Sunday, August 05, 2012

first week in kobe

This is my first weekend in Kobe. It's been exactly 1 week since I arrived, but oh boy there's been so many things that happened I've been trying to catch up with sleep as much as I can.

The weather has been hot and humid as expected during summer. But the one thing that made it unbearable was the aircond that started acting up on our first night here.

My dad and brother accompanied me to Japan, helped to bring some extra luggage and also to have a little holiday for themselves. We were greeted by Koresawa-san and Kawasumi-san, both from HR at the Kansai International Airport. It was nice to have some friendly help upon arrival and not to worry about which train to take and what direction to get to.

The apartment was meant for 1 person, but they had gotten permission from the landlord for my dad and brother to stay with me, though they would be some extra charge. It's just nice for 1, a little cramped for 3 but I'd rather have them with me.

Room #1502 seemed like the best location, being on the top most floor, with 2 balconies (the rest usually have only 1) with a view of the port.

So imagine our discomfort when the aircond broke down. I had to use my Malaysian mobile to make some calls to HR to inform them of the situation. Koresawa-san booked us into the Sannomiya Terminal Hotel. Around midnight, we took only essential items and walked to the station where the hotel was. We only stayed one night as they were expecting the aircond to be fixed the next day.

It seemed to be working when I returned there the next day after getting my Resident Card updated. However, that evening just as before, the aircond became cranky again. Since we were quite tired we decided to just open the windows to the balcony, hoping there would be some breeze from the sea.

This time, the real estate agent (yes, there are many parties involved in renting an apartment here, excluding the apartment management) brought a table fan for us. It was still very humid and I was more concerned for my dad and brother's comfort because they had to squeeze into a 21m3 apartment with me!

It was good their trip included Tokyo for a couple days, so during that time I shifted to another apartment by the same apartment management just a couple of minutes' walk away. I was starting work on 1 Aug, so had to quickly settle down at work. Room #301 seemed a bit more claustrophobic because there was only 1 balcony and it faced an office building.

I was hoping that the aircond back in #1502 would be fixed by the time my dad and brother returned from Tokyo. Turned out it would take longer. So we got the real estate agent to help me carry the rest of the luggages from #1502 to #301.

I'm glad my dad and brother were both supportive and didn't complain much despite all the hassle. My bro almost wanted to check into a hotel. I just kesian them, they had to sleep in sleeping bags surrounded by luggage bags without proper ventilation!

But they seemed to have had an enjoyable time. I'm rather proud that my rather laidback brother actually planned the trip down to the train routes and timing for each train, and managed to accomplish all that he wanted to do. There were some things I myself didn't even manage to visit throughout my 3 years+ here - Tsukiji, Universal Studios, Osaka Aquarium.

I treated them to the famed Kobe Beef dinner on the last evening. Even though they were on their own most of the time (my dad can read some of the kanji, whilst my brother has no qualms asking for directions!), it was good to have them around on my 1st week here.

Just sent them off to the station yesterday morning, then shifted back to the original apartment, but different room and now settling down in #717. I've shifted at least 3 times in 1 week alone, and could have written it off as a horrible start.

In the end, the experience kinda brought us closer, allowed them to have a glimpse of my new lifestyle, and for us to learn a little about each other. Even though these are just temporary accommodation but it gave me an idea what to look for when I get my own place.


ee said...

hey! if i head towards your direction, i'm bringing my mom (yes i copy you)! we're going to do a bit of a hol while things settle and she'll help me find a place and negotiate since she speaks the language (if i choose to go la that is).

§nóflèk said...

ee : it really helps, even though i've lived in japan before. i'm just so glad i had family together to help me settle :) God is good! keep me updated on your journey ya.