It has been two weeks since I’ve started adulting. The past week was my first week back to work after a long, dearly missed summer vacation. I started work again last week Thursday, so it was interesting to see how my normal spending compared to my spending during the summer.
Here is the biggest change I’ve made in the last week:
I started taking the bus to work.
Out of the three schools I teach at, there is one school that is particularly inconvenient to use the train to get to. The train station that I live closest to doesn’t connect to a train station close to the school. It would be about a half-hour walk from the station I’d get off at to the school. I could walk from my house to the train station that connects to a station that is near the school, but that would be over a half-hour walk. So, it would be even more inconvenient, and in the early morning, there’s no way in hell I’d do that.
The reason I haven’t been taking the bus until this past week is because I got lost on the bus during my first week in my city, as I was testing out the route to this school. (And my phone just happened to die while I was lost, but that’s my fault for not charging it.) That experience just kind of scared me, especially for someone who has never had to take a bus in her life, and I never attempted it again.
So, up until last week, I’ve been taking a cab to this school 1-2 times a week. I also taught at this school during my previous contract, so it’s been an entire year! A cab ride costs me anywhere from ¥1,500-1,700 ($15-17) each time. (But, I walk the half-hour walk to the train station after work because exercise is good!) The bus costs me ¥220. That’s a big difference! My company reimburses travel expenses for “regular” transportation, which includes trains and buses, but not cabs. So, I was losing quite a bit of money!
I tested the bus route on last Saturday, since I taught at this school yesterday and on Tuesday. And it was so easy! The ride is literally a straight shot down the road, we don’t make any turns at all, and the bus stops very near my school—the name of the bus stop literally translates to “in front of (my school’s name).” At that point, I felt pretty stupid for not using the bus for the entire year I’ve been here.
On Tuesday, I made my first attempt at taking the bus to work. I don’t know if it’s because I have to be at work by a certain time and if I miss the bus, I’m totally fucked because it doesn’t come super often (I think it’s like every 25 min or so), but I felt so much pressure. AND the buses in my city don’t have numbers!! So, I have to try my very best to read ALL KANJI (you know how some buses have English and Japanese, yeah mine doesn’t) as the bus approaches the bus stop and make a decision of whether or not to get on in less than a minute. My bus is supposed to arrive at 7:34 and a bus arrived at 7:31, so I got really confused. I thought maybe it just arrived early because traffic was light or something (and the bus I took on Saturday arrived two minutes early). I didn’t get on right away because I was unsure, but the bus driver waited there for while, as if he knew he was early, so then I got on, as it was 7:33 by that time.
All was well for the first half of the ride, until the bus got into the right-turn lane! I’m not supposed to turn at all! I started panicking, like “oh shit, I got on the wrong fucking bus.” So, I got off at the next bus stop and took a cab for the rest of the way. Fucking stressful. I was so confused because the bus stop that I got off at is on the list of bus stops that the correct bus stops at. But, I was positive I wasn’t supposed to turn at any point. When I got to school, I looked at the map again, and as it turns out, there are two bus stops with the same name on opposite sides of an intersection. WHY THEY DO THAT. The cab cost me ¥840 from there and the bus cost ¥220, so I still spent less than if I took a cab the entire way. BUT THE STRESS.
So yesterday, I was really hesitant to attempt riding the bus again. I was so tempted to just take a cab because it’s so easy (and a bunch of the cab drivers that drive through that street know me already LOL). But, I decided to give it another shot. With Google Maps on my phone in hand, I headed to the bus stop early. Luckily, there was a kind-looking girl at the bus stop that I could ask for help. She didn’t get on the same bus as I did, but she made sure I got on the right one! I still stared at the route on my phone the entire time I was on the bus, obsessively comparing the bus stop names listed to every bus stop we stopped at. But, I did it! It was the right bus and I made it to school on time! In fact, I was really early, which gave me time to calm my anxiety. I know some of you may be laughing at me, but this was a really difficult task for me!
Transportation was my biggest expense—¥3,890! For one week! It’s a good thing I get reimbursed for some of that!
I spent ¥2,773 on groceries on Sunday and it’ll last me until the weekend—that’s lunches every day and most dinners. I picked up onigiri or something on my way home from work a few times.
Update on my predictions:
No bars/restaurants were attended in the last week.
No makeup was purchased, although I’m going to need to buy mascara very soon and foundation in the next few weeks.
Instead of getting annoyed at logging every single transaction, I’ve gotten pretty obsessed with this spreadsheet—it’s the first thing I do when I get home.
Absolutely no unnecessary purchases were made. Yay me! Although, I really do miss shopping.
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