Once Upon a Tanbo


Posted on: March 5, 2008

So I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with baited breath for my next installment.
Maybe not?

Anyways I’m back in the same old groove, but busier. I’ll be leaving for America in two weeks, and everyone at work has been loading up the assignments so that my regular work load has been doubled. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I’ve been feeling really exhausted after work. Not only that, but 3 days next week I will be out of the office traveling with foreign groups that are visiting the city. I actually enjoy this type of work. I enjoy working with tourists and visitors so I wonder in the future when we move to Niigata if I would be able to work at some of the ski resorts nearby helping out foreign customers. I like making sure people are having a good time and I enjoy helping out, plus I don’t really want to be sitting on my butt all day like I do now.

I go through periods of watching Japanese and English TV, at this point I’ve been sucked into the exciting world of Project Runway and I am devouring season 3 via streamed tv websites. However I still try to make time for some of my favorites. Some people don’t seem to like Japanese tv in particular, but I have a few shows that I try to watch every week.

The three that I currently am “into” are Megane no Antenna, Quiz Hexagon 2, and Kenmin no Himitsu. Megami no antenna (on at 7pm on Mondays) polls womens opinions various topics such as “Things your children have said that make you happy”, “What sort of issues do you have with your husband” etc. It’s just interesting to get into the mind of the Japanese woman and see how much I personally agree or disagree with them. Maybe if I ever make any Japanese housewife friends, this will be the show to talk about. Quiz Hexagon 2 is Wednesday at 7. I enjoy this show for its cast of loveable idiots and brainy people. Its pretty famous and the one with all the celebs sitting in the three rows of colored seats answering various trivia questions. Most of the time I don’t know the answer as well, as it will pertain to Japanese kanji or history but occasionally with world trivia and English questions I will know the answer and gloat to myself as the contestants struggle to answer. haha.. Actually I’m a fan of quiz shows in general! On Thursdays at 9 is Kenmin no Himitsu, or secrets of the various prefectures. This is a recent show, it’s only been going on about 3 months. The premise is that it gathers a group of celebrities, each representing one of the prefectures of Japan, and introduces customs, words, and foods found specifically in a certain prefecture or region. I really enjoy learning about the different places in Japan and the show has a humorous format which makes me laugh a lot. So many shows focus on just going around Tokyo or other well known spots. I’ve always been a fan of shows that focus on the inaka.

One thing that I wish I could have seen was the Okusama ha Gaikokujin show. My last house didn’t the channel it was on, and it ended about a month before I moved into my new house. There doesn’t seem to be any place or watch or download it. As I know some of the people who read are foreign wives, is there anyway/place to find old eps? I’d be curious to see what it was like. Better yet, has anyone you know been on it? Hehe…

Anyways I’ve digressed.. and I doubt your here to listen to me babble about tv shows. So, yes married life is good!! Just about the same as engaged life, not too much has changed. We now have our fancy marriage certificate hanging on our wall. They butchered my name in it sadly. Usually as a foreigner we get a nice (dot) between our first and last name but on this its just a comma.. Plus they added my middle name to my first name. So where as my name is/was バーチ・サラ before, its バーチ、サラルイズ on my marriage certificate. Yuck, not cute at all. Anyways I shouldn’t be complaining.. but still I wonder if even in 40 or 50 years from now I will look at it and cringe like I do now. Even though I would
like my children to have middle names I don’t think we will be putting them on the birth certificate otherwise it will end up something like 小林 佳允ブレンドン on all their documents to come.. Of course on their American passport I want to put something like (Kain/Kyne?) Brendon Kobayashi. Yes, its still too early to think about kids, but if all goes well… maybe in a year from now. Ryohei and I have had names that we’ve liked since around the first month or two since we started dating, yes we talked about stuff like kids even then. But then again my mom knew that if she had a daughter she wanted to name her Sarah years before she even met my dad.

Gah.. digressing again! Sorry!
Anyways things are going really well! On Friday night, I felt a little nervous up inside.. I think that without the whole shabang of a big ceremony, it really just feels like another day, but the responsibility is a lot greater. Up until Friday I could have just left, gone home had
no ties here.. but that’s all changed now. It feels a little embarrassing, but since making it official, I feel this whole new wave of love for Ryohei, it’s so weird. I find myself just gazing at him and just feeling a lot more peaceful. I wonder if it’s just a honeymoon feeling, but I feel really happy in our decision to get married a little earlier than we had originally planned.

Also, having made it official, I feel much much more inclined to start planning for our wedding in the future. Today I started researching venues back in San Diego, I don’t want a huge ceremony but a reception with my family and friends from high school and college suddenly sounds really appealing. I’ll be going over details with my mom when I’m home next week.

Anyways, thats about it for me!! Long and sort of rambly update! This week and next week are going to be so busy.. and then after that its a week and a half of vacation!!
I can’t wait to get new clothes and eat lots of yummy bad for you goodies!!!


4 Responses to "Haro!"

On the middle name thing. I know. I know.

For kids though, what we did was their U.S. passports show their first, middle and last name. Their Japanese birth certificates and passports just show first and last. Their U.S. birth certificates (or in DD#2’s case, proof of birth abroad certificate) shows first, middle and last names.

It has worked fine for us!

who also married in a civil ceremony first (on leap year, Feb. 29th) and then in a big family church wedding later in the same year–November something. It worked well.

Ohh! Thanks for the example.. I can imagine that its a little hard to get everything sorted out. I may have to ask you for advice in a couple years to make sure I don’t end up with some strange Japan-ified English name.

Ohh! You did Leap Year as well? Great minds think a like! And hear I thought I was being original! I guess that means your anniversary was last week!!! Big congrats!


One big bit of advice, even though you don’t like what they did with your name, make sure that on EVERY SINGLE DOCUMENT your name matches up – gaijin card, bank books, insurance (private and state) you name it. We have had endless crap from insurance companies in particular trying not to pay out because my name was hyphenated in one form, dotted in another, and left simply two names in another. I have been forced by the police to have my name on my driving licence put in Firstname Lastname order “because that’s what gaijin do”. Not caring much at the time so long as I got my licence renewed I agreed, only to have to write an apology letter and go and get it changed three years later in another city… (Actually I didn’t write the letter but blew up in the politest manner possible and refused to get the license changed either – they send a young policeman to the big city to do it for me!!!)

Still, daft though my stories are, the not getting insurance money on time caused genuine hardship after the birth of my son. And it could cause the extra long freezing of your husband’s accounts on his death while they prove who you are.

We began to unpick the mess of my name (and the details were pathetic – different order, hyphen or dot between my maiden and Japanese name, katakana BI or VI for my first name, or all katakana or katakana/kanji combo for my family name – in all cases it was obvious it was me, but….) after ten years of marriage, and it was a major pain! Choose a name, keep it absolutely uniform, and stick to your guns!!!

We did the same thing as Laura with Joey’s name. He is only registered with his first and last name in Japan and has first, middle and last names on his UK birth certificate and passports.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: