Buying 'parts' for drink bottles, pens and other stuff

I read somewhere the other day about the Japanese philosophy of keeping things for a long time and looking after them well. In many ways this is a disposable nation but some things are kept and used forever. Probably by the older generation, those with a 'waste not want not' attitude and post-war frugality.

My husband comes from a family with this mindset and he never wastes leftovers. He eats the most dubious things out of the fridge. I actually have to hide things in the rubbish bin when I suspect that he is planning to feed them to the kids. He's quite frugal which is why we make a great team - two spendthrifts might be trouble.

Along the lines of not being wasteful one of the great things about Japan is the ability to buy 'parts', of course I refer to replacement parts. This evening I have ordered two new rubber seals for Little Guy's drink bottle! I am stoked since it is not even that old, is much better quality than the cheapie I bought in a pinch last week, and is a bigger size.

The company that makes these bottles has a very comprehensive website and numerous products. I was also pleased to support a local business, HQ in Nara, the next prefecture over. Have a look if you are interested. Their retail shop is hosted on Rakuten, it has lots of character stuff which I prefer to avoid, but still some cute non-character things as well. Little Guy has a Pokemon drink bottle, there wasn't any other choice at our local shop. Certainly nothing like the one pictured, though I doubt he'd have gone for it!

Another thing I often buy is pen refills. I remember being led down a dim alley behind our office, back in my working days, to a tiny hole-in-the wall stationery shop. The old man running it had refills for almost every pen ever made. He thumbed through a worn catalogue to find the model number and then gleefully exclaimed when it was in stock. That was a memorable experience.

I also find it interesting that even for discontinued models you might still be able to find the parts. Such was the case when a friend gave me an old serger sewing machine, with the wrong foot pedal. I was able to get one from the manufacturer even for a really old model machine.

Life in Japan can be good!

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