It has been three weeks since I have moved into the new sharehouse. Now I am quite settled, and it seems there is no more need to move before I leave Kyoto. And the best thing about it is that I can finally acquire stuff for the new home. But of course this place does not really belong to me and there is a limit as to what I can do to it, and this inhibits my shopping. At such times I would miss having a permanent home.
Especially when the residents do not care much about the house —
My new sharehouse is a two-storey traditional Kyoto house, the interior is refurnished and divided into nine bedrooms. Kyoto people call this type of house “Bed of eel" for its narrow and long entrance. The house is near Kiyomizu-dera, and within 10-minute walking distance from Gion. Accessible but quiet, this location is quite perfect. Over half of the other eight residents are female, half are Japanese and half foreigners, which does make it feel much less lonely than the previous place.
Yet I was stunned by the sight I saw the first day I moved in……
The narrow entrance looked dim even during the day. Wild flowers and grass sprouted from between the gaps and sides of the stone path, which would have been lovely if not for the fact that dead vegetation lied about the path unattended, while weeds and fallen leaves from who knows when overwhelmed the doorway in a most distressing way. Here everywhere in Kyoto there were beautiful tress and plants, and every ordinary household kept well tended plants and bonsai in front of their houses, so the contrast in front of me was keenly felt.
It was still more shocking inside. Debris strewn over the genkan and hallway, and inside the kitchen it was even worse — oil stain and food debris on the floor and over the stove, impossibly messy fridge with spilt sauce and a blackened banana……
The first thought that came to my mind was: Who says all Japanese must be clean and tidy?
Followed by: The two Swedish guys I left behind in the former sharehouse were very tidy after all.
Perhaps the more people sharing, the less responsibility and obligation there is. Having yet to unpack I had already taken to tidying up the new home.