Once Upon a Tanbo

Why it sort of sucks to be me… UPDATED

Posted on: June 15, 2009

There are lots of fun reasons why tomorrow is going to suck – in particular – suck for me. I can imagine it would be minorly sucky and annoying for other people but with all the things that I have “going” for me it is going to be a world of suck, suck, suck, and crap. And yes – there is going to be inaka bitching in this post so if you want out here is your chance.

So Ryohei and I are in the process of getting all our “utilities” set up. Gas, water, electric etc,etc. Water and electric were easy – fill in a form send it in – watch and wait. Gas we have to call them, Ryohei gets the pleasure of doing that on his lunch break, I don’t care how fluent I am in Japanese talking on the phone to the “keigo freaks” as I like to call anyone in the “business sector” who speak to you in massive keigo despite the fact that you make it clear that you are foreign and that perhaps a little more “rude” language would get the message across. But no – rudeness is saved for when an 8 month woman is standing in front of you on the train and you pretend to fall asleep as to not have to give up your specially procured seat especially in the “handicapped” section. Silly pregnant woman – if she wanted to sit on the train she should have gotten on before you did right? (opps sorry already ranting and I haven’t gotten to the meat of the post yet)

Anyways – the last “important” utility is the internet. Now if you live in Japan you know the fun of waiting the 10 days – 2 weeks waiting for them to hook the damn thing up. In America, you call the company and they have a guy in your house within 2-3 days at the latest. But whatever… thats just how its done here I guess. (sigh sigh) Anyways considering I have no “attachment” to the real world besides the ‘net at this point we were hoping to sign up ASAP and then have it good to by the end of the month.

So tonight we looked at providers, chose one that seemed decent and not too expensive, and tried to sign up. Then we hit a road block… they want proof of address aka one of Ryohei’s items needs to be officially registered to our new address. Funny… I had mentioned that maybe we do that when we were in Nagaoka for the birth class but, no no… there was no need to do it then. (insert some cussing here) Anyways – lucky for us (me) since Ryohei and I are married I can change his address for him… or something. But that means I get to go to both the local city hall here AND the Nagaoka City Hall tomorrow to do it. This is not some walk in the park like it would be in oh… a non-rural area.

Ryohei’s mom has tomorrow off so she will drive me to the local city hall but then she has “plans” so I get to take the 1 hour and about 1000 yen (one way) train to Nagaoka and then take a bus to the local city hall, wait while they do both my gaikokujin torokusho AND Ryohei’s jyuminhyo (different departments of course) and then another bus back to the station and then waiting for train back to inaka then another 1000 yen hour long train ride home.

Now.. add the fact that I am 9 months pregnant and being in a non-prone position for long periods of time puts me in a world of pain and you see my issues here.

If I wasn’t pregnant this would be a nuisance but at least I could just chalk it up to going into the city – walking around and having fun.

If I had a drivers licence I could cut out all the train waiting time and bus waiting time and the 2000+ yen it is going to cost me could be put to something nice like cheese and starbucks as a reward.

But nope – nothing fun like that for me. Then again… 2 weeks without the internet isn’t fun either. So yup… this rant combines pregnancy, inaka, and Japan fun. I am trying to be positive – I am TRYING TRYING TRYING to not go crazy. But I really think tomorrow is going to be physically hard on me and so wishing that there was something, anything I could do to get out of it

Well looks like the rice gods were smiling on Princess Sara today and my FIL has agreed to drive me up to Nagaoka this afternoon instead of all the train and bus catching goodness! Yay!! Sort of happy to catch a break every now and then. I think Ryohei sort of pleaded my case this morning. We already did the local city hall and that went as smoothly as getting paperwork done in a Japanese office can. I got the same lady who messed up my gaijin card when I went to get my address changed… she smeared the ink on my changes and took up about 2/3rds of the card with her “edits”- all the while talking to me like I was an idiot… but sorry thats branching off again. Anyways I’m getting some major crampies today – but don’t think they will be sending me to the clinic to deliver a pre-term baby anytime soon. BG had another dance competition like thing in my tummy this morning and she’s still way high up… so I think we are good to go for at least a few more weeks.

