Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hanko, Hanko Oh Lay!

Mr. Iizuka took us to get our alien registration and to set-up our bank account. We spent the morning in the Himeji City Building. We had to fill out a lot of forms. I crossed out something on a bank form and wrote it back in correctly and they made me re-do the entire form. The bank is very strict about their forms. I was given a "hanko", a stamp with my name on it in Japanese. I use the hanko when I go to school to sign-in and for bank transactions. It's always done in red ink and you have to push on it really hard so the entire stamp shows, if it's too light the bank won't accept it. Mr. Iisuka had the bank personnel stamp our hanko for us because he thought we wouldn't be able to stamp it correctly. I wonder about incidents of forgery in Japan. I guess it's like our signature, anybody can sign your name. Before I left for Japan, someone had gotten my credit card number and charged thousands of dollars, thankfully my credit card company realized there was something strange going on with my credit card, so with the internet you don't even need a signature. Now that I have my alien registration, I can get phone service, internet service, get a video store membership, get a library card, etc...

I went shopping and when I left the store it was pouring rain. So, I bought an umbrella and tried to ride my bike with umbrella in one hand packages in my basket and in my backpack. I did okay, but it was difficult. I need to learn how to bike with one hand. Many people here bike with their umbrellas or while holding packages. One of the teachers biked with a bookcase in one hand, I'm just not that coordinated.

The teachers in our building had a party for us last night. They made lots of food and we brought drinks. Everyone here is very, very nice. The Australian teacher's contract is generally for 1 year from January-December, so they've been her for 8 months and will be leaving soon. They are all teachers and their jobs in Austraila are held for them for 1 year. I tried kangaroo meat. Apparently, it's very healthy, there's no fat. It was a bit gamey. Not sure what to compare it was dark like beef or lamb. I'm always up for new experiences.

I got a full 8 hours of sleep last night, after a couple of cups of sake - woohoo. I start school tomorrow!!!


As Good as an ABBA Song said...

I'd ditch the unbrella and wear a hooded jacket- or just get wet!! I'm uncoordinated, too.

Please keep blogging- I'm enjoying living vicariously through you, and it's really interesting!

You're so brave and fabulous for moving to Japan and taking on this adventure! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Shay said...

Hi Taube, you sound like you're having a blast! I can barely imagine how you must feel right now...

I need to jump onto italk and chat with you!

Gwynne Sullivan said...

Oh man, WTF with the credit card situation man? Lame.
I saw this show about someone who saved a kangaroo and raised it by carrying him around in a little bag all the time until he got older, and the little bag was like mommy's pouch. One day they went to let him go in the bigger protected territory with the other kangaroos so he could grow up and socialize with the other kangaroos. They let him out of the bag and he hopped away just a smidge, but kept coming back. He didn't want to stay and leave his human mommy. That show made me teary-eyed. Hope you didn't eat him.