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Why Saudi and not Japan?
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sidjameson



Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 628
Location: osaka

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 2:15 pm    Post subject: Why Saudi and not Japan? Reply with quote

Just a quick question. I work in Japan and once in a while think about greener(as in green back) pastures. When I actually look at the sits vac posts though it seems I am in one of the greenest fields on the farm.
Now I have no MA, diploma or anything, but I earn, it seems to me, a reasonable wage compared to most of you guys. In fact anyone in Japan can earn $4000 dollars a month if they put their mind to it. Uni jobs pay more with very undemanding workloads.
So why do you guys, many of you have your MA's etc work in a land where compared to Japan you don't seem to have a quality of life? (heat, social life, fun, women, booze. etc)
This is by no means a troll or a "my place is better than your place" post. We all make rational choices. Any takers?
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Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember that quoted salaries in the Gulf are tax free. Also, housing is usually paid for, as is health care, an annual flight home and education for your kids if you have any. Most teachers also enjoy a fairly light work load and, if they work in unis, very generous holidays. Is this also true in Japan?

"No quality of life"? Well, different strokes for different folks. Personally, I have no desire to live in a cublicle sized flat, spend my life commuting to offices here there and everywhere.and have to work 6 days a week with dull students. Of course, I am talking stereoptyes - please correct me if I'm wrong.

As for uni jobs in Japan, well, how many are there? And don't you have to be under 35 to get one? And, as I've said, not everyone considers the Land of the Rising Sun to be paradise on earth.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12372
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:00 pm    Post subject: Getting and spending Reply with quote

Dear sidjameson,

"In fact anyone in Japan can earn $4000 dollars a month if they put their mind to it. "

Well, how much of a work-load would that entail? And how much of that would you say the average guy/gal would be able to save? In the Kingdom, housing's almost always provided and there's not much temptation (for most, anyway) to spend. You can save 75% or more of what you make - and no taxes. The Kingdom's not for everyone. But if you're not all that interested in "outside diversions" and actually prefer a good book in the evening to a night of bar-hopping, well, you can sock away a considerable amount over the years.
Regards,
John
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sidjameson



Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 628
Location: osaka

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points. Ok first, tax here is very low. 5% of income.
Now I am talking about the lifestyle of the more experienced teacher, not a newbie working in a sweat shop. Say somebody who teaches in a high school, college, uni. If a high or junior high perhaps a few hours teaching business english in the evening.
Salary, about 3500 in a HS more for a college, 6000 a month(dollars) uni.
Yes apartments can be very small, but if you are willing to live say 20 mins from the cuty centre of Osaka(2nd biggest city) you can rent a good size apartment for about $600-700 a month.
No health care, flights or schooling for the kids. Good points.
as for students. I thought it would be the ME that had the worse rep on that one. (sterotype) I find studetns here to be a mixed bag. Dull to very fun.
Japan ain't no paradise, but the country outside the city can be very beautiful. Life is very relaxed. People in my experience very kind. Dating scene very um active.
Once you have a nice set up it is fairly easy to save $1500 to $2000 a month. I haved saved a lot more than this but I guess I am careful with money.
Oh and costs are not as high as you'd think. I would say similar to the Uk now on many things.
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sidjameson



Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 628
Location: osaka

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,
now I teach Mon to Fri 9 to 3. I have two pt jobs. Nothing overly special, but of course better than the language schools. I earn $3500 after tax.
The kind of lifestyle you are talking about, which is similar to mine. I save $2000 a month. I do go out to restaurants and bars, but not that much. I travel, but not lavishly. I have 5 months holiday a year. I did earn more than $6000 at one time, but now I have my nest egg mostly sorted I don't seem to have the motivation to do it.
What would you say most people in a simialr lifestyle were saving in the ME?
Oh and people often say, "no temptations to spend on" but really whats the point of living like that? Saving here I never felt that I was trading my lfe for it, even in the hard core years.
Lastly, I know not of interest to many, but every time I walk out of my apartment not too many minutes have to pass before I see another good looking women. Women who are superbly dressed and have more than a passing interest in meeting a foreigner.
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Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Basically, what it seems to come down to is that you can "Score" with Japanese women more easily than anywhere else?

Well... as I said, different strokes for different folks. However, while obviously Gulf women are off limits unless you want to feel a blade on the back of your neck, there is actually a very 'active dating scene' in KSA, to use your words. Of course, the women will be foreign rather than local, and strictly speaking it's all illegal. however, behind compound walls there is a LOT of promiscuity in KSA, if you're into such stuff. Having said that, it's definately more of a "Woman's market" here as there are far more men than women working in KSA.