Anyways just wanted to update you all. I lucked out this time – thanks to all of you who commented and esp. to Lily who offered to come down to Nagaoka to help out (HUGS!)

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44 Responses to "Why it sort of sucks to be me… UPDATED"

Yuck. That definitely doesn’t sound like fun. In theory Ryohei’s Mum could do it for you guys. I know D’s Mum used to do that kind of thing for us. Hopefully they will go easy on you and sort it out quickly because you are pregnant though. I had a nightmare with having to renew my gaijin card and my spouse visa when I was about 8.5 months pregnant and they were really helpful because I think I looked like I Was going to burst into tears at various points of the process. (tired and hormonal!) Good luck tomorrow.

As for the internet, it takes FOREVER to get hooked up in the UK as well.

Really? Hmm.. maybe Americans are just spoiled then…

I have used the pregnant and hormonal foreigner card before when “dealing” with people here. Sometimes it works, sometimes I just look like an ass!

I can’t imagine having to renew your spouse visa while pregnant, what a pain. I’m actually still on my JET visa… but I will probably need to change it over in the next couple months. Just curious, but did you change onto D’s insurance from your JET insurance after you were married? Did that go smoothly or not?

Is a very long story but I actually left JET, moved home for 5 months and then went back to Japan on a tourist visa. (I needed to cancel my JET visa so I could get my pension refund back) Transferred the tourist visa to a spouse one after we did nyuuseki. Once the nyuuseki stuff was sorted I went onto D’s insurance automatically without any problems. He was a teacher and therefore a koumuin so you shouldn’t have any problems with getting onto Ryohei’s insurance. The Koumuin seido is good like that.

Ohh thanks for explaining… yah I need to get on Ryohei about the paperwork we need for switching me over!

I have my insurance until August so still got a bit more time but knowing me I will procrastinate until it is too late ;P

That really sucks Sarah. I would be doing the same thing if I were you, because going 2 weeks without the internet … um, no. But it blows that there isn’t some sort of alterative solution that doesn’t involve you hauling your 9 months pregnant self all over creation. Did you see about possibly setting up the appointment for now, and providing the official documentation at some point before the connection actually happens? I guess that probably wouldn’t work in Japan, it seems like they’re quite big on paperwork and things having to be just so, huh? Can you at least get yourself a Starbucks while you’re in Nagaoka to make up for it?

Hahaha… yah… I am sort of an internet junkie. Especially now! I need my shows, my blogs, and my email at my fingertips. I think I can last a couple days but two weeks and I think I would go crazy!

From what Ryohei told me, he signed up last night – but we need to send them a copy of an official item with the new address which we will hopefully get today, so if it is like he explained we should have internet by the end of the month/first week of July.

Good luck.And hope you get your internet connection with no problem after all this travelling around.

thanks!!! seems like things will turn out ok – I’ve got my fingers crossed

Gosh I wish I could offer comfort in the internet situation but DH always took care of that, with as many times as we’ve moved, maybe the company had it taking care of? I’ll have to ask him, but when we moved to the condo I know we wanted to make a change to Hikari TV since they have over 5000 movies in their database you can watch on demand (most are free, the newbies are 420yen)

I hope it will all be connected before you move though, will you have BS1 or Sky, Hikari?

The cost in train fare is almost as expensive as taking the highway from Nagoya to Osaka. For my paper work, DH usually took care of all of those so I am pretty much oblivious, he even picked up my license and Resident card because I don’t what to do– so I think you are pretty affluent if you ask me, and that will come in handy, although not a painful process I HATE visiting GOV offices.

Let’s see maybe a friend from home can jet you over some magazines and books, transport Taco Bell?

You’ll get your license soon enough although it is expensive, maybe if a trip back home is in the near future you could get it there? I am hoping you will be driven to your destination and not have to take a train, etc because that is just bravery–

So… one day at band camp..lol

Ryohei is a computer junkie and really really really wanted to get Hikari Fiber but since our new place isn’t set up with the “mansion type” it would have been nearly double the price to get it. So we are going with plain ADSL from a company I don’t really know of but its afilliated with NTT.

