The New Place

The next few posts are going to be kind of disjointed on the timeline.  There’s a lot going on now that I’m back that I really want to write about, but I also want to write a bit about what I did at home.  So things will come as I get the energy to post about them.  Jet lag is a drain on motivation and creative juices.

Now that I’m back I’m starting to really settle into my new apartment.  Almost everything is unpacked, but there are still quite a few things that still need to find a home.  Above all else, my favorite thing about the new place has to be the hot water in the kitchen.  My dishes get done so much sooner when I don’t have to turn on the kettle or boil water on the stove to do so.

While I was washing dishes after dinner tonight, I was thinking about something my friend Brian mentioned to me before I left.  He was told me that while he was studying in South America (yes, I forgot which country.  At least I get a point for the right continent, right?) he learned to live with a lot less.  As a chronic stuff-haver, this became a goal for me.  At the end of every school year during college, at some point I would look at the heaps of boxes of suitcases I had to (and my parents had to help with) schlepping back to St. Louis, and I would say, “Why do I have so much stuff?”  Most of it probably isn’t even used on a regular basis.

I was really hoping that living in Japan would help me learn how to live with less, especially since I assumed my apartment would be rather small.  Fast forward to moving in March.  I have too much stuff.  I will always have too much stuff I think, but I have definitely lived to learn with less in other ways.  I learned to live without central heating, a drier, a dishwasher, garbage disposal, and hot water outside of the shower.  All of these things that I thought I could never live without (or would never want to), and I have found myself adapting with much less trouble than previously imagined.  More than that, now that I have hot water everywhere, my apartment is sealed well enough that it’s more climate controlled, and my washing machine is inside instead of out on the balcony, I can appreciate all of that so much more because I know what it’s like to live without those comforts.

So it definitely doesn’t compare to living a lot of places in South America, but for me, it is definitely a good learning experience.

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