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    Being Voted Off The Island

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    I've never watched the show, but I think I understand how the participants of "Survivor" must feel when their torch is extinguished.

    Suddenly I'm harboring some hostility towards Jeff Probst.

    jeffputsoutourfire

    This begs an explanation, I know.

    Our family will soon be leaving Japan for a very short trip. It will happen either this week or next, however, I hesitate to call it a vacation due to the circumstances surrounding it.

    Apparently a workers visa is more important than a non-workers visa. If you work, your visa will go through quickly, if you don't, things move slowly. Very slowly. Frustratingly slow, almost maddening with its' sloth-like movements.

    Have you figured out where I'm going with this?

    Don't worry if you haven't. I'm going to continue.

    Because he is here for his job, Husband's visa went through in a very short amount of time. Ours, on the other hand~mine and the children~still haven't been processed. In fact, as of last week we learned that due to a piece of paper that was turned in a little late, they will more than likely not be approved before our 90 day temporary status is up.

    This means-yes, you've probably guessed it-we've been voted off the Island.

    Literally.

    We paid a little visit to Immigration Services last week with our lawyer, hoping to make some progress if not get some answers. Best case scenario, we'd either leave with 3 shiny, new visa's, or at least a new 90 day extension.

    Neither happened. The only option we were given was to start a new 90 day temporary stay by leaving Japan, then returning.

    Our lawyer told us to enjoy the time out of the country. Take a nice vacation. Explore another country with our children and drink in the experience.

    She was a wonderfully sweet woman, and no doubt a great Immigration Lawyer. And if it were any other time of year, I think we would have welcomed this opportunity with open arms. The inconvenience would have been viewed as minimal, and that would be that. We would be taking an unexpected, but enjoyable last-minute vacation in a neighboring country.

    Unfortunately, the timing couldn't be worse. Eldest starts school this week. It's a time where she's acclimating to her new school, new expectations, getting to know her peers and teachers. It was a point we emphasized to the people at Immigration, a point that our lawyer was vehement about (putting great emphasis on the well-being and adjustment our young children faced).

    This didn't really happen, but I imagined the immigration officer standing aside so Mr. Probst could hold up a card to say, "Mrs. Quon, the tribe has spoken. It's time for you and your children to go." He then promptly extinguished our torches.

    It all sounds very dramatic though there was-and is-very little actual drama involved. All of this emotion is coming from my end due to the inconvenience and frustration from the entire situation. It's not an uncommon or serious issue either, just a very annoying one that could have been avoided.

    We're still holding onto the possibility that our visa's will be approved by next week. It could happen.

    Realistically, though, we just can't take that chance. What is a family to do in such a situation? Well, friends, we're taking those darned lemons and making the most delicious, in-your-face-lemonade.

    We're taking a quick trip out of the country and will live up every moment.

    Our three destination possibilities are:

    Hong Kong

    hongkong

    Seoul

    seoul

    or Guam.

    guam

    Each is pretty different from the other, but as our main objective is to simply leave the country for as few days as possible, they'll do in a pinch.

    There will be tons to see and enjoy, and at the end of this experience we'll have taken our first trip outside of Japan. Did I mention creating new and priceless memroies?

    Lemonade, friends. I am making an ocean-full of lemonade.

    And I will do it smiling, as happy as can be, even while I'm being voted off my Island.

    PS-Jeff Probst,

    jeffprobst

    try not to take it personally, but you're now on my list. Consider yourself warned.
    I do not own any of these pictures

    3 Responses to “
    Being Voted Off The Island

    Mrs. Cozy Home said...

    Oh WOW ... I can feel for you on the NOT IDEAL starting school perspective... though I'm sure in the long run, your daughter will acclimate beautifully regardless.

    BUt if there's nothing more to be done, yours is the perfect attitude to adopt -- I vote GUAM, a wonderfully friendly country!! :)

    Ruth said...

    I vote Hong Kong! Like my vote counts right? :)

    I know it is not how you want to plan a trip away but enjoy the time.

    JMW said...

    Oh, so sorry to hear about your red-tape nightmare! I'll say a prayer for you guys, especially your daughter so that she can adjust easily at her new school. Meanwhile, try to enjoy your mini-vacay as much as possible!