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Old 07-17-2014, 08:27 PM
250 posts, read 271,551 times
Reputation: 355


Originally Posted by nc17 View Post
I have another job in a different part of Japan. It's the same stuff whenever I'm out in public. I'm learning to just ignore it, not sure what else I can do. (trust me, I've applied and am still applying for work in the States)
What type of job you do that you can only find in Japan and not US? I am sure somewhere in US schools there's a need for a Japanese language teacher. It does seem weird that you seem sensitive yet clueless. Why would such a sensitive individual like yourself not know why your ex wife left you?
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:01 PM
1,573 posts, read 825,369 times
Reputation: 1661
I've been pretty clueless about a lot of things since I've been so busy looking for and holding on to a job. Fear of ending up on the street with no money consumes your free time. I just finished a couple years living in a rural, conservative, part of Japan. Now that I'm back in a city environment, maybe I'll find some kind of balance in my life.

I don't think I understand enough Japanese to apply for a teaching job. I'm just decent at reading Japanese text. For the past 5 years, finding work has just been a nightmare, but maybe somebody in the US will eventually answer. In the meantime, I have income and a place to live, which matters more than frowning faces.

Last edited by nc17; 07-17-2014 at 09:15 PM..
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:56 AM
Location: Florida (SW)
39,333 posts, read 18,827,849 times
Reputation: 46578
I am familiar with being a foreigner in Kyushu. My partner is from Japan, we are both American citizens...but we go to Kyushu every year for a month to visit family. We usually get a rail pass and spend part of our time traveling as tourists.

My experience has been the opposite of yours. People are so friendly and approach me to practice their English....school children and their teachers approach me with their work books to as me questions (always the same ones from their work books. . I don't speak Japanese except for the polite words of greeting etc.

I get the same warm helpful reaction whether I am with my partner or by myself....going to do laundry or going to the park. I think it is obvious that my partner and I are a gay couple.....but that is never mentioned.....and has never presented the slightest problem despite the culture.

At times I have felt overwhelmed by the positive attention. In Japan I am considered to look like Col Sanders of KFC...and that often produces lots of giggling. I am also a rotund older man, and I cant tell you how many times shop ladies in the food dept of department stores have approached me smiling and offering their samples....and end up patting my tummy. (They also giggle about my resemblance to "Santa Claus")

New friends give us gifts, buy us a drink, give us their business cards and ask to look them up next year.

This year I went to a Reflexologist for a foot massage.....before leaving the owner asked if she could take a picture of me and my partner for her portfolio.

Like I say, I find perfect strangers to be very friendly and helpful. Visiting Japan is a delight.
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:35 PM
268 posts, read 324,847 times
Reputation: 170
I think you need a break...for a while a least. Problem is, you'll never know what is or isn't waiting for you back in America until you go and see. You could probably work as an interpreter for a while depending on your level of Japanese. If you haven't learned it well enough at this point, then you're doing it wrong. Find a tutor, go to some classes, whatever. Living and teaching in Japan for that many years you have to have quite a bit of money saved, no?

After living in China for several years, life back in the U.S. IS much slower, but unless you plan on spending the rest of your days overseas, it is a necessary process. Come back, learn some new skills (graduate school?), and maybe you can go back in the future if you don't like it. There are actually quite a few schools in the States that look for people to teach ESL. There are also some organizations that target people who have taught overseas. You could try to continue that in the meantime, then look for something else. The reason it is a pain to find work back in the States is because, outside of a couple professions, it is difficult for employers to know exactly what you are doing in country X, and how it translates to the job where they are, unless you're working for an American company. Your work history is nearly irrelevant if it takes place outside of America. You'll be looking at entry level jobs for sure unless you're working in the exact same field. The younger you are when you come back the better.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:05 PM
1,573 posts, read 825,369 times
Reputation: 1661
Have some patience with me because my laptop died recently, and I'm using a tablet's horrible virtual keyboard...

I have no experience as an ESL teacher/eikaiwa. My career is in IT, and has been for all of my adult life. I've worked on US military bases, where learning Japanese language isn't necessary. Unless I change careers, my current job has a lot of resources that can help with my qualifications and resume.

I took Japanese classes in college, that I realized after the fact weren't very intensive. I've been "doing it wrong" until about 5 years ago, when I began serious self-study. Now that I'm out of the country and in the city, I can find a tutor or other opportunities to practice speaking Japanese. Speaking in an impromptu conversation is probably the last piece of the puzzle before I can confidently announce that "I know Japanese," even if my skill level isn't the best. That would more than likely be an attractive item on a resume.

I think I've answered my initial question (at least the thread title). I don't know why strangers in public act that way (of course customer service employees are... usually... very courteous), or what my role is in causing these reactions, but I'm just going to stay here and do my job, while making long-term plans to return to the US. My only explanation for failing to find a Stateside job is, I don't interview very well. Or maybe the economy is still rough.
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