I am a ridiculous person.

Allow me to back that claim up. Tonight I spent about an hour trying to decipher an email from Teruaki (my boyfriend who writes and speaks Japanese only) and then send him one in return. The deal is our birthdays occur in the same weekend, and that weekend is just two weeks from now. But he lives down near Nagoya and I live up here by Mount Fuji. Add to that the fact that he is in the Jieitai, or Japan Self-Defense Force (essentially, the Japanese army), and has to be back in his barracks every night, and arranging a meeting has been difficult. But we finally reached an agreement. We haven`t seen each other since Golden Week in early May, so I was willing to settle for nearly any plan that would bring us within sight of each other. I will go to Aichi prefecture on June 15, and we will meet on June 15 and 16 and celebrate our birthdays. He will have to return to his barracks to sleep, but during the day we can do the other things couples do. I feel this sudden relief.

But, and this is where the ridiculous part comes in, I may not even be in the country in two weeks. My tourist visa expires tomorrow, and my work visa is still not processed. I have the receipt saying they are processing my application, and I know other gaijin who have stayed in Japan with just that receipt. But I don`t know for sure that I can. I don`t know when the work visa will come. I don`t know why it has taken so long. I don`t know what I will do tomorrow. And the worst part of it is, my boss doesn`t know anything either.

So I have been considering my options. I could pack up and fly to Amsterdam or Slovenia, where I have friends who would take me in. I could stay here illegally and work, say, as a bar hostess. I could backpack across Asia with a durian. Any of these seems as likely as the others.

But of course, what I hope is that I will call the immigration office in Tokyo and get a person who speaks English on the line, and they will tell me that, indeed, my receipt is enough for me to stay legally in the country until the actual visa is processed.

Whatever happens, I am totally going to Nagoya for my birthday.