I have successfully purchased pots, pans, dishes, towels, toiletries, and much of the other general moving-type stuff. I’m going to wait until I get my first paycheck before getting anything more heavy-weight, ie, shelving stuff.
My apartment is very poorly designed. Very. It is on the second floor, but the front door is on the first floor, meaning that there is a long, very steep flight of stairs taking up about 1/6th of the place’s space. There is no door at the top of these stairs. This means I have to stumble past a dim, vertigo-inducing abyss every time I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
The bed (well, futon platform) is elevated over a little storage area, which would be fine if it were just a little bit lower, or else if the stairs to get down were placed differently. As it is, getting in and out of bed is really awkward.
The kitchen has no counter space. Literally, I mean – I’ve got the dish drainer on the floor because there’s noplace to put it, and a bunch of stuff stacked on the microwave, which itself is on the fridge.
The stove and sink are right next to each other, with no elevation difference, meaning that the burners (they’re flat metal disks with the element underneath them) get splattered whenever you wash the dishes, and are thus rusted over. They do heat, but slowly – it takes about fifteen minutes to get a small pan of water boiling. Previous Teacher said, “You know, I would suggest you get one of those plug-in electric ranges, except… There are no power outlets.” There are no power outlets. Or, there are two, but the fridge is plugged into one and the microwave the other. I’m going to have to see if I can make them fix the damn burners.
I briefly considered dispensing with the microwave so I could put the rice cooker there (the rice cooker’s more important!), but with the stove like it is, that would leave me with no way to quickly heat water for tea (also important!). I have no idea whether it’d be safe to set up a surge protector in there, putting more stuff on a circuit that’s already running a fridge, but I’m probably going to try. For now, the rice cooker lives in the bedroom.
There are no coat hooks anywhere in the apartment. No, people, this is INCREDIBLY annoying. Shibata is extremely wet – I need to be able to hang my damn coat up to dry.
There is no veranda, and the windows are too small to hang stuff in – I’ll have to hang my clothes to dry in the shower. This isn’t actually too bad, as there’s a special hot-air fan in there specifically for this purpose, which dried most of my first batch overnight.
The ethernet cord is for some reason affixed permanently to the wall, and is very short – I can use the internet right where it comes out, and nowhere else.
The bathroom is one of those very Japanese ones where the sink and shower and tub are all in one little room together, and the toilet’s in another. I actually usually like this, because the rooms are nicely insulated, so I don’t get cold when I turn the water off to soap my hair. But it makes brushing my teeth annoying, because if I don’t do it in the shower, I end up getting my feet damp when I go to the sink, something I find deeply unpleasant early in the morning.
Also, there’s very little counter space in there, so I’m always knocking my shampoo and toothpaste and stuff onto the floor. One of my early furniture purchases is going to have to be a little plastic table to go in there.
Things that are good: It’s well-insulated, and the bedroom window’s set up so the sunlight’ll probably be enough to heat it when it gets a little warmer. As it is, I’ve got the heater set really low, and it’s fine.
There’s one of those water-saver sinks set into the back of the toilet, which I, being a filthy hippy, appreciate. It doesn’t have a soap dish like the one in the picture does, though – I bought one today. (Did you know that many Japanese people don’t use soap when they wash their hands? It’s true! It annoys me! There’s none in the bathroom at work! I ended up with an extra thing of hand soap in my shopping zeal, so I might bring it there and leave it.)
Previous Teacher left a fair amount of useful stuff behind – I have two futon sets, which I can stack on each other, a bunch of blankets, a comfy chair, and various cleaning and kitchen things. Also some random foods – I plan to make pasta with the abandoned feta cheese tomorrow.