“Don’t Guess on the immigration form!”

By Kaety

We have made it to Osaka Japan. It was long, my knees ache, but I did get hours of interrupted reading, which is rare for me.

Mark took charge of the customs paperwork. He decided guessing on the name of the hotel we are staying at and not providing the address would be okay, it was not.

I was first in line for the two of us and was held up for about 15 minutes with the customs officer as we tried to sort it out. He had minimal English, I have minimal Japanese. Paper copies of my conference registration and hotel reservation saved the day. Though there were still a lot of questions. At some point he essentially was trying to ask “whose the idiot that filled out your form”. I motioned to mark, still in line, who smiled a big hearty grin and waved at us. The customs officer looked from mark to me, shook his head smiling, and said “next time, ah, you do”.

Travel is one of those things you have to learn, especially international travel. Mark had only been to Canada when I met him. I’ve had the pleasure of giving him the world and the patience to let him learn how. Today’s lesson was, repeat after me “don’t guess the names of places on the customs forms”.

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