06 May, 2014

Japan and bags

This pull-string bag has been with our family for at least a decade now. 
To our boys it symbolises snacks. It has transported many a snack as we've moved around. It cost us ¥100!

I don't remember what it is like in Australia anymore, but in Japan bags are a big deal. Usually I'm carrying at least two bags when I leave the house: my smallish shoulder bag and another bag that often holds my drink bottle, reading material, snacks etc. 

When our boys were at Japanese kindergarten they each had myriad bags, each with their specific function: lunch bag, cup bag, shoe bag, book bag, etc.

I wonder if it is the fact that we're travelling by foot, bike, or train here, that that effects this tendency to carry multiple bags? You can't just throw things into the car, you need to be able to carry it. Additionally, if you are going to be riding on a crowded train, you'd best avoid a bulky backpack or other bag, if at all possible. We tend to take bare minimum with us wherever we go.

How is it where you live? Do people tend to carry multiple bags?


KarenKTeachCamb said...

Here is Cambodia where I go almost everywhere by moto (read 110cc motorbike), I'm a multiple bag person, although I try to keep it to just my handbag and a backpack! Going to school I might have my handbag, my backpack, my lunchbox (a cooler bag full of drinks & snacks), and my swimming bag. My waterbottle has it's own carrier, but usually goes in the backpack in the mornings. Shopping, I have a basket on the front of the moto, with a nifty stretchy mesh cover to stop people just grabbing stuff of it, or a use an octopus strap to tie stuff in or on behind me. Yep, I'm definitely a multi-bag person. I even have 3 different size backpacks - Papa Backpack (for the school stuff and shopping); Mama Backpack (when I don't need Papa, but need more than BB will fit), and Baby Backpack (when all I really need is a raincoat and my Bible or something else small).

ken Rolph said...

When you return to Australia you will encounter the green bag. These are made of non-woven polypropylene. Most of them are green, but not all. We have red and purple one. They are sold at supermarket checkouts and intended to replace other plastic bags. They are sturdy with handles and tend to last a long time. Some come with a plastic base, but these often get lost

Green bags don't strictly belong to any particular person. They tend to be passed around. Of course we have other bags and backpacks around the place. You wouldn't use a green bag if you were dressing up. The widespread use of the green bag seems to be distinctive to Australia. I am sure that other place have them, but they don't seem to be so dominant.

Wendy said...

Ken, the Green bag has been around longer than you think. It was a phenomenon when we came back on our first home assignment over nine years ago. We've been using them ever since, even in Japan!

Wendy said...

Thanks Karen. I think it is particularly related to how we get around! If you have a car you can just chuck stuff in there, but if you are biking, training or walking, you need something to carry it all in. Thanks for your story.