Mendokusai

That’s Japanese for troublesome. Apparently there are difficulties reaching agreement for my apartment contract between the lessor and the lessee. No, I have no control over my own rental contract. I am hoping it can get resolved. Unfortunately, this is a holiday week in Japan, so any resolution may prove to be difficult. I am afraid I will miss my planned date for taking “ownership” of the apartment, which ripples in to Tomo’s visit and the delivery of all my recent purchases. Uh oh. Additionally, it means that I may have to go looking all over again and start the negotiation process all over again. I’m pretty frustrated. The housing situation is not so easy in Nagoya at the moment. I’m seeing what I can do.

In the meantime, here’s a slightly fuzzy picture of me modeling the outfit that Ben recommended I buy. I’m not so sure that it works on me. I love the pants, but I can’t really pull them off (so to speak).

Pimpin' back home

In the land of cold toilets

For anyone who has traveled to Japan, this headline should make sense. For those that have never been, well, it takes some explaining. I’m back in the States, of the land of cold toilets. In Japan, toilets vary. In a public restroom you are just as likely to have a squat toilet as a sit down toilet. Some public restrooms have both, I assume so you can pick your style. But at home, the variety is much more extravagant. Many toilets have heated seats, and the complexity of the heating is a product of what you paid. Many also have heated water sprays that, with a little self positioning, hit you in all the right places. The hotel certainly has this more deluxe toilet and I think my apartment does too.

Wow, I was going to write more but I suddenly got overwhelmed by sleepiness. I’ll write tomorrow about shopping and the fabo outfit I was recommended to buy.

Paid

I left work early today to take the train back to Nagoya station, dump some stuff in my room, pick up my Furniture Dome receipt, and hop on another train. I really didn’t leave work early, it was a nine and a half hour day (excluding lunch) but to everyone there I guess I left early. Oh well. I made it to the dome by 7:30 pm and successfully removed the chairs from my order, changed the delivery date by one day, and paid! Yes, I paid! My Visa card actually worked. Yeah! So now I will try Tokyu Hands tomorrow. That will be the next test.

Not so earth shattering news, I know, but I figured I’d update all y’all.

If I may continue

No, I don’t think I’m Dickens, writing serials for a newspaper. I just have a lot to say apparently. I wish I had some pictures to spice things up. Alas, I’ve not been much of a shutterbug.

As for my shopping frenzy, the saga is almost over. I’m losing enthusiasm for writing it, so you must be growing weary of reading. For my life here in Nagoya, it seems a home office is important. As a matter of fact, that is why I insisted on a 3 bedroom place – so I could have a separate office and guest room. When I started adding up all the space I thought I needed it was getting rather big. I have my MacPro, my photo printer, a monitor, speakers, my work laptop, my laptop, and space for a guest. No air-conditioning in the office right now. With all the computing power, that may change! I bought several desk / table type things, a file cabinet, a bookshelf, and two office chairs. They are nothing fancy, but seem functional. A step up from Target. Barely. Of course I had credit card problems there too, so now I owe my complete balance. I may just pay cash for that provided I can get enough cash out.

That’s it! That’s all the shopping so far!

Oh, after shopping I went to dinner and my work Citibank card didn’t work. So by the end of the day my ATM and three credit cards were dead!

Last night I spent over an hour on the phone after midnight with the three credit card companies. I didn’t display the restraint I should have. Anytime someone said, “I understand” I would reply, “No, I don’t think you understand.” Not very gracious on my part and getting angry wasn’t going to get me anymore service. So I’m not proud.

Now Furniture Dome informs me that I need to come to their store and pay. The problem is, they are on the other side of the bay from work. That means I have to go all the way up to Nagoya Station (30 minutes), get on another train (30 minutes), and go to the store for one iffy credit card swipe. All before 8:00 pm. That is not easy to do. Basically, I’ll need to leave work at 6:00 pm which is crazy early it seems. Actually I’ll take the 6:17 pm train I guess.

I’ve searched the web for my goods. Furniture Dome is not really web based. But here’s a picture of my couch style (without all the accessories) and the fabric.
Catalogue view of couch

The chosen fabric

My dining room chairs (in brown, not black).

The nice leather overed chairs

Here’s my washer and dryer.

The wrinkle starter The wrinkle finisher

My refrigerator, kind of cute size.

Not too big

And my TV.

And my nice TV

So where was I?

I had plans of continuing my interesting saga but then I fell in to the post-dinner work email trap trying to make sure things get kicked off in the US so they have the day to work and my inbox can be full of surprises in the morning.

Oh yeah, credit card problems. My bill from Furniture Dome added up to a non-trivial amount. I figured since they accepted credit cards I’d use my credit union credit card, get some points, and save the cash for other stores that might not take credit cards. And you know what happened next. REJECTED. Sigh. Fortunately, I always have a backup credit card in case something stupid happens. REJECTED. Darn. Of course, both of these credit cards know that I am living in Japan. I felt pretty stupid. I called my credit union credit card and they informed me that my card is marked for living in Japan, but such a big purchase at a furniture store will always raise a flag. So what’s the point of having a credit card? Oh, I was on hold for 20 minutes. They authorized a transaction and the store did the old school imprint of the card. I found out today that they cannot process an American Visa card, so I have to figure something out. I don’t believe them of course., especially since my credit card balance shows a lack of balance with a lack of charges which means a lot of authorizations. I paid part of the balance in cash – now I just have to figure out how to get the rest to them before delivery.

Next, I had found a very nice store called BoConcept in Tokyo, and they have a store in Nagoya as well. It turns out they have a store in LA too! I had planned the couch to be a big purchase. The joy and the trouble is the couch is custom made. We had to choose the size, the arm style, the leg style, and then the fabric. I didn’t have much problem with the size, the arm style, and the leg style. But the fabric – that is a different story. There are 5 grades of fabric and of course I stumbled on to fabric from the most expensive grade. I really like the couch and anticipate that I will ship it back to the US when I leave Japan. BoConcept also had some nice leather covered chairs that I really liked. I wanted to buy one as just a side chair in the living room. However, Tomo did some quick calculations and came to the conclusion that it would be almost the same price to buy 4 of these chairs instead of the icky ones we saw at Furniture Dome for the dining room table. There was some rounding and justification, but in the end I saw what he meant. So I bought 4 of the chairs I liked! I can put two in the living room and two in the dining room or variations as I see fit. I’m very excited about that. Unfortunately, I had not paid. In spite of the fact that I had cleared another credit card, it didn’t work. I gave BoConcept the remainder of my cash and a promise to pay the balance later (somehow).

Next on the shopping list was electronics. No problem with work Mastercard there. Only later. I got a washer, dryer, refrigerator (kind of small), microwave, and television. The TV is nice. We had shopped around other stores and had price differences, so we were able to do some negotiating.

I still have one more store to go to … but I’m tired. Time to call three credit card companies now.