Apparently any US citizen living aboard must file IRS forms taxes according to Uncle Sam. I don`t see the point since the foreign income exclusion for 2009 was $91,400. This means a person can exclude up to that amount from US taxation. I had the luxury to filed my online income tax return this year from aboard. It was not fun, than again filing taxes forms never are.

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As some of you may know, my favorite soda pop is Mountain Dew. I just can't get enough of it. Unfortunately, Japan thinks the opposite. I have yet to see any Mountain Dew on the shelves in super markets or convenient stores. Not even one single can. Otherwise, my fridge would be filled with 1.5 liter bottles like there is no tomorrow. This doesn`t mean that there is none in Japan. Selected soda vending machines do stock them. Fortunately, there are a few near my house. The cost is about $1.25 a can. Pretty pricy but when you are addicted, price means nothing. Well, I have my limits of course.

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I have to admit; I was not an ECO friendly person in the past, but Japan has changed all that. I was used to having two big trash bins outside the house provided by the city and all we need to do was to put all trash in the black bin and all greens in the green bin. Then, we take the bins out once a week to have it empty. Simply as that. Japan is quite different. Every household are required to recycle their trash and throw them out on certain days. Anything is not consider regular trash. We have to separate paper, plastic, PET bottle, metal, aluminum, and glass bottle individually. Let me explain.

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In case you guys are wondering why your caller id shows up as a (626) area code or some long digit strings whenever I call you from Japan is because I am using VOIP. Most big businesses use it and it is the cheapest way to go. The call quality is equally the same compared to a landline connection. With the right setup, you can ditch your POT telephone at home.

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Summer is here and the rainy season has officially started. If you live in Japan, you know what that means . Yucky. I am thinking about getting a rain boot this year. Yes, I know it looks funny but it beats walking around all day with your socks and shoes soaked. Not a good feeling at all.

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