Monday, June 13, 2005

Good news and Bad, in one shocking hungover saturday morning.

I had to come into work on saturday morning because of some re-arrangement of our regular working hours. It's something I rarely have to do, so I wasn't put out by it at all. Anyway, when I got to work my supervisor started apologising to me really heavily, and I soon started to feel freaked out by the level of humility he was trying to get across. He mentioned the word tax and I told him not to worry because I'd already received my tax bill and was going to pay it this week. Anyway, he got me down in front of the top kiddy in the office and handed a white sheet of paper over to me with the amount of roughly £400 (73,000 yen) written at the bottom. I was shocked to say the least, and he had his tail between his legs because he'd forgotten to tell me about the tax I'd be up for paying just before I left the country. I'm not one to avoid my taxes, especially since I've done pretty well at paying very little over the last three years here in Japan. But some kind of warning would have been nice. Anyway, that was income tax, then there's the residence tax that I've got to pay. This, as far as I was aware, came to about a hundred quid, which was fairly easy to understand from the payment form I received through the post. However, what I didn't realise about this payment form is that it didn't cover the full annual period. Apparently I have another sheet in the post that I'll have to pay which brings my residence tax to somewhere between 5 - 8 (£250 - £400) man in itself. So to cut this short, I'm looking at anything up to a £1000 tax-paying bonanza over the next month which nobody felt it was necessary to tell me about.

The beer garden where you can drink beer for two hours and only pay six hundred yen, as opposed to the beer garden where you drink one flat beer and end up paying a thousand yen. Nights out with Erica are the best! Stephanie and Akiko (above) know how to party when they get together. Right on!!

Then there was the good news: I got a new job. I have been offered the job at Schole English school in Hirosaki, which looks really good and was the job I'd wanted from the moment I first heard about it. It sounds a much better deal than the NOVA jobs I'd been looking for. So, I won't be going to China for yet another 18 months, which is the length of this new job's contract. Renewable, of course, if they still want to keep me.

This is a wierd angle of the car park at Owani high school. A nice dreary warm day that reminded me of the two weeks we have in England called summer. I could almost hear the sound of leather on willow, and the smell of strawberries and cream. But it was only the sound of road works outside and some fresh gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

I digress. I have a lot of work to do over the next six weeks, trying to sort out my big switch from being a lazy government employee to being part of a competetive business. It will be a shock to the system, but I've had many of those in my life before now, so I think I can handle it. Wish me luck.