A Nepalese friend R came to Japan the other day and I was able to see him with a friend of mine. R brought his nephew B and a friend of the nephew P to the reunion. I took them to a Japanese restaurant.
The young people are now studying Japanese here in Nagoya. I heard that R’s nephew B left his apartment and started staying in P’s apartment the day before. R asked me to help his nephew to find an apartment. The reunion switched apartment-hunting for B at that moment.
B has been in Nagoya since January and had lived at his apartment for six month. The apartment was offered by his language school and he had paid a lot of money to the school for rent. He left his apartment because he thought it was too expensive. Yeah, I was very surprised to hear the cost. That’s definitely expensive.
As I happened to find that there were many free magazines for housing and job-hunting at the restaurant, I picked one and brought it to our table. All of sudden, B screamed out pointing a photo of an apartment house. He said, “This is the apartment where I had lived for six month and left yesterday! I can’t believe it!”
At first I didn’t understand what he was surprised at. The reason why he cried out is that the rent written in the magazine is much cheaper than he had paid. Actually he had paid his school almost twice as high as the rent ! How terrible! Who makes money with swindling foreign students!?
I checked the language school. I found out that the expensive cost includes many things: deposits, key money, brokerage, charge for a co-signer, and some kinds of insurance and so on. If you want to rent an apartment in Japan, you need to follow the complicated necessary procedures and pay for it. So, probably they don’t intend to deceive students. But I think they earn too much.
R and B called the real estate agent that mediates the apartment house B had lived until last month. B wanted to return the apartment. But the agent refused them. The reason is that B is not Japanese! I also called the agent. The clerk on the phone said just “NO.” coldly. I really got angry at her reception. Sadly many kinds of discrimination exist in this county, especially racial one is deep-rooted.
Luckily, R and B were able to find another agent to rent the same apartment to B. R said to me that the agent also declined to rent B because of the nationality at first. But R negotiated with them, resulting in getting the apartment for his nephew. Probably B has returned his apartment because he hasn’t given me a phone call so far. I told him to call me if he needs a Japanese person’s help.
This time I was surprised to see R because he wore all in white: a white jacket, a white shirt, white pants and white shoes. He said that Hindus men in Nepal wear all in white during the mourning period. He lost his father this year.
The reason why I took them to the Japanese restaurant is that I know R loves Japanese food, especially fish and sake. But he didn’t order either of them. He just ordered soba, or buckwheat noodle. So, I said, "Only soba is not enough to you, isn’t it? How about eating some fish or meat?" Then he replies "I don’t eat any fish and meat during the mourning period. Sake neither." The mourning period is whole a year…
By the way, B’s friend P, that was first time to try Japanese food! I wonder if he liked it…I hope B and P have many good experiences while staying in Nagoya, Japan!