The longer we live in Japan, the more we discover that bureaucracy (I may have had to retry that word a few times before it was spelled right…) reigns supreme. Fun example… I finally got my resident’s card at the beginning of this week. The school brought in some people from one of the local cellphone companies to talk with me about getting a phone/wireless. After a lengthy discussion in which we managed to figure out which plan would work best and cost less, we discovered that because I had not yet opened a bank account, I would not be able to sign up for a phone contract. The other option (which we’ll probably end up doing Friday) is to bike 40+ minutes to their store and swipe the credit card as verification.
That afternoon I decided to leave work early to go ahead and open up a bank account (the banks close at five, so my window of opportunity was small). We managed to get to the bank on time, we filled out the application and everything. There was only one problem. We can’t open a bank account without a phone. So no phone, no bank account.
It’s definitely not the end of the world. We’ll be able to get it sorted out once we go to the store, things just seem to take a lot longer to do here which can be a bit frustrating. On the upside, though, God has continued to show us His goodness.
A family at church is leaving the country on Tuesday and they’re willing to give us quite a few household items which will make our apartment a little less bare/more liveable. I’m sad that they’re leaving, they’re quite wonderful folks, but we are definitely grateful for the various shelves, kitchenware, and food that they’re passing on!
Below I’m including pictures from a neighborhood festival we went to a few weeks ago. It’s based off of beautiful, red lantern-like flowers. There was even a “Red Lantern Man” (distant cousin to his green counterpart, I believe).