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The first three weeks of Working Holiday

November 22, 2010

A really busy week is over and left me with a cold, but being busy is better than not knowing what to do and how to survive the next months 😉

So what got me so busy?

The job interview at the English school went quite good and I was hoping to be accepted, because the working conditions were explained to me in detail and I was promised to get a call 2 to 3 days later. Nevertheless, a friend told me about a translation project only 2 days later and since I hadn’t got a call until that time I considered taking a translation job instead. The payment seemed to be the same and as it was a project translating manga I thought it would be an easy job. So I accepted an assignment to translate three manga à 72 pages in five days and if I would finish earlier I could translate more.

And then came the call from the English school on the third day and I was offered a contract. Cool! Luckily, I considered the translation job long enough in the meantime to figure it wasn’t a steady income, so I decided to take the part-time teaching job and do some translation in addition. Well, that’s what I thought…

It turned out that translating manga took a lot more time than I expected. Especially the first one I translated was hard because it was based on a historical event so I had to google the right spelling of persons and places all the time which took quite some time. And there was a lot of text in it! It became clear that I couldn’t finish translating all three manga in five days since I also got busy with the teacher job. I was expected to observe several classes to learn the teaching methods of this English school and the time I would be available for translating became very little. I translated the second manga in one night shift to be able to finish in a week at least and that’s very the cold started.

With hardly any sleep I attended my first observation class and took notes eagerly. Two more days of observing were to follow but by the end of the next day the cold knocked me down. The third day of observation thus became really hard and I was happy that I was allowed to leave a bit earlier. But that didn’t mean I could relax for there still was one translation to do. The second manga was much easier to translate but still had a lot of text and took more time than I had wanted. I really hoped that the last one would be done faster.

Lucky me, it was done faster because this manga only had half the amount of text than the others. Still, translating took way more time than I had thought and considering this the payment is not nearly as good as that of the teaching job. And I was just too busy during the last week. The teaching job also requires a lot of preparation and work until I can get started teaching lessons on my own so I won’t do any further jobs in a while. Ironically, I just got a mail from a company in Osaka I have worked for before. I wrote to this company before I came to Japan but didn’t get an answer until now. While my previous applications all were futile and it didn’t seem like I would find work easily, it now seems like I have too many offers 🙂

Anyways, the first three weeks of Working Holiday were an interesting emotional experience, too. During the first week I was just happy to be in Japan, had some fun and settled down. During the second week reality knocked at the door reminding me I need to find a job and I got a little bit distressed. I was questioning myself a lot. “Was it right to come to Japan now?” “Wasn’t I stupid to go on a Working Holiday?” … During this week, I really felt out-of-place. Without work I couldn’t really justify my stay in Japan and I felt bad being here. But now that I have work my mood brightened up and I’m just glad to be here. In the end, going on a Working Holiday was a good idea!

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