Before I came to Japan, I never could have fathomed that the hardest part about packing for a move could be sorting the garbage.
Where I live, there are 11 categories of trash into which we must separate everything we dispose of. And I swear to my creator and savior (the boisterous, tuxedo-wearing, mutant pear-eating platypus in the sky) that this is no exaggeration.
The main and most oft-utilized category is the “Burnable Trash”. (It's where you throw your daily waste, like tissues, left-over salad, uneaten fish heads, junk mail, onion skins, and ex-boyfriends' underwear.)
After that, there are 10 more categories like: non-burnable trash, plastics, Styrofoam, cans, glass, milk cartons, Japanese porn comic books, paper, toxic waste, etc.
The difficulty I've found is that NOTHING in my apartment fits into ANY of the categories. For example, I want to toss:
A box of bulletin board pushpins - but… the head of the pins belongs in the “hard plastics” trash bag, the impaling point in the “non-burnable metals”, the enclosing box in the “soft plastics” category and the label in the “burnable trash”
An old canvas wallet - but… the fabric goes in with the “burnables”, the zipper in the “metals”, the ID-covering plastic in “soft plastics” and the Velcro… well, I don't know where Velcro goes (except that I'm pretty sure it goes to heaven).
But, anyway… you get the point.
Basically, I need a full chemist's lab and a team to work my apartment's de-assembly line in order to take out the trash.
If only I had moved in to a paper apartment, had only paper appliances, and eaten only paper for the last three years…