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I am a freelance writer for newspapers,magazines as well as a journalist for TV.
I am from Tokyo, Japan and have been living in Los Angeles since 1990.
[日本語のブログFromLAby藤本庸子] fromla.cocolog-nifty.com/blog
[日本語のツイッター] https://twitter.com/YOKOfromLA

#70- Good deal???

Am I a good negotiator?!...I wrote this question in my blog on Jan 31, 2009.

Every year, I negotiate my apartment rent (see my Jan 31, 2009 blog) and I did it this year rent in March. At this economic downtime…my apartment company/apartment manager was planning to raise my rent for 6% (increase $77), but I negotiated my rent with my apartment manager and she gave me 1.5 %( $20) discount which means my rent increased 4.5% (increased $57) from March.

It was happy result at the time, but I found out that my next door girl’s rent was stay the same for another year until 2010 (but she has been lived here longer than me and her rent is more than mine.)

Anyway, I told my apartment manager “I found out that some people’s rent stay the same. Why did you increase my rent this year? It’s unfair! I told you that my friend who lives in Torrance, her rent decreased because of this economy downtime.You shouldn’t increase my rent.”

At the time, the manager told me “Our apartment has many staff and we are working for you everyday, so you can’t compare to any other apartments, and I discounted your rent every year and you have a great deal compare to the other residents, you know that.”

Yes, I know, I have a great deal at this place. I have a nice view (pool, trees, flowers and hills side green view), clean rooms, fitness center…but I feel like I deserve better!

Ha! My wish came true!

The manager sent me a letter the other day…”At***, we recognize that today’s economic climate impacts everyone. None of us really know what to expect over the next several months. While there are signs that the economy may be recovering, we know that there is still some uncertainly out there. We recognize that your rent check is often the large single expense, so we would like to offer you the opportunity for some peace of mind by providing budget certainty on your rent with an early lease extension opportunity. If you extend your lease within 30 days as offered below, you will not incur an increase of any kind in your monthly rent for the term indicated. Your rent will stay the same, and we will have the benefit of knowing you’ll stay with us for a longer period of time.” And this letter continues 9 more lines.

Of course, today, I tried to negotiate my rent with my apartment manager and the assistant manager to decrease my rent, but she and he told me “Yoko, you don’t need to negotiate with us until February 2011.”

I asked the assistant manager: I know you guys have a new price for new residents. How much is the most reasonable rent for new residents?

The assistant manager: Every room is deferent.

Me: I know, but just give me some average numbers.

The assistant manager: (He showed me the paper) You see here for example, we offer to new people decrease rent from $*** to $*** , but still $5 more than yours, which means you still have a great deal.

Me: Ok…I trust you guys…! I feel better now. Thank you very much for your service. I don’t have to think about the negotiation until February 2011.

The manager: Yoko, we don’t give this offer to everyone.

Really??? The letter says…”we recognize that today’s economic climate impacts everyone.”

But…I think this offer is good for me. I don’t think my apartment company (one of the major company in the states) will decrease our rent next year.

Me: I know, you guys always nice to me! I am so happy to live here. I feel safe and always clean everywhere. Nice trees and flowers. I am very happy to be here! You guys give me a great service. I really appreciate it.

But…I still wonder do I really have a great deal???

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
August 26, 2009

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#279- Happy Spring!

How many do you walk?





I saw this sign on the street in my new neighborhood, it says, “Walk 6,000 steps a day to improve health and 10,000 steps a day to lose weight. How many do you walk?”





Between “TBS TV (Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc.) news program, Road Rage, DMV, LAPD, CHP, Anger Management, Google, Cold, Gas range, A DIET BOOK BY YOKO FUJIMOTO, Senken-Shimbun, Agenda Long Beach Show, LA Fashion Market Summer 2018, Gas heater, TAX Return, Google, Google Play, LA Textile Show Spring/Summer 2019, LA Fashion Market Fall 2018 etc. (work, work and work… and sick and trouble… and work, work and work…and trouble…)” and “Descanso Gardens”… I have been walking a lot… really a lot… I walked 10 times of 17 miles per day (from my new apartment to Descanso Gardens round trip plus walking at Descanso Gardens) in two months.





My weight is between 80lbs and 83lbs, even I eat a lot (eat what I want) I can keep up my current weight (80lbs-83lbs).




#257- SLUT? in L.A.

Do you know about “The Slut”?I mean, “eggslut”?

If you don’t, you will enjoy my column on Senken-Shimbun (major Japanese fashion business newspaper) website.

Here is my translation of my column into English from Japanese.
Enjoy :)

***
Published on July 13, 2015 (in Japan)
By Yoko Fujimoto
Writer in Los Angeles

Title of this column: From L.A. “Slut?”
(http://www.senken.co.jp/report/downtown-la-eggslut/)

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This restaurant (“eggslut”) has a counter at the “Grand Central Market” which is also famous as a tourist popular spot, and when I drive by this place my curiosity about this place is getting bigger and bigger, because I always see a long line in front of…

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[I should’ve get up when upstairs guys were harassing me with loud banging noise around 3:20am-4:30am this morning.]

Two weeks ago, someone came to my back door (kitchen door) with a pair of scissors and chopped my mini rose flower (my mother and my younger brother’s gift) off (on Nov 7th), and someone also came to my back door with a pair of scissors and chopped my plastic door mat’s daisy flower’s petal off (on Nov 9th)…

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