• Nick

All moved in

Well we're in. The move from our temporary accommodation to our more permanent living arrangements went extremely smoothly. The relocation services people came and picked us up in a big station wagon, with the remainder of our bags that wouldn't fit squeezed into a taxi. A short ride to our new apartment and boom!

On the way up to our apartment on the 23rd

The rest of the day was a mixture of sorting and accepting deliveries of appliances and furniture. Everything arrived on time and in excellent sequence so there were very few issues of delivery people tripping over each other. It was especially nice to see our shipment of items from New Zealand arrive. My bike and surfboard along with additional clothes and personal items to make things here feel a little more homely.

I have to say that the delivery people were all extremely professional and polite. No mess, no damage and the appliances bought from giant retail store Bic Camera were all unpacked and where they could, plugged in and installed at no extra cost. The bed mattress arrived but we are still awaiting the base. This came from Nitore,

another massive retail chain, and the remainder of our furniture came from Ikea.

Shopping for big ticket items here, as we did through large department stores, is quite intimidating to a newby. I don't know how we would have coped without Pania's language skills and her good friend Megumi, a local who was able to help us make sure we got the best bang for buck (or yen). She did all the price matching research, made sure we bought good brand items and and ensured the sales people behaved themselves. They tend to not be very good at following instruction wanting to try showing you stuff you don't really need or want. The large department stores do however, have amazing point systems. We have accrued thousands of yen (hundreds of dollars) in points which we've used to purchase sundry items such as a new electric shaver for me and hair care products for Pania.

These big stores are also incredibly busy. Ikea so much so we just walked through, took pics of the items we wanted and ordered on line. It was fantastic to see it all turn up, and being Ikea, all flat packed for me to assemble. I wasted no time, and with a few bourbons in me, actually started the assembly of a few items that afternoon. A day and a half later and we have an apartment 90% complete. A few draws and sundry kitchen items, as well as all the usual stuff you need but don't really think about until you don't have them is all we really need now.

Interesting point, many apartments here you need to supply your own light fittings and AC units. Luckily the AC was installed already in each room however we had to buy lamps for each room and the living and dining areas. This certainly is a throw away society, although there are websites and Facebook pages dedicated to expats leaving, and new arrivals wishing to buy and sell used items, often up to entire households. Pick up and drop off is the issue really with most people not having cars, although those services are available as well. Truth be told I've actually found dealing with some of these people on the expat social media groups difficult. There seems to be a certain flakeyness (for want of a better word) that I just can't come to terms with. I guess because they consider they may never have to deal with you again, or there isn't a reliable feedback system as there is with TradeMe or Ebay and the like, there is no need to respond to queries or inform if items are already sold.

All that aside, 6 weeks in and all going well. Heading to Kyoto on Thursday for a long weekend. Heard nothing but good things so really looking forward to it.

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