I’m pretty sure today’s the hottest day of the year so far. I spent the last two hours of it walking heat-dazedly around town, trying to find a single frigging store that carried plumbing snakes and/or Zip-Its. At the fifth place (it would have been the sixth if the koi store had been open), I finally gave up and said to a clerk, “Sorry, I don’t know what this is called in Japanese, but I’m looking for the tool you use to clean out the bathtub drain?”
Because I’m a filthy hippie and didn’t want to use corrosive chemicals that will poison the water table, I made sure to say “tool,” and did the universal gesture for “plumbing snake,” which I had just then made up and which is very expressive. He showed me directly to the Corrosive Chemicals Aisle, and pointed out one that he felt was particularly nicely corrosive.
So I don’t think civilians are allowed to have plumbing snakes and Zip-Its here? Corrosive chemicals are fine, though. Damnit, Japan, and you’re usually really good about this stuff.
Almost immediately afterwards, I discovered that the same store carried Dr. Bronner’s.