quiddity: (angry)
I was going to try not to use this journal for mundane things... I meant it to be solely used as a writing journal. But I've complained so much on my LJ lately that I'm afraid to post anymore trivial bitching lest people get truly fed up with me.

Right now, I just... hate where I live. Not Japan. Japan is great, despite the ups and downs of a foreign country, being illiterate and unfluent, etc. It's my apartment itself.

It's small.
It's prone to smelling funny and getting too hot and stuffy.
It's terribly disorganized, and there's not a lot I can do about it.
It has damage to walls and doors and the floor that I am not responsible for (and some that I am) but nothing I can do about it.

It requires constant, daily vigilence to keep it clean. It's like living on an unstable border with MessVille and TrashHeap and PigLand. I don't consider myself a filthy person. I am prone to a kind of organized chaos, and I do leave clothes on the floor sometimes. But I can't in this apartment, I literally can't or I'll end up tripping on things.

I have almost zero kitchen space. I have no dining room to speak of--I think it's taken up by the trash/recycle heaps and the fridge, if that's in fact what that end was intended for.

My bedroom, living room, and dining room are all the same place, and not by choice. I have to put my bed away because it takes up a significant portion of the place. I don't want to have people over because it's embarassing that the computer table is also my table for eating at, and that if I don't put away my bed there's... basically no place to walk or sit.

I have two narrow closets which have been taken over by bedding that I cannot seem to vacuum down in size properly. In an effort to free up space for actual storage, I've removed a ton of crap from the closets, and I have my futons sitting out behind the arm of a couch, blocking off my medicine cabinet/night stand.

I cannot seem to find a shelving unit more that 29/30 cm deep. For those of you on the American system, that's about 11 inches. Maybe that's ample for most purposes, but I have some oversize needs, like a printer, a gigantic ass tablet, and a scanner. Maybe I could make do if I could just find something tall enough with adjustable shelves.

I just... I can't stand it. I want to cry sometimes. I'm not what I would consider a pack rat. Yes, I enjoy having things. But I am certain that if I was in a larger apartment, I wouldn't feel so claustrophobic.

I'm also tired of the portion of the floor that keeps slicing my toe open whenever I go around on my bare feet. I'm pretty sure that's why Kate put the rug in, but it just... doesn't help, because it's not big enough, and it actually kind of makes everything look tackier.

I can't have a pet. There is literally no space for one. Where could I set up a cage or a tank or a kennel? Where would an animal play? Hell, even if I had something as simple as a turtle, what surface do I have that I could put its tank on? Currently, nowhere like this exists. And, yes, I have been giving thought to some kind of pet. There are really cheap turtles, and an adorable squirrel thing, that I could afford to have/keep... that is, if my apartment would allow it. Chances are five to one that they do not; I have never asked, because I don't have a landlord.

My neighbors? Seem sketchy. The outside of my apartment forever smells like smoke. I do not know of anyone else in all of Japan who has had both their bike and their apartment keys stolen. I know for a fact that my neighbors are not following the trash rules, which is just sad, and half the time I wonder if they're doing it because they know I'm around and they can blame it on the foreigner. But it's also laziness. They knock over bikes and then don't have the courtesy to pick them up just because no one's watching. They also leave cans and trash around, particularly in the mail/laundry room a mess... it's just disgusting.

I am paying the equivalent of 500 USD a month for this apartment. Let me repeat: I have no kitchen, no bedroom, and two tiny closets that have no shelves on them and are probably only about 35 centimeters deep or so; not sure on the width there. I'm not sure that I even have room for the oven I want to buy in my kitchen because I have literally no counterspace. All of the cabinet space except for under the sink is stuff that I had to or my predecessor had to supply. All of the other ALTs pay the same or less for more space than I have.

A part of me wants to selfishly blame this on Kate. If she had chosen to move out of this crappy apartment before I ever got here--and there's lots of reason to want to--then I wouldn't be in this situation. Sure. Hosokawa and the dry cleaner's across the street? Super convenient. But how can you be thrilled about being able to make 10:30 runs to the grocery store when you don't have a place to eat the food?

Possibly though it's not her fault. I get the feeling that she wasn't all that in-tune with Japanese life? Like. She came to Japan knowing even less Japanese than I do. Even for me, trying to work with an apartment agency is going to be tough. I'm so fortunate to have a native Japanese person willing to help me through it. Also, I don't really feel like I can depend on my coworkers for help too much, so maybe she felt like that too, and moving itself... is going to be hard and not fun, time consuming and expensive. Hell, I don't even know if my supervisor will go for it, even after I've done all the work.

But I'm going to try to move out. Because I just... I don't feel like I can take this anymore. the mess, the crap, the lack of space. Logistically, thinking about it, it's a nightmare. I would have to hire movers to get the couch; it took going through the window to get it in, no way it's coming out any other way. I will need all of my friends. I will probably have to ask coworkers for assistance. The money for key money, security deposits... trying to find a location so that I don't have to worry about getting a car, being sure that I'm on the second floor for my own safety, then figuring out how to update all of my relevant information like contracts/bills, bank account, etc etc... that is a daunting aspect, really headache-crerating.

But I'm going to do my best, and I'm going to talk to Jessica and Tomo about it. Probably tomorrow. We're going to meet up so I can give Jessica some music for her students, and I... will be getting information about who they went with to look for apartments, finding out when Tomo would be available to help, figuring out what kind of money I need to have for setting up. What this may mean... well, for one, it may mean 1) no more fun-spending for quite a while. This is difficult for me, apparently; I never mean to spend much in any given month, but somehow, things add up. Still. I might just have to give up trips to Kokura and dinners out for a while. I might also find myself unable to send money home, which was something I had strongly considered doing this month... or perhaps simply cutting back the amount.

And in the meantime... I'm going to just keep trying and trying to reorganize things. There's got to be a way to make things work out in the meanwhile. The real trouble would be if my contracting organization refuses to let me move. But then again, Dash was able to pick his place when he started. I don't know what the reasons for that were, but it gives me some hope, at least, that if I've done all the work, that Sato-san will work with me. And if he says that I can't, then I will ask why, and I will try to negotiate rent or perhaps find out if the same building offers a bigger apartment layout, perhaps at the same price. There's just no way that 41,000 yen a month for this apartment is reasonable--the location is good, but it's not *that* good.

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Lauren

April 2015

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