I came home one sunday to find that my cable internet and tv and even the regular tv had stopped working. None to happy to see this, we phoned the provider, who checked and said that the power to the reception had stopped. I wondered if I would need to contact the electric company, only to find out the next day the reason why. I was as surprised as anyone to learn that my apartment building was suddenly being repossessed by the bank as the owner had failed to make his proper payments and that everyone should move out just a few weeks after the date given- the note was given on November 26th and the requested leaving date was December 20th. It meant two things-
1) That I was being cheated out of my 30 days notice or, even better, 3 months notice.
2) That I very much had to find a new place and fast- having until the 19th of December, when I fly back to England.
After a while, the landlord said that we didn’t really have to leave so quickly and that early in January is fine, but this isn’t so helpful to me as I’ll be flying back around then and have the same few days before I go back to work again. I suppose it sort of sorted out number one. But number 2 remained! Very fortunately, the next day I met a new friend called Ben in Starbucks, who took me to his own former place, a small, old, but in it’s own way charming apartment near Kashiwa station. It has hardly any modern things, but does come with a large aircon and some furnishings. At 50,000/month, with no ‘present money’, it was my best hope at that time to move out quickly and affordably. I knew I could be happy there for a bit, even for longer, but with two smallish rooms and an almost non-existant kitchen, it wasn’t going to be luxury living. It was going to be fun, affordable and very cheap.
I was pretty much ready to settle for this, but then I made an appintment to see another place with my landlord (who shall remain nameless as I may well need his services again at some point), who due to a misunderstanding about phoning one another didn’t show up (he expected me to phone him first). Walking away to have a drink, we noticed a sign at an estate agent for what looked like a nice place in the area… one thing led to another and we were soon looking at apartments with the girl working for them. We ended up at one very nice one that when we looked around felt incredibly comfortable. I couldn’t help but put down the 10,000 yen deposit and sign various papers connected with it. New, clean and seemingly vast at over 5x the size of my current place, it became very attractive and the costs involved easily rationalised. A great plus for me would be the fact that Yuko would be happy to be there, it being just the kind of wide, modern place that she loves and the first one we had seen together that we felt so good about. Another one is that we had been talking about finding a good place for a long time, preferably a ‘mansion’ (a concrete, modern apartment) or a house for reasons of privacy. The Kashiwa one could be a pleasant stop-gap whilst we continued looking. But the danger was that we would look a lot and not find anything so good, at such a great price and so near a station (5 mins) and also near my school. Decisions, descisions… I hated to miss out on the Kashiwa one but it would be too small for two. I hated to miss out on this bigger, Toyoshiki one… so I took the plunge and went for the latter.
After another brief confusion, in which I tried to find someone to be my ‘guarantor’ (promise to pay the rent if I defaulted) and ended up paying half a month’s rent to a guarantor service instead, we were on the road to it. I then filled out many a form in kanji (Chinese characters, often very complex to write’, which to the delight of the estate agents I made a pretty good job of! Now all that remains is to pack, move, and sort out the various other technicalities of moving. It has all been a time of great reliance on my faith for I had hardly any idea of what would come next. But fortunately, it is all getting clearer now.