I've been spending a lot of time walking around areas to the north and south, as well as traveling a stop or two by train. One stop north is a shopping mall, where I've been picking up items a bit at a time. It's hard to buy bulky items when they have to be a small enough load to carry back to my apartment. Among my purchases were a new printer, stock pot, and camera. I wanted to buy a spice rack, but I visited three different department stores, and the only ones they carried were pre-filled with labeled bottles of spices. What the heck? What if I don't want those spices? What if I'd rather have garam masala than sea salt? That makes the entire rack useless. Not a single store carried just a plain, empty spice rack.
I tried to find a place to fix my digital camera, which spontaneously stopped interpreting light conditions while I was in Maryland. Apparently Sony cameras (which is what I bought in Japan) have to be sent back to Sony for repairs, which I heard from the one camera repair place I managed to semi-locate. (I tracked down the address, but there was no storefront. It turns out the owner operates solely by mail.) So I decided to buy an upgraded version to replace the malfunctioning one. The new camera has more features, but I'm a bit frustrated that it's missing some of the options that the old one had. For example, my old camera could select among about five different picture sizes. The new one only has two choices: Large or Small. Even the Small setting takes up twice the memory of the setting I had been using on my old camera, which means I can only fit half as many pictures on the memory stick. Anyway, I can now take pictures again, and I'll be linking some shots of my apartment later in the entry.
What I'm most excited about is that, after a great deal of searching, I managed to locate a health food store a half hour walk away that carries nutritional yeast and vegetarian chicken-flavored broth. (There is a train that runs to the area on weekends, but there's only one train per hour, so it's faster to walk.) Since I was down to my last cup of nutritional yeast, it was quite a relief to locate a source. Today I also bought a couple of plastic crates that I can set my laptops on until I get furniture. It's not exactly comfortable to hunch over to use a laptop on the floor, and it would make my neck hurt after an hour or so. Not so good for Warcraft raiding.
The other big excitement was that my mattress was delivered last night, so I got to sleep on it for the first time. I conked out at 7:30pm and slept for nearly 12 hours straight. Now I'm just waiting for the headboard to be delivered, which could take another couple of weeks.
And now for the pictures. Here is a shot of the exterior of my apartment building. The ground floor only has one apartment, for the building manager, and the rest is parking space. The remaining five apartments are on the second floor, with mine directly over the manager's. (On a side note, when I went to pay my January rent, I met his wife for the first time. She said "we're cousins" because we both work for the federal government; she's IRS.)
Inside, my living room is mostly empty, containing only my entertainment center consisting of my TV, DVD player, and laptops. In the rear of the living room is my reading nook (the one spot that actually has light). I need to flatten some of those boxes to put out in the recycling bin.
The doorway continues on into the kitchen (left side view, right side view). I'm slowly starting to accumulate items to fill my cupboard space. Next is the bathroom, which has a surprisingly high toilet seat. Also, for some reason the toilet paper holder (invisible from this angle) was attached at ankle height, making it impossible to reach. I plan to get a new one eventually.
Finally, there is the bedroom, with my new mattress. It turned out to be higher off the ground than I expected. I'm currently sleeping on it upside down, because when I tried the other way I was afraid I'd hit my head on that little bar holding the curtain cords. I'm probably going to move it around to another spot to avoid that problem.
And that pretty much sums up my week. Next week I'm scheduled to start learning new things at work, such as how to give out penalties to people trying to smuggle food, and how to detain items for other agencies (such as the Fish and Wildlife Service).