I think there should be Taco Bell in Japan. I have been craving it forever – I don’t think I’ve had it in over 3 years as both times I’ve gone home we haven’t ended up going. Rubios yes. I hope I will get my licence too… but as most of the money we have now is going to furnature etc it probably won’t be for another year since Ryohei is scheduled to get bonuses in Dec. and June… so probably after the next year’s June one we will have a bit of extra cash for that.

Shoot, I read this post too late, I would have been willing to meet you in Nagaoka and go with you but now I have plans to meet up with someone here in NC for tea and lunch. Do you know what time you will be in Nagaoka? OKAY, if you need to rush into Nagaoka in the next couple of weeks on your own call me ASAP and I can see during a weekday (I am working the next few weekends) if I can meet you up there and help out. Darned for lost opportunity.

Thankfully as you can see FIL is helping me out but I would love to meet up for lunch sometime after the 28th which is when we will be moving in to the new apartment. I’m free, oh… every day… lol At least until the baby comes πŸ˜€

thanks so much for offering though – it means a lot!!!

P.S. I have the song in my head “It sucks to be you”, no pun intended = )

You mean you can do yours and Ryohei’s changes at the same place? That’s not the inaka…. this is the inaka! (Crocodile Dundee??) Moving is such a hassslllle and it’s so much worse when you’re pregnant. And fingers crossed for you but I have a horrible feeling you’ll be sent on a hanko gathering treasure hunt from department to department as you listen to a lecture on rubbish disposal, pick up your new coupons, change the info on your boshi techo, pick up the speaker box for the PA system etc etc. Not trying to depress you just thought you should have the heads up!

Gosh I hope your premonition is wrong… maybe I won’t change my gaijin card today as I’m sure THAT will be the PITA part of it all. Oh look – pregnant foreigner – let wild goose chase commence.

Hahaha we already got the rubbish disposal lecture from the fudosan place. Nagaoka is strict!! Way stricter than Kobe – we are going to have like 6 or 7 types of garbage. Thankfully no PAs I think… so from what you are saying… every house has a PA in your area?! Heaven forbid that you don’t hear what they are saying and you are hit by “typhoons” or “frost in the middle of the summer”

That does suck! I hope everything goes smoothly and that you get a seat on the train at all times. Otherwise stick your tummy in their face and rub it, worked for me a couple of times. Hugs!

Will give it a try!!! Thanks for the well wishes – think they helped πŸ˜€

Sometimes don`t you just want to slap your DH because he should have realized this beforehand and saved you the hassle? Mine tends to think I am all-knowing and therefore should have known beforehand about everything even though this isn`t the way of life I grew up in.

I feel the same way about talking on the phone, absolutely hate it with a passion. I just want to scream “Use normal Japanese!”

Yes, the train commutes are horrible when your preganant (and it must be worse for you since your farther along than I am). Its like “Sheesh, I am standing in this area for a reason (looking at pregnant belly) so that I can get a seat that is suppose to be designated for people like me”.

I hope things go well and you can treat yourself to some starbucks and cheese in the city.

Yah.. sometimes I wish Ryohei had a little more foresight… hmm… I think its a man thing – plenty of foresight when it comes to the things he LIKES to do…

I guess one of the nice things about moving here is that train commutes are few and far between – but I remember being pretty disgusted when I was visiting Tokyo a couple weeks back and people were blatantly ignoring me (and Lulu who had her pregnancy badge strapped on) Oh well.. its not just pregnant people – poor baa-chans and jii-chans were also standing around waiting while the strapping middle aged salaryment and highschool girls took up all the seats… (sigh)

Doesn’t the long internet wait suck!? I went for about a month without it and almost went bonkers! I think Aussie is pretty fast too.
So even though it’s going to be a big pain doing all the running around, I think it will definitely be worth it.
If people don’t stand up for you on the train just kick them, that’s what I did…hehe, but seriously I always asked people on the disabled seat to stand up, make sure you do too. Standing up for an hour is a big no no.
I’d say if the city office jobs go smoothly then great, if you run into problems definitely pull the foreign, pregnant emotional wreck, it can’t hurt to try!
Good luck, I’m sure it won’t be as bad as you think!

