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Monday, October 31, 2005

Nico's Big Day

Last Friday registered the offspring at the 'Murican govmint so the little sprout can have the benefits of dual American-Japanese citizenship. The benefit being primarily travel without a visa between the two and a lifetime supply of hi-end electronic goods supported by a robust military infrastructure. As well as an appreciation for uniforms.

Passport photo
But to get all this first she needs a passport (her passport photo is much cuter than mine) and that means a trip into the big mikan, the big orange, Tokyo.

On the Tokaido Line
So first we had to take the Tokaido line in, about a 45 minute ride to Shibuya station to switch to the Ginza subway line. For New Yorkers reading this, think the Metro-North line to Grand Central.

On the Ginza subway line
On the Ginza subway headed to the area of town the American Consulate is located.

Surprisingly, the Consulate staff was nothing but friendly and helpful. I guess living in Japan has rubbed off on them and they feel relaxed enough to crack a smile. All my previous dealing with civil servants back in the States had usually been anything but... civil that is. The DMV comes to mind.

But all was not cheesecake and flowers. Seems there's a disconnect with how my last name, "McKible" is written on official US documents and how it's recognized on Japanese ones. The protocol in the States is to indicate a capitalized letter in the middle of a name, like the capital K in McKible, by inserting a space before the capitalized letter. So on my US passport my last name is written as "MC KIBLE". While this protocol is understood in the States, here it renders our last name as composed of 2 words, like "Van Halen". Cool, but not my name. So Nico's passport, and therefore all her official documents, would list her US name the same way. The staff told me if I could produce another official document, like my birth certificate, with a version of my last name as ONE word, I could amend my passport and have Nico's listed the same way. As it turns out I DO have a copy of my birth certificate. So tomorrow I head back to get it all squared away. Might seem like I'm being a stickler for details, but I'd really like us all the have the same last name.

In Ginza
Official status established, back on the subway and then it was time for a little shopping. Here's Nico's big debut on Ginza Dori, kinda like 5th Ave back in NYC, fancy hi-end shopping. There's an Apple store located there and as my 3rd generation iPod turned into a shiny brick recently I took this opportunity to pick myself up a new iPod Nano. Sweet little thing, indeed. Nice iPod too.

With Mom
With Dad
Nico woke up long enough to see a bit of the lights. She was SO good during the trip, not cranky at all.

Back on the subway
Then it was time to get back on the train and head back home after a long day; secure in the knowledge that a lifetime supply of fresh fish and government issued cheese is all but guaranteed.