Today was one of those days in which the things you try to get done are roadblocked by some form of ridiculousness. Jose and I have purchased a newer car, as our poor Nissan Cube (named Rubix) will not survive the rigorous Japanese inspection process. Our lovely new(er) car, is a clean, shiny, dentless Volkswagon Golf. It does not smell of dog when it rains, all of the lights work all of the time, and is a pretty blue color. Ahh.
Sadly, the lovely VW has created a slew of errands for me associated with its registration. In Japan, car registration is a carefully choreographed dance with bureaucracy, starring red tape. If there was ever a case for small government, this would be it.
Lets review the steps in the process:
Buy a car
Buy Japanese Compulsory insurance
Buy liability insurance
Get temporary plates
Get a parking certificate – this insures that you actually have a place to park your car. You have to apply at the local police station, pay about $25 and within 3-5 days a police officer comes to your residence and insures that your car will fit within your space.
Go to the Vehicle Registration Office on base to spot check all your paperwork
Blah Blah Blah – are you still reading this? Because I’m even boring myself.
Finally, Register your car – this whole process takes weeks. And tons of papers. And time. And looking like a fool in Japanese official offices. If you thought DMV was bad, imagine trying to guess why the police officer will not accept your parking certificate application. Ahh, me.
But my day was unsuccessful mostly because I temporarily lost the paperwork. I don’t need to explain how horrifying this is, because it’s weeks of work that is missing. Fortunately, my sharp intellect recalled where I had stashed the folder with all the papers. This came after a day of replacing two papers that we had permanently lost while attaining other papers in one of the several offices I had to visit to get this accomplished. You can image my utter rage at imagining them lost, and my blinding relief at finding them safe in my own home. Every time I lose something I feel as if my life needs a makeover. I should be more organized and never lose anything ever. But alas, the chances of that happening are about as great as the chances of me getting this car registered this week.
But while I’m not thrilled about the rigmarole that is the registration process, I am looking forward to driving my comfy, new, clean car. So I will shuffle that paperwork and muddle my way through official buildings so I can drive away in a rocking new getaway car.