For those of you not up to snuff on your Japanese grammar (shame on you), there really isn't a way to properly convey the difference between 'I am moving' (active present tense) and 'I will move' (future tense). Japanese really doesn't have a future tense, which can be quite troubling for those of us who grew up learning to conjugate verbs this way. My theory is that Japanese people don't believe in the future tense because they constantly LIVE in the future. But my theory is a little ridiculous at best.
The end result is the same. I have moved. I traded in my inexpensive apartment for a slightly more (yet still reasonable) expensive one. There are multiple reasons for this choice;
1. My new apartment is not directly between a highway an overactive train line. For someone who occasionally enjoys sleeping, it is not an ideal situation to be living between two loud modes of transportation.
New apartment 1, Old apartment 0.
2. There are stores, restaurants, shopping malls, and other social venues nearby (including a great jazz bar). A 20 minute bike-ride is not required to go to the convenience store. It's now a 30 second walk.
New apartment 2, Old apartment 0.
3. There is a significant lack of screaming babies next door. Again, this is beneficial for the beauty sleep I so desperately need. In fact, my new next-door neighbour is a fellow white person who will drink and entertain me.
New apartment 5, Old apartment 0.
4. Fourth thing!
So the math is there. For an extra 100 bucks a month, I get sleep, social activity, drinking buddies and genuine convenience. I win this round of the real-estate game.
Here are some incredibly invasive pictures of my new place;
And this is a beautiful sunset I saw the other day;
And then there's this;
Japan has recently begun villainizing smokers, in an effort to keep people from smoking on the streets. In 90% of downtown Tokyo, it is now ILLEGAL to smoke on the sidwalks, and smokers are confined to predetermined corners to get their fix. Now, as a smoker myself, I find this decision a little ridiculous, but I conform to the local customs. I stand with the huddled masses and politely suck on my death-stick like a good little girl. The goal of keeping smoking to a confined area is good in practice, until you consider the application. This is Japan. There are more people on this tiny island than most countries in the world. These areas (especially in Tokyo) simply cannot accommodate the sheer VOLUME of the smoking public. So the end result is huge mushroom clouds on street corners that are completely unavoidable for non-smokers. The more delicate "anti-smokers" are now forced to inhale our second hand smoke periodically throughout Tokyo. Suck it in, pansies! (kidding).
On a completely unrelated note, tomorrow I will be going to "Home Center," which is just as exciting as it sounds. I am determined to domesticate my little postage stamp apartment as best I can.