My current job finishes up near the end of next month, which means I just have a few weeks of employment there, and even less time to stay in my current apartment. This brings me to a major life junction: do I stay in Japan or head back to the US? I’ve been running this back and forth in my head for the past few months, especially since Obon vacation when I realized how little time I had left. Regardless of what country I live in after September, I don’t have a full-time job yet, and thus need to keep up the search-and-interview process. I’ve interviewed a few times here in Japan, but so far mainly with jobs that I wouldn’t really see myself doing. I need more time to properly job hunt, and also need to be able to interview on days other than Mondays. If I were living in Japan, maybe Chiba, then I would easily head into Tokyo to do this while working part-time jobs to have at least some income. I would, however, need to find a new apartment, and deal with the ridiculous fees and costs associated with moving in to a new place here in Japan. If I were to go back to the United States right now, I would need to start up the job search there as well, and since I’m not sure what part of the US I would be working in yet, I couldn’t really move into a new apartment, meaning I would be living in my parents house until I decided on a job. So there you have it, two possible situations for The Leong.

I’m going to stay in Japan.

At least for a while.

So there you have it. Was it dramatic or anything? Probably not, since I think most people, including my parents, expected this. Right now the current plan is to stay here until the end of the year. If I don’t have a good job by then, I will most likely move back to the US. I move out of my current apartment here in Goi on September 13, so before that I will be moving into a new apartment. I’ve been looking for the past few weeks, for something ideally in Chiba city or Tsudanuma, either of which would give me direct rapid train access to Tokyo. Actually I found a really nice, brand-new apartment in Chiba that would be great if not for the expensive monthly rent. I’m going to try and decide all that today. But anyway, I’ll be living somewhere in Chiba, hunting for full-time jobs that don’t include teaching English or headhunting, although those are the most common jobs in Japan for foreigners it seems, at least on the easily accessible English-language job posting sites. I’ll be going beyond that. I do have at least 2 part time jobs lined up, one of which pays very nicely. Too bad it’s assignment-based and I won’t always have assignments. At the very least, I’ve got one in November that pays amazingly for only 6 days of work. But yeah, with part time jobs, teaching private lessons, etc., I should be able to not completely tap into my savings.

So that’s the plan for right now. I’m sorry to those of you who wanted me to come back to the US immediately, but I figure that if I want to look for a job in Japan it makes a lot more sense to stay here. If I left now there’s a chance I would never come back. A very small chance, but a chance nonetheless. I also wouldn’t be ready to leave Japan in just a few weeks – its just too soon. I am, however, thinking of taking a vacation to the US near the beginning of October, in which case I would visit St. Louis and LA for sure.