Saturday, 16 November 2013

November 11

In Canada November 11 is Remembrance Day, a day to think of the sacrifices made by those who fought in WWI and WWII.

In the US the same day  is called Veterans Day and in New Zealand and Belgium it is called Armistice Day.

In Japan it used to be recognized as Armistice Day, prior to WWII it was recognized as a day to think about peace. Now? Well, now it is Pocky and Pretz Day - as the four number 1s lined up look like sticks of pocky or pretz all lined up.

In China it has become known as Singles Day, to celebrate "single sticks" or bachelors.

For U and I November 11 is now our anniversary (or rather one of an increasingly lengthening list thereof). On Monday we filed our paperwork at city hall. Although we will be waiting until next year to hold our wedding ceremony and related receptions, we are now legally married. Anything I have ever heard or read about the process of filing your paperwork to get married at Japanese city hall has said it is anything but romantic. So it was no real surprise to me that it hardly felt like we were actually getting married. We submitted our paperwork, answered questions, filled out more paperwork (and then some more again because we had to merge our two households and our registered addresses differed in the way in which we had written the number of our apartment. U's previous form said "Apartment Name, # X" while mine just said "Apartment Name, X" So before we could merge our households U had to change his address to the same as mine... Or I could have changed mine - and then had to change my foreign resident card)

Then we sat (or I sat and knitted and U wandered about upsetting the staff member set to help poor lost citizens who wandered about city hall without knowing where to go) and waited.

And waited.

And then we were called up and asked to pay for our requested copies of our marriage registration. We paid, the clerk offered a congratulations, and gave us our change.

And we were married.

(It still seems rather odd and surreal, and we both agreed that whatever the legal record says, we're waiting until our ceremony next fall for our ring exchange and to say that we are married.)