E-mails Japan - 日本

E-mail to my sister 6.8.2004


Yes, Please call me when you get a chance.  It’s been a very long time since
we’ve spoken.  For some reason it took the post office a long time for your
present to get to me.  In fact, I’m waiting for it now at my apartment.  I
had your present sent to Mom and Dad’s house and you can pick it up when you
go home.

Life here is pretty stressful.  Sometimes the pressure of learning this
impossible language gets to me and I find myself continually looking up the
mountain and how far I still have to go instead of how far I’ve come.  It’s
pretty frustrating.  Also, I’m still teaching English and also looking for a
job.  I’m actually looking forward to trying my hand at some sort of
business job and am quite positive I’ll be successful.  There is nothing
like changing your surroundings and friends (as you well know) to give you a
refreshing perspective on life.  If we all stayed in the same place and
around the same people all of our lives, there is not much room to grow.  So
I’m very proud of you and your “getting out there,” so you can see firsthand
what others miss their entire lives.  Just try to keep reading, learning and
do not be afraid to let go of your currently held beliefs and opinions.  It
is quite true that we did not have the freedom to choose them and they were
fed to us by teachers, parents and those around us.  If you get a chance
please read the book I’m currently writing and have posted on my website in
the “academic” section.  It is full of my discoveries about life and I think
you may find it interesting.  I don’t share them with people back home so
often for it is something that they cannot comprehend or choose not to.  But
you are family so I’d like to invite you to take a look.

I’m a little disappointed that I will not be able to see you in Tahoe, but I
understand that the camp is something you need to do and we’ll have other
opportunities to meet.  I do hope I’ll find a job in Vietnam and I hope you
can visit me there someday.  I promise you it will be an amazing time and I
can provide you with an amazing experience by getting you directly into the
culture and show you the joys of it while bypassing the unknown fearful
aspects of it.  Vietnam is an amazing country but most cannot see past the
poverty.  I know you’ve been to Honduras and are a very versatile person so
I’m sure it would be no problem for you.

It was a very nice picture of you and dad and you look quite beautiful.  Give
me a call when you get a chance.

E-mails Japan - 日本

E-mail to sister 5.22.2004


Always good to receive such a long e-mail from you.  I see you’ve been
extremely busy as usual and I hope your taking some time to relax once in a
while.  I did hear about Grandma’s heart attack and I’m glad to hear she is
doing well.  I’m interested to see what green mugs you are talking about
because I’ve completely forgotten them. The only items I can really remember
from Grandma’s house are the grandfather clock, a “nice room” with a gate
that we weren’t allowed to enter, and a shaggy dog radio that I received.  I
also will never forget the only  time I crashed my “big wheel” into yours to
pay you back for the million times you rammed me and got yelled at by one of
mom’s brothers.  Where was the justice!?

Life is ok at the moment.  I’m torn about what to do about a job and H.
I do love H, but on the other hand do not want to do something stupid
like get married or any of that nonsense.  She would go with me to the USA
but I do not wish to go there.  Being abroad, my head becomes filled with
new ideas and ways of thinking.  I can learn many new things everyday
without making much effort.  If I went back to the USA I would feel dead
mentally, as well as trapped financially.  I would need an apartment, and
car and that combined cost would put me in debt for twenty years.  If I stay
abroad I do not need a car, and can rent a nice apartment for very cheap (in
Vietnam, not Tokyo of course) Being abroad I also have a point of view about
America that those in the USA cannot see.  I do not like the materialistic
culture, this addiction to brain-wasting television, and the “me first”
attitude.  American culture is degenerate at this point in time even though
there are a few strong holdouts of genuinely nice and good people left.  If
I went back I would hate my life.  If I’m lucky enough to work in Vietnam I
could be a janitor, have no money, yet ironically be the happiest person in
the world.

However, H is a big sticking point.  She does not want to go to
Vietnam.  But why should I hold myself back for a trifling thing such as
love which may just be a chemical in my brain or an affinity for the
familiar.  I know I think too much but this is philosophy and one of my
passions.  In the USA most people do not have so many options and usually
“settle” or convince themselves about this nonsense called “the one” which
is a silly fabrication from T.V. land.  But here in Asia, I have an infinite
amount of ladies to choose from!  Of course, I’m not a jerk though and I do
love H and her simplicity.  She is not materialistic, and her clothes
are definitely country style.   Her easy going personality and penchant for smiling are beautiful.

