So the past few weeks have been busy with work and tutoring since both Andy and I have received a lot of interest in private lessons after the New Year. So we went out to eat twice for Valentine’s Day weekend. We had a great time meeting up with Andy’s coworkers at an Italian restaurant on the beach where we ate and ate and ate and drank with a bunch of really interesting and young teachers that Andy works with. It was a good opportunity for me to listen to Spanish and practice my own Spanish as well as to experience a typical Spanish night out which consisted of arriving at the restaurant at 10:15, eating appetizers and sipping on wine until 11:30 when our entrees arrived and then it wasn’t until after one that we finished our desserts and last glasses of wine on our way out the door. It was a lovely meal overall and made both Andy and I feel very grateful to have been invited.
For Valentine’s Day, Andy surprised me with a little pink potted flower to add some color into our bedroom and then we went out for a giant lunch at a delectable vegetarian cafe. The cafe offers a four course meal with two options for each course so we ordered differently each time and we were able to try everything! I started with a orange and rasberry frappe, then a creamy vegetable soup, then eggplant moussaka and for dessert I ate fresh mint yogurt with a ball of fudge in the middle. Mmm. Makes me happy just thinking about it. Andy had a pesto salad, a shitake mushroom and tofu soup, twice baked potatoes covered in shallot gravy and the same dessert. Wow, it was definitely one of the very best vegetarian meals I have ever had and it was a really nice alternative to a super expensive night out.
The most important thing going on in both of our lives right now is figuring out our plans for after this job. Illona, a friend from Malta we met back in October, is staying with us for the week and she’s been traveling for the last 12 years. She’s also really involved in the yachting industry so we’ve been barraging her with questions about her experiences and about how to get a job working on a yacht. With an ~800 euro course in safety training and a certificate signed by a doctor, we’re off. The season in the mediterranean lasts from April until October and we could make about 2,000 euros a month starting wage if we found a position. And another big bonus is that Andy and I could apply to agencies together and it’s possible for us to get jobs on the same boat. So yachting is a way to both ear money and travel as well as do something completely different and I have to say that appeals to me at this point.
But, last night Andy finally got an email response from the coordinator for an International Relations Coordinator position in a small town in northern Japan. Tsuruta is the sister city for Hood River and each year they hire a Hood River native with a bachelors degree to come for a year and work on international relations with the town officials and teah English in the classroom. The job pays 3,600,000 yen which converts to about 38,000 dollars for a year of work. So this is another really great opportunity. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if there would be anything for me to do and the liklihood of finding an English teaching position is low given that Tsuruta is a town of 15,000. So we have a lot to think about and I’ve even been losing a bit of sleep over all the prospects. But we have one major issue which is rescheduling our plane ticket. Because we booked through Vayama, they have a $100 fine and then SAS has another $300 fine so we will have to pay at least 400 in fines to change our ticket, but when do we change it for??
Yachting would keep us here for the summer. The job in Japan would start on August 1st. Our ticket is currently for May 26th which doesn’t even allow us to finish out our current jobs completely. And, Andy wouldn’t even find out about being accepted or not to Tsuruta until April. Ugh, by that time we’ll probably have to pay the price difference of the ticket on top of the fines because prices go up so quickly. So, confusion. But, I think Andy is going to try to apply to Japan to at least have it as an option and he asked about me in his email to the coordinator so perhaps she will have some advice about me going along and if there’s anything I could do there. So we are busy trying to make decisions but I guess I am grateful that I am able to have a choice. The application for Japan is due on March 2nd so Andy will be working on that over the next couple weeks and we’ll have some time to think about the possibilities.