Sunday, March 05, 2006

Spring Cleaning?

I moved to Muroran in August of last year. I arrived in Muroran after a three-week car journey (thank you, Wasabi-kun) from Izumo. I spent my last week in Izumo cleaning my apartment and boxing up stuff. I spent the morning I left Izumo cleaning my apartment and boxing up stuff. I left some stuff behind for my successor (as he asked me to) but generally tried to get as much of my junk out of the apartment as possible.

When I moved into the Chateau de Kidd, I found that my predecessors had not given me the same consideration. There were, shall we say, some rather unpleasant surprises waiting for me.

I had a lot of boxes of stuff shipped up ahead of time, and they were in my apartment waiting for me when I got there. As I started to unpack my stuff and put it away, the discoveries started happening.

For example:

  • I went to put my towels away under the sink. When I opened up the under-the-sink area, I found half-empty and completely empty bottles of shampoo, bath cleanser, dead bars of soap (I'm sure you can imagine it), empty cologne and perfume bottles, etc. At this point, I was surprised.
  • I went to put some things away under the kitchen sink. When I opened up the under-the-sink area, I found half-empty and completely empty bottles of dish soap, cleaning fluid, cooking oil, spices, etc. The kicker? Two half-empty wine bottles that looked like they had alien symbionts growing in them. I was afraid that if I opened them the stuff would jump out and latch on to me like a face-hugger. I didn't know you could grow things in wine bottles. At this point, I was disgusted.
  • I went to hang my clothes up in the closet. When I opened up the closet door, I found two suits and some long-sleeved business shirts hanging there. They had pit stains. They smelled dusty. They were not of a style or color that I wanted. THEY HAD PIT STAINS!!! At this point, I was despondent.
  • I went to toast a piece of bread in the toaster/microwave oven (never seen these things in the States, but they have them here) above my refrigerator. I opened it up and the inside was orange-brown, like someone had trapped a Gremlin in it and zapped it to the point of explosion. There were drops of stuff on the side, I tell you! It smelled like a mixture of fish and chicken inside. Foulness! I had no choice but to toast my bread anyway. I put it in and turned the toaster on. Within seconds, a foul stench began to invade my apartment. Sheer nastiness. Just as I feared, when I took out my toast, put some jam on it, and took a bite, it was as if the fish/chicken stench had been given form. At this point, I wanted to cry.
Of course, Hiroshi found an opportunity to tease me a bit with all this. He said that the apartment I was living in had been rented by Starfish High since 1997 or 1998, and since that time, no cleaning company had ever been in there to clean it. He said that a few of the teachers had come over and cleaned up the apartment after the previous teacher moved out. The fridge had been foul. The oven area had been foul. The storage area next to the loft had been full of useless junk. The futon blankets that were there had been foul. So Hiroshi told me, after I was on the verge of despair, "If you want to move, you should do it now. I felt bad about you living in a place like this, and I thought about trying to find you a new place, but I figured that I should leave that up to you. Ha ha ha." (This led to some serious stress in our friendship during the first month or so I was here. I'm much better now, but I was pretty livid with him for a while.)

Yeah.

Like I know JACK about Muroran.

Anyway, I got the okay from the school to dump all of the stuff I didn't want in my apartment in the school's garbage area. I dumped huge plastic bags full of stuff at the school. I had unpacked my stuff out of a few boxes and put things away, but a few boxes had found a permanent home in front of a couple of bookcases in the corner of my living room.

Until today.

I decided to unpack my box of cups and glasses, and throw out all of the nasty coffee-stained coffee cups and cheesy wine glasses that PL (aka Beelzebub) left here. After taking down all of PL's cups, digging out my box of cups, unpacking and putting them away, all of the sudden I (of ALL people) realized I was in the mood to...(drum roll please)...

CLEAN!

(gasps resound across the Internet)

Whoda thunk it? Me, cleaning? Wow.

Yep, I unpacked at least four other boxes and put stuff away. The "Reserved For Boxes" area has become MUCH smaller.

Yes, there still are boxes.

What? Were you expecting a complete cleaning? I had other stuff to do, too! Like watch TV and listen to my audio recording of "Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way".

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