Ok, so as most of you know, Ian and I began our first week of 'real' lessons on Saturday. I know he has told you a bit of what we do, but I figured I would elaborate a little.
First off, Nova is HUGE. Seriously, it's like the Starbucks of the English schools. There is one on every corner. Take for example our training locations. Regular training and kids training were done at two different schools, however both the schools were about a block away from one another (on opposite ends of the train station really). With this in mind, you would think that Nova may have been able to place people in branches that are within a reasonable distance from the instructors homes.
You would think.
In total I have about a 3 hour commute to and from work. I get to ride my bike to one station, get on the longest subway line, ride it right to the end (on the side of the city absolutely the farthest from us), and then I get to walk 15 minutes up a hill in heels all while being smothered by a blanket of humidity that could make Florida feel dry.
But then again, there is the upside that I actually get the privlidge of working at THREE branches in total! Lucky me....they are all so small and so close together that they like to move the employees around all the time. And guess what? One of my branches doesn't even have a washroom! I get to go outside, up some stairs into another building, through an arcade, and down a hall, where the washrooms are mere holes in the ground! Woo hoo!!! I have yet to be at my 3rd school (that will be my Wed. location), but I will be sure to let you know of any pleasant suprises!!
Ahhh...yeah I needed to rant about that for a bit. I am trying not to be negative about the job but it gets frustrating. The work itself is something an English speaking Monkey could do, and gets quite mind numbing. I just need to find some hobbies that require a bit more high level functioning and then that will be fine. The good part is that we are here to have fun and to sightsee and have adventures, and working this kind of job won't get in the way of that. Its definitly a 'leave it at work' kind of job. It is disappointing however that since my branches are so small I am never working with more than 1 person. So in total, in a 5 day week, I will work with 5 people at most. I was really hoping to have a chance to interact with fellow workers and make some friends, but when its only 2 of you, and you finish, start and break at different times, that rarely leaves any space for chit-chat.
The good thing is that our apartment is chalk-full of friendly people whom I could and have easily spent time with. The living arrangment really helps to level the work arrangment a bit. Also, the guy we have been training with is super friendly and we all have hung out a bit. It's nice being able to talk to someone in our exact position. He came over at the same time as us so he knows exactly what we are going through.
And really, I can't be all negative about my work - though the walk is a pain, since it is so far out of the city it is quite a bit greener, and, yes - there is a forest filled with chattering monkeys across from my branch. That was pretty awesome. I also get to walk past a small temple, which was a nice suprise, as it is actually the first I have encounted in what I thought was a temple rich country. And work really isn't stressful. Since we don't have many students I often end up with 'empty lessons' where I have no students, but still get paid. So I figure as long as I can keep a good book on me at all times, I should be fine.
All in all, it's not really as bad as I may have made it sound. It is just a strange adjustment and the lack of real food has probably made me more irritable that I should be. I still think this is awesome and I am very glad we came. Once we start seeing some of this money we are making things will improve drastically, as we will be able to begin some serious sightseeing. I believe our first venture will be to Kyoto - probably in mid October. As for now, it's grocery searching and language learning (for them AND us!).
I know this was a heavy 'text' post, so I promise some eye-candy for you all next time!! Pictures Galore!!
I miss you all!