3 in 30 - 2000.08.06
The photographer didn't get too far afield this weekend. It continues to be hot—above 33° C (90° F.) We use a number of techniques to reduce the effects of the heat besides simply burning up electricity to run the air conditioning. While Beverly is putting away some dishes, you can see one of the methods. That is, to keep a damp towel around your neck. This damp towel has damped the whole front of her dress.
We were asked if we had modern conveniences, like a microwave oven. Well, we do have modern conveniences, but the ones that we choose to have. A microwave is not one of them.
Our kitchen is larger than many Japanese kitchens, so we have a large refrigerator (11-12 cf), a stove with an oven, and two feet of counter space. Many older Japanese kitchens would stop at the near side of the rug, have a counter top broiler oven, a couple of gas burners in a counter top unit, and only one foot of counter space. We've got hot and cold running water, an assortment of kitchen appliances (toaster, coffee maker, coffee grinder, mixer), and a rice cooker. I don't know how we ever ate rice before we had a rice cooker.
It is somewhat embarrassing to show the somewhat disorganized area around the StarMax, though this is where the written words start. The Mac clone screen is on. The screen to the Apple ][gs happens to be off. I make various connections with other pieces of equipment, so there seems to be a tangle of cords and cables hanging around.
By now, most of our readers must realize that in Japan, one removes their shoes when entering a home, and some businesses. From the inside, this is what our entryway, or genkan, looks like. Just inside the door hanging on a grate on the window are half a dozen umbrellas. For those who haven't heard, it rains in Japan.
To the left of the umbrellas, is our shoebox. Some of our shoes fit in this box. Coming through the door, you step on the tile floor, remove your shoes as you step up onto the carpeted floor. Guests usually leave their shoes on the floor because there is no room in the shoebox.
Atop the shoebox is a glass jar full of eggs which have been covered with handmade paper (washi). Beverly used to have time to decorate eggs this way, but hasn't had the time for years now. On the end table which sits in our entryway, are part of a small collection of Japanese kokeshi dolls. Kokeshi used to be a simple folk doll carved of wood, but they have been elevated to beautifully decorated collector dolls.
A few other items in our crowded genkan include Beverly's and Candy's Mt. Fuji hiking sticks with the Japanese flag, my bicycle helmet, and the edge of the stairway. Even accounting for the distortion from the camera, the stairs are steep. They go up at a 45° angle.