日本での新しい生活: The start of a new life in Japan

一人暮らし生活、スタート!

The past two weeks have been exciting because I moved into my own apartment on August 1. In my first week I ran a ton of errands: doing paperwork to change my visa, going to the immigration office in Shinagawa and waiting three hours or so to change it, buying a month-long train pass to commute to my 3-week language program, buying a pass for the train for the commute, as well as buying a ton of things for the (mostly furnished) apartment to make it as home-y as I possibly can. Needless to say my wallet has been very busy. Luckily I can withdraw from my US account using a 7-11 ATM. Thanks, 7-11!

My first few nights in the new apartment were both exciting and traumatizing. This is the first time I’ve ever lived alone. My apprehensions were not at all eased by a series of malfunctions and unpleasant surprises.

  1. 1 broken gas burner
  2. Mysterious black dots in the cupboards under the kitchen sink…??
  3. 1 broken bathroom (toilet) light (which I of course discovered at night…)
  4. 1 broken water heater (would go back-and-forth from cold to burning hot without me touching anything)
  5. 1 leaking shower
  6. COCKROACH. (So THAT’S what those dots came from…)

As you can see, while I could deal with most of the items on this list, the sixth item was my least favorite surprise. Because it got away I was so traumatized I couldn’t sleep at all on my first night. (My dust allergies also acted up, which indicated a need for cleaning. I had a field day vacuuming every inch of floor and curtains.)

Actually my (“Pepto Bismol”-colored) building is quite old. Therefore, the fact that some things might not be working should not have been too surprising. However, I was told that the apartment was checked soon before I arrived so that it would be ready for me to move in. This must not have been the case, or at least they did a poor job. Luckily, my burner, water heater, shower head, and bathroom light have been fixed by now thanks to my Obirin work contact Ebara-san, though the first week was pretty rough… I’ve also spread out a handful of insect traps under my sinks and near the bathroom, so if I see one more roach then I KNOW something is up!

One even had the nerve to show itself while Lissette, my friend Britta and I celebrated my 22nd birthday (on the 11th) by making s’mores. (We used chopsticks for sticks, saltines for graham crackers, and candles for a bonfire. It was pretty wonderful and would’ve been a perfect night had it not come out to crash the party!)

Some Bday/Housewarming Party pics:

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Britta and Lissette like their marshmallows really burnt…

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Improvising for s’mores.. with my new pillow!

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The only good side to the roach problem is that I’ve been forced to be super clean- vacuuming floors often, washing dishes right away, and closing my garbage bags every night. But still…

ANYWAY, I fell asleep on my couch for the first time last night, which must mean that I’m finally beginning to feel really at home! Also, because of the chamomile-scented insect repellent I bought, it smells really nice in here. 🙂

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My futon blanket is currently thrown on top of my suitcase for now because it’s too warm to use in this hot summer weather.

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Thank you Ken, for the fancy mirror glass toaster!

washing machine left, toilet front, shower/bathtub right

washing machine left, toilet front, shower/bathtub right

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My toilet (room) was really drab and scary, so I brightened it up! ❤

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My Oberlin blanket and my Koala’s March pillow! The pillow’s probably my favorite thing in the whole house. Thanks, Lissette!

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my low table and an assortment of Japanese books I hope to read. Oh, and a cookbook that I’ll hopefully eventually use!

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The apartment came with a ton of dishes! Some are really cute.

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So nice to have a washing machine that I don’t need to pay for! I need to hang dry my clothes though.

At this point I must say that I’m super grateful to my senpai, senior Shansi fellow Lissette for helping me move in, saving me from the giant bugs outside (and inside), and being amazing!

In the meantime, I’m commuting an hour and a half from Machida to Shin-Okubo every day for my advanced  Japanese class at KAI Language School. I’ll save that for the next post!

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7 thoughts on “日本での新しい生活: The start of a new life in Japan

  1. よかった!先輩、たくさん日本でいる友達がいるだろう?I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have anyone to help me out…I’m glad you’re starting to feel at home ^^

  2. You better get used to ゴキブリ!When I lived in an all-guy dorm at the Toyota Mechanic School, I had to go to the 便所 at night. It was in the hallway. As I slipped on my slipper laying on the hallway outside my door, my toes found one inside! Lol. 頑張ってね! 🙂

    • Oh my goodness, that’s a big fear of mine!! Once arriving home I always kick around my slippers a bit to see if anything will come scurrying out! I once had run across my foot in the Philippines two years ago. I still remember it vividly… Hopefully the more I see them the less I will scream. But I’d rather I saw them less….

  3. You’ve done a seriously awesome job with your place! It looks fantastic! Sorry to hear about that crazy commute you have though.

    • Aww thanks so much, Petros!! 😀 Yeah I’ve gotten used to it. It’s actually great because that’s the best time for me to get my studying done! (I have quizzes every period every day.) Usually when I’m at home I just want to relax!

  4. I really enjoyed reading about your adventures in your new apartment! I had to zoom in to see what book you are going to read. It is really hot in Japan this year so take care! Reading your blog reminded me of when I first came to Japan and moved into a co. apartment filled with cockroaches! I was 23! Wow! 40 years ago!
    I so enjoyed your Nisei research and wonder if you are researching more lives. People lives are the most interesting! Everyone has a story to tell!!
    Maybe you will visit us in Hiroshima someday?

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