Sunday, May 27, 2012

Big Gomi Day

Garbage (Gomi) is very organized in Hokkaido. All of the regular trash gets sorted and taken out on different days of the week and everything that can be recycled is recycled.  Twice a year the town has Big Gomi Day, where you can put out furniture and appliances and other big stuff.  It actually lasts about two months because they pick up a section of town each weekend. I’ve been told that it is an insult to offer your used stuff to someone else here because it implies that person can’t afford to buy it himself.  This seems totally opposite of the whole recycling thing, but as a result a lot of perfectly good stuff gets thrown out on Big Gomi Day. Not being able to read Japanese, we didn’t know when this event would happen for our area.  We found out yesterday that our Big Gomi pick up is this weekend.

I went to the library to return books yesterday afternoon and found out when I saw that people had already begun putting out their big gomi.  I saw a beautiful heavy, low table with legs that folded under.  It was awkward and heavy, but I was able to carry it the few blocks and three flights of stairs into the apartment. I opened it up and put out some scrapbooking stuff.  It’s perfect. Little did I know that was not the end of our gomi adventure.

When Ted came home from his run, he wanted me to come out and look at the big gomi for our apartment building.  There was a huge chest of drawers and matching armoire. The huge chest is actually three pieces – the base, a bottom set of eight drawers, and a top cabinet piece with five shallow inside drawers. By taking out the drawers and taking it apart, we were able to get it to the entrance to our apartment building.  Ted went to the university and borrowed a cart with wheels and we rolled the huge closet to our front door.  We got all the pieces of the chest up the stairs, but the armoire was too big to get up the stairs! I do love things that match, but this just wasn’t going to fit in the turns of the stairwell, so we had to return it to the gomi collection. Here is the chest of drawers put back together, showing the top opened and closed.

After all this it was late and we were tired, so we decided to eat at the moving sushi restaurant. Walking to dinner, we passed another gomi pile that had a big sturdy coat/umbrella rack. We picked it up on the way home for Ted’s office. We found a few other things we could carry and are very pleased to have other people’s trash as our treasures.

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