Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Osaka Perspective

Last Friday while changing money I chatted with the consular cashier. "Where are you going for the long weekend?" he wanted to know. I told him Catherine and I were planning to travel an hour out of Tokyo to Nikkou to visit shrines, sit in an onsen, and look at the autumn leaves. "It's my first time to go north of Tokyo; you must have been there before, though." "Oh no," he paused while opening the safe. "That's so far away for those of us living in Kansai." Surprised, I mulled this over. "Are you going anywhere this weekend?" I asked him. "Sure," he said, now laying out the cash. "I'm going to Korea."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Fine Visa Moment

Today I interviewed two slightly older women. Pretty routine P visa, previous issuances... "What do you play?" I asked the one. Guitar. "And you?" Drums. "So are you guys a group? What are you called?" Shonen Knife. Shonen Knife! I could feel myself getting all flush. "Really? You're Shonen Knife?" What do you say? I called Vanessa over to the window. "Um, Vanessa, I'm interviewing Shonen Knife." Or sort of interviewing. More just fawning. They were gracious enough to be mildly embarrassed.

This so made up for Todd getting to interview the hot dog eating contest winner.