Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Good News, Bad News, Good News

My brother-in-law (Luis) is moving to Ikebukuro soon and is liquidating some of the contents of his apartment. Among his belongings, he has more air conditioners than he needs and he generously offered us one of the spare ones rather than sell it for a nominal amount of money. This was our first bit of good news.

It's a powerful air conditioner that would likely be able to cool our entire apartment. The main reason we wanted it was that I currently have to run the air conditioner in the bedroom to cool the living room where I teach private lessons because it's the only one in the apartment. Running an A/C in one room to cool another is wasteful and inefficient. What's more is the fact that our A/C is not designed to cool more than the 6-mat room it's installed in so it's straining to do the job, particularly in the thick of the Japanese summer that is rapidly rushing up to smack us in the face as I type. So, it's easy to see the appeal of a second machine even in a relatively smallish place.

Since we rent though, we had to ask the landlord for permission and assistance in getting it installed. He and his wife contacted the electric company and we were told we'd have to get our amperage increased from 20-30 and pay another $3 a month on our base electric bill. They also told us that 30 is as high as this apartment can tolerate and that, once we received the upgrade, we would be able to use the air conditioner that Luis is giving us.

The electrician showed up today and performed the upgrade and told us that our apartment simply could not handle an A/C as powerful as the one Luis was giving us. So, the good news was negated by this bad news. Incidentally, this was a classic example of not getting a straight answer initially from the power company. Japanese companies are notorious for not giving straight answers and for different people from the same company to give different answers. Since we gave the spec sheet for the A/C to them when the landlord made the initial call and they were encouraging about us being able to use it initially but clearly someone dropped the ball. Fortunately, Luis is familiar with this tendency and he had held off on telling someone who wanted to buy it that it was taken so he could still sell it.

The final good news was that the landlord told us he would install another air conditioner for us entirely at his expense. He simply offered to do this without any prodding or requests from us. The new one will be similar to the one we have now in our bedroom so it won't be as powerful as the one we might have gotten but it will be brand new and more than sufficient for my needs in terms of cooling the living room during lessons.

Sometimes people who know we've lived in the same place for 18 years wonder why we don't move given that older places don't look as good as new ones and are missing amenities. Besides the fact that our rent is on the moderately low side for a place in this location and of its size, there's also the fact that we have the type of landlord of which you can only dream.


tornados28 said...

Your landlord sounds very nice but, wow, you have been living there for 18 years? That's amazing.

Shari said...

Time just sort of starts running away from you after you get older. You are going about your business living life and all of a sudden, 10 years have flown by. In fact, the first 12 years just felt like about 5. It's funny how the older you get and the more free time you want, the faster it goes but, when you're a kid, it seems to really be dragging all the time.

Anyway, I'm not sure you were talking about 18 years in the same place or 18 in Japan but us old folk do ramble on. ;-)