Summary: I left the UK in 2004. There are jobs currently advertised that pay the same, or in some cases 10% less, than I was earning then.*Add even a very small amount of inflation and this makes for a huge drop in spending power. The average salary that people talk about in Japan today is the same as when I first visited Japan in 2005. I saw hourly rates in Portugal, where I first taught, a decade later that were the same as when I left.
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