Makes You Relax

We started to notice the cultural differences between Japan and Canada as soon as we got to the Air Canada departure lounge at Kansai Airport. Today I have a couple of photos from the Three Minutes Happiness store-within-a-store at the Riverwalk Comme Ça Store.

Three Minutes Happiness—I’m going to abbreviate it as TMH—is the housewares divsion of Comme Ça, and as can be expected, sells dishes, silverware, vases, towels, kitchen items, storage systems, and various small decorating items. Almost everything is cheap—as in low price—and some of it is even decent quality.

But back to cultural differences. We’re having to adjust to surly teenage cashiers, having to pack our own groceries, and occasionally being asked if we brought our own shopping bags. None of this is inherently bad, though the surliness will take some getting used to. The bagging issue reminded me of today’s first photo, taken at TMH.

'The bag which can be contained smartly.' burlap bag

It’s a display of burlap bags of unknown purpose, each imprinted with the words “The bag which can be contained smartly.” I’ll leave the parsing of that sentence as an exercise for the reader.

Lia’s parents’ house is cluttered with the detritus of children who have moved out but not to permanent digs. Our stuff, which we’ll be going through in the next few weeks—and probably selling off or otherwise disposing of significant portions thereof— makes up a large portion of said detritus. I spent a good part of today cleaning and rearranging furniture in one room so that Lia can have a quiet workspace for herself. Which reminded me of my second TMH photo:

'A clean room makes you relax.' burlap tissue box cover

It’s a tissue box cover proclaiming that “A clean room makes you relax.” I’m not sure that I completely agree, but a clean room certainly makes it easier to relax. And given the stress of cleaning, especially when cleaning calls for cajoling a 9-year-old to clean his room, the end result is comparatively stress-free.