paperwork

Yesterday I went around doing all the paperwork I need for uni. First, I had to go do my foreign registration paperwork (n.b. you need your passport and two photos) at Mitaka`s municipal office. The office is around 4km from Junko`s house so I went by bike. I got lost a couple of times (of course) and it didn`t help that no one I asked knew where the freakin` office was. Its not like they didn`t understand what I was saying; I even wrote it down for them. I`ve experienced this quite alot since I`ve come: there are some people who are really helpful and some who say `they don`t know` when they know very well but are just not used to talking to foreigners. I don`t really blame them but god its annoying. Finally, I met this really cute ojiisan who had two teeth protruding out of either side of his mouth, and he drew me a map. When I reached the place, I knew for sure that the people who said they didn`t know were definitely lying; the building is humungous and right accross the street from the biggest supermaket in the area.
After I got my registration done and received a certificate that states that I`ve registered and have a foreigner ID number, I went to the station and parked my bike in a bike parking lot. These things are amazing by the way – once I get my camera fixed I`ll upload some pictures.
Next, I took the train to Kunitachi to open an account in Sumitomo Mitsui Bank. I have to say that I was appalled to find that all their forms are in Japanese. It wasn`t really a problem for me but this branch in particular is supposed to serve many exchange students who probably don`t speak/write/read a word of Japanese. I also got pissed off when the lady who was helping me got annoyed because I couldn`t write the kanji for `taka` in Mitaka. She rather huffily wrote it for me on a piece of paper and then told me to write it myself. Oookay. I didn`t think it would go over too well if I bitch-slapped the bank clerk so I kept cool. The process didn`t take too long as it did in the States though, so at least that was something.
When I finally came home some four hours later, Junko made me some negi chahan – yum.

NOTE: This is the `taka` kanji in Mitaka 鷹 – she can`t really expect me to know how to write that?!

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