Today in school we were discussing our recycling habits, which given the totalitarian approach that the Japanese take towards reprocessing, was actually fairly useful. I am sure that my classmates also found my contributions to be fairy useful, at least as a confidence boost for their own Japanese. Somehow I found myself trying to explain that in Leicester they had a special machine (kikai) that did all of the sorting for the recycling, thereby making it easier for the general public. However, I wasn’t quite clear enough in my explanation, meaning that my sensei wanted to know what the hell a death anniversary (kaiki) had to do with distinguishing between burnable and non-burnable waste.
This afternoon I had to pay a visit to the happiest place in Tokyo: the Immigration Bureau in Shinagawa, as I needed to change the status of my visa from ‘student’ to ‘working’. Knowing that the dates for my tenure in Tokyo are different on my passport, visa, and alien registration card, I was just waiting for someone to spot this and kick me out of the country on a bureaucratic technicality. When I was finally called, it was with some trepidation that I spotted some of the dates on the latest form had been highlighted as erroneous, however this was quickly rectified (I changed it to the date I was told), and the rest of the processing passed without incidence. However, I couldn’t help but notice that one of the immigration officers seemed to be spending a prolonged length of time studying my passport photograph, and their face definitely bore all the hallmarks of suppressed laughter.