The Cost of Living in Japan

The problem with life is that it’s not a thousand years long. I mean, they say Japanese men live to be 80. That’s not actually that lengthy, at least compared to eternity. So I plan on staying here until the morning of my 80th birthday, then moving to Korea. Pure genius. It’s kind of like if you’re in an elevator crash, but jump up right before it hits the ground. Saaaaafe. A friend of mine’s buddy did that, and he was fine. Heh, and people say I’m simple. We’ll see who’s laughing when I move back a week later. Suckers. Continue reading “The Cost of Living in Japan”

One Really Long Year in Japan

Fellow citizens, our long national nightmare is finally over. Let us now embark upon that shining road to recovery. Of course, by “national” I mean Japan, and “long nightmare” as in my teaching English here while everyone else listens to my grumbling about it. In retrospect, I guess I should have read my one-year school contract more carefully. I assumed “one agrees to be poked by devils while drowning in a pool of anguish” was just boilerplate contractual stuff. Who knew they meant it literally? Continue reading “One Really Long Year in Japan”

Growing Old in Japan

When I finally looked in the mirror after a month of eikaiwa teaching, my first thought was—who the hell’s that? My signature dark and flowing locks, which had once glowed with the radiance of a dozen hair-care products, had gone white almost overnight. While it’s true that I might have had one or two gray hairs before, my class load was clearly making me look like Keith Richards before my time. Continue reading “Growing Old in Japan”