Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Let There Be Light

How many Americans does it take to change a lightbulb? Trick question. It can't be done. The lightbulb burnt out in my laundry/vanity room. The truth is it burnt out 3 months ago. But it took me forever to do anything about it. First problem was my laziness. Then add in the Thailand trip, chicken pox, mother's plight and trip to Florida. Then there was the hurdle of reaching the stupid light. I don't have a step ladder. Or even a chair. All my furniture is for hanging out on the floor. So I bought a cheap stool finally. Then I figured out how to uncover the light and take out the old bulb to use as a guide for buying the new bulb (which wasn't all that difficult). Cuz this ain't your standard American 100 watt bulb. This is a flourecent round contraption. So I took it to the store and found one the same size for a little over 500 yen. When I tried to install it, it was too small to fit unto the hooks. Dang it. I compared the size of the bulb to the bulb on the cover of the box, not the actual bulb. And you just don't go around returning things in Japan. So I took my original bulb to another store matched the bulb by some number they both had in common and invested another 900 yen. Got it home, climbed back up on the stool and attempted another stab at it. It wass a whole lot harder to install it than uninstall the old one. But I got to a place where I thought it was ready to go and turned on the switch. Nada, Rey, Zero, Zilch, etc. So I let it sit around in the on position hoping it just needed to warm up, seeing as it was a flourecent bulb and all. A week and a half later it still hadn't turned on. So when my students were at the house tonight I asked them what in the Sam Hill had I done wrong. Shosei hopped up on the stool, unscrewed this little black thing and said I needed a new glow lamp. He unscrewed a glow lamp from a infrequently used light and put it in the other lamp. And now I have light to laundry with, and more importantly for putting eyeliner on. Of course having only limited light from other rooms made my skin look younger. Guess I'll just have to get used to seeing the real me again. This long story just illustrates how everyday little things can be a huge ordeal when you are in a foreign country.


At 3:06 PM, Blogger Sallie said...

Up until the point where the new bulb didn't work, this sounds much like the experience I had when the light went out in my laundry/sink and mirror room. I had no chair or stool on which to stand to reach it, and couldn't find one (other than a real step ladder, which I didn't want to buy) that could reach, so I managed to stand on my sink and reach over to do it... very, very precariously. I'm probably quite lucky I didn't fall and hurt myself and break the bulb and/or glass cover. Oh Japan...


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