Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Tokyo Diet

As previously mentioned, when I moved to Tokyo - my small amount of savings was further downsized by a nasty downturn in the exchange rate. After the exchange - I had enough for the 3 days in the hotel, first months rent and deposit, and a couple of days of transportation.

And I would no get paid for at least a month!

Now, there was some anticipation of money; after all I would be fool to move across the ocean with no income, right? Prior to the move, I finalized my divorce documents including child support. Based on my child's fathers income, it seemed I would receive an adequate sum for each week (note: he refused to pay child support once a month - preferring once a week - in his attempt to keep me from using the money for my "personal upkeep.").

Surprisingly...when I called him three days after moving, to give him my new bank information and also wiring instructions - he decided to tell me he would NOT pay the support amount. After all, I am an evil woman who would likely use it for my "nastiness" (note: WTF?) and he has "beeznises" (note: yes, accent correct. My ex is a Mexican national.) to tend.

At this point, picture me falling to the floor and throwing a tantrum. Hands beating the floor in the living area - feet pounding in the kitchen - due to tiny apartment size.

On that day, I had 1600yen, 6 packs of microwaveable rice, 2 energy bars (left over in suitcase from the plane), and a box of green tea bags.

And payday was a month away.

Thank heaven for 7-11! (This being the American 7-11 slogan.) Apparently the 7-11 in Japan has it's own house brand of cheap and decent food!

So, for 9 days - we ate 7-11 Gyoza (only 100 yen for a pack of 5), 7-11 Ramen (only 210 yen for a pack of 3), our microwaveable rice, green tea.

In the interest of honesty and full disclosure, I have to admit that I also "borrowed" some items from the 100yen shop. 2 packs of spaghetti, 2 packs of pasta sauce, a bag of mixed nuts, and 3 coke zeros.

(I promise to return the items someday...I will probably just casually leave some yen near the cash register...)

And we walked! We walked everywhere! Shin-Okubo to Shinjuku. Shin-Okubo to Shibuya. I even walked from Shin-Okubo to Ebisu for my work training (2 days - unpaid! The bastards!)

My fatigue and confusion must have been obvious when walking home from Ebisu that first day. A man approached me and asked if I was lost. I told him I needed to make sure I was on Meiji Dori as I needed to get to Shin-Okubo. He asked why I didn't just take the train. I told him I had no money - so he gave me 500 yen.

I bought the CHILD ticket home. Must conserve the yen!

After 9 days, I mustered up the courage to borrow 5000yen from a friend AND the Dark Overlord (note: baby daddy, ex-husband) sent $200 (or about 16800yen).

This covered my work transportation and groceries.

Of course, now I had to worry about next months rent. Payday was coming - BUT, oh yeah - seems the job I accepted paid by lesson (itaku) rather than salary. And new people don't have that many lessons. And my open lessons were in the daytime, but more people take lessons at night...I see a teeny tiny check in my future...

At least it will keep us on the Tokyo Diet. Perhaps weighing 50 kg is achievable?

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