More Nonsense

Back at the municipal office today, passport in hand. Which they didn’t even look at. This has to be one of the most frustrating parts of living in Japan and dealing with the bureaucracy. The outcome of whatever it is you are trying to do has less to do with whatever the law says and more to do with policy. The interpretation of which varies from person to person. This results in such nonsense as insisting that a child’s name be spelled using a rominazation of the Japanese pronunciation of a non Japanese name. So for example Alyssa becomes Arisa on all Japanese documentation. If you happen to get a sensible and sympathetic clerk then things will go smoothly. Otherwise you’re SOL. Or somehow between, like with my middle name. The clerk on the day we registered our marriage allowed me to register my name in kanji (I’ve heard some people aren’t able to) but then insisted on smooshing my first and middle names into a long unpronounceable variant of the otherwise perfectly reaso
nable name my parents bestowed upon me at birth. So now this super long name never fits in the spaces provided. But whatever.

Not that things are any easier dealing in the US. I often find myself getting extra frustrated by the extra level of nonsense that occurs when you need both countries to cooperate. It’s a lot like being stuck in a Lewis Carroll novel or a 1980s music video. Lots of smoke and mirrors and when it’s over you’re left feeling that you must have missed something. Case in point: baby’s first passport. I needed to get a paper notarized, which in the US would probably involve calling a relative or paying someone at the post office 5 bucks. Here it turned into a hundred dollar, half a day official translation nightmare. But I guess the memory will last a lifetime.

After the city office, the kids and I headed over to Kanazawa Zoo to see their newest edition, the okapi.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gaijinwife
    Mar 31, 2012 @ 08:40:22

    I was wondering what an Okapi was after you posted on FB. Didn’t want to ask too publicly as was surely an animal that I should probably know. Looks like the outcome of a zebra shagging a goat.


    • hamakkomommy
      Mar 31, 2012 @ 15:51:16

      Don’t feel bad, apparently the scientific community just discovered this animal in the 1980s, so it wasn’t in our textbooks growing up. Of course I’m pretty sure they are still using the same textbooks back home so no one south of DC will ever have the chance to know.

      The okapi apparently is a relative of the giraffe. They come from a common ancestor, but the okapi hasn’t changed much over the millennia unlike the limelight hogging giraffe we all know and love.

      The verdict is still out on who wears it better, the zebra or okapi. You can vote for your favorite on Yazoo OMG.


  2. Beth
    Apr 03, 2012 @ 11:09:41

    An episode of Elmo’s world featured an Okapi, so the Sesame Street crowd south of DC may have exposure to them. I have heard that particular Elmo at least 25 times.


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