Eating Out

I love food. The size of my pants will serve as evidence of that. I also love eating out and trying new places and new foods. I enjoy the taste of food; I enjoy the smell; I enjoy the appearance; I enjoy the creation of dishes.

The problem arises when I’m alone. I have this single-guy phobia of going out alone to eat. I’m told that it’s a common issue and that lots of people have the same issue. That’s not a lot of comfort, though!

At any rate, I decided that, once I got settled into my new place, I’d make an effort to eat out once a week, even if I was alone. Actual eating OUT though; take-out isn’t a problem for me, you see.

Tonight was going to be my first foray into the restaurant and izakaya scene of Takanezawa. There’s an izakaya near my home. Maybe a 5 minute walk. I’ve seen it several times as I’ve driven by. I thought it would make the perfect start to my new habit. I told myself that Friday nights would be the best night for such things.

Today is Friday. It came and I fully intended to go through with it… But at the last minute, I chickened out.

The me who can’t eat out alone.

The me who is more comfortable eating at home.

Failure!

I went out and found a bento place. Bought some delicious steak on rice with a Japanese-style sauce and pickles. Good times.

On the way back, I drove past the aforementioned izakaya. It was closed! Totally closed! So… I didn’t really fail, did I?

(Yes, I did.)

There’s always tomorrow, I guess.

Getting Legal

No matter where you live, no matter where you move to, the various procedures involved are always difficult.

I’ve been going through the steps to make myself and all my things legal this week, and it’s not so easy in some cases. First, I registered at city hall. All people who move in Japan, native or foreign, have to tell city hall that they’re in town and where etc. The name of the forms differs, but the main purpose is the same: the city is going to provide you with services so it’s necessary for them to know who they’re serving. Whatever.

This wasn’t. Very difficult thing to do. As I’d already registered as a foreign resident when I was in Toyama, I only really needed to change my address. The lady was super helpful, and explained things simply. I also joined national health insurance at the same time, which was also ridiculously simple.

Afterwards, another lady explained how to sort my trash. I was told by some residents, “Ooh, trash sorting here is very strict!” But it’s not really. Burnables twice a week (and unlike Toyama, plastic IS burnables, not it’s own category) and none burnables once a month, in 4 categories: food glass, other glass, newspaper and cardboard, cans and PET bottles. There’s also the food trash that they use to make compost, but most people I’ve spoken to hide that in their burnables because the food trash bag is troublesome and breaks easily.

It’s not so bad because most of my trash is burnable. The PET bottles and random foam trays can be rinsed and returned to the store. Bottles and cans too, at some stores. Shouldn’t be a problem, I reckon.

Next up is updating the address on my car reg and safety check certificate. This is not so easy. First, I needed a proof-of-parking certificate from the real estate agency (¥3000), and then take that to the police station to say, “Hello! I have arrived and I have brought a car! Please change my address on my license and my something else; also I will be parking here legally.”. Then they do the license while you wait, and give you the forms (¥20) for the other part which I couldn’t figure out, but I luckily had someone to help me. The registration of parking space with the cops was ridiculous. I had to have a diagram of the parking lot with my space indicated; then I had to draw a map to my apartment (which is easy in some places, but which is stupidly difficult for this place); then I had to fill in dimensions of various things (width and length of space, width of lot entrance, width of road, etc.) It was dumb and I made up values because I hadn’t measured that stuff, get out.

Next week I’ll have to pick up paperwork from the police station and then go to a transport office to register the changes that the cops made, register for car tax (boo!) here, and then get my new number plates. Whew! It’s not easy, so I’m glad the lady from my company is helping me.

In other settling-in news, I’m completely unpacked, except for the living room, which can’t be completed until next Wednesday when the last of my furniture comes. Until then, though, I’m pretty free and clear to relax and explore. More on that another time!

Arrival

Today, I left Toyama for what may very well be the last time. Five years of my life were centred there, so you’d think it natural to feel a small sadness or melancholy on leaving. But that wasn’t the case. I didn’t feel anything beyond a desire to get on the road so that I could get here before dark. Didn’t succeed in that, but whaddya gonna do.

On the way here, there were some crazy clouds. Apparently a tornado hit Gunma just before I got off the highway in Maebashi. The last 100km or so from there, the sky was green or orange with blue or green or grey or stunningly white clouds. I can’t remember ever seeing such things before.

Got here and unpacked the car. Popped to a 7-11 for some essentials (beer, garbage bags, supper), and then came back here to chill.

What should have been some sort of exciting day was pretty ordinary except for some meteorological phenomena. That’s okay though, I reckon.

Tomorrow, I’ll try to register at city hall. I had been told weeks ago that, first, I had to tell my old city hall I was leaving, and then register at my new one when I arrived; but my old city hall was just like, “What? No, you need not do anything here. Do it all at your new place.” So, I hope they were right. Can’t very well drive back to Toyama now!

Now, let’s see if I can get this post uploaded, then I’ll be off to bed.