Got back to Melbourne last night. It’s so freaken cold here.
I’m so broke but I start a new contract on Monday (ot all that sorted while overseas, go me) so should be okay once I start that. Still I’m a bit annoyed – I had to loan money to my sister while we were away and she was going to pay me back when we got home but now she can’t for various reasons (that she’s done nothing about sorting out). I’ve got to pay rent next week and I’m suddenly the one with the worries about not having the money. It’s not really fair.
Tell me – what do you do when you are travelling with someone with money issues? Like if your travelling companion is broke and you have carefully budgetted your own money – would you loan them $$$ and go without yourself or would you go out eating fancy dinners and leave them to fend for themselves? It’s a hard one.
I don’t want to do a big “this is what I did on my hols” post because it would go on forever but, since my post holiday advice from last trip helped me this time, I’m going to try it again.
- Staying in Shinjuku is great. It’s so convenient and easy to get to everywhere around Tokyo and so much going on, but it gets tiring because it’s always busy. Just walking home from the train station is an effort.
- Next time I travel, I need to check out transport options. We used a SUICA (automatic card that you just swipe over the thingo on trains, subway, buses etc – you don’t even have to take it out of your wallet, how awesome) but it cost $$$. The first few days we caught the subway to the train station but got wise because there is a minimum ticket fare (around 160 yen) and it was only a 20 minute walk – all those short trips add up. Plus I think there were some daily ticket deals we could have used. Transport took up a huge chunk of our budgets.
- Even though I packed light, I still took more than I needed.
- Only taking a carry on bag is a cheaper option when you fly budget airlines like Jetstar but it’s only saving around $20. I reckon we spend that buying stuff we couldn’t take in our cabin bags like tweezers, nail file, decent sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner (we were there for 11 days, we need more than 100 mls).
- If you go to an all-you-can-drink bar, it might seem like good value for money to drink shooters. It’s not. It’s really not. Also if there is a language difficulty and the bar staff get butterscotch schnapps mixed up with scotch whiskey, drink something else. Whisky and kahlua shooters – JUST SAY NO!
- If you don’t wear it at home, you won’t wear it when you travel.
- Paying 2,400 yen (around $AUD30) to go to the Yokohama port celebrations is a waste of money. Even if they have giant robot spiders. Well okay the robot spiders were cool. But the rest was boring.
- A 5 hour stopover in Cairns on the way home is just wrong! Better to have gotten a room somewhere and flown home the next day.
- Check and double check flight bookings. If you book to have checked in luggage on the international flight (we did on the way home for all the shopping) make sure you do the same for your domestic flight or you’ll get stung a whopping $80 at the airport. The girl did feel sorry for us and gave us the exit row seats for the flight home though… mmm leg room.
- For some reason I can eat my own body weight several times over in chocolate and other sweet foods (yum, pudding) while on holidays and not gain weight. I need to find out the secret of this and apply it at home.
- Take laptop or stay somewhere without ultra-expensive internet charges.
- Sort out work shit before leaving country. I did a short (3 day) contract the week before I went overseas. On the last day I couldn’t get access to input my timesheet. Normally I’d stay around until it was sorted but I had a heap of errands to run and my supervisor promised me she’d sort it out for me. I rang my agency on the Friday before we left to make sure they reminded her it needed to be in. My agent said he’d already emailed her but he’d try again. So, come Wednesday – payday – no pay in my bank. I had to use the very expensive hotel internet to contact him (actually using the generic agency email addy cos I didn’t have his on me and hope for the best). Found a cheaper internet place to email him a couple of days later. Got word he’d sort it out but it would be this Tuesday (we were leaving Japan on Wednesday) at the earliest. I not only DIDN’T have my pay, I had no guarantee I’d get it before I left. I ended up getting in touch with my lovely son and he put some $$$ in my bank but seriously that still meant a lot of running around and money spent on internet just because some stupid bitch couldn’t do her job properly.
Anyway it was an awesome holiday. So very awesome. Many precious memories. I’ve started posting all my holiday photos on facebook. I had major post-holiday blues yesterday (partly due to having spent 22 hours travelling home and no sleep). Today I decided the only way to deal with this is to focus on the positive things about being home – my own bed, seeing friends, having internet access, getting back into a routine and playing with all my new toys I bought on hols (like my awesome bento box and cooking chopsticks). Plus I got news just before I left – I will be working in Japan early next year! Yahs!