Sunday, June 27, 2004

Is all business done in person?

I just got back from making my "gaijin," or foreigner, application. Good thing Hisae went with me because the guy there didn't speak any English. Why do they have people working in an alien registration department who can't speak anything but Japanese? Is that just too much to ask? What about publishing some kind of booklet in several languages for people to refer to when making application for their "foreigner" card? How many years have foreigners been working/living in Japan? Hasn't anyone had time to consider the need for such a booklet? I'm not complaining, just making an observation.

Anyway, it took about 1-1/2 hours to APPLY and get my 4 "Stamps" (which I must give to the bank, the cell phone place, my apartment and anyone else who asks for "proof" of my status in Japan--for $3.00 each). In two weeks, I have to go back in person to pick up my card. Has anyone here heard of using the postal service? I have to keep going to all these places in person! What a waste of time!

So, now I'm back in my apartment, doing laundry. The sun is out today and no rain, so it's a good time to get laundry hung out to dry. Then I'm going to take a short nap and dream about having my gaijin card so I can finally be official. Once I have that document I'll have to go register with my local ward. Another bureaucratic challenge, I'm sure. Foreigners are required to make their presence known in the neighborhood where they're living. Sort of like registering sex offenders.

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