Friday, January 18, 2008

Beddo nai desu. Futon ga arimasu.

Let’s talk about the bed situation. Or the lack of a bed situation. First some history: When I moved out of my parent’s house two years ago and into an apartment, my father informed me I would not be taking my bed with me. Just in case ten random people showed up at the same time needing a place to sleep he would have a place to put them. He was very disturbed when my mom threw out the bunk bed in my sister’s room that slept three people, (it had a double mattress on the bottom bunk) and downsized to just a double bed. Where would people sleep when they came for a visit? He asked alarmed as he hauled it down the hall and out the door.

“But where will I sleep?” I asked him ten years later as I packed up my stuff.

“On a mattress you’ve bought,” he told me. This, I’m sure, was all part of his plan to make me a responsible adult, but at the time it made me look like a whiny teenager.

In the long run, however, it turned out to be a good thing because I took a good portion of the money I had been saving to buy furniture and spent it on an enormous mattress with an Amish made frame, premium inner spring coils, a very fluffy pillow top on both sides, and a 15 year warrantee. I spared no expense on this bed and then for Christmas my mother bought me 600 thread count sheets. There were days when getting out of bed appeared very ill-advised. Nothing the day could offer me would surpass the wonderfulness that was my bed.

And then I moved to Japan.

Where they sleep on the floor.

The pillow-top on my mattress is probably twice as thick as one of my futons. And yes that’s plural because I have more than one. I am a wimpy, spoiled, scoliosis-suffering gaijin who needs a foam pad and three futons to feel even remotely comfortable, and I still wake up achy. I’m only 25 but I feel old trying to climb up off the floor on a cold January morning.

Although I shouldn’t complain too much because until two weeks ago I had just the pad and one futon. When we went to Kyoto over winter vacation, my sole request was that we stay in a Western style hotel so I could sleep on a real bed. I took a picture of them I was so excited. I think I was more excited at the prospect of a bed than seeing the famed Golden Temple. And it was the best night’s sleep I’ve had since I got here.

But finally my friends Keely and Jovan visiting provided me with the excuse to buy additional ones. They weren’t for me! They were for my friends! They needed something to sleep on when they came to stay. I can blame it on my father who lives in fear of a mass horde descending on his house demanding a place to crash for the night.

The difference being, of course, that dad doesn’t sleep on all the extra mattresses in his house like I do in my apartment.

My futons and foam pad

Traditional style hotel room with traditional sleeping arrangements which leads to a traditional pain in the back for me.

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