Japan: Hell of a Week

What a hell of a week I have had and the worse part of it was that I ended up paying over 2 and a half grand on a broken toe.

So let me start by explaining to you how my nightmare of a week started.

It was a nice Monday morning and as I always do before I go off to work I decided to play a quick game of football with my two younger children. It was a nice innocent back and forth game that ended in me trying to show off with a behind the foot trick shot.

The trick didn’t work out and I ended up smashing my toes up the back of my foot, I actually remember feeling the pop of the toe as did it.

After returning home from work to a nice compassionate word from my wife on how stupid I was for playing football in the house I rushed off to the local orthopedic doctor to then find out that my insurance card was out of date.

I returned home to a wife that believed she gave me my new card last year to then spending the rest of the morning searching high and low for it but to no avail.

The next day I shot off to the local city office to let them know that I lost my card so I could arrange for a replacement to then be told that I had to go to the main branch office to plead a case of delinquency. I was like what are you on about as one I’m not a child and two for what reason am I pleading a case for myself.

After a headache of a time being lost in translation it turned out that I had stopped paying for my health insurance over a year ago and I had racked up a nice two and a half grands worth of fees. The bonus point was that I couldn’t go to the hospital until the matter was all sorted as if I did I would have had to pay 100% of the medical costs. Now as the Japanese health insurance system allows us to only pay 30% of medical fees you could have guessed how much it could have been if I went without insurance.

Now I returned home to explain to my wife who then got on the phone to find out the whole story. It turned out that it was both my wife and the city office health insurance department that screwed everything up. The story is that the governmental health insurance department was sending payment reminders to my wife in her name asking her to pay for her insurance (I write her as not once was my name written on the forms).

Every time she received a payment reminder she would phone up and say she has already paid for hers and not once did the official say it was for her gaijin husband, not once. Supposedly this continued for a few months until they gave up sending reminders and just let my fees build up.

In the end we couldn’t complain as I needed to see a doctor and all we got back in reply to the comments about the no mention of my name was the typical sucking air through the teeth response the Japanese love to do.

Finally after paying my outstanding fees and receiving my new card I rushed back to the doctor to find out that my toe was broken and that the brake was not sitting right that now I’m writing this post with my entire foot in a cast.

To add insult to injury my entire plan for promoting my new English Language School has been thrown out the window and I now have deal with going to work on crutches.

This has been the story of my one hell of a week in Japan, I hope you enjoyed.


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