afford to use the air-cond 24/7 the whole year, so just blast the fans during the day and air-cond at night only when we go to bed so we can sleep with all doors and windows closed to keep out the mosquitoes.


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