The Leopalace Characters
Leopalace is quite a deceiving name for the sardine pack of an apartment I live in. There are no lions. It is certainly not a palace. It is not even a Lion’s Palace. I have no idea where the word comes from, nor do I care, other than it’s some seriously false advertising.
Alright, so the apartment is tiny. Like, tinier than a studio apartment in America. However, this is not a huge issue as I live alone. The only thing that usually bothers me is that my bed is in a really awkward place (and is built into the wall, so it can’t be moved), and that the kitchen is just entirely impractical to cook anything in.
I think Leopalaces house the absolute dregs of society and businessmen who are having regularly scheduled affairs. (I would include the cheating businessmen as the ‘dregs of society’, but I don’t think the Japanese would).
I live within conversational earshot of about 98,000 other people. No, I know you know I’m exaggerating that number. But I’m not exaggerating this number: 75. I think based on the number of apartments surrounding me, 75 is a totally realistic number, and it seriously invades my American sense of personal space (which I didn’t even know I had until I came here).
Since I live within rubbing-elbows-distance of so many miscreants of society, I’ve managed to get used to quite a few of their habits. Let me enlighten you.
1. 4 am laundry person. The first few months I lived here (and had American style hearing sensitivities) this person’s washing machine would wake me up a few times a week at 4 am. What a considerate laundry doer.
2. 5 am Japanese opera listener. I didn’t experience this personally, but my coworker in an apartment 3 away from mine was routinely woken up for 5 am concerts.
3. Spitting man. Spitting man lives in the apartment directly across from my window. His front door is about 10 feet from my only window. Every single time he leaves his apartment he hocks an enormous (and quite audible) lugee. Disgusting.
4. Belching man. (May or may not be the same person as Spitting man) Also lives in the apartment complex directly behind my apartment. Belches loudly whenever he is walking to/from his apartment.
5. Frat boys. These are most likely not frat boys. There were however 3-4 boys staying in the leopalace next to mine. I have no concept how 4 people of any size, let alone young men (I’d peg them at their early 20s) could even stay in the same leopalace for an hour, let alone several months. To be fair, I don’t know if they all live there. I DO know that they were all socializing there nearly every night, and well past midnight. There was a lot of angry wall pounding on my part.
6. The runner. Runs to and from his apartment whenever leaving or arriving. I have no idea why the fuck this happens.
7. Girl with iPod on Repeat. This girl listens to the same song over and over whenever she cleans her apartment. One song. Over. And Over.
8. The asshole who thinks a driveway is his personal parking spot. ‘Nuff said.
9. The Yakuza. I don’t really know this for a fact. I just know there sometimes sketchy looking men in suits come (en masse, not with some slutty hostess girl). Occasionally they go into an apartment, but sometimes they just lurk in the parking lot in nice cars. For quite a long time.
So the next time you’re in a normal sized American apartment in the United States, and the couple upstairs is having their monthly bout of obnoxiously noisy though short lived sex, just think of the cast of Leopalace characters, and grab some headphones.