Saturday, August 22, 2015

Heading Home

Moving out of Japan was a process

I felt like a hoarder as sifted through two years of acquired, yet pointless possessions. 
Why do I have a hot sandwich maker? Have I ever used it? No? I'll just leave it behind. Geez, when was the last time I wore these pants? Whoa! They are way too big now! Bye Felicia (#IceCube)! 
I filled up three suitcases, shipped two boxes, and threw away countless bags of trash. It was a process, but I was prepared because the JET Program offers an After JET Program Guide that outlines and discusses the procedure of your return home.

Read it!

The most stressful aspect of this was contacting my successor and discussing items I had for sell. In comparison to other JETs, I didn't have much to sell but despite offering my things at a more-than-reasonable price, my successor only bought the bare minimum: curtains, a low table, fridge, microwave, washer, wifi router and iron (with board). I could understand passing up my Nitori furniture, but my two-year old gas stove? Luckily, other OkiJETs bought the rest of my things and my successor finally agreed to purchase the most expensive item on the list, my car. 

Why u no buy my stove?

My contracting organization, my town's Board of Education, made sure I disconnected all of my utilities. However, they were confused about the pension refund, something not usually done in Japan unless retired. I couldn't be more grateful for the General Information Handbook and Justin, the middle school ALT, who explained some of the more confusing parts of the pension refund to my tax representative. 

Here is some advice:
In regards to moving back home, be organized, plan, and think "Snoop Dogg" - keep your mind on your money and your money on your mind. Packages sent home were inexpensive (via boat), but canceling my cellphone plan and paying for overweight and extra luggage fees was pricey ($200+). Moreover, depending on your apartment contract, you may be required to pay an exorbitant cleaning fee; double if you have tatami.

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