Friday, March 30

Bureaucracy is Anticlimactic

An inkling of things to come. I screwed up just trying to take my picture for my test...
Not the right size, so I had to do it again. And wasted 300 yen.

Well, you may remember how I was supposed to take my driving test on Tuesday.

Here's the thing. I got myself up at 4:15am, after a fabulous night out with my LMS peeps, was out of the house by 5:30 and feeling extremely nauseous. Biked it down to the station with plenty of time, took my two trains to Gifu (still worrying about throwing up), miraculously caught the bus to Mitahora just in time, easily found my way to the driving place, got all my paperwork filled in and handed in, took my "Aptitude Test" (eye exam) with a rather ornery fellow, received the packet of hints for taking the test and began to study the course. Finally the very nice man who had helped me with all my paperwork came out and explained to me that because my visa and alien registration card had expired the day before, I couldn't take the test that day. It didn't matter that I had started the application for my visa and had that stamp in my passport. And the next available date... after he flipped through several pages of reservations... was in exactly one month.

I didn't cry, although I felt a little like it. I was more mad - mostly at myself - than anything. And I knew that when I got home I would find in my front hall the postcard from Immigration saying that my visa was ready.

And after hiking around to find a bus, getting back to the station, making it to Nagoya and deciding to mess around there for a bit to make it worth it, then training it home, and riding my bike back up the big hill, there indeed was the postcard. Yappari.

So the very next day it was back to Nagoya with me, on a glorious spring day. I got my extension of stay, new re-entry permit, a sweet book to learn some everyday Japanese vocabulary plus some Starbucks to soothe my soul and some lentils for my gastronomical sanity, got back home and got my gaijin card (alien registration certificate) amended and the day after being denied I was all set. With 4 more weeks to wait. And ride my bike and take mad buses to school. And hope that I pass when I actually get to take the test.

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