Sunday, December 05, 2004

Tales of Woe

So, it's still around the beginning of the month (my busy time, and I am brain-fried already), and in addition, I'm having a run of financial difficulties. The other day, I was going to go buy some new clothes (since, at the moment, I don't have enough to last me one full business-week (which is five days)). Before that, though, I stopped to drop off my two suits to get dry-cleaned. They weren't filthy or anything, and I hardly ever wear them but I hadn't had them dry-cleaned since I got them, so it had to be done. Along with the two suits, I took a jacket and a blanket (the cleaning place, of course, does non-dry-cleaning stuff too).

Well, first I was told that I would have to pay extra for the black suit. Why? Because black is the official color of formal suits here. So, I have to pay extra. Just because. Then, I had to pay extra to get some special treatment to counteract sweat or something (I wasn't consulted about this). This extra treatment costs nearly as much as the dry-cleaning. In the end, what I thought was going to cost me close to $25-$30 (based on Internet searches for average prices). The actual cost was closer to triple that.

I know, I know, Welcome to Japan.

So, that wiped out my budget for new clothes this pay period. Next paycheck is still two weeks away, and I may run out of food before then, but anyway. It's an adventure.

In similar news, I found out that I may be the ONLY ALT paying 20% off the top in taxes every month. I mentioned in an ALT on-line group that I still hadn't heard back from the I.R.S. and that ~$600+ a month was a bit much to bear, and I got e-mails saying "How much?!" I chocked it up to being a CHO-ALT (I work for the town I live in) instead of a KEN-ALT (working for the prefecture), but it doesn't look like the other CHO-ALTs have the same problem. Anyway, after a lot of searching, it turns out that my paperwork was filled out incorrectly, so I'm resubmitting it today, so in another month it should be taken care of.

This will put it after this next paycheck, so I will have had 20% taken out for five paychecks, which is 100% of one paycheck. So, there's that.

The biggest bummer about this whole thing is that I won't have any money this Christmas. Not for presents (I'm not into that whole 'presents' thing anyway; if I want something, I'll go buy it myself! If I can't afford it, I probably don't need it), but for travel. Originally, I wanted to go to the Tokyo region for the holidays, but since I'm basically living from paycheck to paycheck, and I won't have those yummy school lunches to live off of during the break, at this point I'm just saving up for food money. Happy holidays to me, indeed.

The thing about having Charlie Brown Syndrome (CBS) is: at least life is never dull. :)


  1. Now instead of telling kids that won't eat that there are other kids starving in China, I'll just tell them Phoenix is starving in Japan. Perhaps we can start up a charity website:

    I checked and at the time of this post, it's available (can you believe I actually bothered to check?).

  2. Hahaha!
    I checked for, but it was taken (and not being used! OH I HATE THAT!).

    .net and .org were available....

  3. Phoenix! YaY! I saw you left a comment on Dave's LJ (This is Michelle (used to live in CA in LA)) I was so excited to see something from you....yeah yeah yeah....btw my LJ is Kylieandra

  4. Chelle! Long time no chat. How are things with you? Actually, I suppose that now I know where your blog is, I can just read up and find out for myself, right? :D