Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Settled in and feasting like kings

Well that's it, we are now officially address-less in Japan. After another early-ish morning, we headed back into the city and finished things up at the apartment. A recycle shop came by and loaded up all of Yoshiko's furniture and appliances and stuff, paying us peanuts really, but we got the last laugh. The guy got a bit confused and gave us a bit more than his "estimate" was... HA! Considering they were giving us nothing for Yoshiko's 400$ bed, I figure it's just karma.

When the guys had emptied the apartment, we rode our bicycles for the last time, leaving them at AEON where Anthony has claimed mine and Mayu will claim Yoshiko's this Saturday. After dropping by the post office to change our address, we hit up the Vietnamese place for a great lunch of Pho and nama-harumaki. Yum!

We then went on back to the apartment in time to meet the lady from the rental company for the final inspection and turning over of the key. This was when the first little hiccup of the day happened. Things being as they are and companies being such as things dictate them to being, we are getting scammed out of some cash... in my humble opinion of course. It seems to be a pretty common thing for rental companies to make you sign a contract stating that you will be responsible for any damage to the apartment. This to me makes sense. If I decide on a drunken rampage to throw my toilet out my 4th floor window, the company has the right to ask me to pay for it. However, we were notified today during the inspection that they will be taking a bite out of Yoshiko's safety deposit to re-wallpaper the living room and closet because there are a few scuff marks on the walls. We're not talking about tears in the paper, or holes punched in the wall here... but cuff marks like those a shoe would make along the base of the wall. Of course, when Yoshiko moved in, the apartment was not new and it is entirely conceivable that some of those marks were made by previous tenants who were then also forced to fork over some cash. From what I understand, this is pretty common practice and most people don't fight it and just pay. Yoshiko has had the experience in the past of calling their bluff and argued with them about it, the price of repairs went from 1000$ to 100$... odd. Of course, we are in a very weak position here, what with leaving the country in a week and the estimate for repairs not being ready for a month... but we shall see what happens. Chances are, the deposit money will not be refunded, but it's not that much so no biggie. We had a bit of a funny moment at the front door of the apartment with me thinking of arguing some more. Yoshiko stated simply: "This is Japan." And I said: "And that's why we're leaving" to which we both had a bit of a giggle.

So we headed on to our temporary home here in Imaichi with our final load of stuff. We then proceeded to promptly fill up my poor parents-in-laws' house with bags of things to be sorted and handed out to anyone interested. Luckily, it shouldn't take too much time tomorrow to get everything sorted out and done with.

For our second meal here, okaa-san pulled out all the stops and laid out a yaki-niku feast for us. As you can see here, yaki-niku is quite simply meat which is grilled at the table with vegetables and dipped in a sauce. Fantastic!

Here is my little Japanese family.

I love that my mother-in-law and my mother are so much alike. Both about the same height and very easy to smile and laugh. I'm sure we will have a great time when they come down to visit us and the two ladies are reunited again. And of course, after promising to post a picture of everyone, it was only fair for Yoshiko to take up the camera and get a shot of me as well.

And that's about it for now, while we did take the scenic route along Nikko street and it's beautiful cherry trees, I didn't bring my camera along for the ride. Too bad... will bring it for sure next time. Off to bed! Gnight.


Blogger tornados28 said...

The issue with rental deposits is common in America as well, not just to Japan.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Michel Lafleur said...

That may be, with unscrupulous landlords trying to take advantage of their customers. However, the entire system here, with key deposits and this fee and that fee is very much designed to pad their pockets at your expense.

7:59 PM  
Blogger tornados28 said...

I see. I am not familiar with the Key Deposit in Japan and how it differs from the rental deposit here in America. But it is a common problem with landlords who keep the rental deposits for "so called repairs".

Hey, how about them Sens. They beat the heck out of the Penguins. Amazing game in Vancouver though with the Stars. Four OTs.

12:41 PM  

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