Friday, July 25, 2014

卒業: Graduating from share houses

Living in a share house can be a blast. Although your experience can depend a lot on where you live and your sharemates, it is a good way to save money, while also ensuring that you will have access to a few well-sized shared spaces (spacious living room, kitchen, bath). It is also nice to have someone to greet you and talk with when you get home.

However, it does have its downsides: an upstairs neighbor with an elephantine footfall, people playing music late at night, waiting your turn to use the shower, food occasionally disappearing.
I have been very lucky with my living arrangements and sharemates, and we have had a lot of fun times...but I have come to realize that it may be time to graduate from shared living.

There will be lot to miss. My share house is particularly lovely, with a wild garden and fresh tomatoes everywhere, that you can eat right off the vine. The sunsets over the Prince hotel, pink and lavender, which I can see from the large sliding glass door in my bedroom. The strange call of the mobile tofu salesman, and the distant sound of trains rolling by on quiet evenings. Dinners spent discussing romantic conquests while eating takoyaki and parties in the fairy-light encircled garden.

But I have lived in my share house for almost three years now. And, with the exception of my Fulbright year, I have shared rooms or housing for over 9 years (not to mention, of course, all the years previous to those, when I lived with my parents).

I want to be able to go home and know that it will be quiet, that I will be able to laze about in the bathtub when I want to, walk around in underwear and a t-shirt if I feel like it, or take up the entire floor to do weight training and stretches without compunction.

While I don't intend to move immediately, my eyes stray more than ever before to the 'for rent' posters which cluster on the windows of real estate agencies. Imagining and plotting where to live next is immensely fun for me, as I have a bit of a love affair with real estate. How big is the apartment? How much? Do they allow pets? No, no tatami floors. Is there a park nearby? A supermarket? Could I bike to work? The possibilities stretch out endlessly, like my friend's Maine Coon cat in the air conditioning.

At the same time it is a little frightening. Will I miss the 'instant community' of a share house? How very different it must be to share space with 1 person instead of 7-8. On a more practical level, how annoying to have to pay more rent!

Somehow, despite technically being an adult, this all feels very 'grown up'. Weird.


  1. Sharing is fun but sometimes you reach a point when you want to live alone. It does feel grown up, it is the next step into adulthood (with the advanced stage being purchasing your own property... I don't know if I will ever have enough money for that haha).

    1. I would love to own property someday!
      In the meanwhile, this will be a new experience ^ ^

  2. I think where you live now sounds lovely! However, I hope that you soon find the place of your dreams.

    Sorry if this posted twice, I can't tell whether my first comment was eaten or not.

    1. Hi, it is lovely, but it is definitely time to move on.
      We have already started the process of looking for exciting!