17 June 2010 ~ 7 Comments

Conversation 6/16/10: Rice Subsidy

This conversation took place yesterday with the same student who is being transferred to his company’s New York office this Autumn:

Student: I spoke with Human Resources today.

Me: Oh yeah? Anything interesting?

Student: Actually, they are going to give me extra money.

Me: Really? You mean for extra expenses you incur living in New York?

Student: Yes.

Me: Wow, that’s really cool. Are they going to pay your rent?

Student: Yes, they will give me an allowance for rent.

Me: Wow, free rent. How about your car? You’re gonna need a car to get back and forth to work, right?

Student: Yes. They will pay for the car, too.

Me: Excellent.

Student: Do American companies do the same?

Me: Yeah, that sounds pretty standard. I mean, if the company expects you to live in a foreign country, they usually try to make the transition as easy as possible.

Student: (Big smile) Yes, I’m very happy. I will receive this subsidy plus my salary.

Me:Look at that smile…yokatta ne (that’s great). And, you were worried…

Student: They even pay for my food.

Me: Really?

Student: Yes. They will give me money to buy food…but only Japanese food.

Me: What?

Student: Only Japanese food…

Me: That you must buy at a Japanese supermarket…

Student: Yes, probably.

Me: Makes sense, I guess. 

Student: Yes, Japanese food is very expensive in America.

Me: This is true. A lot of it is imported. I know Japanese rice cost a fortune. I can never go back to American rice: Uncle Ben’s and whatnot… so I’ll be buying the overpriced Japanese rice too when I go home…

Student:Sou desu ka.

Me: Yeah, only I won’t have a subsidy.


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