I gave it up shortly after moving to Japan:
- The vegetarian diet (esp. at restaurants) was not as easy to maintain because Japanese restaurants supplied few veggie-only dishes. I was spoiled living in LA because California in general is quite vegetarian-friendly. Ok, yeah, I know this is a lame reason.
- My Japanese was rather limited at the time making accurate communication of my dietary needs to restaurant staff rather challenging.
- Many meals in Japan are family-style. I would go to dinner with a big group of students and a variety of dishes would be ordered for the whole table. We shared everything much like a Thanksgiving dinner. 99.9% of the dishes had meat of some sort. I was really going against the grain insisting on a separate veggie meal just for me. Japan is big on harmony, and this vegetarian thing just wasn't working.
Most all tourists that visit Japan say the same thing: "Wow! Everyone here is so polite!" Well, that's true if you're a tourist--especially one with a phatty wallet.
Having lived here for over 5 years, I have come to realize that although Japanese people are generally very polite (why else would I choose to live here), there are times when extreme rudeness prevails. Here are some examples along with some attempts to understand them:
I said a fond farewell to my old kettle today. In other words, I threw it in the trash. It was purchased 2.5 years ago at Donki Houte (ドンキホーテ) in Nakano-ku. I used it solely to make tea, so the inside was horrendously caked with 2.5 years of tea. In fact, I could make a pot of tea just by boiling water in it.
Unfortunately, I outgrew my old kettle. It holds 1.7 liters of fluid, and I pushed it to the limit each and every time I used it. Tea would explode out of every kettle orifice upon reaching the boiling point. It got kind of annoying.
So I trashed it.
I went to Super Viva Home in Toyosu and bought a 3.7 liter kettle. It's huge and makes a ton of tea. The design looks exactly like my old kettle, so that made me happy. I like my new kettle, but there will always be a place in my heart for my old kettle.
By the way, is a kettle considered "burnable" or "non-burnable?" I put it in with the "non-burnable" thinking it would suffer a slightly less-degrading demise.