I came this close to being deported the other week. Honestly, the Japanese immigration department is a bit lazy to not send out reminder letters. All things considered, we were probably fairly lucky I remembered at all. I’ve got my passport hidden away in a drawer and I rarely look at my foreigner’s ID card. I was having a conversation with Kazuko while walking down the street and for some reason pulled my ID card out of my pocket to look at – probably to demonstrate to Kazuko how handsome I look in passport photos – when I noticed the expiry date was in the past. At first I thought this was just for re-registering at the local town office but when I looked into the matter further when I got home, it was, in fact, my visa that needed renewing.

So whereas without this coincidence, I could easily have been several months out, when Kaz and I fronted up to the immigration office the next Thursday, I was only three weeks overdue. The chap at the information desk had quite a fun time teasing me about the chances of my getting deported while we waited for our number to come up and one of the immigration officers to see us. We had to fill in a form to explain why we were late. I wonder if anyone ever actually fills that out honestly. Could there possibly be any reason other than ‘I forgot’? We opted to write that we got confused because there are two dates on my ID card – good, quick thinking from Kazuko for that one.

We had to wait half-an-hour for my application to be reviewed and a decision made. Although I never seriously thought I might be deported, you can never tell with these immigration officials, and it was interesting to ponder the abrupt changes that would take place if I got booted out of the country. Always looking for positives, I realised there would be a lot of essays that I would no longer have to grade. As expected, I was re-issued with my visa but we still managed a sigh of relief, even if it did leave me with a lot of marking.

Then not long after that, the hard-drive on my laptop packed it in. To be honest, it made me realise I’ve been spending too much time on the computer and I spent quite a pleasant week without my laptop. However, all good things must come to an end, and Apple even replaced the hard drive for free. I was a bit worried that I’d lost all my photos from my ride around Shikoku but luckily I discovered I last did a back-up in April so I’ve only lost my most recent things, including my world cup of beer spreadsheet. Luckily, I think I can restore all the results by taking the information from my previous blog post and going through my Twitter reports of the match-ups. I think I may have drunk my way into the quarter-finals by now, especially as Chong has held a little Perth-based match which has felicitously resulted in Asahi Super Dry having a win.

And in other news, I’ve just got 200-odd essays to grade and I’m into my summer holidays. all things going well, this will result in a dramatic increase in cycling, beer-drinking and blog-posting.

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