Yet, we are all young
and should not restrain ourselves for another person without first being
full people ourselves.  I need to have a decent job and be completely happy
inside to be the best I can be for another person.  Therefore, I think it
unwise to return to the USA where H would follow or stay in Japan where
I would become a cog and my whole life would revolve around a company’s
bottom line.  That is not life.   So, just like my own family, I may have to
separate myself from H for a while but this does not mean it will stay
permanent.  No one can know what the future holds.  Yet, I hate this fucking
decision.  🙂

As for your dating.  Make sure you choose someone you like, and do not let
culture, parents or nosey brothers influence your thinking.  Also, be sure
not to lie to yourself by trying to convince yourself you like someone.  If
you must go out with bad boys, go ahead.  You’ll get burnt but perhaps it
will quench your curiosity?  I believe I have successfully quenched my
curiosity of beautiful women which could almost be unprecedented for the
male species.  You see, here I can go out with an infinite supply of them.
Yet unfortunately, they must talk and the majority rely on their beauty and
do not develop other attractive qualities like personality, or conversation.
Therefore, it’s fun to go out one time with them but after that it’s better
they go away.  I find the best partner to be one who you can share a
conversation with and who constantly looks after your interests.  This is
what I love about Japan,, if we both honestly look after each others
interests all the time, then the relationship is as smooth as grease.  Yet,
I found that in my american relationships it was always I vs. You and if we
conceded once, we would expect to be repaid in full for this concession
with a return concession.  I do not like this system.

Ok, let me switch gears and come back to earth.  In the latest news Ron got
engaged.  I’m extremely happy for him and she is a perfect girl for the
Ronaldo.  He definitely needed that.

Well, I really wish you were going to be in Tahoe, because I have no idea
when I’ll be back in Ohio.  I really have no desire to visit there except to
see the You, Mom, Dad, peanut, and the new house.

As for your birthday gift, I really want to get you something good but I
haven’t been inspired yet.  Please give me some time to think of something
cool.  I don’t want to bore you with another Japanese item.  I do want to
send you a card though but I do not have your address!  Please send it to

Take care and big hugs,

E-mails Japan - 日本

E-mail to sister 2.1.2004

Bonjour Mademoiselle,

Glad you had a good time on your cruise.  I’ve never been on one but can
imagine that it’s most excellent.
As for snowboarding, it took me two days to get used to it.  If you are on a
beginner hill then it’s not too bad, but being stuck to the board is weird.
As you know I used to skate, so I had a feel for it already except not being
able to bail off the board.  The second most difficult part is turning by
leaning forward.  If you don’t lean forward enough the gravity will cause
you to flip backwards and crack your head on the snow.  I had some
tremendous wipe-outs and almost killed myself.  But once I learned how to
really lean forward it was easy.  The final difficulty was the fact that I
learned on a real mountain like the Rockies.  You pick up speed very quickly
and it can be scary.

I am now on Spring Break and have a lot of free time.  I’m still busy though
because I have been designing an online resume and translating them.  It’s
here if you care to take a look.
.  Since I hope to get a job in the USA, and am not actually there, my
strategy is not only to send a resume, but have a link to one that is more
in-depth online.  I purchased a book of international business from the
Chamber of Commerce in SF and will send e-mails to most of those companies.
I really have no idea how well this will work and only time will tell.  It
worked well to find clients here in Tokyo that needed English lessons.
Hopefully, it will work again.

Other than that, I’ve just been going to the gym almost daily and will
continue Aikido soon.  I’ll keep you updated on how my job search goes.

As for our family reunion, I’m waiting for Dad to purchase his flight ticket
and then will purchase mine.  I’m definitely going but just need
confirmation on the dates.

Hope you are well,

—– Original Message —–
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2004 11:57 PM
Subject: Hi 

HI!  It was so good to hear your voice on the phone the other morning!
I’m so mad I missed the call.  I’m going to try to call you after this
weekend (I work three night shifts in a row) but what is the best time to
call you?  Early morning for me and late night for you?
>   Things have been going well.  My cruise with my friends was awesome, and
I really didn’t want to come back to Boston.  I went from 70 degree weather
to 7, and I was so homesick.  I was also starting the new position at
Children’s, which is okay now, but at the time I was ready to pack up and go
home.  I can’t believe that it’s already the end of January, and I’m sure
the rest of the winter will just fly.
>   Two days ago I took off to a night time ski resort in Maine with my
friend Theresa.  She boarded, I skiied, we didn’t completely freeze, and had
an awesome time being out of the city.  We’re hoping to go somewhere in
Vermont maybe next weekend, and I think I’ll try snowboarding.  Did you
learn quickly?
>   How is everything over there?  School?  H?  Any idea when you will
be back for the reunion?  Mom and dad are not planning on going out west
early, but I think I might.  Aunt M and L and a few of their kids
are hoping to get out to Napa Valley, and Nick and i even talked about
Vegas.  I need to go a bit early, as I won’t be able to stay for the whole
reunion (going back to camp.)  Will you be done with Japan by then?  Then
>   I need to get goin to the gym and then come back here and try to sleep
some more, so I can work the next three nights from 7pm-7am.  I don’t mind
the shift, it just messes up other parts of my body.  Eating, exercise, and
I’m just always tired.  But at least I’m finished with nights after this
weekend for at least three weeks.  I love you and miss you whole bunches,
and hope to talk to you soon!
>  love, C.