E-mail to Dad 7.2.2004

Good Morning Dad,

I’m glad you like the books.  I’ve been reading a lot lately about space and
where exactly we are.  Living abroad has done so much more for me than
simply language.  I’m able to understand people, their influences and
mentality much better now.  Getting out of one’s normal environment really
makes one expand their mind and see life from a completely different

So I’ve been asking myself lately the age old philosophical
questions about exactly where we are and what our purpose is.  I see so many
people who simply drift through life with their main goal being money,
getting a certain position or providing for others and ask myself; is this
our purpose here?  So I’ve turned to space since humanity has made so much
amazing progress lately such as sending the rovers to mars and putting
telescopes such as Chandra http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/ out in space
that can take pictures of the farthest reaches of the universe and am

Then I turned to Hawking since no known person has the mental
capacity to understand our environment like him.  A good primer on Hawking
is on his simple website which has some of his (easy to read) lectures
posted on the internet. http://www.hawking.org.uk/home/hindex.html .

Throughout my childhood most people explained the not-yet-understood
variables of this life by using God.  Then throughout history, man has
slowly been able to remove the culpability from God to natural factors.
Through my reading of history, religious teachings and new discoveries, I’ve
started to put more of my stock in science then the naive explanations of
religious leaders who throughout time have punished people for not accepting
their teachings.  If the Church was a company there is no way I would invest
due to their constant retracting from the established teaching.  If they are
supposed to be the guardians of the “supreme truth” then they should have
had everything right the first time.  Enough of this nonsense of
“interpretation” which can be used to constantly change their views due to
new discoveries.  Anyway, being the intellectual you are, I thought these
books might interest you or at least make a good addition to the library.  I
hear that “A brief History of the Universe” is easier reading than “A brief
History of Time,” and may be the one to start with first.

Enough of that rambling, I’m writing most of these thoughts down in a book
that will not be completed until I’m at least in my mid thirties.  I’ve
posted it online and most of it is still unorganized and in need of
revision.  I usually have a thought and write it down quickly before it
slips away and then return to revise later.  If you have a chance, please
take a look.  It’s posted in the “academics” section of my website.

I agree with your advice about the job.  Since I now have until October,
I’ve slowed the job search a little.  Once the semester is finished and I’m
not swamped with homework, I’ll be able to concentrate most of my energies
on the search.  The name of the tobacco company I’m working at is called
“Intercontinental Trading Corporation.”  Their main competitor is the much
larger “Japan Tobacco,” but they are able to import many special products
such as Cuban cigars, Gualoise Cigarettes from France and American Spirit
Cigarettes from the States.  The reason I’m apprehensive about the job is
that in Japanese society it would become my life, and the employees like my
family.  I would be put into “their group,” and it would seem much more
“permanent” than what we are used to in the States.  They have not offered me
the position yet, but the manager has said (reliant on my Japanese skill)
that I’m the best candidate for the job because of my language skills.  The
job has not been offered nor filled at this point and I’m their official
English teacher at least until October 1st.  The employees really like me,
and I create a great atmosphere for them.  They all really enjoy the lessons
I provide and I’ve managed to motivate the entire staff to learn.  It’s a
pretty good feeling to be able to do that.

As for the job search, there is such a feeling of excitement and opportunity
here in Asia (especially China) that is lacking in the rest of the world.
Vietnam is slowly transferring power from the war generation to the new young
generation of entrepreneurs.  Due to the Vietnam (or American war) your
generation was mostly wiped out and the country is mostly young.  They are
opening up their markets from the communist grasp, and the young people are
starting their own businesses.  My friend Phuong, was able with the support
of his other young friends to establish his own computer company and even
became a congressman.  When I’m in HCMC (Saigon) I feel that these young
people are establishing the new order and in the future will be the big dogs
of Vietnam, unless they are crushed by foreign powerhouses.  They are weak
compared to the mammoths of US companies and it remains to be seen if they
will survive once Vietnam joins the WTO.  Either way, if I’m lucky enough to
secure a job there, I think I would be protected due to the fact that I am
an American, who understands and glides easily through cultures.  I simply
just need to get my foot in the door and due to the confidence I’ve gained
through the opportunities you’ve provided me, I’m positive that I’ll be
successful.  I just need to get that damn foot in the door.

I’ve written a novel so I’ll end here.  I promise I’ll make it back sometime
this year so we can get out and get that beer at which time I hope that I’ll
be able to give you a run for your money intellectually.

Thanks again for everything,

By 魔手

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/