How long do you think you could live without a fridge or a microwave? You’d think it would be pretty tough, right? Well I’d been going for about 8 months since moving into my current apartment without them, and I was doing OK. One of the main reasons I didn’t get them was that I wasn’t sure how long I would be sticking around here in Japan. Now that I know I’ll be here at least a little while longer working, I figured it was time to get them.

I headed to Treasure Factory here in Chiba a few weeks ago, a “recycle shop,” which means a place that buys and sells used stuff. They have all kinds of things: appliances, toys, bikes, furniture, grandmas, and electronics. Blanchard bought a ukulele even. Who knows why. So yeah, I decided to save a little money and get the fridge used, since Japanese people keep everything in amazing condition anyway, allowing me to get an almost brand new unit for cheap. The recycle shop’s second floor had most of the appliances, including about 3 or 4 rows of fridges. A lot of them were really similar, so I based my choice on 4 key factors: age (something less than a few years old), appearance (if there were any marks, dents, etc on the outside or inside), price (something fairly cheap), and most important, smell (if it’s got a rank stank). I’m not even joking on that last one. I was opening fridge doors and taking whiffs for about 20 minutes up there while Blanchard tried to self-teach himself the ukulele. By the way, I’m pretty sure those 4 criteria is the same way NR7000 chooses his dates*.

I got the fridge and microwave delivered to my apartment for really cheap in less than a week. After spending about half a day cleaning and sterilizing them both, I had a new tower of power in my small Japanese apartment. The fridge, which is a blue Sharp SJ14G Nice Partner, a white Sharp 730-watt microwave, and the rice cooker I’m borrowing are all stacked on top of each other in an intimidating fashion like Dr. Wily’s Castle. It’s also taken me some time to get used to having fridge noises in my room. But anyway, I’m glad I finally got around to getting these things. I cooked a little bit at home before, but usually it was restricted to pasta, stuff with rice, etc. Now that I have a fridge and microwave I can cook more stuff, heat up stuff, and in general expand the foods I can eat and prepare. It’s like the 1920’s when people first started getting fridges in their homes. I think people living in Japan eat out a lot more than in the US, but this way I can eat at home more, like when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to leave my apartment.

I’ve thus been playing around with cooking more recently using my awesome gas range, which absolutely destroys the hot-plate-equivalent “electric range” I had in my old apartment in Goi. I can make fairly decent fried rice, made some Mabo Dofu one night, and have also been eating eggs and sausage for breakfast. It’s also awesome to be able to eat cereal and milk again, which I suppose I could have done before by getting a small carton of milk, but having the fridge just makes everything that much more convenient. I think I should hit up Costco sometime and stock up on stuff that I can now refrigerate in my Nice Partner.

Fried Rice チャーハン

*in Kabukicho