That would be the status of the “get visa” item on my checklist. It arrived today by FedEx and I found it stuck in the screen door when I came home from work this afternoon. Basically, all they did was perform a few upgrades to my passport – my Certificate of Eligibility has been stapled inside, and on the facing page is the rather ornate sticker that is my student visa. It looks like a slightly more specific version of the inside info page of your average passport, but with a slightly less good-quality photo.*
Stapled to the back cover are letters from both IES and Nanzan University, telling them that yes, they know I’m coming. There’s an awful lot of paperwork involved, considering that I’m moving between two first-world countries that are on fairly good terms with each other.
Going back to that checklist, I should mention that it’s four pages long and getting longer. It doesn’t help that I’m the sort to write down things I’ve already done, just to check them off. Or that I’ve written “work” down six times, just so I can check it off every day. *sigh*
*I didn’t know that this was possible.
So today I had a very interesting phone call.
From the Japanese consulate in Los Angeles.
Telling me that I had forgotten to indicate whether or not I have a criminal record on my visa application.
Some bad words, a minor heart attack, a run over to the local PostNet, and a fax declaring that I, [insert full name here], do not have a criminal record later and I think everything’s going to be okay.
I’ll know Friday.
As I’ve written about three times now, this is my blog for the period of time while I’m in Nagoya, Japan, from August 29, 2008 to December 20, 2008. It is intended mostly for family and any friends I’ve decided to invite.
Right now, I’m setting the (hopefully) reasonable goal of posting to this blog at least once a week.
At the moment, I’m still in the preparation stage. I sent in the paperwork for my visa this afternoon and hope to see it some time around the end of next week. I had to wait this long because the university in Japan, Nanzan University, had to send me a Certificate of Eligibility, basically a document explaining why I was in Japan, for how long, and that yes, someone had made sure I wasn’t a free-loading criminal.
I also received my home-stay information. I’m going to be living with a young couple and their two-year-old son. I had all but requested a family with children on my home-stay application, so, needless to say, I’m pretty pleased. Expect that regrets will be forthcoming. *sigh* At least now I can decide what I’m going to bring them for gifts. I just remembered now that I might want to bring my former host-family, the Asakas, something as well. Maybe something from Nagoya will do.
Otherwise, I’m mostly studying kanji (the Chinese characters used in Japanese writing) and figuring out what to bring with me.
P.S. The picture used in my header is one from my first trip to Japan in 2004. It was taken by my mom on the pedestrian bridge in Shinjuku, near Lumine and Tokyu Hands. I’m hoping to replace it with something a little more high-res once I get there.