Told I can't wait in front of the embassy, have to wait down on the sidewalk.
Wife and daughter show up, we proceed to the first security check.
Leave my food and drink in the cooler outside. Oh it's for the kids? Fine to keep it then. Sure, that makes sense...
Security Guard: Appointment letter please.
Me: I made my reservations online. I have an appointment #.
SG: Number? Can't do anything with that...you have a letter?
Me: No I don't have a letter. Online. You know, computer?
SG: Oh, so show me the confirmation screen.
Me: Confirmation screen?
I pull out my phone and check the US Embassy Consulate website, frantically searching for a confirmation screen...there isn't one.
There's a CANCEL APPOINTMENT button...so, I can cancel my appointment to prove that I have an appointment?
Finally after 10 minutes of haggling with the guard that I don't have a letter, I have an appointment reservation number, and there is "confirmation screen" on the website...finally the guard asks for my name. I give him my name.
He looks on his list.
There is my name.
That. Was. Complicated.
Now we are thoroughly 20 minutes late.
Security check #2.
Go inside, empty pockets, turn off and hand over all cell phones because...uh...terrorists?
Laptop out, hand it over.
Go through metal detector.
Wallet has metal zipper.
Go through again.
Ooh, this bag has all kinds of cables in it, and a flashlight!
What are all these cables? Power cables for the laptop maybe?
Too complicated, check the whole bag.
Never mind the snacks and drinks for the kids.
Rush into the embassy building, nearly half an hour late for first appointment.
Security check #3.
Show passports. Check wallet again. Kid's backpack. Yes, empty thermos bottle.
Wait for green light to go on and then pull open door...
Security Guard, I am not making this up, is standing in front of the video camera frantically waving his arms, shouting "open the door, let them in!"
He gets on the phone with someone.
He tells us to wait for the green light.
Finally the light goes on and we can enter the embassy.
Yes, my tax dollars at work, keeping my embassy safe from...pissed off mixed families with children who want to renew their stupid USA passports.
Kids and P did an awesome job playing taiko! Mo was pretty tired by the time he got up there to drum, but if you look at his stick position in all the photos, he mostly nailed it! Moko-sensei even called him up at the end and introduced him as the youngest player; great job Kuroda-gumi!
Kento used to go to school with Mo, but moved to a local school a few months ago, so Mo was really happy to see his little bro! And Kento followed around the Big Man all day, doing everything Mo was doing. Kento has gotten so big, and he talks so much now!
Mo hooked him up with some spiderman slippers that didn't fit, and gave him an old excavator bucket-shovel car that Kento loved.
They took Mo's remote-control monster truck and drove it down the slide a million times, ran around the park causing mayhem, and generally had a great time.
After saying bye to Kento, we cruised up to Roppongi Hills, hit the Doraemon for some video games, then played at the Lego store for a while before heading home for dinner. Mo was dead in the stroller on the way home.
Made gyoza for dinner and watched TV before going to bed pretty late. Long day.
Best part was that we were out all day and Mo had not one accident -- went to the toilet several times and didn't wet his pants once. Awesome job, buddy! It's the little things that make a parent proud.
Thanks again Kento, let's play again soon!