The Witless Clunkery of a Third-Rate Mind

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


I went into Toronto today to apply for a new Visa to work in Japan. It was fairly straightforward, as these things go but when I took my paperwork to the Consulate, the man behind the double thickness of bulletproof glass started asking me vague questions about my visa and my re-entry permit and why was I only in Japan for three months at a time?

Before I left last time, my employer told all of us that we should be sure to get re-entry permits because we wouldn't be allowed back in the country without them. I dutifully used up one of my vacation days going to the municipal office, and spent almost $100 getting the permit. Now I learn that my permit won't be valid because I'll be entering on a new Visa... In addition, I will have to get a new Alien Registration Card and surrender my perfectly-good current card. The process of getting a new one takes over a month, during which time I will be unable to get even the simplest thing such as a video store membership or a bank account.

Sighhhh. Just a few days ago I was saying how I was really looking forward to going back to Japan. Now, that feeling is being tempered with my remembrance of how much Japanese bureaucracy frustrates me.

But, just to keep things balanced in terms of bitching...
Coming back from Toronto to Guelph took almost 2 and a 1/2 hours because I ran into no fewer than 4 separate traffic jams. They were all caused by minor accidents. The whole traffic system in Toronto hinges on there being no accidents, but of course, there are multiple accidents every day, which means that there are always traffic jams in Toronto during the day. Unlike Tokyo, which has an efficient train system used by millions daily, the train system to and from Toronto is absolutely pathetic. And it's going to take a lot more than expensive gas and traffic jams to get people to ride the trains; it's going to take a real shift in the way people think about getting around. (There are currently 2 - count'em 2 - trains from Guelph to Toronto daily, so most people won't even consider that option.) Until then, we can expect to have to deal with smog days, traffic delays, road rage, and all that other fun stuff.


At 3:36 PM, Blogger Linda Johnson said...

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