Thursday, September 24, 2009

IPMO and the Alien Card

So, I went to pick up my Alien Registration Card today, as well as cash in one of my International Postal Money Orders that I brought with me. Basically, to pick up your alien card, you go back to the exact place where you filed for it, hand them your passport and say, "Pick up." Simple as that. They give you the card and you're set. The International Postal Money Order was a bit different, and I'm glad I had my host dad with me, though I think I could have figured it out regardless. We went to a rather large post office, so going to a local one may be somewhat different, and may be more difficult to manage, but basically we went in and there's a lady standing by a machine that asks you what counter you need (they have insurance, money matters, and mail). I just held up the money order and after a few seconds, she figured out my intentions, pressed a button on the machine, which churns out a ticket with a number on it, and had us wait. The green counters are the money matters counters, and when our number was up, we went to the counter and I handed over my IPMO. There was a little confusion because I hadn't endorsed it on the back, so I had to put in my current address and then sign my name, then print tiny underneath it. The main confusion came when the guy asked me, in Japanese, if I have one of their signature stamps. In Japan, rather than using signatures, everyone has a particular stamp, or seal if you will, that is small and round and ornate and serves as a signature for professional documents. I, however, do not know the word for these things, and, thinking he wanted validation that I was who I was, I pulled out my alien card, which he took appreciatively, though I don't think he needed it. Then, after another short wait, he called me back up and gave me the money. (Here, you never actually hand people money, not even at the grocery. Everywhere has a plastic tray where you lay the money down, and then they take the tray and count it after that. Slightly different). And that was it. I didn't have any problems whatsoever, and on the way back I saw a great CD store, a major department store, and got a curry bun (a fried bun filled with curry). So, that was that. Talk to you cats later!

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