However, if you need local women who look up to you just because you're a "Westerner", stay where you are.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12372
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:52 pm    Post subject: As good as it gets Reply with quote

Dear sidjameson,
Heck, if you're making that kind of money, saving $2000 a month, all without having a post-graduate degree AND having a social life that's full and satisfying, I'd say that's about as good as it gets in this field. Why would you even want to consider the Middle East? Why would you even want to consider ANYWHERE else, with the possible exception of heaven?
Regards,
John
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sidjameson



Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 628
Location: osaka

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cleopatre. This isn't ment to be a confrontational post. Dating is one aspect of life, but by no means all. Look at my op. One word mentioned women. I wrote far more about the economics of Japan. I would guess this is far more relevant. Most people seem to be in the ME for the money, but maybe not, I don't know. You seem to be defensive about the ME. All I want to know is about the benefits of the ME I am sure there are many. I don't know the region. I hope to have a healthy debate, not a " stay where you are" hostility.
Are you frustrated with the ME in anyway? Why do you like it?
No mud or sand flinging please.
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sidjameson



Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 628
Location: osaka

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi John. Yes you're right. I think nit is good. That is why I am curious. I am not unique here and so I wonder why you guys go off to the dunes. I might just for a glimpse but this post isn't really about me. I am interested in you guys.
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Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not being defensive at all, and I certainly have lots of bad things to say about life in the Kingdom.

Since "scoring with local babes" was something you mentioned in your last post it's obviously important to you. My intention was to remind you of the near-impossibiity of dating Gulf women - I'm sure you were aware of that anyway - and to also point out that there is in fact a clandestine (but not too clandestine) 'dating scene' here.

I'm sorry if I came across as hostile, but if being a big hit with the local ladies is of great importance to you and you can make good money where you are, then obviously you should think twice about anywhere in the Gulf.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12372
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 4:21 pm    Post subject: Dune buggy Reply with quote

Dear sidjameson,
I went "off to the dunes" back in 1980 because I was interested in seeing a part of the world I'd never seen before (I spent some time in Japan - about 6 months - way back in the 60s when I was medevaced there from Viet Nam). I keep going back because:

1. I liked my job.
2. I could save a lot of money.
3. I was pretty sure I couldn't save as much anyplace else in the world.
4. It was a good place to visit Europe and North Africa from - back in the 80s, flying Saudi, we could get as many stops going out and coming back on our annual summer holidays as we wanted, no charge.
To be honest, I had no idea anyone could save close to $25,000 a year teaching EFL in Japan and , at the same time, enjoy a full - and probably rather expensive - social life. If I had known, would that have motivated me to find work in Japan? Probably not - because I know in MY case that
no matter HOW much I made there, I'd find a way to spend most of it.
Regards,
John
P.S.
Whoops, forgot 2 more reasons:

5. Inertia
6. Wasta accumulation - the more years you spend in the Kingdom, the more likely you are to acquire "wasta" (i.e. clout, infulence). The idea of starting out again somewhere else at the bottom of the ladder lacked appeal.


Last edited by johnslat on Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dmb



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 8397

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sid, a social scene seems to be importtant to you. As it is to me. OK, I'm not in Saudi, I'm next door in Qatar. The main difference between Qatar and Saudi is that there are bars at the 5 star hotels-which are expensive.

However most of the socialising tends to go on at people's villas in compounds. We also have an off license so you can drink at home( I believe in Saudi even though it is illegal it can still be found. At least the people I know in Saudi have no problems.)

There is also a bit of an underground dance scene which is emerging.

Salaries here are similar to Saudi plus all the benefits already mentioned. (plus car) However what I think is one of the best things here is the sports facilities. Even though I smoke and drink too much I've never been so fit!

The downside here, in my experience, is the job. It's not very challenging. In fact it is the easiest job I've ever had. Easy bordering on boring. also you have to put up with the incompetence of the Arab management and unruly students( but that is my experience)

I would never encourage anyone to come to the middle East but at the same time I would never say don't come on any account.

It is a different life and a different culture. But I guess that's why we all came into this game in the first place.

And for me. It's true that I will be leaving soon. Do I regret coming here? Absolutely not. I've met some great people and most importantly I've saved up quite a few $$$ and had a social life
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Marcoregano



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 872
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sid, was that 5 months of PAID holiday? Or just that you felt able to take 5 months? If paid, who was your employer?????
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sidjameson



Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 628
Location: osaka

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ActuallyI don't get paid holidays, but I earn $6500 ish while I am working the 7 months. I just always divide my yearly income by 12.
John I would go to the ME for the same reasons, I hope to see as much of this world as possible and have always found working as the best way to do it. Deeper exposure. Oh, I have a social life and save $2000 a month, but I by no means burn the candle at both ends.
How would you descibe the general mood of the teachers over there? Happy, having a good time(of course there must be some sacrifices) or is it a more grin and bear it type situation?
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guest of Japan



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Posts: 1601
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just want to give a little Japan comparison to Mr. Sidjameson. We're not all making that money. For a little more clarification, I don't have an MA.

To make the kind of money he is talking about you have to be really ambitious, build a big network, have nice pieces of paper and work a lot of hours. Japanese ability helps too.

In addition to national taxes there is also city tax, health insurance, a pension system if you want to invest a long time here, expensive and small apartments (forget about buying a house). Transportation can get expensive. Things can really add up quickly. It's still a nice place.
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