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Report 02 März 20, 2008

Posted by Izabela in Misc.
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My birthday?

Let’s forget about that, it was for one thing nothing to write home (or somewhere else) about and, for another, somethingwhich is better forgotten about.Imagine a day when you get virtually nothing done, it is cold, it rains, you get wet from head to your sneakersand, after you get home and would like to lament your fate someone you don’t want to see bursts in (without invitation, no, you don’t need one to visit me, but the 2% of people I don’t like need two…..) and jabbers for 2 hours or so about stuff…. You get the point. My brother bought me a present, it consisted of a small treasure chest-like box and some self-written tokens for things I might want/need or neither/nor, but which I would buy myself nevertheless. That really lifted my spirits.  Additionally,  today I have gotten a wonderful, totally unexpected self-painted birthday card from my friend Panagiota and I’m grinning all over so life is not soooo bad at all :-).You are probably wondering what I am doing right now.Right now, I’m admiring the visa sticker pasted into my passport. It is pastel-coloured, apart from my name, birthday and other important pieces of information it contains (on the top) the words „Japan Visa“ and its Japanese translation written in some really stylish signs I haven’t partly seen yet (at least no in this form) , two cherry  blossoms and, on the right side,a picture of me even more horrible than usually on biometric photos.Yes, I’ve gotten my visa ,and yes, it only took 1 day (probably one 1 hour….), I have gotten it yesterday.As I’ve already mentioned I’ve been told that it „would take 5 days“.I’m wondering if they are telling this everybody transfer the impression of working under intense pressure when I can’t imagine that there are more than 10 people per day wanting anything more time-demanding than a visa.But, they could, at least deliver me from my eminent stress instead of increasing it. Perhaps it’s fun.Imagine someone who has delayed his flight and had to pay for it and gets his visa the next day…no wonder the consulate offices are shielded with plexiglass.Well, whatever, the day before yesterday, on Tuesday, I marched into the consulate, positioned myself in front of the office and grinned at the member of staff I had been dealing with the whole time.When he saw me , he turned suddenly on his heels and became very busy, I saw him handing my passport to his co-worker, which was female, and she in turn handed it to me.Also, she explained to me that, although on the visa, it is written that my number of re-entries is multiple I would have to reapply for each one nevertheless. Ok, why doesn’t it say so but wakatta.At least, this is done.Now that I know how quickly a visa can be issued (one of my comrades indeed waited only for one hour) I will,then next time I’ll be in need of a visa, apply for one, sit down at their lobby table and start reading the Asahi Shinbun while waiting for it.Then I will tell them that this time, my life and the lives of my future grand-children depend on  it, but, the faster they get the job done the earlier I will go.It is, I think, a prejudice that Asians in general and Japanese in particular are more diligent people than us Europeans.At least, their civil servants are, if I am not mistaken, not. Or perhaps they have already assimilated.

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