My whole life I’ve wanted to emigrate to the States, then why did I go to Japan instead? That’s right, because of my Japanese boyfriend and for some weird reason I wanted to be closer to him. Unfortunately, the schools in the Osaka area were all fully supplied with foreign teachers by the time they hired me. I wasn’t patient enough to wait for one to open up, so I opted for the next best thing: a job in the Nagoya area.
So far the job has been good, I’ve met some great friends in this area and I’ve basically been enjoying myself here for 8 months. I do get to see my boyfriend on a much more frequent basis now, but it’s still not quite what I had in mind. Usually we see each other twice a month and some months we even manage to see each other just once or even less! Basically we’ve still got the long-distance-thing going on, but it’s still a huge improvement from what it used to be.
So when they offered to renew my contract for another year, I told them that I’d rather transfer to the Osaka region. Transferring wasn’t as easy as it sounds, it was even a little risky. My current school is associated with the ‘Central Japan Head Office’ and the schools in the Osaka region fall under the ‘Kansai Head Office’, and apparently they are separate companies. In order to avoid a breach of contract here in Central, I had to reject my renewal before I could even apply for a new job in Kansai. Hence, if Kansai wasn’t going to hire me, I’d end up jobless and on a plane back to Europe.
But the 3-hour-interview in Osaka went very well, I even had a lot of fun doing a full 50-minute-lesson demonstration at the interview, and a week later they called to tell me they’d be happy to have me join the Kansai team. They didn’t have any job openings yet (why is the Kansai region so damn popular?), but I told them that this time I would be very patient, even if it meant being jobless for a period of time in between Inuyama and the new school. This was all in the beginning of December.
Today, they got back to me! And they found me a school! The new school is in Senri Chuo station (which also houses a Starbucks, thank you very much!) and it is a 20-minute-subway-ride away from Umeda, the heart of Osaka. On the subway map below, Umeda can be found in the big yellow circle, follow the red Midosuji line up to the pink circle to see that this line eventually leads to Senri Chuo.
The teacher whom I’m going to replace lives in Tsukamoto (green circle), and therefore it will most likely be my new place of residence too. So to get to work I’ll have to take the JR (Japanese Rail) and transfer to the Midosuji subway line at Umeda or Shin-Osaka, every day. Now, traveling to work means a 2-minute-bike-ride, but at Senri Chuo I’ll have to face a 33-minute-commute (oneway) everyday. But, who cares because if you’ll look closely at the blue circle on the map, you’ll see that Amagasaki is only two stops away (in other words: just 5 minutes) on the JR from Tsukamoto! And who lives in Amagasaki? That’s right my dear boyfriend Yasu! So, I’m pretty stoked about my new position in Kansai! They want me to consider the job for about a week before I say yes, but I’d be immensely stupid to say no to this!
My last day in Inuyama is May 24th, and training in Osaka starts on June 7th. So there’s just a period of two weeks where I’ll be jobless and homeless. Initially, I thought that period was going to last longer, so I was planning to go home and do some jumping around at Bon Jovi concerts in Amsterdam and London, but I guess that’s not going to happen because by then I’ll have started my new job already. But I’m still planning on spending my in-between-time at home (I just can’t stop flying back to Europe whenever I have some vacation days), and hey I might just be able to squeeze in one tiny concert in Frankfurt, Germany ;).