My Move from Tokyo to Saigon – 10.11.2004

Hello from Saigon! As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been MIA for the past two weeks due to a crossroads in my life. One one hand I was offered a position at a trading company in Tokyo and on the other, I’ve been invited to interview with a few companies here in Saigon. Therefore, I decided to get out of my ridiculously expensive apartment in Mejiro and come here for two months to get a feel for the environment and decide if I should stay or return to Tokyo. The ordeal has left me like a whirlwind of uncertainty yet it’s been quite a interesting / hectic ride.

Tokyo – 英会話について。。


By tok_matthew

September 16th, 2004 @ 12:29 PM Uncategorized
Ah, the 英会話 (Eikaiwa = English Conversation School). Their bright neon signs decorate buildings from the major centers of Shinjyuku and Ikebukuro to the smallest countryside town. The ubiquitous English language school has served as the entry point into Japan for foreigners innumerable. Sometimes loved, sometimes detested by those in their employ, the Eikaiwa must be commended for opening Japan to foreigners and helping the Japanese to integrate more with the world. The English language is infact an intangible commodity that the Japanese purchase in order to use when traveling abroad. The #1 reason that I’ve received about why they learn English is, “So we can communicate with foreigners!”

Tokyo – Gaijin Complex

Gaijin Complex

By tok_matthew

September 15th, 2004 @ 12:10 PM Uncategorized

When I first came to Japan I lived out in Saitama along the Tobu Tojo line somewhere between Shiki and Kawagoe. Out there in the “country” it’s often rare to see an unknown gaijin (since we all taught for Nova) and if you should happen to see one it was custom to make eye contact and give a little head nod. This simple gesture conveyed that we hoped each other was getting along well in a land so different from our own and was a sign of respect. In effect it basically said, “Hey, you look like me and there are not many of us! So I hope your getting along well here and I wish you the best of luck.”

Tokyo – First Post in Tokyo Metblogs

By tok_matthew

September 13th, 2004 @ 11:56 PM Uncategorized

Hello Everyone. Is this the first post in the blog? Anyway, here in Mejiro we finally had our neighborhood festival and I thought I would share a picture which is below.

Also, can anyone explain to me why so many otherwise sweet looking young Japanese girls are now sporting monstrous tatoos!?? I mean it’s almost like 3 in ten girls have a tatoo now. I’m almost positive they are not permanent, but what is the statement they are making here? Anyone else noticed this?