In Pursuit of Rewards

After a while, I feel like I can’t stop. Over the last few months, it seems like I’ve been running on adrenaline of deadlines and meetings and preparations and correspondence. 

Today’s biggest culprit is not so much the adrenaline but the cup of coffee I had at 5pm. 

I knew better but enjoyed it anyway.

So about 5 or so weeks ago I got a weird shaped thing that you occasionally get in the mail here. It’s small and blue and peels open and reminds me of old-school pay-day checks, but trendier. Typically it signifies important information. 

Score! An offer I heard about a year ago when signing up for our internet contract and wasn’t sure that I was going to qualify for was going through. Great! Claim your cash back reward!

Well. Holy Cow Batman.

Multiple emails in Japanese, setting up a new cash card account (in order to claim the reward), paperwork being mailed back and forth, checks with the embassy to make sure I’m filing taxes in the US (oh yes I am!!), help from a friend on 3 separate occasions… And today my doorbell rang and Bing! A card was delivered to my door. Thank you very much. 

Said friend came to help me set it up (I feel strangely comforted when they get confused about instructions in their own language), I called the original company back to tell them I followed their instructions and now wanted to see about the transfer. 

Well since it’s now the 3rd party, they’re not sure where things stand and wait three days or investigate it to see if the transfer has gone through. It depends if I did it correctly, blah blah blah. 

Did that make sense? Because that’s about how clear I am in my next step to claim this reward that might have already expired by now. 

Oh well. 

I’m sure I will have another story after this weekend when another friend and I attempt to set up some travel health insurance. We already spent over an hour and several phone calls to the company the other day. 

There are two morals to this story: 

1) Life in another country requires an extraordinary amount of time to get things accomplished. Imagine waiting in line at the DMV and finding out at the counter you’re missing a piece of paperwork. Well, now apply that time frame to virtually all you need to accomplish. I’m not complaining, I’m just telling you the facts. 

But the bright shiny moment is:

2) I am so, so, so very grateful to my Japanese friends who are so very generous and gracious to help me figure things out. They are absolutely wonderful. And I’m glad there is more than one friend, since these things (and there are many) take so much time.  I often feel like a child, but I’m so grateful. 


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