Monday, August 9, 2010

Life In the Fast Lane (that title makes me cringe it's so cliche)

The morning was not very interesting except for the guy who was trying to change/fix the blinds in the office. I thought for sure he was going to fall off the ladder the way he was standing on it. It was making me laugh just because it was silly what he was trying to do. He was still working on the blinds by the time I came back three hours later. But let me get to the better parts of the day.

Today I picked up my foreign resident card (aka. gaijin card) or more properly 登録証明書(torokushomeisho). With this thing you can open bank accounts, get cellphones, and other important things in japan. It also means you don't have to carry your passport around with you. I went to the Ino town office the first day I got here to apply for it and then you wait a couple weeks to get the actual card. Despite the paper saying it wouldn't be ready till next week, it was somehow magically ready. I'm not sure how my supervisor even knew it was ready. Things just happen.

If you read yesterday I mentioned that I thought I was driving by myself. Come to find out I followed the office manager down behind his car in what they call the 'sprinter' (small Toyota station wagon) but the main reason was so I could come back on my own after I had finished my tasks for the day which were get foreigner card and open a bank account. I went to lunch with the ALT supervisor in Ino and Hyemi. The supervisor is pretty young and a ball of spunk. She is pretty fun to be around. We had a really Japanese lunch which she paid for. It's almost impossible to convince a Japanese person otherwise. I felt kind of guilty but she is still living at home so perhaps the yen she is raking in at the Ino BOE is burning massive holes in her pockets.

After lunch an English teacher joined us just in case we needed help. She does leather work as a hobby. Yeah you heard me right. Leather work. She made this purse that I swear was trying to be steam punk or something. I have to remember to get a picture of it.

So the four of us headed off to the Ino town office to obtain my foreigner card. This was painless and done without much trouble. The best part is when the ALT supervisor noticed the forms for divorce and marriage. She looked at them and laughed. Then she proceeded to recommend I find a Japanese girlfriend. I was like what and just started laughing. Her sense of humor is pretty great. This is like the third time, though, since being here that a Japanese lady has told me such a thing. I'm not sure if Japanese women are really interested in foreigners or if they have a preoccupation for extreme difficulties in cross cultural relationships. Moreover, what does this type of comment say about the woman saying it? Is she implying that she is interested in foreigners? They probably don't mean anything by it but I can at least imagine. Better yet is the fact that they have subliminally said YES, please tease me about finding a boyfriend and getting married.

After this we went to the bank to make an account. Now with filling out Japanese documents if you make a mistake you usually have to redo it or you stamp your inkan/hanko (name stamp) over the mistake. The Ino ALT supervisor who doesn't really speak English was helping me which didn't make much sense when the English teacher was sitting with the other ALT having a chat. I guess none of us really cared that much. I sure didn't despite our lack of logic. This bank account was getting made one way or another. After some confusion, writing things, and making a phone call for some other numbers on the application, the bank account was securely made.

I enjoyed the drive back by myself. Before I know it driving on the left side of the road won't be anything. Just life.

Ok so I promise I'm getting around to wrapping this up. Tonight for dinner I decided to reattempt to make curry. I put too much water in it last week and it was like a curry soup. Not really that great. Even worse was the fact I didn't put any other foods in it. I should have just ate the rice plain. Well I corrected my follies and made a better curry. I used chicken, onion, carrots, and potatoes. I also used a mixture of water, red cooking wine, and milk to cook all the ingredients. Then I added the remaining curry mix I had. The outcome was worth it. Take a look below.


Best yet is that I won't only be eating rice for lunch tomorrow...

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