Ah, the day finally came… today I moved into the long-term apartment. Today I unpacked my suitcase and put everything in a place, including the suitcase! It hasn’t completely sunk in, but I’m certain that today I unpacked a little part of my mind, freeing it up to concentrate on other more important things.
I’ve created a bit of a video tour – it was primarily for Olivia because she’s been asking a lot about our ‘Japan house’ but it can certainly be shared with you, too. http://www.vimeo.com/ilkirk/videos I walked through every bit of the apartment, judging the depths of closets, looking over the various aspects of our new home. I even went out on the balcony to take a good look around, including down.
So other than getting into the apartment, nothing much has happened today other than work.
On Monday night I took the 45 minute trip to Yokohama to visit Patrick and his wife Kazue. This was the first opportunity for us to connect, and it was actually a quick reschedule from doing it on this coming Thursday! Unfortunately I got out of the office a few minutes later than I wanted, so I ran (literally) from my office to the apartment to change my clothes. Then I ran to the subway station (Tameike Sanno) and through half the station. I had to take 3 trains to get out there, but I actually got there a bit early!
We met at the station, walked through the mall in the base of the tallest building in Japan (!), then into the neighboring mall. There we went down to the first basement floor and ate some fantastic ramen. After dinner we took a walk out to the harbor. We’d visited it last November when I was in Japan, but at that time it was closed because of the APEC conference. Amusingly, that entire evening in November they must have told me “it’s not normally like this” several dozen times. Monday night? Yeah – they were saying it again. There was a typhoon sitting off the coast, kicking up serious winds, so lots of things were shut down. Combine that with the general power conservation, and it wasn’t quite normal Yokohama.
Luckily, though, the harbor was open, so we took a walk on top of that. I don’t have any photos – kind need to do those during the day – but it’s this beautiful curved wood structure where cruise ships and the like dock. The winds were phenomenally strong and we were actually pushed around a bit. I was carrying my umbrella and despite it being closed and clasped, I felt like it might get pulled away from me!
We left the harbor and made our way back to their house. Along the way we stopped at a grocery store for me to get a short lesson in fruits and vegetables. I’m still pretty confused by it all, but I have a better understanding now. There are plenty of tubers. At the store we also picked up Patrick’s favorite dessert / treat – but I don’t remember what they were called. We got a variety pack and they were delicious. He made an interesting point as we dug into the third or forth one – “even going off the rails in Japan, you aren’t doing too bad. These things are filled with bean paste!” Yep… bean paste desserts… that were sweet and delicious.
I left them around 10p, caught my three trains home and arrive around 11 or 1130p. Unfortunately I’d made some commitments at work, so I ended up staying awake until 1a. While this isn’t horrible in and of itself, it made for a tough Tuesday because I’d not gotten very good sleep Sunday night either. Sunday night was waking up every 2 hours. Monday night was 5 hours of sleep. Tuesday… Tuesday was difficult.
At work on Tuesday I could sit at desk, close my eyes for a moment and feel myself actually drifting to sleep. It didn’t help that the office was warm (like usual), but it wasn’t just that. I knew that I needed to get to bed as soon as I possibly could, so I cleared my calendar after the 4p project meeting and made a run for the apartment. I was asleep by 5:15p. I got about 3 hours of sleep before I was up to eat dinner, make my daily phone calls, and then attend a US-based meeting.
I think it was around 1a when I went to bed again, but this time I was in better shape to do so. I was back up around 5a – woke up naturally, and while I could have gone back to sleep, I decided it was better to rise now than to have the alarm clock disturb me in less than an hour. I got up, made phone calls (again!), and went about my final packing. I ended up taking a short nap prior to meeting the relocation company, so that was probably healthy as well.
So… I’m home and working a bit. I’m about to go across the courtyard for a quick restaurant dinner, then back to work for a bit. Phone calls (on schedule!) and bed are in the near future from that point.
Oh yeah – there are several other videos on the Vimeo site. I took some as I walked around the train stations, including a “Sardine Can” train and several JR line platforms. Listen for the musical ‘doors closing’ chime. Heck, just listen to all the noise of the platform!