Immigration Hell?

Yesterday, Hannah and I took the dreaded trip to the immigration office. This is usually a horrible experience for me, because it takes forever. The place is usually really crowded (see picture, which is actually of the Saitama branch because there was no photo of the Takasaki one). However, when I turned the corner and walked in the door, I could actually count the number of people in there. There were seven! And one of them was a baby!

I had thought it would be ok anyway this time, because I had remembered there was a play area that I could sit in with Hannah. When I got there though, the thing was sooooooooo disgustingly dirty, that there was no way either of us was going near it.

I took a ticket from the machine, and with about 10 seconds, my number was called. I got the scary woman behind the counter, instead of the nice man, who I was hoping for. I sat down while she checked over my documents, and it took about a minute before she called my name again.

I wrote my name and address on a postcard (the one they will send when I can come and get my visa) and they told me if there were no problems, that I should be able to get it within a week.

My original visa when I first came here was a three year one, which made a huge difference. After the crackdown on terrorism, etc. all visas were changed to one year ones. When I changed to a spouse visa, they also changed it to one year. I have requested a three year one, so we’ll just have to see what happens.

After the immigration office, I went to find food for Hannah. It’s amazing that there was only one shop in Takasaki where I could get this. And was of course totally out of my way. Once again, I think Takashimaya sucks!! No changing tables, no feeding room, no baby food, but a “baby floor” which basically consists of baby clothes, pushchairs and feeding goods. Hmm, not much good if they don’t have food to go with it.

So anyway, on the way to the drugstore with the baby food, there was a car pulled over by the police at the side of the road. It was a typical gangster car, blacked out windows, etc. There were two policemen, one searching in the boot, and one in the main body of the car. The driver looked like a typical young gangster, and the other two girls looked the part too. One of the girls was sitting on the driver’s back while they were talking to the police (piggy back). So odd

I guess it must have had something to do with drugs seeing as there was no crash or dents. I fed Hannah in the nearby family restaurant and heard a couple of women talking about it too. They seemed to think it was drugs, very unusual in Japan to see such a thing

After eating, the waitress gave Hannah a koosh ball (what a strange thing to give a baby) and we left.

I had left the house at 1p.m. and didn’t get back until 5:30, even though the immigration office only took about 10 minutes. That’s the thing with having a baby! But at least I got to sit and take it easy for a while, and Hannah had a few hours of good sleep while we were walking.

The night before, she had slept really fitfully because of teething. Last night, she slept like a log and didn’t wake up until 9 o’clock this morning

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