another fun thing to do in japan is open a bank account (or 2 or 3)
the guy who was here before me had a citibank account and said he liked it so my japanese supervisor was nice enough to take me there to help me translate so I could open up an account. well.... i guess theres a new policy where you are charged $25/month if you have less than $5,000 in your account. i threw that out the window.
i saw on the JET forums that people really like the post office accounts cause you can withdraw money from just about anywhere in japan... even in rural places. so again - my supervisor and i went off to the post office to open an account. easy enough, eh?
well.... a week later my school tells me they can't deposit my salary into my post bank account sooooooo, my supervisor and I headed off yet again to another bank to open yet another account.
at the end of the school day - i guess it was pay day since a little bald man (with no english) in the office motioned for me to come in. he sat me down and handed over an envelope with $3,600 cash. holy crap...
i asked my supervisor how i deposit money into my bank accounts. he said its easy. just go to an atm.
since hes helped me get around and translate for the past week... i didnt want to drag him with me for the umpteenth time back to the bank.
one big annoying side note is that banks here in japan are only open 9-3pm. so how the hell am i supposed to do any transactions?????????? it would be easy (i should say easier) if i could go in person and have someone help me in person... but i guess thats why he mentioned ATMs.
so i feel adventurous and go to bank #2 first to try and deposit half of my money. luckily for me there was absolutely NO ENGLISH.... it was all kanji. crap. i stared dumbfoundedly at the machine hoping that a miracle would happen when all of a sudden i heard distant voices from behind the ATM machine.
i started screaming. HELP ME! HELP ME! SUMIMASEN! OSHIETE KUDASAI! it had been 3 days and i still had almost 4 grand in cash on me. i need to get rid of this and im becoming desperate.
the voices stopped then turned into a quieter distant whisper. i continued screaming until a nervous women came out from behind the iron door. WALAH!!!
(thats kind of how i figure things out here.... look around cluelessly and yell out SUMIMASEN OSHIETE KUDASAI! or just HELP ME!..... someone is bound to pull out some poor little japanese guy or girl from a back room somewhere who can speak 2 words of english and push them in front of you.)
so with my little phrase book and broken japanese i managed to have this poor lady help me put my money and bank book into the scary kanji laden ATM.
phew. thats one more thing off my to do checklist.