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Spring Cleaning In The States Vs. End Of Year Cleaning In Japan

Ahhh spring. The snow is melting. It’s the time of year when nature brings new life into the world. People’s spirits are refreshed and invigorated. Spring truly is a wonderful season. In fact, is there anything bad about spring at all? Oh yes... Spring cleaning.

Cleaning: the bane of fun. As if appeasing my girlfriend’s wrath by throwing my dirty socks into the laundry basket instead of onto the floor wasn’t enough, the American society has decided to dedicate at least one full day (that’s 24 hours or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds) of its citizen’s lives to the horrific act of cleaning.

Although I loathe the act itself, I can understand why poor innocent spring has been chosen to be burdened with the negative public relations as the season of cleaning. It’s time to pack up the winter clothes and take out the summer clothes. Switch the glass windows with the screen windows. Spring is a time to throw away all those things that are being outweighed by the dust that has accumulated on top of them. To me, spring cleaning symbolizes a fresh new start.

However, spring is not the universal season of cleaning. As I presently reside in Japan I have come to experience and understand the art of “end of year cleaning”. Every year in late December in Japan, people all over the country do almost the exact same thing we do during spring cleaning, aside from switching the winter clothes for the summer set of course. And, in this country the screen windows tend to remain in homes all year round.

So, why the difference in cleaning seasons? Actually, I believe the physical and mental feelings the people of these countries have during their annual cleanings are quite similar. As stated above, the all around general feelings I/we (Americans) have during the spring time are feelings of renewal. This is the same feeling the Japanese experience for the coming of the New Year.

But when it comes to cleaning for the comatose, Japan may have America beat. Both countries have their maid and cleaning services. However, Japan also has the one day super deluxe maid service. Almost to the minute of your appointed date two or three girls show up at your place to start their work. The basics are of course covered; laundry, washing the dishes, ironing, vacuuming, etc. But then, going up and beyond the call of duty, these girls will move boxes and sort through your year old accumulation of trash and put anything you want anywhere you want as per your instruction, all the while maintaining a smile. These girls have a sixth sense for cleaning. So, when it comes to the evils of spring cleaning, I fully recommend that America imports the super deluxe maid service from Japan. Ahhh spring. It just got a lot easier. S.B.

Submitted by:

Scott Brady

Scott Brady works for a translation company in Fukuoka, Japan. He works under http://www.translators.jp/english/index.html and manages http://www.samurai-translators.com




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