Thursday, August 24, 2006

Teburu no Shita

My plan was to write in at least some sort of chronological order, and I’m about to disregard that for this entry. Most of you were directed here from Colin’s website in which he said that I maybe had a job. So you don’t die of anticipation, I’ll go ahead and tell you that it’s true. I maybe have a job. But don’t get your hopes up.

Colin had been in contact with one of the outgoing JETs in the Shi-town trifecta that consists of A-town, F-town, and Shi-town. (When you read a little further, you’ll understand why I’m trying to keep my location undisclosed on the web.) Anyway, this JET, Joe, told Colin that he had a friend who was opening a cram school in F-town, and he could ask if she was looking for English teachers. It turns out she was, so Colin gave Joe my contact info, and during my first week here, she called. Speaking Japanese and understanding Japanese over the phone is incredibly difficult, so I mostly resorted to very simple English.

After two awkward telephone conversations, we agreed to meet outside S Bank in A-town. I rode my bike there, and saw that Joe was going to be an interpreter for the interview. We spoke in Japanese a little, but I mostly spoke in English because that’s what I was interviewing to do. Just because you’re a native speaker doesn’t mean you can speak English well. She didn’t seem very impressed with me. I wasn’t very impressed with me. I understood most of the things Joe and Y said to each other, but I really didn’t sufficiently show my Japanese ability. I forgot that in Japan, the general belief is that if you're white, you can speak English well. You could be from Norway, but as long as you have blond hair and blue eyes, the English teaching offers will be coming in left and right. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Despite the awkwardness of the interview, Y said that she would try me out for two months part-time, and if she liked me, she would switch me to full time and sponsor my working visa, which is a pretty generous thing to do. She asked if it was legal for me to be working on my visitor’s visa. I told her that is wasn’t really. She conversed with Joe as to how she was supposed to pay me if it wasn’t legal for me to work. Joe said, “Teburu no shita”, which translates to “Under the table”, which literally means “under the table” in Japanese, so she looked fairly confused. But she got the idea after a little more explanation. She told me that she would call me next week, and we would start training. It’s now quite late in next week, and I still haven’t gotten a call. I don’t have her number. She has my house phone number and Colin’s cell phone number. I really need my own cell phone. It’s impossible to live as an individual in Japan without your own keitai. You can’t get one without a gaijin registration card, which I can’t get as a visitor, so I’ll have to make Colin get a second cell phone under his name. Anyway, I haven’t gotten a call, and I’m freaking out.

This job is probably the best opportunity I could possibly get, though the schedule isn’t ideal. Since I’d be working nights, Colin and I would have opposite schedules, and we’d probably only get to see each other asleep or on the weekends. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens. I hate being unemployed.


Blogger Carol said...

It will work out fine. Just remember you are wonderful. Repeat after me, "I am a talented, beautiful, confident EFL teacher...I am a talented, beautiful, confident EFL teacher...I am a talented, beautiful, confident EFL teacher...I am a talented, beautiful, confident EFL teacher...I am...

Lots of love, Me

1:04 PM  

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