About Me

My photo

Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Immigration Office again

Me outside the immigration office. Today's look was: "casual yakuza" according to my Japanese students. 
On Friday, there was a message left on my phone from when I was busy at work and could not answer. It said: "This is the Sapporo Immigration Office. We will call you again." Then, on Tuesday (Monday was a public holiday here), they called again while I was in the shower, and left a similar message.

Since no news is good news, getting a call from the immigration office did not sound like a good thing... I thought my visa extension was finished, and that my "permission to engage in actions not covered by your visa" application for doing magic at the wedding during the weekend also had been completed. So what could this be?

It turned out that they wanted me to come down for an interview for potentially doing some translation and interpretation work for them. Not many people in Sapporo speak Swedish, so the number of people who can do this is limited. This mean even someone with my limited knowledge of Japanese could be a reasonable choice just because there is no one else better qualified. I never really studied, I just picked up Japanese by speaking to my friends and by reading e-mails sent to me by our office or by my friends. This means that the words I know are limited to such domains as you would talk about with your friends or with your secretary.

Since there are not that many people around here from Sweden, the amount of interpretation or translation work that they need is of course also very low. They also told me the pay is bad, but I do not kneed money and it sounded interesting so I went to the interview today.

I asked my Japanese friends what to wear, and they suggested things like the shirt that says "Still Single" in Japanese (まだ独身) or the shirt that says "I am not Japanese" (日本人ではありません). Some more serious voices said that I should wear a suit, everyone wears a suit to interviews. I ended up wearing yakuza clothes (at least my students keep telling me I look "チンピラくさい" (like a "yakuza wannabe")) when I wear these types of clothes.

The interview was quite nice, and they said they will call me later with the results. I also had to fill out a lot of papers stating whether I had ever been in prison, ever been sentenced for a crime before coming of age, or if I had ever demonstrated against the Japanese government. Or overstayed my visa. I could answer "no" to all of these, which I guess is a good thing.


  1. Lycka till!! :-) Du är ju bra mycket bättre på japanska än slöhögen Micke, i alla fall!! Och Miyuki är bättre på SVENSKA än vad Micke är på japanska.. (hon kanske kan sno jobbet från dig!! :-) ) Micke borde skämmas!! Det är snudd på så att Joshua kan mer japanska än han nu, eftersom han följer japanska serier med engelsk text! :-)

    1. De var tillräckligt nöjda med mig så jag ska dit och tolka lite åt dem på måndag.

      Ja, den stora konkurrensen här i Sapporo är nog främst från japaner som kan svenska. Men det är inte så många av dem heller här.