Haha.. I can’t imagine going a month without the net.. I am too much of an addict to live without it. We are back now and things went pretty well! I didn’t have time to get my personal stuff done so that means another trip when we actually move but that only involves a walk to the bus stop so hopefully not too much of a hassle!

Not much of a regular with comments here, but I hope if you are faced with another long train ride of any kind you will speak up for yourself and nudge/kick the idiots who are in the special seats and order them to get up. It really is the only way. You don’t have to be rude, just point out very loudly to them that they are in the special seat and you are in fact pregnant and want to sit down. They will almost always be so embarrassed that they will not only get up but they will scurry away in shame.

During the first half of my first pregnancy I suffered through standing in front of those seats waiting for someone to be polite. You know where that got me. So for the second half and the entire second pregnancy I got more aggressive and it felt so much better than stewing in my own juices. Please try it.

I actually DID speak up once when I was still in Kobe – during the time when Ryohei had already left for Niigata. There was a salaryman sitting in the handicapped seats he had gotten on at the same time of me and pretty much pushed me out of the way… so I SUMIMASEN’d him and he got up… but instead of running away stood infront of me the whole time… (so I pretended *I* was asleep – its works both ways haha.

Since coming here I’ve only been on the train once and it was so empty it didn’t matter where I sat. I just feel the pain of Lulu, Melanie, Khea and other girls who live in the city area and ride the trains with the morons everyday.

I am so late in replying, but I am really glad that your FIL has offered to drive you into Nagaoka!! I’m sure that will make the whole day a little bit easier for you πŸ™‚

Yup! It really helped out – tiring though.. its a long drive just to do 20 minutes of paperwork and head back πŸ˜€

It’s good that your FIl offered to take you, though why they didn’t offer in the first place is beyond me, knowing how pregnant you are.

You know my friend had the same problem here, that whenever she was pregnant and got on the train, no one gave up their seat for her despite them being students and her being justified to sit in the priority seat, so in the end she started standing in front of them with her very pregnant tummy in their face, with almost no room. It worked and they soon got the picture.

I know it’s kind of embarrassing but knowing how Japanese people hate foreigners sitting next to them, having one’s stomach nearly on top of them might get them to get up and move.

Just a thought. πŸ™‚

Well… I don’t think that they knew? I mean my PIL both work… so I really didn’t expect them to take a day off to help out but I guess FIL worked it into his schedule.

Like I said to Sherry – no trains for me to ride here… I guess one of the perks of living in the country side? Feet or wheels (bike/car) seem to be the way of getting around.

Yay for your FIL!

And, I’m with Sherry…embarrass those seat-stealing weasals!

Haha yah πŸ™‚
I’m glad FIL took me – it really really was a life saver.

yay I’m so glad your FIL will drive you!
Isn’t it annoying when you miss a little of their keigo they go straight to baby talk?
Hope the internet company comes faster than you think. In our part of the countryside we can only get yahooBB! Wish we could get hikari…..
As a fellow locked in the countryside-jin you’ll find rakuten, yahoo auction and nissen to be lifesavers! πŸ™‚
Wishing you all the best from Kagoshima

Oh.. see for me.. they just carry on with the keigo. Or just start out with the baby talk… no middle ground here. (lol)

Ryohei really HATES yahooBB for some reason?! So he was dead set agaisnt it… I wish we could get Hikari too… but for $$ reasons not this time.

And yes I plan to do lots of online shopping altho most of it will be food I am betting.

About Ryohei hating YBB it was probably the news waaay back when they sold their customers addresses to spammers. And when they were caught? We got Y500 in ‘compensation’. I had to give up using Outlook express because of them. I would get hundreds of virus filled e-mails daily and still do if I check it to see if someone still thinks we use that address.
As I said, would love to change companies but only YBB reaches this area…. maybe one day….
Hope today is a good day for you Sara πŸ™‚

I’m glad that your FIL did the decent thing and offered to take you. There’s probably a bit of resentment that you are leaving so they don’t want to make it too easy for you…

How did it all go in the end? Did you get it all done?

