photograph showed things much better than they actually were

I transferred the bullet train to the local train to the area where all three apartments of my choice were located. There were no passengers but me on the train although it was a weekday morning. The station was an unmanned small shack. I walked along shabby houses, used-to-be shops and rice fields and found one of the apartments among them. My first impression was that a photograph showed things much better than they actually were. The building had looked a lot more gorgeous in the photos on a website. I walked on and soon found the other two apartments. One was under refurbishment and I couldn’t see it from the outside. The other stood nearby and I saw a half-naked old man sitting idly on a balcony, who was a kind of person I didn’t like to have as one of my neighbors. I took a rest on a bench, wondering if this trip had already become a fool’s errand…

secret of the fourth floor

Since I decided to move out, I’ve realized the power of the Internet again. Without going anywhere physically, I’ve been able to look for a place to live at home, gathering a lot of information on prices, floor plans and the neighborhood. People’s blogs are useful, too. For the past eight months, I’ve been looking around the Internet, collecting and comparing the details, and have narrowed down the choice to three apartments. They are all located in the same area, which is surrounded by mountains, cold and snowy in winter. The area has a small population with a constant decline. That has led to a remarkably low price for an apartment there. I chose the area because the prices were low enough to fit my tight budget. But its small population was the main appeal to me, who feel uncomfortable to be with people. All three places I’ve picked for my new home are more than 20 years old and one of them is on the fourth floor. So far, that one is my first choice. There seem no particular flaws in the room, but the building’s available rooms are mostly on the fourth floor. Is it just a coincidence, or is there anything wrong? Even the mighty Internet doesn’t tell about it. I wonder what’s the secret of the fourth floor…

iron plates for the roof

The rent of my apartment includes utilities, which means I can use them as much as I want. Since it’s murderously hot everyday, I’ve spent most of time inside my air-conditioned apartment, working for music and watching America’s TV shows. A few days ago, there was a note in my mailbox from the management company of this apartment. It said that even though it’s utility-included, my usage has been so excessive that they may charge me unless the usage drops to an ordinary amount. Well, I do have my say on this. First of all, I need air-conditioning more because my room is a duplex apartment and the roof is merely nailed iron plates that conduct heat extremely well. It’s their fault, not mine. Secondly, who decides the ordinary amount? Japanese people are obsessed to categorize everything and they don’t allow someone or something sticks out. I hate to be categorized and fight against it all the time here. They should accept there is someone who works at home during the night and sleeps in the daytime. Thirdly, the note asked me to care about the environment. They must think using the word ‘environment’ makes them a saint. It was them who had chosen iron plates for the roof! Before they start charging me, I really need to get out of this apartment…

humans who have totally opposite values

Last Sunday, a gunning engine noise from the parking lot beneath my apartment woke my partner up early in the morning. It was loud enough to be mistaken for a construction noise, but the culprit was a middle-aged man who was gunning his standing minibike. He seemed to enjoy the noise immensely and kept on the disturbance for a good fifteen minutes. Then, there approached a car from which a man said something to him. Considering the time and the noisiness, my partner reckoned that should be a complaint. To his surprise though, it was a compliment on the minibike and the middle-aged man elatedly showed it off. Not everybody takes that loud noise as a disturbance. Such situations have constantly fallen on to me. When I’m tormented with shrieking kids at a restaurant, other customers often seem pleasant for it. I like to shop at a quiet, empty place while others purposely choose a crowded, thronged place. Is it some kind of a punishment to coexist with humans who have totally opposite values? Or, is it for learning anything from it? Although I hate noisy people and I always make noise as little as possible, I may offend someone with something other than noise. That would explain why people don’t like me so much…