Well it has been about a week since my transportation specialist and I arrived in Japan. We’ve moved from our temporary lodgings in the hotel and settled into our space at Global Residence Sagamihara.
I’ll get back to our new digs in a moment, but first a short parable about the importance of reading directions carefully.
When returning to Narita Airport to meet the shuttle to the Global Residence, the hotel shuttle dropped my transportation specialist at terminal 2, where the instructions indicated he was to meet the shuttle. With some difficulty, he located the shop in the airport, called Blue Sky, which was to serve as the meeting place. When the time to meet came and went, my tranportation specialist stayed put, knowing that when one is lost, moving around reduces one’s chances of being found. Soon he began to recieve emails from the coordinator, wondering why he was at the meeting place. Looking at the Blue Sky sign in front of him, my specialist insisted that he was at the right place. After a bit of back and forth about that, he finally realized the truth. The hotel shuttle had dropped him at terminal 2, where he was supposed to be, but at the departure gate, not downstairs at the arrival gate where the Blue Sky he was supposed to be at was located. The coordinator eventually collected him from his errant location, and herded him with the other exchange students onto the bus bound for Aoyama.
The moral of the story is that had he simply ASKED any of the local Japanese would have been happy to clear up his confusion and direct him to his correct location. Even if the first person had not spoke English he has directions in Japanese as well as a map of the terminal. So when you find yourself in a foriegn plane terminal, ask to make sure of the way you need to go.
With that out of the way, on to our exploration of the Global Residence. After purchasing his bedding from the Residence, he began to unpack and set up the room.
The room comes with plenty of closet space, although clothes hangers apparently failed to make the packing list. A quick trip to the local Espot fixed that issue. The room also has a desk for studying and a refrigerator for keeping stuff cold. One quirk that threw me for a loop at first is that, other than the outlet the fridge is plugged into, all electrical outlets are subordinate to a switch operated by the room key. This means that when you leave the room all of the lights and electronics WILL be off. This is important to remember when choosing where to olug the charging station for your phone.
Of course, there’s more to the new digs than just in the four walls where we sleep. For one thing, there’s no toilet in the bedroom, although we are located close to the public toilets, bathing facilities and washing machines. The toilets are much like the one in the hotel, so no new surprises there. The shower set up is also similar enough to the hotel facilities, to pass without comment. There is a traditional Japanese bath on the second floor, but each gender has exclusive access to it on alternating days.
The washing machines are also available on each floor, however the Japanese way does not include electric dryers, preferring to do all drying in the outdoors, or on indoor hanging racks. With this in mind, I hope to focus on not getting dirty enough to require cleaning. I love the hot spin of electric drying too much. Besides, my tail isn’t sturdy enough to support me while drying!
Downstairs, there is a shared common room, equipped with a pool table, couches and tables and a truly humongo flat screen tv.
The kitchen facilities are also available to the right in the back of room, but due to my highly combustible nature, it was deemed imprudent to be photographed there.
The building has 6 floors, with men on the 3rd and 5th floors, while women are on the 2, 4th and 6th floors. There is a small elevator, good for carrying dollies or luggage up to the room, although my transportation specialist seems to use the stairs more often, to judge by the unseemly panting he exhibits every time he returns to the room.
Well after our exertions (well mostly the transportation specialist’s) our room is now ready and it’s time for me to take a nap. Good night all and be back next week with the next thrilling chapter.
Until then, Hippo! Hippo!