Sunday, April 05, 2009

Magic Money from the Shinto Gods


It was late February. I stood in a Shinjuku silversmith's shop, trying on some skull rings that weighed more than my camera. They also cost more than said camera. I remember thinking, "What if I just spend all my income this year? 90% of the foreigners I regularly see live check to check. I could be living large with some serious shit. I'm talking iPhones and gold chains!"


Sure enough though, my thoughts of decadence jinxed me. I arrived home to find an email saying that my Junior High job, which provided the bulk of my income, had been cut from about 12 working days down to 3 in March. A couple of days later, some of my February working days were cut as well. Some bullshit about the board of education going over budget or something. Dreams of lizard skin boots and a new Tag Heuer became a realization of daily ramen (the 100 yen kind you make at home).


But the Shinto Gods, who watch over us in Japan smiled on me, for it is tax season. I wasn't planning on doing taxes, to tell the truth. But the happy eyes of a friend at one of my other companies changed my mind. A couple hours of paperwork, research, and waiting in some lines at the local government building and I had a huge tax refund. Magic money. But the Shinto gods (or maybe just the government) wasn't done yet. A couple weeks later, they announced that foreigners in Japan will receive the same stimulus money as Japanese. 12,000 yen... just for basically having a pulse. Magic money.


Even more magic money came in the form of forgotten retirement accounts, some almost 10 years old. And... oh snap... my paypal account which I never check has a balance.


So, yeah, my Junior High job is finished. But, like so many living in Tokyo, multiple forms of employment is the norm. My first year and a half in Japan, I had a steady, well paid job. But that just doesn't seem possible for English teachers in Tokyo. For real, salaries are actually lower in the city than out in the countryside. It's simple supply and demand. Multiple part time jobs is the way to go. Take a cue from the classics:

Starting next week, I'll be at a new position at a private High School. Will a cream of the crop group of smart girls bust out with some random shit like my Junior High students? Probably.


It's taken me about 2 hours to write all this. Not because I'm at a loss for words, but because I've been watching old Youtube clips of In Living Color.


Time to go apply for some more jobs-


Todd said...

I love that second pic. Good luck on your new job!

Unknown said...

So lovely color!
Something I do not see in New York...

Daniel said...

Amazing photos. Really, really nice.

illahee said...

i agree, beautiful photos.