Icicle and Letter

The last few days were cold, not extremely, but continuously around 0°C and less during the nights. Sadly my only source of heat is a small gas heater, so during the last week the temperature in my dorm room never exceeded 15°C, and when I get up in the morning or come home in the evening it’s more like 10°C. Japanese houses are not very different: Cold rooms with gas, oil or electrical heaters in one or more corners, although most of the ones I’ve been to were at least a little bit warmer than my room. People here usually don’t mind the cold, but will tend to gather near the heaters and wear warm clothes inside as well as outside. However there is one restriction: No weather can keep Japanese girls from wearing short skirts.

Icicle in a bush, hanging from the leaves

The cold weather has some good sides as well: Beautiful things like the icicle above, or just the feeling of sitting in a cold room and drinking hot tea. And my resistance against low temperatures will be a lot better after this winter. 😉 The Japanese’s favorite winter fruits are mandarin oranges, called みかん (mikan) over here.

A letter, labeled the Japanese way

Last Wednesday I sent my first letter labeled the Japanese way, so I’ll take a moment to explain the format.

The boxes at the top are for the postal code. Address and recipient are written in columns, with the address in the first column (right) and the recipient’s name left of that. Usually you would write 様 (sama, honorific suffix) below the name, but this letter is to an organization, in this case it is 御中 (onchuu) instead. I didn’t know the price for a letter to Nagoya, so I just went to the post office to send it. Normally the stamp would be put in the top left corner.

If things go well, I’ll be able to spend a nice weekend in Nagoya during spring. 🙂

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