From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it

Today is the very first day I am officially not allowed to work in Japan. Naturally, some guy offers to give me cold, hard cash in exchange for helping him rent apartments to foreign people. Seriously. Even if I had been in a position to take up his offer, it wouldn't have been long before he realised that the extent of my expertise in that area is "advertise in Metropolis and never, ever charge 'key money'". But still.

I suppose that this will happen every day from now on, and the offers will get better and better. "Basically you just have to read books and talk about them later." "I'm looking for an Australian to taste-test this ice-cream I plan to export." "Being a Federal Breast Inspector isn't easy, but I think you have what it takes."

(For the record, Immigration folks who for some bizarre reason find this page: I said no.)

Popularity factor: 11


I may have missed this, but why exactly can't you work while the visa is being processed? And does this explain why you didn't start reapplication three months ago while you were still working?

It comes across like some bad episode of Survivor. "If you can't survive here three months without working, you must go!"


It might've been because we were really tired, but during our radio show, some kid from Australia called, and we couldn't understand a thing he said. There was a language barrier where there theoretically shouldn't have been.

And good luck with the reality show living in Japan thing.


You lucky *devil* you! (Assuming you've been squirrely and hidden enough aside to tide you over, that is. Else you will wind up in the air with nowhere to rest your feet!)

No use trying to make sense of the weirded ways of Immigration (the name is a killing word!), either from internal logic or our foreign perspective. "Rules change in the Reaches"...and often from one inspector to the next. Selah.

Finally, re Eric's comment: When I was at Tsukuba there was a guy from some little outback town whose accent was so impenetrable that even the other Australians spoke with him in Japanese.

Hang in there, Matt, only 80-some days to go!

And remember, it's better to rue in Hell than surf in Heaven.


Ibadairon's right, surfing's for suckers. You'd be better off just lying around on the clouds getting pleasured by angels and the like. That's what I'd do.


Hmm. Silly me. I'd always assumed that "neither giving nor taking in marriage" meant that angels were asexual beings. Kitto's comment has opened a new vista for me: maybe they can give...ahem, pleasure?

(Then again, maybe they're not very good at it? This could be what Rilke was alluding to by "every Angel is terrible." Anyway, be careful of who may be listening when you, er, scream.)


Maybe angels can do that kind of thing, but remember, theologically angels are male.


Maybe angels can do that kind of thing, but remember, theologically angels are male.

Yes, and no doubt that churns some people's birdbaths to no end. (Any Biblical support for that, by the by? Talmud, Qabbala, St. Augustine?)

Theologicophysiologically, perhaps, but what of psychologically? (Could you have a female angel trapped in a male angel body...er, corporeal manifestation? Yikes, quite a quandary for the Father, what! Must keep the Old Guy up late, worrying through those thousand-year nights!)

Feh to this continuing primacy of the peeny. One wonders what sort of god a tri-gendered alien species would worship during their childhood....


The visa rules are weird, but I think a basic one is "no visa, no work". I would have liked to reapply three months ago, but you can't apply for a new visa (or an extension of your current visa) without a specific employer lined up, and this job didn't become a sure thing until JUST before I ran out of time. Still, I think a "change of status" is usually easier than a "whole new visa obtained after the old one expired", so I'm glad it worked out this way.

And yeah, I have enough to live on for a few months.. but I was hoping to use that to rent an apartment. Let's just hope my Immigration Person notices the dates on my application and visa (and contract) and takes pity on me. I WANT TO BELIEVE


"Any Biblical support for that, by the by?"

Genesis 19:10,12; Revelations 7:2 8:3 10:7Elsewhere it refers to them as sexless but with male characteristics.

Perhaps similar to Madeline Albright. How's that for a fantasy image?


Good luck! Hope things work out! Meanwhile, enjoy your time off :)


Thanks for the refs; can't get more alpha and omega than Genesis and Revelations, what? (Hmm, quite a pair, the Moses Author and St. John the Beloved Whack Job...never mind!)

OK, Lot and the angels in the former, and in the latter all the angels trumping and censering this and that. (Very eco-conscious, no? "Hurt not the sea, nor the trees.")

I can't remember the word used for angel in the OT (My Hebrew's grown rusty; guess I should beat it into a ploughshare or something), but they obviously appeared in the guise of men, so let's set that one aside. I'd also have to check if angelos is the word used here and throughout the NT, but it's definitely masculine gender....

Any chance we could be looking at translation effects as well as patriarchal mumbo?

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