An Unexpected Singaporean in Japan – Gaijinhan

An Unexpected Singaporean in Japan

I was out on an all-night KTV session with dear friend L, and her husband R, both of whom I got to know through this blog. And I only just noticed they are L and R while typing this. Come to think of it, L is very much the leftist who is all for revolution and changing the status quo (in R’s words, “upsetting the balance”), while R is like the rightist who tries to create a balance and maintain it.

Like me, L is a huge fan of Japanese culture. She probably knows more about the country than I do since I’ve never heard about 宝塚 (takarazuka) until after I came to Japan and, for an assignment, had to interview a teacher who is also an electric fan.

When L made the decision to go for her dreams just like crazy man me, R went crazy and left his job for her. It was this amazing connection they shared that made me think I definitely want to meet this couple.

L had a decent grasp of the Japanese language before she came to Japan so life wouldn’t be too difficult for her in terms of communicating with the local people. R, on the other hand, spoke no Japanese, so it was surprising to me that he found a job really soon. For someone who wasn’t actively looking, he landed himself a position within a month (I think), although the position only started another 4 months later (R, please correct me if I got the timeframe wrong). And here comes the main point on how he did it.

L teaches at a local high school through JET. When she heard from a fellow teacher about a school that teaches all subjects in English near their place, R decided to search the net on it during his free time. He found that it was really near and rode his bicycle over to take a look at the school compound one fine day. After which, he went home and sent the school his resume. Note that the school didn’t indicate they were hiring nor were they hiring. But he sent it in anyway. Surprisingly, they got back to him really quickly and offered to show him around the campus since he lived so near the area.

After visiting the labs, classrooms, and whatever there was, he was told the school was not hiring. The usual respose would probably be an “OK” and then fuck off leave. But R didn’t do that. He told the school that since the labs, and classrooms are like shit in a mess, he is willing to volunteer to help organize and tidy up the place during his free time. The school might have felt bad about the shit in their campus receiving free help, and gave it some thought. They later got back to him saying they will hire him as an assistant the following academic year instead. That was how he started on his job. And one year later, due to increase enrolment to the school, they offered him a full teaching position.

Lucky? Maybe. But one thing I’ve learned after meeting so many people I wouldn’t have met if I had stayed in Singapore is that, “luck” happens when you set out to help solve people’s problems.

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