Finally, the last thing standing between me and an 11-day trip to Japan is my University post office's ability to obtain and hold onto my incoming passport. It has been a nerve-wracking series of events that has taken place over the past three and a half months.
It all began in late January, when I decided that I actually was going on my Yosakoi group's trip to Japan, and that getting cleared for international travel was going to be a necessity. Apparently if you are going to do that, you need one of these:
I applied for mine of February 22, apparently the beginning of the busiest season for obtaining passports. The new laws about needing passports when traveling to Mexico and Canada by air are making this pretty much the hardest time ever to get such authorization. However, "You won't need expedited service," the man at the passport office told me. The trip being months away, and wanting to save an extra $60, I took his advice.
It is now two weeks until I leave for Sapporo, and only this morning did I find out that my application was completed and mailed. However, since I moved out of the dorm address where I was anticipating receiving the passport, I will have to have my university's post office hold the passport for me so I can come pick it up, because they do not forward passports, according to the National Passport Information Center. It's a relief knowing the application is actually processed, but until I hold the little booklet in my hand, I'm not going to be completely at ease.
So, other than waiting for my passport to arrive, what have I been doing with my one week of summer so far? (That is, besides not updating my blog.) I have been...
- Reading. It seems college has ruined my ability to read, or at least complete, a book for pleasure. So I am working to regain that ability. Right now I'm working on The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. So far, so good.
- Cooking. I made sushi and okonomiyaki (cabbage pancakes) for my family the other night, as well as some very tasty green tea tapioca-filled cupcakes. Yum.
- Working at a local college library, and searching for a second part-time job.
- Practicing my Yosakoi skills and running in preparation for the Yosakoi Souran festival in Sapporo.
I'm excited for the trip, but at the same time it's nice to be home for awhile.