Thursday, July 26, 2007

Off to Borneo from Tomorrow

I've been on vacation this week, except one day where I had a little bit to do for work. But I've been busy nonetheless, trying to get things sorted out for my absence, like making sure my roommate can handle watering the plants. I'm also trying to get in touch with my landlord, there was a problem with the bank getting the direct-withdrawal of the rent going. The problem is, it's due on the 27th, which is today.

See, in Japan when you sign for something, you use a hanko, your official chop. It's a unique stamp with your family name on it and is very difficult to copy. I suppose it's better than a signature, because you can forge a signature. But if someone gets hold of your hanko, they can sign for anything, and legally it's as though you've signed it. Being a foreigner, though, I don't have an official hanko, although I can and at some point will get mine registered so I can use it with the bank. So I have to sign for official documents, but I'm also supposed to put down a super-double-secret number that I selected more than three years ago when I first came to Japan and set up my bank account. Unfortunately, I never can remember it, and the bank is loathe to give it out. I spent two and a half hours in the bank Monday trying to get my 4-digit number.

So the guarantor company sent me a form to fill out again, because the first one didn't have my super-secret code, but I had to go to the bank to get it filled out properly, which I wasn't able to to until this week. And I'm going to be gone from tomorrow until next month, when I'll arrive back the same day that my rent's due again. So I'll have no idea if they'll get the money or not until after I've gone. Bleh. I had similar problems with my last apartment that never got resolved, thanks to their unwillingness to try and either get the forms filled out properly, or
set up a new way of payment. So I just had to wait until after rent was due, the company called, complained that I wasn't paying, I tried to explain why, they refused to change anything because "it's in the contract" even though it's obviously not working. So now I'm in the same boat again.

So my landlord isn't answering the phone, which is a bit suspicious. I've got some complaints about the apartment, but I also need to know how to arrange for rent to be paid if the bank thingy doesn't work. Well, if he's not gonna fix things, I guess I don't need to pay rent.

As for packing, I've done precious little of it. The heat during the day has me so lethargic I can hardly move, let alone think about what I need to pack. I'll get something things put in, then maybe go spend the hottest part of the day wandering around a department store or sitting in a cafe reading with an iced tea. Mmm, iced tea.

So posts may be lighter, depending on internet access and how much I'm doing, and there will be no post for the next week, probably, until I see Sayaka off. Honestly, I'd like to have not much to do, just find a place on the beach and stay there. But knowing me, I'll get restless and want to run off and do things. I'm debating now the merits of trying to climb Mt. Kinabalu, the highest mountain on Borneo. It's awfully tempting, but I'm not much inclined to bring cold weather gear to a tropical country for three out of 30 days.


Anonymous said...

Good luck and have fun!!

Anonymous said...

You better write while you're there! How will we know you're doing alright. Don't do what you did last year, where you said, "Oops. Lost my passport." and then didn't write again for a month! Agony. Not fair. Oh, and have your GF pay your rent if there's problems. That's what they're for! ;) -A