Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Time marches on...

This week has been amazing and quick. I ate lots of restaurant food with friends and said my goodbyes. I drank a couple Kamikaze shots; it seemed to fit the moment.

Today I went on a photo tour of my hometown. I got some pictures of the beach, museums, city hall, and even my home. I even snapped a few shots of Manatee County's mascot, Snooty the Manatee. He's the oldest manatee in captivity at 63 years old! I'm thinking about doing a video tour of my house tomorrow for my future students.

I am leaving for Miami tomorrow night so I don't have to worry about traffic on the way to the hotel. Friday is the Miami pre-departure orientation and farewell reception. It will include a Japanese lesson, Q&A, and other events. It is all taking place at the consul-general's residence.

I know this update was kind of lame, but there really isn't a whole lot going on until I leave.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another Update

Here are some of the few developments of the past couple days:

1. I got an email from a teacher at my school that confirmed everything B told me about the deposit and apartment. Hurray! B has agreed to let me set up my Japanese Bank account before transferring the money. That whole situation is hopefully, officially settled.

2. I bought a carry-on bag for Tokyo Orientation. It fits all the clothes I'll need for TO and I even managed to fit my PS3 as well. Now I can send both suitcases ahead to Nara at the airport and see them when I arrive. Both Nara PA's assured me that my bags will have arrived before I get to Nara or a day after.

3. I bought a bunch of comfort food to ship ahead of my arrival. Turns out, US customs won't let me send any food so that was a waste of time. I am still going to send a box with some trinkets, teaching supplies, and over-the-counter medications.

4. I did a practice packing recently and both of my bags are under weight! I am allotted 50 lbs, but mine weigh about 42 lbs after being filled.

That's all for now. 9 days 'til go time!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My New Apartment

I finally received some pictures of my apartment in Nara! It has 1 bedroom, 1 sitting room, and kitchen. Enjoy the photos I have of my future home:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The stress of this mess

So after an exhausting, stress-inducing nightmare about my pred (now known as B) trying to "extort" money from me, answers have finally trickled in. B wanted me to reimburse him partially for a deposit that he is not getting back. My first thought? "Hell no. It's not my fault you trashed the place or were placed in a shitty situation when you first arrived. I'm not giving you a dime until you clarify what's really going on!"

The truth is that the school actually struck a deal with the apartment's owner.

The real deal: I will be exempt from paying the 50,000 key money, if B allows his deposit to stay on the contract (which he agreed to do). B paid 150,000 yen deposit and has agreed to not take it back so I don't have to pay it. There is a catch, of course. B would like a partial reimbursement for the sacrifice he made. He's asking for 2/3rds, or 100,000 yen, so he doesn't have to lose everything.

This sounds like a fair deal to me, but I will weigh my options:
A: Take B's deal and only pay 100,000 yen or
B: Deny him and pay the full 150,000 yen for the deposit and 50,000 yen for the key money.

I think I'll take the former on this one.

This whole ordeal isn't quite over yet. I've asked B to give me the supervisor's email address so I can confirm everything B has told me. If the school really is in on this deal and it's completely legit, then everything should be fine and B will get his due. If B is lying, then I shall summon an emissary from the abyss to drown him in the waters of Lake Biwa.