Hey… like I said to Kelly… I don’t think they were agaisnt taking me? I just didn’t think they would take time out of their schedules ? And apparently my MIL doesn’t like to drive long distances? I don’t know… I don’t understand all the thinking.

Actually had a nice chat with FIL and he says he understands why we are moving out and actually has offered to help us trasport some stuff with his company van next next weekend. I’m sure MIL is disappointed that we won’t be bringing the baby back here… but I honestly think there should be a law agaisnt two adult women living in the same place in a family situation.

Anyways things went well! I got all of Ryohei’s stuff done and I can do my own AFTER we move up πŸ™‚

Sorry about the repeating comment! I just got off work, read your post and dashed off a comment without reading the rest of the comments first (cos I always read blogs before eating – got my priorities right here!!)

I’m glad that you and FIL get along well, it’s the same in my family. FIL is much more amenable and easy to get along with. I think it’s the two women thing, with my MIL too.

Haha.. no worries.. if I am in a hurry I just say my piece and leave as well!

Yah – I like FIL. I guess cause I don’t really feel any pressure from him and he seems a bit more interested in my country than MIL and does… MIL isn’t horrible by any means… just very different from me and not so accepting of the cultural/personality differences that pop up almost everyday.

Glad your FIL is taking you. Hope you get it all sorted out without any problems.x

Yup! today was pretty much a success!!
Alls well that ends well?

Hi Sara

Glad to hear someone was willing to help out in the end! It must’ve been a big relief. Re internet, in Oz i had to wait over 6 weeks and i.went.mad. Stupid Optus stuffed up and cancelled the installation twice *grrr* one thing that makes me crazy is no internet or any type of computer problems. Since Japan is so technologically advanced you should have yours in no time ::) Masa loves to point out how far behind we are in Oz..

Haha.. having never lived in OZ I’ll have to take his word for it but wow… 6 weeks seems like so long?! From what Ryohei told me we should have it a few days before or after we “officially” move in at the end of the month!! hopefully before as even 2-3 days and I’m going through withdrawl!!

Ok, I have to comment again on all the comments about the people in Japan that won’t give up their seats for pregnant women or the elderly. Shame shame shame!!! Here in China they’re VERY good about this, especially here in Beijing. There are actually attendents on public busses that will kick people out of seats if a pregnant woman, someone with very small children, or the elderly gets on. On the subway I don’t think I’ve ever ridden once where someone hasn’t offered their seat when I get on with my son. I’ve actually had elderly people try to give up their seats to me, which I never accept. I think part of it is that the society here loves children and has a huge thing about respecting the elderly. You also see commercials on TV about giving up seats for people and kids are taught in elementary school to do it. So I fully agree, you should kick those salarymen and high school kids right out the seats and shame them to boot. Mutter something about “manners” under your breath just loud enough for them to hear.

The funny thing is, I was on a USA-centric parenting board recently and this subject came up and all of these people were like “pregnant woman are not “entitled” to those seats and I hate when people act entitled, blah blah blah. I’ll give up a seat if I WANT to!” Heh, sometimes I’m glad I live in Asia.

Anyhow, that’s my little “Japan and China, so alike yet so different” thought for today. πŸ˜›

wow – sign me up for a ticket to Beijing next pregnancy!!!!
ohh… I want to go visit China anyways… how long are you gonna be there again πŸ˜‰ theres an even better excuse if theres actually someone to go see!

I\’ll be in Beijing at least until next June, since I\’ve signed a contract to that effect. The idea is to be gone by this time next year, but we\’ve said this is the second year in a row we\’ve said that so who knows! You should definitely come visit Beijing, since you\’re a city person, you\’d love it, this city has something for everyone (except maybe environmentalists, heh). The history is the best part. It is this huge city with over 1000 δΈ‡δΊΊ and smack in the middle of downtown you\’ve got these centuries old buildings. It is pretty cool in that respect.

Ooohhh, a blogger meet up in Beijing! Sign me up too!

The hub and I are hoping to get there next Spring, probably our last big trip before heading back to the U.S. 😦

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