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still here, and with some great news :)

Posted on: December 2, 2007

These last few months have really been a tumultuous time here in Tokyo. First we got the amazing news that S is pregnant (just about to enter 6 months now) which of course came as a wonderful but somewhat unexpected surprise to us both :). We were not planning on this for maybe another year or so, until work and other matters had settled down a bit, but that doesn’t mean we were not happy when we realized it. To tell the truth it was probably one of the happiest moments of my life.

This was in late August, and I was just about to get down and serious with a set of projects that I had been slowly building up momentum for during the summer. Thus, starting late august and just about to finally slow down again, I have been working literally around the clock several times every week. I have to admit that because of this I sometimes feel really bad for not being able to spend more time with S right now. If it was up to me I’d stay home every day and rub her back and just do what ever I can to make her feel relaxed and so on. S has been absolutely amazing though and I am filled with so much respect for her not only as a person and partner but also as a woman.

Following the great news of our family expansion, we also decided to speed up another project that we had been discussing on and off for the past year or so. Buying a house.

Buying a house in Tokyo is not easy, especially when you are a foreigner with a one year visa. Also, it is definitely not cheap, but as any big city in the world that depends on where you look. The area where we used to live was a very old and expensive part of Tokyo. It was really charming and the people living in the neighbourhood were great, but buying a house in that part is impossible unless you have a relative who owns land and/or you are filthy rich and famous.

(Note: So how could we afford living there? We rented a small and very old, but also very nice, apartment on top of a Post office. The owner of the property matched one of the above descriptions and was a really nice guy who rented us the apt for a far-below market rent. This however is another long and winding story…)

So taking reality into account for once, we decided to start looking further out from the city center, and through a chance I happened to glance upon a commercial banner on a subway train one morning, promoting a new residential area in the middle of Chiba. Chiba, as some of you may know, is not Tokyo, in fact it’s even a different prefecture. You won’t know the difference though since going by train means the cityscape barely changes.

I had actually visited the location of this new development land on a couple of occasions to hold meetings with a client, so I was vaguely familiar with it. S and I decided to take a drive to check it out, and signed a preliminary contract on first sight.

The house and its surroundings are just great. Quiet, calm, clean air, lots of nature, but still with the center of Tokyo just a train ride away. (In this case that train ride means a 45 minute ride without transfers, which is actually not so different from our old place…)

Having signed the contract though was only a way of formalizing that we were serious in our intention to buy the house if possible. After this first step began the long and very complicated process of getting a bank loan approved and finalizing the move.

We had great help from the real estate agent who handled most of the negotiations with the bank, but I still had to provide all the material that would form the basis of the evaluation process before the bank would even consider our case. This meant digging up every old article, photo, paper, poster, anything that I have ever published, plus reports, graduation evidence, former employment, written explanations as to why I came to Japan and why I intend to stay here and so on. All to prove to the bank that I am a serious and organized person who can be trusted with a 35 year loan, despite the fact that I only have a one year visa :).

This material was then submitted to several different banks and to our great joy a loan was approved by a not-to-be-named bank as of November first.

So now S and I are living in a new 5 room, 2 story house in a small community in Chiba, with a garden, a huge bathroom, a Japanese style room and all the other goodies. S went to the hospital two days ago and the soon-to-enter-this-world third member of our family is kicking around and looking very healthy. Also, two days ago I held a press conference at Tokyo University to announce the application that has kept me way to busy for the past 3 months. Finally things seem to be calming down a bit again ;).

I’m really sorry that I haven’t been able to reply to emails or keep in touch with everyone lately, things have just been crazy busy over here.

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15 Responses to "still here, and with some great news :)"

Hey hk… that is wonderful news. I very am happy for you and S. Congratulations on the house and again on the additional family member. Now, you know we are all expecting some pictures over here =)

Anyway, great news my friend.

Daneil!
Working on the pictures, just wanted to get things in order and unpacked first :)

Haha! I didn’t know you were that far along in the buying house plans!!! Allready moved in, that’s great! Sounds like a really sweet house! Great!!!! I am very happy for you both!

Försökte läsa på http://journal.mycom.co.jp/news/2007/12/01/001/index.html men förstod inte så mycket…. du får berätta mer om vad det är för projekt!

kram!

“Great news, everyone!”

Well, när du kommer med massa nyheter så nödgas jag kontra med väldigt GAMLA nyheter:

http://outof:thebox@dev.idestorm.se/MF_folkbladet.pdf

:-)

Peter!
Mein Goht! That brings back a looooot of memories. Interestingly my current work-style is like one veeery long demo-party considering the amount of sleep I get on an avarage day… Can’t complain though. There is some really interesting code coming out of this project :).

hey henric, that’s amazing – congratulations on the house!
I feel like it was only yesterday we stood on the school balcony, looking down on Shin-Okubo backyards and made plans for our lives… And now, you’re a family man and a property owner. How sugoi is that?
I was just watching “Mimi Wo Sumaseba” by Ghibli today and got really natsukashii about Tokyo and the cozy suburban lifestyle. Send pics soon, I’m very curious!

Oh, and merry X-mas to you and Sachi! :-)

Anders!!
Sorry for not keeping in touch! I know I suck :/. I’ll point to the above as an excuse ;).

You know, in the process of moving I found all the old KAI books and homework papers that I never did. That was a trip down the proverbial memory lane :). I also dug up some old photos of the people in the class and I found myself wondering what they might be up to know…

A lot has changed since those days, even though it is not so long ago… but one thing that still holds true though is that both S and I are looking forward to seeing you again!

Merry Xs to you too! :D

Hallo Henric,

Grattis till bebben, läste detta nu, kanske ni redan är 3? Det är skönt att läsa en sån lycklig nyhet! Grattis igen! Du är som en solskenssaga…

//jessie

Jessica, hej hej.
Nope inte an, vi har lite mer an en manad kvar innan den stora dagen :). Hur ar det pa din front?

Hejsan,

Jo, allt bra här, flyttat till Canada, gift mig och startat nytt liv. Lär mig franska, letar jobb å vänner. Jobbigt å skoj i en skön blandning.
Vi sprider oss…

//jess

Sannerligen! Grattis! Hoppas allt ar toppen! Var i Kanada bor du?

Hello,
Jag bor i Montreal, himlans skön stad, men ganska brun om man jämför med Norpan eller Stockholm. Det är en stad med högt i tak vad gäller värderingar och olikheter människor emellan, vilket jag gillar mycket! Å en kulturstad med en massa skoj som händer hela tiden.
Är ni 3 nu?
//jessie

Ne inte an, men formodligen denna veckan :) Spannande att se att sa manga fran KSM hamnade utomlands :). Inga planer pa att trilla ner till Tokyo?

Tokyo är lite väl galet för mig att bo i, men vill oerhört gärna besöka. Min snubbe har avrit där å turnerat å älskar det! Vi vill dit en dag. Men inte än…
Häftigaste veckan nu då, antar jag! Finurligt med livet, eller hur. Skickar er en skön tanke om lycka.

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