Life in Other Dimensions

>> Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Japan's unemployment has reached 5.2 percent and a lot of the newly unemployed who loses their housing benefits could not make rent and are forced to look for other means of living and somehow capsule hotels have become the appropriate solutions.

Capsule hotels were first established as a business to house drunk businessmen who have missed their last train home. And now one-third of these 6.5 feet long and 5 feet wide capsules are rented out monthly at the cost of 59,000 yen (approximately US$640). Each one of the capsules has a light, a coat hook, a thin blanket, a rice husk pillow and a small TV with earphones on one end. There's also a locker for you to store all your other belongings. There is a communal bath, a cafeteria and fresh linen, so it's not really that bad. "You'll get used to the space." The occupants says. Since the capsules have no doors but a screen, there's very little privacy and it is said that every shoulder bump and muffled cough is echoed throughout the row. I'm a little bit of a claustrophobe and I don't think that can ever be one of my housing solutions.

In the alternate universe that is New York, freelance event planner Eddie Rabon pays $800 for a 55 squared feet space in Hell's Kitchen, but you'd find Eddie not only not complaining but defending it. Weird.

Sounds like Eddie's rarely home and utilizes his friend's apartment as his own living room. Here are some of the other smaller NYC apartments in a New York Post article.

90 Square Ft. on Upper West Side (>$700 a month)

105 Sq. Ft. at Greenwich Village, no kitchen ($780 a month)

After looking at these apartment and their costs, my little 250+ sq ft studio apartment in the middle of everything with a functional half kitchen, a full bath and a walk in closet seems like a palace.

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