… for a new place and
yet I found somewhere almost
perfect but said no…
to it in the end. How come? Not so much to do with Japan and wanting to go there (though I do and still monitoring the prices of flights) but not knowing how long I want to hang around my non-descript city in general. I don`t want to get caught in a lease I can`t honour for the amount of time required.
Browsing through an accommodation rental site the other day, I somehow came upon an ad for a video on youtube which presented an `origami apartment` in New York. This guy, a school teacher, who guess what had lived in Japan at one stage, had worked with a designer to work out how to make the most of the little space in his New York apartment (school teachers must get paid well in New York!!). It looked lovely with great use of colour to complement the natural light coming in. Still though, like I said the last time, I like having clear space between separate areas of my apartment. In this apartment, the bedroom area was between the kitchen and the lounge area (which also doubled as a guestroom). I have had my bed near the kitchen actually in the galley-like マンション I had in Japan but I just put up with it. I didn`t even dislike it but any more time living there and I would have gotten bored of it perhaps. To add to that, I couldn`t work out where, in this video, the bathroom was. It wasn`t mentioned either. Probably behind the other kitchen wall? Another small thing is the way the bed comes out of the wall space. That`s a great space saver but I always wonder how people fold these beds away so neatly with the bedsheets firmly in place. Their possessions must be as minimal as their apartment, which is admirable. Anyway, you should look up the video. I imagine there are loads of apartments like this in Japan because of the lack of space, well mine was just as small but nowhere near as cool, but it really caught my eye when browsing the rental website and so I went into it and was in awe of the apartment.
Well, moving onto accommodation of another sort. Interesting article today about a japanese guy in Tokyo who has started a business whereby mothers who choose to work freelance can hire office space with other women some of whom are also mothers. I think this is a great idea in theory and admirable of him as well. It stemmed from his wife having a problem with childcare and wanting to continue her freelance career. Women who want to continue working after having babies don`t have much options yet in Japan. Childcare is expensive everywhere but it`s not just the cost in Japan, it`s the lack of support for working mothers in the first place, from their husbands or from the government. 50/50 I would say. I don`t have children but if I did I would avail of something like this. Only thing is, and this is why I say `in theory`, the adjoining room is a kind of nursery for babies and young children. That`s part of the idea of course, that women can bring their kids with them so they don`t have to send them to creche or to a babysitter but I`m just wondering what the other women using the space think. It must be distracting surely even for the mothers themselves and difficult to concentrate while having one eye on their child in the other room which I assume they can see through a window. There`s no childminder in place yet. But once they get a nanny or two in, which is the plan, it will be easier. And all schemes have teething problems to start with anyway. The important thing is that it encourages women not to give up their careers just because they`ve had kids. Hooray!!