Moving Abroad, Part 3

In a serendipitous turn of events, my household goods shipment has arrived and delivery perfectly coincided with my lease start date—Friday, July 17.

Several of my office mates have commented on how quickly my things arrived. The movers packed and loaded my Washington apartment on June 5. Tomorrow makes 6 weeks. But 6 weeks isn’t too bad considering I moved nearly 6,000 miles across an ocean. 6,000 miles is more than double the mileage between LA and DC. Not bad considering COVID impacts everything.

My new apartment is on the 7th floor of an 8 story building with 4 apartments per floor. I only share one wall with number 704. There is about a 3′ gap between me and 702, which is the side the bedrooms are on. I have a tandem parking space that will fit two Okinawan cars and the apartment is approximately 2 km from the closest base gate.

As I mentioned before, the main reason I opted for this apartment is mainly because of this view:

the view from my new balcony

Today I picked up the key from the leasing agency. In Japan, the leasing agency functions much like a real estate agent. Unlike in America where you deal directly with the owner or the individual property leasing office, here you work with a leasing agent who shows lots of rental properties on behalf of the owners. I will also call the leasing agent for any repairs or maintenance, and the agent contacts the owner.

Since I did the walk-through inspection today, I took a video tour of my new place:

The kitchen includes an American-style refrigerator and stove. Plus the cabinets that make the “wall” between the kitchen and living area are glass on both sides, which allows light to come through.

One thing I couldn’t figure out is that the apartment has an American-style stove, fridge, and washing machine, but a Japanese dryer. Why? Who knows. Luckily the leasing agent gave me instructions how to use it since the buttons all have Japanese writing.

teeny Japanese dryer, convenient for small spaces

While bedrooms, especially the second and third ones, are smaller than typical American housing, this place has more than enough room for me and any one who may want to come visit (once COVID is no longer an issue and I get some furniture for it).

I also love the bay window in the master bedroom. The master bedroom is also smaller than the average American master bedroom, but has a ridiculously large closet given the size of the room. I was not expected a closet that size!

The bathrooms are standard bathrooms with a sink, tub/shower, and toilet. No fancy automatic bidet-toilets here. Thankfully I do have 2 bathrooms—a private one in the master bedroom and a guest bath. Each has a medicine style cabinet and some small shelves.

Because this is a subtropical island but central air isn’t a thing here, each room has it’s own A/C unit. Kind of like a window unit, but on the wall near the ceiling instead of in a window, and so each has its own remote control. But be forewarned if you plan to visit, it never really gets *that* cold. You have to adapt to being slightly sweaty.

light switch and A/C remote

Tomorrow my household goods will be delivered and I will finally be able to sleep in my own bed for the first time in 6 weeks! I can’t wait to organize all my books.

Until then, おやすみなさい (Oyasumi nasai = I’m going to bed / goodnight)

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