My Uncle, my father’s brother has taken ill in Scotland.
I would like to go over and see him. I thought it would be easy enough, clear the decks at work, organise care for the chicklets, take Kev with me, stay a week, get back in time fo work, school etc.
I thought I would leave next Sunday.
Both Kev’s passports have expired. I can only take him out of Japan on his Japanese one, but will he then need a visa for the UK, and I am not keen on him traveling with different visa status. It is Sunday, all offices are closed, I cannot get answers to my questions.
Monday morning, the Oracle that is my foreign wives group tells me he does
not need a visa. So I can get by with just a J passport, which is good because there are no consular services in Osaka. The passport office tells me what papers I need, and that I need to produce the child, live and in person, and that it will take a week.
I mention I don’t have a week. Would it possible to speed the process as it is only a renewel, so that I can go ahead and book a ticket and leave on Sunday, rather than wait until Tuesday for the new passport.
He informs me that , no, no the process cannot be speeded or messed with in any way, there are no circumstances whatsoever, under which it can be done before the 25th.
I decided to play a long and beg my case in person.
Here is my plan ( do you hear God laugh)
I will go to work and spend an hour teaching 3 fractious babies. I will then fly by the school pick Kev up. Go home get Sunshine, drop them both off at the photo shop. They will get the photos done and then grab a bowl of udon, while I am at city hall getting the papers. I need a proof of city citizenship and a copy of the family register. I will then pick up the two of them, drop them at home, go back to work and teach my 4years olds, be home by 3, and as soon as Doris and Jim get in we will drive to Saidaiji and get the application form in by 5.
Go to city office, they tell me I do not need a citizenship thingy, all I need for a renewal is the copy of the family register. Okey dokey.
Turns out we have to get it from the HONSEKI, over in Osaka, no time to go to Osaka. Call The Man who said nothing would give him greater pleasure than to drop what he is doing and zip over to Osaka and get it for me.
The photo shop is closed.
Drive back pick up kids, drive to other side of town, get photos, buy lunch, feed chicks, go to teach class.
Tell them I will be back by 3, and we will leave immediately,there will be no dawdling, no lollygagging, no moaning, and all who comply might get a quick biscuit in Starbucks.
Meanwhile I have put out feelers for ticket prices, all of which are astronomical because of this fuel tax surcharge business, which is basically adding 400 bucks onto the price of each ticket. So I am fielding calls from various agents throughout the day, hoping they can come up with something that doesn’t sound like a Monopoly price.
Class finished, wave off the tinies, jump in the car, home by 3, NO JIM.
Jim is always home by 3 on a Monday, he is Mr Reliable, Mr Dependable.
Wait wait wait wait wait……4.15 call school to check it didn’t finish late for some reason. No it didn’t. Check his friends houses, no luck. Get call from friend’s mother saying her daughter didn’t come home either. That sounds better right, they are probably just playing somewhere. We all scatter in different directions, Sunshine sits at home and watches the
remote control phone, just in case someone rings. No chance of getting that application in,
scour streets, find the two of them, strolling along the road unaware of how many people are out looking for them.
4.40 chat with nice policeman in patrol car who was dispatched by the child safety brigade from the school. If I told hem my predicament would they give me an escort to Saidaiji so I can apply?? I don’t think so, and I am not going to ask.
So is this trip meant to happen or not, are these all signs that I should not go, that I will not be going? Should I accept these signs or plough on tomorow?