Hello, everyone! Sorry for the long absence. While some people love doing it, I find writing about my everyday life rather odd. So, I stopped doing that. But I’m back now!
Last we heard, I hated my job because my company was, as they say in Japanese, ’ブラクかいしゃ’ (Buraku Kaisha, meaning “Black company”) To people who are better at Japanese, sorry if I spelled that wrong or something. In any case, my company had this fun tendency to not answer emails or phone calls, but the second they needed something they would hound you constantly. I thought of them as liars, but in the end I think they were mainly incompetent; I found out that many of my bosses were of the mindset that they shouldn’t say anything until they know for sure what to say (not even whether they received your email and were looking into the situation). However, that means you could wait three weeks while trying to find out whether they were planning on fining you for some messed up furniture that was left in your apartment from previous teachers, which is what I spent much of my last month doing until I finally got a call from one of my bosses and he said “No. We won’t be doing that.”
Since around last February, I knew that I wanted to find a new job with a different company, but this posed some problems; I had a contract until the end of August, but the main Japanese hiring times are August and February. This essentially meant that I would have a month to find the right job, apartment, moving service, etc. However, as with any job market, you’re at the hands of the employers, many of whom would wait until two weeks before my contract was up to contact me for an interview. I didn’t interview with those people. Instead, I went with a company that I had heard good things about, even before I saw that they were hiring.
When I went into the interview, I decided that I didn’t really want to impress them; after my last company in Japan, I needed some impressing. I was honest and open (arguably to a fault) about every aspect of me and my work, right down to when my interviewer asked me about my company and I said that we had a complicated relationship based on them lying to me, so they know full well why I am leaving. He didn’t seemed phased in the slightest, which seemed like a good sign to me. We discussed teaching, education, Japan, and more for over 2 hours, at which point he pretty much said, “I could see you in some of out open positions.” (his speech is very British, so there were many times in which Sam and I thought I was still interviewing but I actually already had the job…) During the whole process, he was very communicative and did something that my previous company didn’t: told me when he received my emails, regardless of whether he could answer my question at that time or not. I finally feel like I’m working with professionals! I’m still teaching ESL, which I have found isn’t really my thing, but I’m trying to keep an open mind about it all since I love living in Japan (though I miss my friends and family constantly) and I don’t want to let this last chance to be here run out so quickly (especially given that I work with a company that hasn’t given me a reason to be worried yet). Also, I’m working at two private schools, which allow me to take much longer breaks, meaning we could visit America this spring (first we need to save up some money… moving in Japan is expensive)!
So, Sam and I have moved to Southern Tokyo. We still didn’t have enough time to do any proper apartment hunting, so we took residence in the Kugahara Bamboo housing (Southern Tokyo), which I recommend for anyone that needs an immediate place to stay in Japan; once you sign the contract you can move in, so you don’t need to wait a week like other places. Also, there are quiet hours, which is great if you’re working while staying there. It’s a really good alternative to getting a hotel for a month.
While the Bamboo housing nice, it’s a bit cramped and would leave a bit to be desired for a long-term lease for two people. However, last night we found the place we want to stay for the (possibly) duration of our time in Japan! It’s got tons of character (in a good way) but the building is also incredibly weird. Honestly, I couldn’t really care much since I truly love that apartment. It has an amazing location (right over a shopping street in a pretty central area in Tokyo), tons of windows with great cross ventilation, a tatami room for sleeping (meaning we will use a futon, which is much more cost effective), and a nice lay out with enough space for the two of us.
Before getting this apartment, I will say that I was feeling like my time in Japan was coming to an end. I really hate the morning commute, during which you become fairly well acquainted with the body parts of the people around you. Being packed into those cars gets a bit stressful, especially when you have to get out to get to work. Often, people will start pushing and shoving their way out. Personally, I have taken to memorizing which side of the car I have to stand on in order to get to the door with the fewest ”すみません” (“Excuse me”) as possible. When it gets dire, you need to really push to get out of there until *pop!* you’re out in the world!
Given that this commuting is such a pain, one of the things I am most delighted to tell you all about is that, with our new apartment, mine will be relatively easy from now on! I work at two schools, but the one I am at three days a week is only a 7 minute walk from our new place! The other one is usually an easy commute, so I don’t think I’ll mind it for two days a week. We’ll officially be moving in at the end of this month, so maybe around then I will post some pictures (if I remember). I’m trying to get back into the swing of this whole “blogging” thing.
So, dear readers, that is where we’re at right now. I might post some things in the days to come, but I wouldn’t plan on anything since we’re still getting accustomed to our new lives and new schedules. For example, I now wake up and go to work, rather than wake up and hang out for four to six hours before going to work at 1. I’m also finished with work by 14:30 two days a week, which is lovely!
It’s been nice talking at you for a bit now. Hope you all have a nice rest of your day!