Hey guys! Long time, no post, right? I've finally moved into my new apartment, settled in, and relaxed and unwound a bit after the stress of moving. I was on vacation (spring break) for exactly one month, from March 11th to April 11th. You'd think that I'd have tons of time for blogging, right? Wrong! I spent most of my vacation catching up on sleep, doing chores, and reading trashy romance novels on my kindle. I'm now refreshed and ready to work hard for the upcoming year.
I finally got around to recording this video to introduce the new place to you guys. I'm sorry the narration's so awkward, especially at the beginning. Since I've been on vacation for several weeks I haven't spoken English in a really long time, so I kept having to stop and think about what to say.
The cost of this apartment is 50,000 yen for rent, 3,000 yen for 'maintenance fees' and 5,400 yen per car for parking, adding up to a grand total of 63,800 yen or $640 per month. We also have to pay for water used and sewage disposed every other month; the landlord gets the bill for the entire building every 2 months and he splits it evenly among the tenants; the building isn't set up to measure each apartment's usage. And finally we have to pay some miscellaneous "community group fees" every few months to the community group, a bunch of housewives and retired old people who get together and do stuff for the good of the community, like picking up garbage and organizing traffic safety awareness campaigns and that kind of stuff. We are required to pay membership fees to this group because we live in this neighborhood, but we don't have to (and don't) participate in their activities.
I've really enjoyed living with Kazu. We've been living together for two months now, and it's going very well. I do most of the chores and cooking, simply because he has to work until anywhere between 7pm and 11pm every night, whereas I get home by 5pm every day. On the weekends we relax, enjoy cooking together and going out places together, and on Sunday afternoon we do our grocery shopping for the week. We have all our bills set up in his name and they are withdrawn automatically from his bank account, and I wire him a lump sum once a month to cover my half of the rent and utilities, and we split the cost of food.
Yesterday we went to Kyoto to see Cherry Blossoms. The cherry blossom season was pretty late this year; we wanted to go last week but the weather was bad and the cherry blossoms weren't fully bloomed yet, so we waited. Unfortunately, by this weekend many of the flowers had already fallen and green leaves were starting to grow. Still, we really enjoyed ourselves. Here are a few pictures!