Remember that time I told you that my ultimate plan was to live in Japan so I could be closer to my sensei?

Posted on 15.01.2014

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I love when people hear me but don’t listen. Because I love to waste my breath saying things that are not true.

My new mailing address is in Toshima-ku, Tokyo. I have a new iPhone that is registered to the +81 country code. I have a residence card, a bank account, health insurance, a motherf*cking HOUSE full of tatami mat rooms, and I officially start work next Friday after a week of training.

here I am sitting in the downstairs tatami mat room, just off the kitchen. Doing something odd, as usual.

here I am sitting in the downstairs tatami mat room, just off the kitchen. Doing something odd, as usual.

So if I happen to mention wanting to live somewhere odd and confusing next, trust that I mean it and am not just talking because I like the sound of my voice. Because actually, I think my voice sounds kind of silly and I don’t like hearing myself talk. I much prefer to read myself than listen to myself.

We got in on the night of the 8th and spent the first few days with a college friend of mine who helped us get all of the paperwork stuff worked out. It would have taken us MUCH longer had we done it all on our own, and we are eternally grateful to Rika!

THE PRECIOUSSSS! otherwise known as a curry donut.

THE PRECIOUSSSS! otherwise known as a curry donut.

Since then, I’ve been trying to pass on the limited knowledge that I have to Mark, who has never been to Japan before this, to learn Japanese with a quickness and to take in as much as possible while trying to get our house in order before we start work next week. So far, we’ve solved big problems by shopping for things together (like which is the body soap and which is the shampoo), tried lots of interesting food together, and have found a few sites on being vegetarian in Japan (which have been rather helpful). We’re still getting used to the lack of insulation in Japanese architecture (meaning: the house is cold) and learning how to use all of the heaters in the house while not being able to read. As it stands, Mark enjoys onigiri and curry donuts. Thank goodness.

So our very excellent house is a 2-story, 2 bedroom house with one bath and two toilets. It was built in 1986 and clearly survived the earthquakes since then, which helps for buyer confidence! The original owners just moved out because they were getting old and wanted less space in an assisted living home. So we are only the second people to live in the place. Excellent.

Our bathroom has an automated bath tub that can be programmed to fill to a specified depth and temperature from either the bathroom or the kitchen, which is effing excellent, not to mention the fact that the bathroom is already practically a gang shower since you could fit 3 people in the shower part comfortably.

The living room and bedrooms are traditional tatami rooms, and we live right next to some train tracks. This fact has been what has kept most potential renters away, along with the fact that apparently, young people don’t want these traditional houses. They prefer modern homes with hardwood floors or something. Thankfully, this also lowered the price of the rent for us. I was convinced the cost was lower because the house was haunted, but no, just a train going by every few minutes (but stops before midnight and stays shut down til 6 every morning). While this might also bother some people, this is PERFECT for me since I really need some noise to feel comfortable. Living in fields and  near farms was always disconcerting to me, due to the absolute silence that surrounded the house. So the regular, unintrusive sound of a train going by is totally fine for me (both of us, actually).

So at this point, that’s all that’s going on. We are here and settling in, and life will begin to move as  normal once we get to work next week. I’ll certainly be updating and sharing all of my stupid culture shock moments with you, so look for me to make a ton of mistakes in my third language. And if you have the time and the inclination, we’ve got a guest room:)

Posted in: home, life, travel