Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Say Goodbye to the Shoe Box・Say Hello to 11 Tatami Mats

Nomad on the move again!

This time, the whole housing search only takes 3 days.

It's not easy to be a foreigner living in Tokyo when it comes to certain issues. But when it comes to looking for a "regular" place to live, being a foreigner - aka "gaijin" - really is the worst place one could find him/herself in.

When I say "regular," I mean anything that's NOT a horrendously luxurious "mansion" apartment (in Japan, all apartments in nice, high-rise buildings are called "mansions") in Roppongi Hills/Omotesando/Aoyamo OR anything that's as horrendously tiny as my currently shoe-box-sized room if not smaller.

(and I just realized over shower earlier tonight that my current bathroom is exactly one tatami mat large ... i'm so good at counting anything in tatami-mat unit now after seeing 10+ places over the past 3 days that I don't know what square-meter means anymore ...)

So one may resort to one of those "gaijin" magazines in the city like the Metropolis for clues on finding a reliable but generally overcharging housing agency who serves the poor foreigners (whether financially or mentally) with short- or long-term contract options and NO key money/guarantor required for, or one could really test out the power of google search engine - for both google.com & google.co.jp - and see how many legitimate and seemingly "un"-sketchy links may pop up under the search words such as "weekely mansion, Tokyo".

I did both, and yes, I did find reliable but overchraging housing agencies catered towards option-less foreigners (b/c all foreigners find paying the key money a unjust cause against mankind) or foreigners who refuse to bow down to the discriminatory treatment that they are subject to when it comes to housing search. I also found both sketchy as well as legit companies that do respect foreigners' resistance against the key money/guarantor tradition yet continue to overcharge in general.

In any case, eventually a lovely new shelter for the global mad is found. 6 tatami-mat-large room + 5 tatami-large kitchen/toilet; 5 min walk to the station, 10 min train ride to Shinjuku; a few nice bakeries/cafes in the neighborhood, buck loads of eatery places and 100-yen shops and small fruit/vegetable stores; the best sunlight ever and 4 large windows on the surrounding the 4 walls. I even saw Lumine department across the street from the station and of course one of my favorite Japanese-run cafe's, Doutor.

Whether this lovely new shelter will be good for a 6-month stay or another whole year of residence is still subject to the mercy hands of a few scholarship sponsors. But for now, I'm happy to be out of this current place with fickle Internet connection that 9/10 times prevents from entering a post on blogger or maintaining my last bit of human contact with friends overseas on MSN.

Goodbye my shoe box & hello my 11 tatami mats.

Content for the new beginning.

梅ちゃん at 1:25:00 AM



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