Monday, April 19, 2010

EPIC GOMI (garbage) FAIL

Friday, I forget to take out my nama gomi (raw garbage/compost). No big deal, right? I’ll just take it out on Monday morning and all will be fine.

Tonight, I return from church with my JTE and because of a particularly long meeting, dinner out and then grocery shopping, we arrive home at 10pm. Not too bad. Having had caffeine a little on the late side and knowing that Sunday is the best time to chop up my veggies, I head into the kitchen to put food away and throw other food away.

At the 100 yen store this afternoon, I bought a couple of new bags for the onions and potatoes that have been in my fridge quite a long time and have been doing just fine. So I start there. I dig through the potatoes and find that the majority of them need to go. There’s a handful that can go in my new fancy bag – probably good that I bought the bags, because I had to go through the bad produce. Then I begin doing the same thing on the onions. The first few are still good. Then I get lower in the bag and they are soft – according to the website I found, this means they have to go. I get lower in the bag and find mushy, fuzzy onions. At this point, I decide that I’m glad I bought tongs at the 100 yen shop as well because I don’t have to touch the nasty onions – yay!

After I’ve gone through the onions and potatoes, I glance through the rest of my produce drawer. I didn’t go through peppers as fast as I thought I would last week and I now have two very soft peppers on my hands. I decide to toss these as well and the grapes that are mostly over ripe at this point in the week.

This is all well and good, but having not chopped any produce yet, my gomi bag is FULL. Nothing else is going in that bag if I want to be able to tie it shut. So I decide to take it out. I don’t even want to chance forgetting to take it out this week.

I begin to pull the bag out and notice some gomi juice in the gomi bucket. I don’t want to drip this the whole way to the gomi cage, so I carry the bucket out. In the entryway, I find my plastic garbage that I had forgotten to take out the last two Wednesdays (the good thing about that is it never smells). Since people in my apartment complex are terrible at being Japanese, there’s always gomi out early (apparently in most of Japan this is against the rules and the gomi police will return it). I decide I’m going to take the plastics out too.

I grab my fleece and my rain boots and head out. I walk down to the gomi cage and stick both gomi bags into one hand so that I can open the cage. The plastic being the easiest, I toss in first.

Once that’s in the cage, I grab my nama gomi and stand back so it won’t leak on me. Then I yank it out by the handle of the bag (think shopping bag with the handles tied together).

I get it to just in front of the gomi cage when BOOM. My gomi bag explodes all over the ground IN FRONT of the gomi cage.

I am utterly shocked standing with an empty bag in my hand. How is it that the gomi bag I have in my hand is now empty? One minute the gomi was in my hand, the next it was all over the ground.

Then, I do what I always do in a random moment like this. I start laughing. My gomi had rejected the gomi cage. What other JET has had that experience?

After I get over the insanity of my situation (I’m still standing there), I decide I need to do something. As much as I would rather pretend it wasn’t me, I can’t leave this for someone else. I head back into the house to grab a new gomi bag and try to figure out how I’m going to get all the gomi picked up.

As I enter the house it occurs to me, I’ll use the freshly cleaned tongs I bought today so I don’t have to touch the nasty food all over the ground. I head back out. It’s 11:45 and I’m headed out in my blue rain boots, armed with a gomi bucket and tongs. I’m sure if anyone had been looking outside at that moment, I would have been a hilarious sight.

With my weapons, I manage to take out the mess bit by bit, apple cores, potatoes, onion, peppers, carrot ends, and parts of veggies all get tossed into the new bag. I managed to get all the whole things picked up. I find something slimy and wonder what it is I ate last week that would go bad this fast.

I get to the bottom and remember, as I find them, that last week I had not been able to use 4 eggs before the expiration date. They’ve cracked over the small bits of gomi that are left along with the dirt. I get most of that picked up. But, lacking a hose or any water source to rinse the area. It’s going to be gross in a couple of days. I’m very much hoping for rain this evening to wash the whole mess away. But looking at the weather forecast, rain’s not likely until tomorrow night.

I returned to my kitchen after that to chop up the veggies before I lost steam and didn’t have the energy to do it. As I now head to bed, I have a container of celery, one of carrots and two of peppers in my fridge and ready for healthy snacking this week.