Even after being here for almost two years there are times when I want to slump to the ground and ball my eyes out.

It was time for our futons (bedding) to be washed and our home machine is too small and doesn’t have a dry function, so I decided to go to the local coin laundry. How hard could it be, right?

I took a taxi so I wouldn’t have to lug everything. Fortunately my supervisor had translated photos of the machines that I’d taken previously, so I knew I was using a washer rather than dryer.

A little boy fed a note into a machine I hadn’t noticed and was rewarded a handful of coins. The machines only accept ¥100 coins so I mimicked him.

After filling the washing machine and pushing the buttons, the wachine wouldn’t take my money. I wanted to cry. Luckily another woman soon came in and although she was in a rush took time to help me.

I am now enjoying the unexpected bliss of watching my laundry tumble ’round and ’round.