This Time I Wore A Helmet

All things considered, it’s been a very low-key couple of days. It was a short work week (Friday is a holiday) made shorter by the fact I needed to renew my tourist visa so I don’t create an international incident next Thursday when it actually expires [I kid]. My workday ended at 4 and one of my co-workers who is from Austria originally, took me to the immigration office. I would have gone on my own but it turns out the Bureau of Immigration is actually in a big mall in uptown and most taxi drivers know the mall but not that immigration is there (things I learn in hindsight.) So it was another adventure by motorbike. And this time I wore a helmet.

I have mad respect for people of motorcycles. They weave through traffic, and there seems to be no traffic laws here for the most part, and tend to dominate the outside of any lane and just squeeze by. I was convinced my knees were going to scrape along the concrete barrier as we crept past a semi truck. Much like the cat saying, “If I fits I sits,” the motorcycle equivalent is “If I can slide through I ride through.” I’m getting over my nerves of being on a bike and didn’t close my eyes this time and fear for my life [slight exaggeration, it is, after all, very safe]. I was even a little silly and put my arms out like wings and pretended I could fly (There’s a lyric by Death Cab For Cutie that I’ve always been fond off that mentions it so I had to try it).


Anyways, I got my stay extended and there’s now a neat little sticker with my name on it in my passport. I have stamps for June 21st in Japan, and June 22nd for the Philippines and now I have a nifty sticker from Immigration with my name of it that allows me to stay until August 23rd. Granted, it’s ten more days than I need but it’s certainly a cool accomplishment- I lived somewhere long enough this summer I had to extend my legal status to stay. I got a lovely piece of paper stating I do not exist on any ‘Hold Departure, Blacklist, Watch list, and/or Intelligence Derogatory Records.’ Cool souvenir? Do I plan on faming it when I get home and hanging it in my dorm? You betcha.


Aside from the passport renewal, nothing interesting has happened because this weekend will be three jam-packed days of adventure. My day starts at 3am tomorrow (Friday) (noon, July 16th, in Oregon). I know we’re going to the southwestern end of the island, and it’s at least a three-hour bus ride. This trip is a work/play excursion so I’m not in much of a rush for anything and as long as I make it back to my apartment at some point, I can’t say that I care what happens in between departure and return home as long as I don’t have some disaster story of “This really shouldn’t have happened to us.” No international incidents while I’m here. Saturday is up in the air and Sunday we are working at the business’s philanthropy in the afternoon. Friday marks the half way point for my trip and it’ll be down hill from there, two final weeks of work (I just finished week 4) and then two weeks of ‘vacation’ which is still family/friends/adventure and being a sometimes tourist.


Work is amazing in more ways than I could have imagined when I left Oregon almost a month ago. I’ve gone from not thinking I was qualified or interested for working at technology based companies like Google and Twitter to bookmarking summer internship forms and their announcement schedule for the next round of recruiting. I’ve also looked into Marvel Inc (I do love me a good superhero flick) and Lucas Film (STAR WARS COMES OUT IN 153 DAYS). Interestingly enough, I wasn’t just looking at West Coast United States locations and was looking at positions all across the globe, which is not necessarily where I was a month ago. It was more of just a lazy daydream of It would be really cool if and it never took off from there.

Less than a month from now I’ll be back in Oregon, probably sleeping off the jetlag. Here’s to a kickass weekend.

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