Please don’t make us leave the country to change our visa status

2 04 2009

Toshy had arranged to pick us up at 9am to go to Chiba. But she slept in and we only made it to the train station at about 10.30. We bought train tickets (650 yen) to Chiba and got on for our 45-55 minute journey. It took longer than normal because of strong winds that were slowing the train down. Once we arrived at Chiba station we had to get on the Chiba city Monorail (190 yen) and go one stop to the City Community Centre that houses the immigration office.

The immigration office was very busy – western gaijin, koreans – and we were told it would be an hour to hour and a half wait. So we took a number and went to lunch. Lunch was tomato pasta at itarian pasta marine. The change of visa cost us 4000 yen each but there were no issues (and no deportation required) with gaining a 3 year visa in our passports (instructor visa for me, dependent visa for Benno) although the man did make a mistake in putting Benno’s sticker in my passport so he had to make a new sticker for Benno and VOID the wrong sticker in mine- I now have 3 stickers on one page (Landing Permission cancelled, Visa Dependent VOID and Visa Instructor).

We headed back on the train, arriving just in time for the bank’s closing time at 3pm so we couldn’t open bank accounts. But we did go to the Land Agent to talk about Internet (looks like it may take a month…) and to the City Hall in Kisarazu with Scott and Matthew (other new teachers to Gyosei) to get our alien cards (foreigners cards that must be carried at all times). We have filled out the forms but will have to collect our actual cards later in the month.

Toshy shouted us all a Starbucks coffee while us gaijin talked about how strange and wonderful Japan is. The first rule of Japan Club is ask no questions.

PANCAKE!

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