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Monday, April 9, 2007

Contemplating My New Apartment

I attended a Soka Gakkai gathering this morning, and once it was finished Kobayashi-sensei (小林先生) invited me to inspect one of the apartments inside his newly constructed mansion, out in the backblocks of Shinozaki. Umesh joined me for the ride, and like myself he seemed pleased by the place, although he muddied the mood somewhat by categorizing it as a "room". It might well be just the size of a typical room in Nepal, but in my opinion there is a whole house condensed into that apartment, and a whole world of seductive pleasures. It is a monument to Japanese miniaturization, cunningly contrived, every square centimetre exploited for all it can yield, and then some. They need to do that in Japan, of course, because there is not much space. They need to be creative. Umesh doesn't get that, evidently.

Anyway, upon returning to Liberty House I sent this repot to my Mum and Dad, a glowing report you might say, complete with choice photos:

I went to have a look at my new apartment today and I was amazed by what I saw. It is one of the best apartments I have seen in Japan, brand new and already set up with high tech fixtures like airconditioning and climate control, a computerised bathroom, walk-in wardrobe, and so on. It doesn't seem like anyone has lived here before -- it all looks so new and clean. And it is only costing me $150 a week -- I don't think you could rent a brand new 3-room apartment in Sydney for $150 a week. But since my boss is the owner of the apartment block, I think he is giving me a substantial discount.

High-tech features, and a little cupboardy thing in the genkan (Japan, 2007)
There is no furniture but I don't need a bed, since I usually sleep on the floor these days Japanese style (but it might be hard on a wooden floor.)

Micro-kitchen, tucked into a corner (Japan, 2007)
I already have a TV and computer and from what my boss was saying, it sounds like Internet and cable TV is free at his apartment.

Pristine kitchen sink, and a green tiled wall (Japan, 2007)

 I was planning to buy a fridge but I think my boss said he could lend me one of his.

I have been dreaming of an airconditioner since I first moved to Japan, and I might soon have one! (Japan, 2007)

The only thing I need is a washing machine but right next to the apartment block, there are a whole bunch of washing machines on the street -- you can take your clothes there, put in some money, and wash your clothes right there on the street. I am also sure I saw some fridges sitting on the street when I was walking back to the train station, and some other furniture which people had thrown away.

Nifty little walk-in wardrobe (Japan, 2007)

All in all the new apartment is about 100 times better than the place I live now, and a big step forward. Even though I would rather be in Vietnam -- I feel like going back down later in the year to check things out. But at least I have a secure home in Japan to come back to.

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