We can, in fact, hear the trains from our new apartment, despite the double-paned glass that seemed to block out the sounds when we first visited. They rumble from 5 in the morning until around midnight at night. Laughter, too, from passerby, leaks through the walls. Sean, my new roommate, wants to hang up his giant poster of Japan in the living room and his many calendars in random, illogical places.
None of the shelves in the bookcase are tall enough for our books, so they are crammed horizontally in what is actually a magnificent mahogany-colored bookcase made especially for us by the landlord. There is no storage closet, so our suitcases and bags are lining the long otherwise spectacular foyer. There is almost no natural light in this apartment – my plants will surely die now, for reals. They are lined up atop the large, free television for the moment, barring any other decent place to put them. The move itself was a 2-day effort, executed on days we both worked – trips to Tsurahashi in the morning before work, trips in the evening after work. Classes in between were conducted with swollen muscles and exhausted minds. On Thursday, I sat in seiza on the carpeted classroom floor as my 8 year-olds ran in a circle around me. I considered it “teaching” since they were running in circles, a shape which we’ve discussed before. They didn’t break anything and no parents were watching so in my opinion, the class was a success.
That said ….
I am lovin’ the new apartment. Lovin’ it, despite the inordinate amount of calendars scattered around the place. I’ve lived alone for 4 and a half years so am no longer used to compromising on decor decisions but have already softened on such things. Besides, Sean is awesome, tall and can reach and lift things. Score! There is space here, rivaling the space of my rent-stabilized palace on Washington Square Park. Sean finally has enough room to practice his karate kicks and I have not only two gas burners but a broad metal countertop on which to cut vegetables. Our furniture is on loan from the landlord – the aforementioned bookcase, the dining table, the two chairs, the coffee table, a squat black leather couch, a hexagonal wooden TV cabinet and a large Toshiba TV/DVD player. We are transfixed – somehow, when sitting on a couch, civilized, Japanese television seems far more compelling. Our miniature rent is paid for the month and we only await the return of our large deposits from Chateau Oji and our fat March paychecks. The rumbling of the trains is hardly upsetting – it is, in fact, comforting. And it is all we hear – neighborly noise is somehow voided. Cloaked indoors, without fear of my neighbors’ judgment, I now sing along to “Faithfully,” by Journey.
The Perry-liciousness of this selection will not be questioned.