Thursday, May 8, 2014

Unexpected visitors

Japan has one thing over anywhere else I’ve been: unexpected visitors.

9/10 times it’s a maintenance worker, or electrician, or plumber, or police officer…you name it, they’ll randomly ring the bell announcing their arrival. I never have a clue anyone is coming at all until the intercom on the wall announces someone is at the gate.

That’s another thing that’s different here. There’s two intercom bells. The first one is attached to the video feed that lights up when someone is downstairs needing to be rang up (much like an apartment in New York (for instance)). The other intercom bell goes off when that person is at the gate. Not the front door, but the gate that is about 10ft from the front door. They won’t come to the front door until you open it and allow them to pass the gate (which is unlocked). Its odd, and to be truthful, I don’t even know if I’m doing it right, but I always go out the front door to grant them access to pass the gate.

They always step in, take off their shoes, and proceed to attempt to explain with hand gestures why they’re needing in the apt, and I’ll always step back and let them do their thing. Like I said, I never know when they’re coming, so being “presentable” is almost always essential. I’m not always presentable, mind you.

The other day, at around 7:30am, G-man and I were on the couch, drinking our coffees, playing on our computers when I think I hear someone at the door. No one rang the gate bell, so this was odd. I almost chalked it up to being the wind, but then I heard more noise at the door, so I started snapping my fingers at G (all secret squirrel, someone is at the door, be quiet like), and am watching the door as if someone is going to barge in with guns blazing.

At this point, its obvious someone is definitely trying to get in as they are pulling on the door handle, and sticking their key into the keyhole repeatedly. G jumped up and opened the door just at the woman who finally realized she was in fact NOT at her apt, was walking away. She was apologizing over and over, completely embarrassed and we had the biggest chuckle over it all. This is Japan. The whole idea of someone barging in early in the morning to steal or wreak havoc just doesn’t happen like in America.

Ironically, the next day the gate bell rang and when I answered the door, there stood a cop; just out of the blue. We invited him in, and he had G fill out a resident card, but its these kinds of things I have to be prepared for. Thankfully I had already showered, had my makeup on, and G had done the breakfast dishes, so we had everything presentable for visitors, but they just show up unannounced!

All of this had me think of something my mom told me awhile ago. When she was a new mom in her 20’s and they had moved to a new neighborhood, the neighbors just showed up unannounced to welcome her, and her house was a mess. She said she was so embarrassed by that fact that from that moment on, she always made sure it was in order just in case those visitors arrived. It takes a lot of stress off us when things are tidy. Even if they aren’t deep cleaned, just having them be tidy saves us from such unnecessary stress. I’ve followed that school of thought for awhile and I’m glad for it, especially since I get so many surprise drop ins here. Even living in the states, I hold to this because dirty just gives me anxiety.

Talking about this makes me see I need to roll up my workout mat, wash the dishes and take my johnny one sock that’s in the living room to the laundry.

How do you handle unexpected visitors?

Do you keep a tidy home for this reason?

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The Heart Of A Woman said...

That is a tidy kitchen. Mine is usually not super tidy! We don't have many unexpected visitors and the ones that do come have seen in both at its best and worst!

Amanda Wissmann said...

That story still makes me giggle!

People ALLLLWWAAAAYS turn up unannounced here in Peru. It's one thing I just CANNOT get used to. even after 5 years. My house is usually in order- I can't stand a messy house too long, except the toys in the living room- but that's understandable.

But I'm usually running around in comfy clothes. Decent enough for an unexpected guest- but not enough to go outside.


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