I got my new phone last Friday! Even though we pre-ordered it, and were told we could go to the shop from 8am onwards to collect, the Softbank server was down all the way till noon before we were able to get our phone. Japan has a very ineffective & un-environmentally friendly system of using SIM cards - new SIM cards are issued everytime you change a new phone (which is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of for such an efficient country). Luckily they don't charge us for SIM cards! Which caused the whole lag time in the system. Most people actually reached the shop around 8am (I was first in the queue) but it turns out it was a country wide system failure & while I had quite a bit of time to wait in the store, the people behind me were working adults who had to reach the office probably around 9+am. They were quite shocked (& I think very sad) that they couldn't get the phones to bring to the office & that their phone lines will be cut off in the middle of the day once the new phone's SIM card got activated, and all of them left reluctantly. I decided to just sit in the shop until the service resumed, because I had no other ways to be contacted by the shop, and since there were a ton of people who were waiting at the Apple stores, I was quite sure the service had to be fixed shortly.
I'm actually glad that I waited. Around 11.30am, a guy came in to collect his phone & the system registration went through for him smoothly! I was like thinking " oi....... what about mine? I waited for so long already!!" & pointedly looked at the staff who handled that successful registration. The lady who had handled my order came over after that to say , sorry but she doesn't know when system will be resumed & I was like erh..?! The other guy just left with his new iphone! what are you talking about!? & I said, "I think the system seems to be up, can you try first? since i'm here anyway" & she reluctantly agreed. Luckily she did that, because after that a whole bunch of people came in (it was lunchtime) to try to collect their phones, and if I was the staff, I would definitely be handling those people in the store first instead of the morning cases who already went home. & the system finally activated my SIM card and she allowed me to take the phones home. (-.-!) what a waste of time... 4 hours.
I'm still trying to get used to the phone; it has the tendency to slip through my hand because it's a little too thin. But I guess gamewise it's alot faster than the old phone & of course the camera I have no complaints :)
Another major purchase we were trying to make over the weekend was the house. (apartment I guess?) We went to see a few, some work in progress, some already built, but i guess what we agreed on is that we prefer Kobe to Osaka. So Saturday, we went to see one in Sannomiya (三宮） which is a residence block that will be 54 storeys. Being in the city centre of Kobe, of course there was no amenities issues; it's like living in Orchard Road I suppose. Surprisingly, prices are cheaper for the apartments here than at Sumiyoshi (住吉） , near our current aparment which we are renting. But, cheaper in the relative sense - 85sqm costs around S$10k/sqm in Sannomiya while in Sumiyoshi, it was S$11k/sqm. ouch ouch ouch. 85sqm is only around a 3-4rm flat in Singapore. How sad :( But of course, the demerits being that there was always all sorts of people hanging around, it's never quiet, and there are like pachinko parlours all over the place.
Yesterday, we went to see an apartment near the Kobe colonial area, near the Meriken Park which was built in March this year. & being around 10minutes away from the station, of course this is cheaper (& depreciating everyday since it was already completed). The salesman was trying to talk us into buying this - http://www.b-kobe.com/plan/type_r/index.html which had only 1 unit left, on the 26th Floor. And the price was even less than both apartments above. S$880k for 101sqm corner apartment!? I was pretty keen on it (just the space and the price alone was amazing, let alone it's super high floor and can sort of see the sea). All cabinets & downlights were inbuilt already, & bathroom toilets & walk-in closets & it actually had a real kitchen!! so far all the places have only those kitchen that's open concept with the living room which is so impractical - all the oil & smells will reach the living room furniture right?! & already in built kitchen counters & cupboards! (other places have to add prices to have those built -.- )But obviously, no one talks prices on the first meeting & he set up a next meeting for us next week. & I excitedly went home and showed my parents and asked for their opinions and got them all excited. Guess what. The salesman called last night and said that the house had been sold (another couple who had been looking at the house had made their decision to buy last night) WTF!? I was super disappointed... sighz...
I guess this finally convinced Ryo that if you snooze you lose. After dinner, I was trying to swallow the disappointment by looking at the brochures for the same completed block for other available apartments, but seriously what was remaining was either high floor but small units or low floor but ok spacious units (the view is of the expressway and not the sea if below 15th floor) In the end we decided to stick to the Sannomiya work in progress block. It will be completed in March 2013, so we have another year to save up alot more for the final payment (to reduce the amount of bank loan because this will lead to a hugeass bank charge that is dependent on the amount you loan). At least this is on the 44th floor, and will be all new and we can still request for some customizations like colours & cupboards we need. We haven't confirmed the purchase, but we already asked the salesperson to just flag it as in progress so that no one else takes it (grrrrr...). But I hope by next week we will be 80% confirmed. Househunting is a horribly tiring process!!
the Sannomiya place is at its 20th floor