Looks like I'm going to have to change the name of this blog. I'll be leaving Japan at the end of July. I'm very sad to be leaving all my friends and my house and my roommates, but in the end I'm just not really making enough to live comfortably here. The current plan is to go to Korea; the cost of living there is much lower and the teaching salaries are much higher. I've already had a job offer from a school on the outskirts of Seoul (it's probably about the same distance from central Seoul as my old apartment in Komae was to central Tokyo). They'll provide a private, furnished apartment within a ten minute walk from both the station and the school; the only thing I'll have to pay is utilities, which aren't all that high (even high-speed internet + TV is only approx. $17/mo). The pay is 2200/month, the hours are 2-9pm M-F. I'm still waiting to hear on a couple other potential schools, but in the meantime I'm getting all my paperwork ready for Korea. I plan to continue studying Japanese while in Korea; of course I'll have to start studying Korean as well now, though. The area of Seoul that the school I've had an offer from is in is to the north; you can find information on it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nowon-gu (copy and paste the link).
Anyway I'm at work right now so I have to go; have a class in five minutes. I'll do another post with my pictures from my trip to Korea once I have some time at home.