Monday, October 18, 2004

Still Sick in Saitama

Hi folks. It's been more than a week since I came down with this flu thing now, and it feels like it hasn't budged in days. I succumbed to over-the-counter fever and cough suppressants two days ago. They help but wear off after several hours. The worst parts are the intense coughs now. At least I'm starting to sleep a little again.

I've also been struggling with the kerosene space heater we have in the apartment. My roommate was able to start it with the flick of one hand while I was rushing out the door this morning. I haven't been able to replicate his move, no matter how many times I try. It baffles me how a device with one slider and an OFF button can be so hard to light.

The toilet is a similar case here. It's in fact a water closet mounted to the underside of the ceiling with some snaking duct-work feeding to the squat basin on the floor. There's only a single pull handle on a chain for a control here. You must gauge the power of the pull and the timing of the release to the fine expectations of the original craftsmen. Otherwise you get a pathetic stream of water and must wait for the tank to fill again. It took me many weeks to get this one right everytime.

Recently I've been thinking more about the comforts of Ye Olde Petersham.

* * *

In the defense of this place though, I never intended to live here for more than a couple of months. It's been more than four now. I would never have picked a place so spartan. This is because I actually like spending time in my apartment. Even when I'm not sick. My roommate, who doesn't spend much time here at all, is the one who picked it. I just moved in months later.


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