<featured image: coffee time while waiting for the visa to be processed at a vintage friendly cafe nearby>
How do vampires feel when the silver bullets penetrate their hearts? I think I can understand them today when the beautiful staff over the counter confirmed, with a bitter smile, that I did not have the right visa to embark on my plane for Taiwan. My long planned vacation closed the door before it opened.
Never had I hated being my country’s citizen than that. I didn’t know what overwhelmed me at that moment: the guilt of not doing things right or the gut of making things right. Perhaps, the latter did.
I could still feel the chains of logic flashing through my neuron channels creating a whole picture of algorithm to deal with the situation. Yes, I’m an engineer; so proud! Actually, normally I work things our intuitively (as my type ENFP tells) but under stress I extremely switch on the Sensing and Thinking mode (or so goes the theory). Thus, I clearly visioned every step and procedure. I then step by step implement all of those processes neatly.
I managed to apply for the visa with express service surcharge and successfully canceled with a small amount of refund together with booking a new itinerary for tomorrow. Wow! Everything started to come together and ran on track.
Living in Japan is wonderful. It may sound unrelated to the topic I’m writing about, but that is true. Whatever citizenship/nationalities you hold, even the foreign country officers are nice and helpful. The Taiwanese staffs were all so patient putting me through to Hashimoto-san who undoubtedly saved my life this time by letting my application through and arranging the visa to be issued at 5pm. Before that, I encountered a cute girl at the copy corner and asked her to change me 1000 yen for coins. She just gave me 100 yen with a shy smile. Oh god! I must have blushed all over and mumbled some shit. The obachan at the cafe I stayed at after I successfully submitted the application kindly let me charge my phone for 2 hours plus (of course I drank two cups of coffee).
Beside such flukes, I stumbled upon some embarrassing situations but for today I could gather no strength for embarrassment. I opened the toilet door unaware of a little boy on the other side trying to grab the handle. The mother of course gave me a long preach about reading signs and careful this and careful that. Usually, I will erupt and backlash at her because it was her fault too letting him running around like that. Not this time, though. I repetitively uttered sorry sorry sorry sorry, even after I had done with the toilet and met her and the boy at the register counter. At least, the boy nodded when I got down very low to him and sincerely muttered “Gomennasai”. Additionally, on the way home I was trying to give my seat to a woman with a very big belly who turned out not pregnant at all. That was so awkward that I had to say Gomennasai again and silently focused on my iPhone till my terminal.
On the other hand, I learned quite a lot today. First and foremost, even if I think I know (or think I already research sufficiently), it is always better to ask for CONFIRMATION. The idea of emailing to ask about my eligibility for the entry permit applied online crossed my mind several times but I was so sure of my research I gave my time to other stuffs. Second, when facing with unexpected situation, stay CALM. Easier said than done, yet not impossible. When I figured out I could not get on the plane today, instead of freaking out, I called the office in charge and consulted them for solution. I also asked Nao to bring the gifts and go first. I phoned Serina and Sasahara-san, indirectly to Miwa-san, for help with the employee certificate. However, it turned out the employee registration card worked (only in this case). Third, be SINCERE and people’s fondness will help me through. I gathered all my ability to stay patient and explain simply the situation. The Expedia operator was super nice helping me cancel the previous flight in a way that cost the least. I’m grateful.
I found out a good tip about printing at convenient stores too, especially 7/11. After several minutes of registrations, I can print almost anything by uploading it to a cloud platform and download the spool for printing at any 7/11 store. That app features printing from files, or websites and several other methods. Super convenient.
In the end, despite the loss of a whole lot of money and time and the nearly destroyed vacation, today turned out not-that-bad. It was all my fault I admit; but I don’t regret much. Honestly, I am very grateful.