After I got my visa last week we tried to get everything else done as well, so we stopped by the town hall to register as new citizen. On the Zairyu Card there is no address specified, but on the back is space for it and you have to declare your place of residence. Luckily it wasn’t crowded, so we were asked to an open counter immediately. Filling out the application was no problem, and you can even do it in English, so there’s no need to fret subpar Kanji writing abilities 😉
The only hurdle came when I wrote that we are husband and wife and my husband put down his information as well. The woman asked us for our marriage certificate, which we had absolutely forgotten about. The following conversation goes something like this:
Husband: My insurance covers my wife as family insurance, maybe we can verify the status with our cards?
Case Worker: Let me check that for you. (Takes our cards to the back to speak with a colleague, then comes back) I’m sorry, but it only says “family” so we can not verify that she’s your wife. For all we know she might be your daughter or little sister.
My husband and I share a bewildered look.
Husband: But she is older than me. (I am, by nine months)
Case Worker: There are also older sisters. Everyone can say that someone is his wife…
At this point I don’t know whether I should laugh or be utterly annoyed. I mean, she is sitting right in front of us!
Well, as there was no use in arguing I know have my husband declared as “living with” me, though the case worker assured us it would be no problem to change the status as soon as we bring by our marriage certificate. Translated of course.
When asked what kind of translation is needed, if it needs to be an official translation, she said not to bother, just make a copy and translate it yourself… So they are worried that anyone can claim to be married to someone and that’s bad (though I don’t know what advantages you might have if you are married in the eyes of the town hall of a small town) but it’s totally fine to take a document that probably no one there can read (in german) and scribble all over it as confirmation.
Of course we will do that, and really it doesn’t matter if they think us married or not, it was just such a strange conversation. Especially after we realized, once back at home, that for family insurance you can include your daughter and your wife, that’s it. You cannot include brothers or sisters. And if the insurance believed that we were married that should be enough, shouldn’t it?
However, we got it done so another thing we can check on the list and yesterday I went to the JAF (Japan Automobile Federation) and got my drivers license translated. The translation is a necessary document for the change into a japanese drivers license, but it also has another perk. Because I have a german drivers license I am allowed to drive around Japan for a year just with my license and the translation.
I’ve never driven in left-hand traffic, but I think we will test it out this weekend (^_^) I love driving, so I’m pretty excited to get back onto the Road.