Me: Have you ever heard of insulation?

Japan: Insuwhat?

Me: Insulation.

Japan: That stuff they give to diabetics?

Me: No. That stuff that keeps your house warm in winter and cool in summer.

Japan: You mean a wall?

Me: No. The stuff that insulates the wall and the room behind it. Normally some kind of heavy duty foam between the external and internal walls.

Japan: What are you talking about? Why would you do that?

Me: Because it keeps things warmer or cooler depending on the temperature outside.

Japan: Ah, right. Well, traditionally my houses were made out of wood which would do something similar in the summer and then in winter i’d just use the kotatsu thing that you neither understand nor appreciate. I never needed this insulting stuff.

Me: Insulation.

Japan: Right.

Me: Are your houses made out of wood now?

Japan: No, not really. They’re mainly made out of concrete and stone and bricks and stuff.

Me: So, why don’t you use insulation?

Japan: Erm…

Me: Is it because it makes the buildings more earthquake prone?

Japan: Well…

Me: Is insulation massively expensive?

Japan: Er…

Me: Does hot, humid summer air rot the insulation?

Japan: Yeah…no….

Me: So why?

Japan: I’m really not sure.

Me: And your walls seem a little on the thin side. As if the people designing your apartment buildings spent all the money on the foundations and had to throw together the rest of it with tissue paper and left over plywood. I can hear my next door neighbour’s alarm clock.

Japan: Could be convenient if you both get up at the same time.

Me: And his bowel movements.

Japan: Hmm…

Me: A friend of mine gets woken up to the rhythmic tones of the fella next door jerking off every morning.

Japan: …

Me: I mean, what’s going on? What’s with the lack of insulation and less-is-more approach to internal walls?

Japan: Well, as i said, traditionally my houses were made out if wood and-

Me: Traditionally? Traditionally you didn’t have bullet trains or smart phones or shit washing machines or 3D HD MP3 DVD TVs or manga or sky scrapers. So why no insulation and decent walls? Why?

Japan: You feel quite strongly about this, don’t you? Does it really make that much difference?

Me: Definitely. Just like double glazing.

Japan: What’s that?

Me: Fucking hell.


May 23, 2012. Uncategorized.

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