Today, I broke a cultural rule, offering to do something that is historically taboo in Japan, thus, possibly inviting scandal into my house and threatening my reputation as a respectable, hard-working teacher.
I offered to take in a student teacher.
About a month ago, when I found out student teachers were coming, and needed accommodation, I was first to put my hand up, with cries of, 'Do you guys know how freaking bored I am in my apartment?' Imagine my surprise, though, when I came back to Japan and found that my offer had not been taken, and I was destined to continue to live alone for, what seems like, the rest of my life.
Yesterday, though, the first student teacher arrived at school and was introduced to me. We discussed accommodation, as this student teacher mentioned that there was still need, since research done, previous to coming to Japan, had shown apartments to have a $2000 deposit as well as $500 a month for rent. Now, unlike student teachers, I get PAID to teach and couldn't afford this, so of course, seeing that the student teacher had come, praying to find accommodation after arrival, I offered my extra room. I mean, really, do you guys know how freaking bored I am in my apartment?
So, after a bit of debate with the headmaster, discussions with the principal about how this choice could effect me professionally (many members of our conservative community might look down on me for this decision), as well as a few playful snickers from people who have come to know me best, I rose above and continued to realize that I don't care what people think. I also realized how nothing would make me happier to break the social norm in this country because I could care less. I won, and now have a temporary roommate.
He moves in this afternoon. ;)