Yōkoso! (Or Moving Abroad, Part 4)

ようこそ! (Yōkoso! = Welcome home!)

Friday I moved into my new apartment. I arrived around 8:15 am and much to my surprise, the movers arrived at 8:30 am.

Japanese movers are super efficient. They had all my things moved (up 6 flights of stairs to boot) and put together all the furniture that had been taken apart in about two and a half hours.

Can I just say how great it was to sleep in my own bed Friday night. Ahhhh….

Luckily, the first boxes off the truck were my kitchen wares. I say luckily because I got to focus on those boxes first thing and my kitchen was nearly put away by the time the movers finished. With the current Marine Corps restrictions, I’m not allowed to eat anywhere off-base. So the ability to make meals and not to have to rely on the on-base fast food take-out is rather important right now.

On Saturday, I focused on my bedroom and bath—hanging up clothes, storing winter things, putting up shoes and accessories. I didn’t do as much in the bathroom mainly because I have limited storage. No real countertop space and just a small medicine-type cabinet. So until I can obtain a small storage cabinet, most of those things (hair products, hair dryer, extra toilet paper, spare towels, etc.) are scattered about.

Sunday, I got the TV, sound bar, and other electronics unpacked. Although I must have searched an hour through boxes trying to find the power cord for the TV. It took me until Monday evening to find it. I had pulled it out of another box (not the box with all the rest of the electronic stuff) and set it on a chair, then promptly put something over it so I couldn’t immediately see it. Who hasn’t done something like that when you’ve moved?

this isn't even all of my books

And then I finally unpacked my favorite boxes—books, puzzles, crafts, and other fun stuff like Legos, Funkos, and bookish paraphernalia.

Are you surprised that about 60% of my boxes contained books and another 10% contained puzzles? And that’s after I gave away about 2 boxes of books and a whole lot of puzzles. HA!

I simply stacked all the books in one of my spare bedrooms just to get the boxes out of the way. I have long needed another book case as I’ve had to double stack books on the shelves as well as have stacks on the floor. I intended on furniture shopping once I got here (I also need a guest bed, a sofa, and a new desk. My old desk was a crappy, cheap one from Pier1, so I tossed it before I moved.). But given the current COVID restrictions, my shopping plans will have to wait a bit.

Thank goodness for my two small bedrooms. One for the books, puzzles, and the other fun stuff, and one for the soon-to-be discarded packing materials. I simply close the doors and ignore the mess for now.

Another thing I intend to buy is a shoe bench to put by the door. As you may know, traditional Japanese etiquette draws a clear line between inside and outside, and so outdoor shoes and indoor slippers are handled accordingly. These rules not only apply to most Japanese homes, but also to many traditional ryokan, some restaurants, and the indoor sections of many temples, castles, and other historic buildings.

It’s also a provision in my lease.

I have a small shoe stand by the entrance that I’m currently using. So right now, I just have to stand to put on my shoes, which is fine for slip ons or sandals, but a bit more awkward when trying to put on shoes with laces. And be forewarned, if you plan to come visit, be prepared to go barefoot or wear indoor-only slippers.

Since I spent most of the weekend mostly unpacking, I took the opportunity last night to enjoy sitting on my new balcony and watching the sun set.

Because it rained all weekend, it was nice to have my first clear evening to watch the sun set over the East China Sea. Once the stars came out, I spotted the comet NEOWISE (but my camera isn’t powerful enough to get a good photo of space objects).

I’m not nearly done organizing and putting away things. But I have enough done to enjoy coming home. And at some point in the future, after I’m able to do a bit of furniture shopping, I’ll do another walkthrough tour.

Until next time, お元気で (o-genki de = stay well).

2 thoughts on “Yōkoso! (Or Moving Abroad, Part 4)

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