Things will work out even if you cannot speak English! My view of the world has broaden by living here.
- 1 year and 3 months stay
- Shared room
- No experience in study abroad
- Beginner English
Please inttoduce yourself
I am Megumi Kobayashi. I live in Shimokitazawa2 house. I am from Shizuoka. I came to Tokyo for job hunting and I have lived here for one year and three months now.
I could not speak English, but I decided promptly because it seemed fun!
Why did you choose Borderless House?
Just because international exchange seemed fun lol
I could not speak English at all, but I was hoping that I could get to speak English good enough to travel overseas. Moving to Tokyo was already decided, so I was looking for a sharehouse. I found Borderless House's website by chance and I decided to live here promptly. I chose Borderless House because I found a lot of joyful pictures on the webpage and also because it had good balaces of nationality and gender.
Well-balanced gender ratio is also a good point.
Since this was your first stay in sharehouse, were you worried?
Yes, I was. I was a little bit worried, but more excited. I knew that I would enjoy living with people. I was not concerned about living with guys. I would be rather worried if there was only girls because there might be a group of close girlfriends and I feel left out kind of things lol I thought that we could get more closer if we live with mixed gender.
A life with many new findings such as new hobbies or new events.
How is your saty in Borderless House?
Everyone has different occupations and hobbies and we share them with each other, which makes the life fun! I actually found a new hobby after I watched a musical movie with my housemates in the living room. I was like "I did not know musical films are this much fun!" I also start doing Yoga because I heared that some of the housemates started doing it.
Having house parties was also fun. We connected the audio device to the TV and we danced together lol Of course we do not always party hard. We often do Takoyaki or Hotpot parties too. Another good memory is when we, five of us, went to Hottarakashi Hot Spring. Plans are suddenly come up like "there is some Thailand festival in Yoyogi park, lets go!". Because we are all close so everyone says "Why not?" lol
If I must say something challenging about living in a sharehouse would be sharing the common space such as the kitchen and the bathroom because we sometimes need wait until other people finih using.
I struggled with the AC setting
You have lived in a shared room, how is it?
I tend to pay attention to others, which sometimes made my stay in a shared room difficult. Especially, I struggled with the AC setting. In my case, I don't want to set the room temprature high even in winter because it gets dry. I have stayed with three different roommates before, but sharing with someone who sets it very high was hard. I wanted to tell them but I couldn't, so I was a little bit stressed about it. Sometimed I could asked them "Can I turn the AC off?", but most of the times I hesitated to tell them that. I am talkiing about the previous roommates so I am fine now lol It is true that the situation is changing depends on the roommates.
When I had a fever, they took really good care of me. They were really nice and they even went shopping for me to get what I needed.
I always have someone at home who I can talk to is a good thing.
Please tell us about the moments you felt "you were lucky to have housemates".
When I was having bad times, I would be down all alone if I live by myself. However, in Borderless House, there is always someone who I can talk to and releave the stress. I can share my councerns and and get some advices from older housemates. I was happy to have kind housemates. I could get some energy from younger housemates too lol Some people need to be alone sometimes, but I am not the one. When I feel like being alone, I listen to music in my room.
I often complained about my work or talked about relationship stuff too. I can hear opinions from girls'side and also guys' side lol I feel releaved having someone who listen to me.
I didn't think living in a sharehouse was hard even from the beggining. On the first week I started living there, I went out to a bar with my housemates and I felt like "It is exiting and fun!" Everyone was kind and friendly and they started talking to me, which helped me a lot. Because I could not speak English at all at the beginning, I was talking in Japanese most of the times lol
Things will work out even if you cannot speak English!
Having started from no English skill, how did it improve?
I feel ashamed to say, but not at all lol
I can understand what they are speaking better than before, but it is still difficult to talk to them. When I had a Russian roomates who could't speak Japanese at all, I had to communicate with her in English so I tried. At first I had no courage to talk to her, but she talked to me a lot like "I want to get a bicycle" and "How can I get here?". As I keep talking her back, I felt we were getting closer and I could be able to start conversations with her asking "How was your day?". At that time with the Russian roomate, I was trying hard to speak English, but I started speaking Japanese again when I had the next roommate who spoke fluent Japanese.
It will be fine even if I couldn't speak English at all when we are talking in the living room because we have someone who can interpret. Of course, I was trying hard to listen to what English speaking housemates are talking. On the countrary, if we keep talking in Japanese, there are always some housemates looking like "I don't understand at all". In that case, someone interpret and make the conversation understandable for everyone.
The life here is a series of surprises such as different life styles and various housemates with speacial skills.
Was there any surprising moments?
I unexpected that many people take a shower in the morning. I take a shower in the night, but more people take it in the morning. Also, some people come out of the shower room only with the towel on lol. As might be expected, no one hand their underwear in the common space. Some guys were in the living room half-naked. I got used to it though lol.
Another surprising moment was when an Italian housemate who was doing internship as a chef had been cooking in the kitchen for 4 hours lol. He cooked a Sicilian dish and it was very genuine. He shared the dish with everyone and it was delicious!
It is a small thing, but some people throw away cup noodles into the garbage bin with some soup left.
If you take actions, there is somethinig exciting waiting and you can broaden your world!
Was there any change in youself after you started living in Borderless House?
I used to be shy but I am no longer shy and more social. I met many new people here and I learned that if I start talking to them, I could carry on coversation more. The first greeting with them, I tried to be cheerful lol
I became more outgoing too. I used to hesitate to go out to places, but now I am like "lets go for it, there will be something fun waiting!", so I always say "Yes! I'll go". After all, it is fun and we can make good memories, so this is something that has changed in myself.
I like this house as much as I think that there is only good things waiting! It is fun because I could broaden my language and even my world, by experiencing things I could never done if I still live in Shizuoka. So I recommend Bordeless House.
Through the interation with my housemates, I started thinking that I want to visit various countries.
Lastly, please tell us your goals in the future.
My dream is to become someone's wife... married to a Japanese guy by the way lol I didn't think about this before, but international marriage seems hard because of the cultural difference.
Also, I became interested in various countries and want to visit my old housemates who returned to their country. Parris in France was the only place I wanted to visit, but I am now interested in South France after hearing good things about the place.
I only have been to America and Korea, not many countries. To enjoy classic music, I will definitely go to Czech Republic and Austria someday! I currently have a Swedish housemate whose parents are Czech, and their stories made me want to go there too!