i had heard how difficult and expensive it is to organise housing in japan and thought i was in for a nightmare. turns out it was all too easy. i checked a real estate website that helps foreigners find accommodation, i saw pics of a cute-looking flat close to work (but unfortunately quite far from The Family), i emailed my interest, met the gigantic (even next to me with platform heels) agent from estonia, then moved in 10 days later! it's small, i think greg's den in the brady bunch was bigger, but it's my Den and that's what's important.
jim-bob was a legend and helped me moved my 3 suitcases, various other bags and he and mary-lou loaned me a mattress (curiously, the third they've given/loaned me in this lifetime!) i'm still puzzled about:
A) why i have needed so many mattresses, and
B) why they have (or Had once i come along) so many mattresses
however i'm not bagging it as it's the only furniture in The Den at the moment. a double mattress on the floor should never be scoffed at when it serves as a bed, dining chair, armchair, sofa and general entertaining area. ah, also spare bed as an aussie friend travelling through tokyo next week will discover (much to his horror no doubt).
jim-bob got the school bus and we loaded my meagre possessions and ourselves into it and set off on the Big Trip North. i think The Den is only about 16 kms from the House of Cards but a shit of a drive along the major arterial ring road of tokyo, meiji dori. mary-lou and i sat in the back of the school bus and gossiped whilst jim-bob had the hard task of navigating the hellishly busy streets.
there was the near impossible feat of actually finding the building. street addresses may as well be redundant here, it's a tiny needle in a massive haystack - at least to me as i appear to have left my sense of direction in the southern hemisphere. but mary-lou was right on it and we arrived!
The Den is small but that's housing in tokyo. it's located away from the flashing lights and neon signs that one usually associates with this crazy town. i guess u would say i'm living in northern tokyo. it's a residential area with random little streets, old style houses with nothing over about 4 stories, and the sound of kiddies playing in the street. it's Absolutely perfect and i couldn't have planned it better if i tried.
there's a shopping strip nearby that's full of random little shops and a great supermarket. at this stage, i appear to be the only alien in the area, as i've not seen any others yet. yesterday afternoon, whilst wandering down the 'mall' some of the shopkeepers called out hello and waved as i walked past. amazing! sometimes being different (looking etc) is not such a bad thing.