David Chart's Japan Diary

August 12th 2005

According to my original plans, I was supposed to be at Narita Airport now. I'm not. All British Airways flights to and from Heathrow have been cancelled, due to a dispute with the company providing meals. It is not entirely clear when I will be able to go, as that depends on when BA can sort out the dispute. Personally, I'd be perfectly happy to fly without food, as I never eat on airlines anyway. Anyway, I checked for problems before leaving the flat, so at least the inconvenience has been kept as low as possible.

Still, at least I'm not busy today. After all, I was planning to be on a plane. This is nice, as over the last ten weeks, up to yesterday, I have done the following:

My desk and chair My desk and chair, shortly after I got them assembled. You can see the flooring in the office, as well as a bit of the wallpaper.

I can now state, with great authority, that that is really rather too much to try to do in ten weeks. The last week, in particular, has been completely mad. That said, it has all got done, and I don't appear to have forgotten anything important in the moving process. I may have to tell the tax office I've moved, but I'll check that out when I get back from the UK (assuming I get to the UK); I've told the government I'm moving in several different ways, some tax-related, so it might filter through automatically.

Now that I've moved out of the place in Kugahara, I can give a link to the homepage. It was a good place to live, so if you're looking for a gaijin house/guest house sort of place in Tokyo, it's worth checking out. The location is extremely convenient, with all daily shopping available on the street leading to the station, and the building itself is good. Insulation seems pretty good in the rooms, and even in the height of summer my electricity bill didn't get too high. I'd say that 106, the room I was in, is the worst room, because it doesn't have an interior staircase to the shared space, but that's only really a problem when there's a typhoon on. The kitchen is great, and the drier in the laundry room works well.

Our bed Our nice new bed. As you can probably tell, there isn't a lot of other space in the bedroom. But still, what else do you need in there?

One of the best features, however, is that the landlords are really nice. They're a Japanese couple, and they live on the top floor. Every so often they buy small presents (cakes and the like) for the tenants. I got the distinct impression that they built the place because they wanted to have tenants, both Japanese and foreign, living downstairs, rather than just for the money. This makes it very easy to ask them about things that need permission, and I never had any problem. They both speak some English, but we spoke Japanese nearly all the time, so I'm not sure just how good it is.

Anyway, I formally moved out of there yesterday, and got most of my deposit back. So now I'm fully living in our new flat. (Yuriko is in the process of moving in.) It's great. I did the move on Tuesday, after the redecoration was finished on Sunday. The redecoration was very good; we now have nice flooring in two rooms; pale, simple wallpaper (to make it look bigger), and a good carpet in the bedroom. Also on Tuesday, all the stuff we had bought was delivered. That included a bed and a desk and chair for me, so it became possible to live here. And, since Tuesday, I have been.

Art Fair Tokyo

It's great. I sit in my office, looking out at trees (and other blocks of flats, of course, but I do have a view), listening to the wind chime we bought, and getting my work done. I even have broadband internet here, which makes a nice change after it completely failed to happen in Kugahara. The area around is even better than we first thought, because there's a big supermarket just up the road. OK, it's more than twice as far as the smaller one, but then the smaller one is less than five minutes' walk. It's still much closer than where I used to shop in Okazaki. Yuriko really likes it, too, and should be properly moved in here fairly soon. She would have done it sooner, but Art Fair Tokyo happened last weekend.

Talking of which, I went along on Sunday. This is the project she's been working on for the last couple of years, so I really had to. It was actually very interesting; there was a wide range of art, and lots of prices I couldn't afford. Some of the art rather appealed to me; there was a very nice abstract marble sculpture by a Korean artist, and some paintings in pink and white by a Japanese artist. I have a note of the names somewhere... I suspect that I'll become more of an expert on art, thanks to Yuriko's influence. So, I had fun at the fair, and apparently a lot of other people did, too.

I think that brings things up to date. I'm going to take the rest of today easy, get an early night, and keep an eye on what BA is saying about my flight.