Bumble in the Jungle

I believe, at long, LONG, last, the Japanese bureaucracy can finally be told “adios”. Today, I made a return to the government building in Bunkyo. I haven’t been to the good old giant pez dispenser since I first arrived here, when I had a man continously say, “Please, I ask you” over and over at every individual action he suggested.

I’m somewhat disappointed to say that this trip was rather uneventful, for once.

We went in the late afternoon to pay off our health insurance bill. The waiting area was practically deserted, but somehow the employees that actually spoke English were all busy. Typical. I got a very friendly woman who spoke only Japanese, except for the word “finished”. She had me fill out a form for her, and every completed section got the audible response of “FINISHED!”, like I just completed a lap on a race. She would then explain the instructions for the next section entirely in Japanese. I would look back at her blankly, she would point at the paper like I was four years old, and nod. The sheet, thankfully, was in English, which made the necessary paperwork much easier to complete.

At the very end, she clapped, and said, “FINISHED!” alerting me that our entertaining fifteen minute reenactment of “Lost in Translation” was completed. We had to go upstairs to pay the bill, I was told, so we made our way up 9 floors in a glass elevator (nervous? Me? Nah) and entered the area to pay. It took only a few minutes, and we were out the door.

I’m almost a bit disappointed in you, Japan. I figured that process would’ve been at least four hours instead of one. You’re starting to slip, bureaucracy.

Phrase of the Day: Seifu (Say-foo) means “government”.

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