In many ways the eikaiwa teachers in Japan are very similar to vampires: we go out mostly at night, we are feared by young children, and I don’t believe the creatures like squid ink on their pasta either.
I have to admit when I first started researching life in Japan I was entirely convinced most eikaiwa teachers subscribed to the “work hard, play hard” attitude: sleep till noon, work for a few hours, eat, and spend the entire night clubbing and drinking until you eventually pass out. It just seemed like the only viable option for socializing given our schedules. With the exception of JET, other employees of the major English-teaching companies have an irregular part-time work schedule. Start around 12-1 PM, end at 9-10 PM (with on/off hours between classes). It doesn’t exact give oneself prime opportunities for activities in the daytime like enjoying a leisurely lunch, or meeting friends for dinner and a movie.
In actuality, it’s very expensive to go out every night for karaoke or drinking, and most eikaiwa employees save their money for weekends when there are no time-constraints. Still, we are creatures of the night, and we behave as such. We should all be careful not to turn into the Phantom.
Courtesy Skydive San Marcos
I know it’s expensive, but given my failure to reach Mt. Fuji this year (and maybe forever if I leave next year), I’m searching for the best place to skydive in Japan. Some of the jump zones near Tokyo actually release you from a helicopter – excellent. Gluttony and a lust for life are my sins. Just call me Porthos, but I hope I have the sensibility of Aramis.