22.02.2007 7 °C
January. The 2nd of the 3 original people from my apartment had just informed me he had given notice to move. I would be the last and would soon have another new room mate. Someone else to break the house rules to; to worry about 3am movie noise in the paper-thin tiny apartment that I had called home for nearly a year.
It's time for me to go.
I started looking around on my days off. I dragged my Japanese friends around from real estate to real estate on weekends. Looking for something in the same area. I knew where I was, I knew how to go. The convenience of 3 major train-lines (Kyoto and Kobe within 45mins) and a short walk to Umeda seemed a lot to give. The bar was here. The restaurants were here. I was use to the ladies-of-the-night on the corners; I enjoyed watching the drunk business men sway down the streets; the shy couples darting in and out discretely from the love hotels.
I gave notice with a quick call to the apartment managers; I would have to be out by the end of February now.
For a month I peered into Japanese apartments. Some where 20 minutes for the station and big. Some had no storage space. Most were barely the size of my old bedroom in Oz and that was for the entire apartment.
As the deadline grew closer, I finally settled an a small place near the river and the daunting task of applying by completing Japanese paperwork settled in. There was so much money! Rent in advance, fire insurance, lock changing service, corporate body charges, electricity, gas, water. Japan also has a wonderful tradition of Key money. This tidy little sum came to around $800 and was basically a donation to the landlord - "thanks so much for allowing me to move in" money.
I raced out and signed up for internet as the paper work went through. What? 5 weeks wait?!!? My god!!!! I called friends every other night and dragged my laptop around Juso. Lets watch a movie, oh and can I check my email and update my system? Finally the wait was up. At 9am sharp, a telco arrived and tested the signal in my room. He tapped his device several times, never a good sign. After scratching his head, he asked me in Japanese if I understood his language. No, I replied with a sigh. He grabbed a sheet of paper and handed it to me.
We regret deeply that the terminus being in the build where our dutiful works was completing ....
It was a poor translation of something that I couldn't understand. I tried to call my Japanese friends, but they were all working. Eventually, I figured out that the signal had been turned off at the exchange and since it was locked, I'd have to arrange another appointment when access could be given. Finally my friend called back, came over and we started this process. She looked at me, the next appointment is in 2 weeks time. AARRRGGHHHH!!
The days were long. The nights were cold. How I occupied myself, I still cant recall. Somehow, the second wait period was over. The internet had arrived. I spend the next 10 hours, checking emails, surfing, chatting and playing games. Its good to be connected again.