For the last three weeks, I’ve had an important announcement to make. I would have made it already, had there not been so many other fun things for me to talk about. Now the information is a little stale, but as I always say: If something is stale, then at least it was valuable enough to buy in the first place… (I’ve never said that.)
So, here we go! My announcement is, I’m Moving to Japan in August! And it’s entirely voluntary. You may be thinking, “Wow, he’s leaving every person he loves and every comfort he has to live on the other side of the world in a country who’s language and customs he barely understands?”
And my response is, “Yes, I am. Thank you for reminding me.” As if I don’t already know that this could be one of the biggest mistakes the universe has ever known! It’s practically on par with Adam and Eve eating that damned fruit and forever cursing us all. And yes, I am Eve in this scenario. (We all know it was her fault, plus I can see her being a real diva).
With that aside, let’s move on to today’s story. In honor of the amazing fantasy story I helped my goddaughter write yesterday (humble brag), I am going to tell you a fairytale. A tale about a charming young man.
Long Ago, there lived a charming young man. He was also really attractive, smart and had a great sense of humor, but that’s unimportant. The charming young man was well-known for non-other than, you guessed it, his charm. He was able to smooth-talk his way out of fights with the most fearsome of ogres. Just one smile would cause even the most wicked of witches to change their evil ways!
Until he went to Washington D.C. and met Yukionna, the woman in charge of visas at the Japanese embassy. The end.
I am still really bitter about the encounter, and it was three days ago. So let me tell you my completely unbiased opinion of what happened. And, I know; I technically can’t offer an unbiased opinion, but I never ever lie, so just trust me that the following is 100% accurate.
The drive from Virginia beach to D.C. is only 4-5 hours maximum, but for some reason I thought it would be less stressful and costly to take the bus. $90 and six hours later… I arrived. I then decided that I would impress all of D.C with my public transportation skills, so I chose to take the Metro to the embassy instead of an Uber. Another $15 later, I reached my stop and checked Google Maps. I still had another 20 minutes to walk.
And now for my Public Service Announcement: I understand the rumor that D.C. was apparently built on top of a giant swamp, but that doesn’t excuse the ridiculous 105 degree weather I was forced to suffer through.
Being the masochist that I am, I decided to ignore every bus that passed me by. I trudged along the streets of one of the wealthiest D.C. neighborhoods, looking like I had just spent the last week drifting up the Atlantic on a raft. Which, would still have been faster than taking the bus.
That’s when I finally stumbled inside the embassy and met Yukionna at the counter. I knew things were off to a bad start when I smiled at her and a drop of sweat fell from my forehead onto my lip. She didn’t smile back, and then said, “Drop off for visa only 9:30-12:30.” It was 2 pm.
I looked at her. Batting my lashes, I replied. “I live five hours away, PLEASE I’M BEGGING YOU.” ….Ok, maybe I was a tad less desperate.
She repeated herself. With the eye batting not working and my frustration at my lack of power growing, all I had left was my instinct to nervously smile at her as widely as possible. I’m pretty sure this disgusted her into submission because she suddenly allowed me to hand her the paperwork.
As she gave me instructions on things to fill out and sign, she began to speak Japanese to other women behind the glass. They began to look at me and laugh. Rude right? I’m pretty sure they took my profuse sweating as a sign of fear, and I wanted to shout, “I’M JUST HOT!”.
When she checked on my progress, she noticed my struggle as I attempted to place my stamp in the correct area on the express mail envelope ($20). As she took the stamp and envelope from me, she offered me some great advice in return, “This is YOUR Country.”
I thought Japanese people were supposed to be polite. Yukionna was more aggressive than I am when there’s only one french fry left at the bottom of a Five Guys take out bag. I just laughed at her non-joke. I then thought it would be a good time to break the ice by saying something cute in Japanese to her. There’s a Japanese expression people say when they meet each other that roughly means, “please look favorably upon me”. Well, I said it to Yukionna, and she didn’t even look at me. I told myself she must have just not heard it.
Everything was finally finished, and I thanked her about four times. It was then that she finally took interest in me. She asked when I had to leave Washington. I told her I had another bus ride that night. That’s when she said , “Oh wow.” I took that as the greatest sign of sympathy she has probably ever extended to another person, thanked her twenty more times, and left that office, hoping never to return.
The important thing is that there is a moral to this story. And that is, don’t be mean to me, or I’ll turn you into a blog post for the world to read.
(or at least 80 people to read).