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JG: Ueto Aya (上戸彩) - eye cover

chochajin in jet_life

Tons of different questions

Hi there,

it's been a while since I posted here last, I think.
Before I start my question marathon, I'd like to introduce myself again. I'm currently living and working in Japan (Yamaguchi Prefecture) as English teacher for a private family run eikaiwa. I came here in March. I'm not a native-speaker of English as I'm German.

Anyway .. the following questions concern work, travelling, credit cards, paypal, selling things to overseas etc.
So if you at least could help me with one of my questions, that would be awesome :D

Thanks a lot in advance and here we go:

1) I'll soon have a 1 week vacation (I only get 3 weeks of paid vacation anyway *sigh*) and I decided to go to Kyushu as it's pretty near anyway. I've already booked the hotels and made a basic plan, but I can still change it, so if anybody has some recos for me, let me know. My current plan is 2 nights Nagasaki (atom bomb museum, peace park, Mt. Inasa, Chinatown, Sofukuji Temple, Confucian Temple), 2 nights Kumamoto (Castle, Mt. Aso, Suizenji), 3 nights Kagoshima (Senganen, Sakurajima, Aquarium, maybe sandbathing in Ibusuki). I wanted to go to Miyazaki, too, but that will be too stressful and expensive I guess.
I also wanted to go to Beppu, but it's sooooooooooo hot, so no onsen for me please ;)

2) I'm going to buy the seishun (18) ticket which allows me to travel with normal and rapid JR trains for free for 5 whole days. I REALLY need to know if I can use that ticket for limited express, too. Help?!

3) I think it's time for a Japanese credit card. I've been living here for almost half a year now and I want one. I know about the amazon.jp one, but I have no idea how to apply for it as there is NOTHING about it on their website. Any recs or help would be highly appreciated.

4) By now stuff that I've bought and read (doujinshi, manga, artbooks, photobooks etc.) is piling up and I was thinking about selling them. Of course I can make more money if I don't bring them back to Mandarake etc., but sell them overseas, but I THINK I just don't have the time to do so. Anyway I wanted to ask some questions about it just in case:
I have a paypal account that is connected with my German bank account. I figured that the fees would be pretty high if people from America buy stuff from me. Would it be smarter to get a paypal accoutn with a Japanese account then?!??
Also I have NO idea about the different types of packages, services etc. you can use when sending stuff abroad. Any tips would be nice!
Has anybody ever had problems, because people in the mail office thought you might be doing something illegal after coming to them every day sending TONS of packages? ... *g* ...

5) As I told you before I work for a small family run eikawa right now. I really love my job, I love teaching, I even love teaching young kids which I never thought I would!!! It's great, BUT I don't like my current work conditions very much. Right now I really feel tired and stressed out. I work 5 days a week, but never have 2 consecutive days off, NEVER! Usually we don't have national holidays off and only get 3 weeks of paid vacation .... no sick leave or anything. We have to work 8 hours a day with NO lunch or dinner break. We have to stay at school even if there is NOTHING to do for us. Even if we have finished our work, prepared everything, we are not allowed to leave nor are we allowed to do anything NOT work-related which basically just means we're pretending to be busy somehow. IT SUCKS!!!! Well ... lately I have been so busy that there was no freetime at all anyway.
I'm going to talk to my boss this week that I feel treated unfairly, because the other 2 teachers have way less teaching hours than me! Not fair! :/
I'm really obsessed with studying Japanese and want to become better as soon as possible that's why I want to use every single second to study Japanese, but with this kind of job it's kind of .... impossible.
Now I've heard that there are some schools that even encourage you to study Japanese when you have some freetime at work.
I'm thinking about trying an ALT position next. Most of those offer you way more holidays, better work conditions and some of them even want you to study Japanese, right?
Basically I just wanna hear from all of you that are currently working as teachers, how is it going, how are your working conditions and is my image of being an ALT completely wrong or would that be the better choice for my main goal which is stuying Japanese?!
I don't want to quit my current job now, but complete it according to the contract. I guess it's also better once I apply for a new job, so that I can tell them I've already been working as an English teacher for 1 full year - especially because I'm not a native speaker.

6) One last question: I plan on staying here in Japan for 2-3 more years, but I'm still a little bit afraid when it comes to my work visa. Right now I'm here with a working holiday visa, so I have never gone through the whole work visa process thing. I remember that one school even told me they can't get me a visa because the immigration office told them, I could only get a visa for being a GERMAN teacher, but not for being an English teacher. I guess that was just their way of telling me that they don't want to hire me. By now I've got to know some people that have a work visa (for being an English teacher) although they're not native-speakers.
Anyway .... My working holiday visa expires in March, so my boss should apply for a real one in December, I guess. For that I need my university diploma .... and what's more an English translation of it as it's German.
Now ..... has anybody an idea what exactly they want to know? Translating the WHOLE diploma would be way to expensive. I think they want to know if it's a bachelor or master, right? But as I'm German it's not called like that.
Basically it's way more than a bachelor and it can be compared to a masters degree, although it's not a masters degree. Maybe the offical translator should mention that somewhere in English and let the actual diploma untranslated? I really have NO idea!!!!!!! Help (T____T)
Yes, I still have time, but it takes a while to get my diploma to a translator, letting it translate etc. pp.



Uff, that was a LOT! Sorry!
Hope you can help me :)

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September 2010

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