Thursday Nov 29, 2007

Visas and Foreigners

I finally got my Indian Visa. Just today. Just in time. Denied twice. Took 3 weeks. Visits to two embassies and a travel agency and a bunch of confusing phone calls across a couple of languages. Big pain in the ass. But at least I get to go to India for a one-time visit for FOSS.IN. Hope the weather is nice.

So, with all that cleared up, I now get to go to Narita Airport on Sunday, where Japanese authorities will promptly mug shot me and fingerprint me as I leave the country (here, here). Then they'll do it again as I return home. And then when I go on another trip I'll get mugged and fingered again. And so on. Not because I did anything wrong, mind you, but because I'm not Japanese. I'm known as a "resident alien" here. They call me a "foreigner" and they actually use that word. A lot. I live here and have already passed all the Japanese immigration processes. This is my home. I even pay a boat load of taxes to the Japanese government (and the American government). And I have a fancy immigration card and multi-year work Visa and all, but I'm still a "foreigner" so that means, of course, I'm a potential you-know-what. The big T. You know, I'm already reminded I am a "foreigner" on an almost daily basis in Japan. This just makes the obnoxious all the more obscene.
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