Sunday, 10 February 2013

Cheesy

I have about ten days left in Osaka now. I taught my kids class in 関目高殿 for the last time on Thursday. Some days I enjoyed that job, but I learnt that teaching kids ain't my thing. When they didn't behave I couldn't be arsed with it and the place was pretty far from where I live. I had fun hanging out with the kids though. Japanese children are really clever with their humour. 

Last night I went to visit a family who I've known since my time in Kobe. I caught the train over to Sannomiya and then to their little suburb and we ate cheese fondue for tea. I had an epic hangover (maybe third worst of all time), but the cheese made me 元気 again.

This made a difference from the noodles and pasta I eat most days

Me and the dad always end up talking about 80s metal. He says none of his friends like it, and I'm in the same situation, so we just trade stories and favourite albums for ages. It's times like these when it sucks to be always changing where you live, because you don't know the next time you're gonna see these people. You find good mates and then you say goodbye and move on and then don't see them for ages, or maybe never again...

I was originally gonna visit those guys last Saturday but I lost my wallet that day, which sucked pretty hard. It had my debit card inside and some cash (about 15,000 yen). Speaking of money, I finally put the cash I've been saving up since I got here in my British bank account. I used the GoLloyds service and it worked out well. It took a while to register - the website says they'll send you the welcome pack within 7-10 days but it took over two weeks - but transferring the money was pretty easy. I went to my local Shinsei ATM and 振り込みed the money into the GoLloyds account and they transferred it to my British account the same day. I had to make the payment in three parts because it was a lot of cash, but GoLloyds put the money in my account in one payment, meaning I only paid about 2000 yen for the transfer, which is fairly cheap. When I was in Aomori I'd transferred money using the Post Office, as my bank account was with them, but this time I haven't been able to get a bank account. I tried at Mitsui Sumitomo and the Post Office but they said I needed to live in the country for at least six months, which is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard, even for bureaucracy-loving Japan. To be honest, someone told me Shinsei might have let me open an account but in the end I just decided to operate in cash instead.

I was getting dangerously close to going over my overdraft, and by transferring what I'd saved I'm pretty much back to 0. When I came to Osaka I had a bit of money in that account, but I've had to make various big payments, mainly for Chile (flights, insurance etc.), so I guess my six months here has basically paid for getting to Chile and a week in California. Other than that I haven't saved anything, but, overall, for six months that ain't too bad.

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