Thursday, March 26, 2009

Read the fine print!

On the last day of school, E brought home all his stuff, like his craft box, communication notebook, lunch book, etc., he also brought home his tuition stamp card. Every month, an envelope was sent home for tuition, it had a stamp card in it that would be stamped on the date tuition was paid.

I noticed last night that there was a break down of the tuition expenses on the back of the card (you could only see the front of the card in the envelope, and I never had any reason to take it out). Turns out I've been paying Y6500 every month for lunch!!!!!!! The lunch he NEVER eats! I've been making his bento every day least 4 months! Damn it!

I was a bit disappointed that they continued to take my money for a lunch they knew wasn't being served, but I'm hoping it was mearly an administrative oversight. I know, I know, I should have been paying closer attention, I should have read the fine print, but I didn't realize, and wasn't expecting, a break down of expenses like that :( Fortunately, when I asked about it today, the principal told me that of course I didn't have to pay if E was bringing a lunch from home, and that I could just send Y300 on udon days when I know he'll eat the school lunch. No mention of reimbursing me for all those lunches he didn't have, but at least this year's tuition is down Y6500/mth, and BONUS: today we got our childcare subsidy for the 2nd semester, Y39,000! Woo hoo!
I'm a little embarrassed by E's bentos. Japanese moms have honestly turned lunch making into an art form, some of the box lunches they make belong in a museum! And they use the cutest little bento boxes and bags, and adorable little accessories. Ethan will have none of it! His bento box is compliments of Tupperware, it's one of those little divided plates with 3 different sections for food, with a lid. And he has THE EXACT SAME LUNCH.EVERY.SINGLE.DAY: half a bologna & cheese sandwich, no crust, cut in triangles, goldfish, a cheesestick and half a banana. I can only imagine what his sensei must think of American moms when she sees Ethan's lunch. But if I try to change even one little thing, like pretzels instead of goldfish, or God forbid, cutting his sandwich in a cute star shape instead of triangles, he won't eat it. But hey, it's super cheap, and super quick, so I really can't complain!


gigihawaii said...

You should ask admin for a refund!!! I would.

E reminds me of my younger daughter. She was the same way. The bad news is that at age 27, she is still fixed in her ways and won't deviate.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it was just an administrative oversight! Encho Sensei (The Principal) probably didn't realise your son was bringing his own lunch, so really it's his teacher who is at fault, she should have told him and she will probably get in trouble when he mentions it to her. - Aussie Katie

Alisa said...

I am sure they know how picky he is... so i would not worry what 'they think'. ;)

Also, what is Childcare subsity? And, how do you get it?? (LOL)

At elast you get 6500Y "off" next Semester is a PLUS! ;) hehe!

Slime said...

Katie - Encho sensei was very apologetic, he's a really nice guy. It's all straight now and I'm happy about the Y6500/mth discount!

Slime said...

Gigi - AAARRGH! Please don't tell me E won't outgrow this! That was my only hope! LOL

Slime said...

Alisa - the childcare subsidy is paid by the Japanese govt to children who are residents of the same city as the Japanese school they go to. It's based on income and the number of children in the family. We qualified for Y78,000/per which is paid twice a year at Y39,000.

On the base, residency is determined by which part of the base you live on, fourtunately, in our section, we're considered to be residents of the city E's school is in. But the kids who live at the other end of the street are considered residents of Tachikawa, so they don't get it :(