The saga continues. There are so many details and so many things on our to-do list for going to Japan, but so few of them are getting done. AND it seems every time we think we've completed something, we discover that there is something else we need to do first, during, or after before we can actually complete said item.
Wanting to get the visas taken care of we finally booked our tickets to Tokyo (though only one-way). Armed with this tiny bit of completed decision-making, we excitedly headed off to the Japanese consulate Monday to apply for our long-term stay visas. The excitement ended quickly for me, however. Upon handing the young Japanese woman behind the glass my completed form and the university's invitation letter, she looked at the paperwork and informed me that my letter would be expired before my departure date-and thus not usable.
Apparently the invitation letter only lasts for three months and I'm going to Japan in four months. What does this mean? It means the department at the Japanese university has to reissue it and date it so that it will still be good for when I actually fly to Japan. Can they reissue a new one and send it to me? Well, they can AFTER I've sent the current one back to them. This means another trip to the post office and another $20 to send it to Japan registered mail. Then I will of course need to go back down to 45th and Park Avenue to apply for the new Visa--which I will then have to go back down to pick up.
Awww--the warm familiarity of bureacracy. It's comforting to know that while everything is a tad overwhelming at times in our planning of this major--albeit temporary--move to this other, very different country, bureacracy and all its familiar frustrations will continue to be there making us