I started off this blog strong, but I’m already getting lazy! (Same goes for my vlogging attempts!) I figured I should write something today, the last day of July, because if I had continued with JET, I’d be leaving for Japan tomorrow. (Group B FTW) But because I’m doing Interac now, I have 13 more days until I leave. Wait, that’s less than two weeks… Where did the time go?!
Poor time management aside, in my last post, I mentioned that I got my placement (finally). In the time it took me to update, I also got an apartment and my school details. My apartment is a 2LDK, and is about 75,000 yen a month. But because I’m splitting it with my SO, I pay less than $400 a month for rent. In DC, I was paying almost $1,400 for rent (before utilities). As for my schools, I have 2 schools: one elementary and one junior high. Though I requested high school, I’m still really happy with what I got. My middle school years were filled with awkwardness that I still haven’t completely grown out of, so it should be fun to be witness to that from the eyes of a teacher. My position is also a non-driving position, so I’m not sure if I’ll be getting my IDP or not. I know they strongly suggest you get it even if you have a non-driving position, but since it only lasts a year, I may hold off…
But anyway, PLACEMENT. I am placed in Nishinomiya, Hyogo prefecture. When whatshisname (Jason?) told me over the phone, I was a bit crestfallen because I, a) had no idea where Nishinomiya OR Hyogo was, and b) knew it wasn’t a big city. After a bit of quick Googling while I was on the phone with him, I found out that it was the prefecture right next to Osaka. And when I mean right next, I really mean RIGHT NEXT TO. As in, I’m one train stop away from being in Osaka. (And to the immediate left is Kobe, though I’m not interested since the last time I visited it wasn’t impressive. Someone prove me wrong.) I’m thinking of it like my previous living situation, where I lived in Alexandria, VA and was like 4 miles outside DC (though this is even closer). Maybe it’s more like a Hoboken-NYC type deal. Anyway, I’m hoping this means that my city/prefecture taxes will be lower than if I lived in Osaka. I also looked it up, and I’m like a 40 minute train ride away from Universal Studios. That’s doable every weekend… Right….?
Bit of a side note, but my aunt is from Osaka. She keeps in touch with her family there, and they’re all excited to meet me (or so she says). It sounds like they’re more excited at the prospect of free English lessons from me (“the cousin discount” as they call it). I don’t mind! It’ll be good practice at least, and hopefully I can get some Japanese lessons in return! Plus my aunt said that the house is 2 stops away from where I live, or about 15 minutes away. I’ll probably have to wait until she visits next year before meeting them, though, since I feel like it’d be awkward otherwise.
I’m also already expecting quite a few visitors, now that it’s been known I have a sort-of two-bedroom. My other aunt, uncle, and three little cousins are coming for Christmas/New Years, but they’ll be in Tokyo… Which means I’ll probably be in Tokyo then too. (Fukubukuro shopping at Shibuya 109 I’m so excited!) My mom is planning on visiting Osaka in March. My college friend and her husband want to visit in March also (or sometime during hanami). And my cousin and her boyfriend want to come to Osaka for a week and then head up to Tokyo for some EDM thing (eyeroll). At least there will be plenty of people who can bring stuff up to me from America. (Though I wonder how necessary this will be, considering that Osaka has a Costco?)