E-mail to Phuong 9.2.2004

Hi Phuong!
I made my plane ticket reservation today!  I will arrive in HCMC on October 2nd and arrive at 10:00pm.  If you are still in America on that day, then I can always go to a hotel and wait until you return.  I’m very excited about coming there but also nervous about leaving Tokyo!  It’s such a big change.
When I come, I’m looking forward to talking to you about your business and life.  I know you are feeling stressed now and I think a good discussion would help! 
I hope you had a relaxing time in Thailand!  Take care and see you next month!  Please tell Mr. Minh that I said hello!!  

Letter to Dad 8.29.2004

Good Morning Dad,

Thanks for having C. call me.  It had been ages since I’d last spoke to
her and it was good to have a chat.

It’s almost September now and the weather has become cool and a bit wet here
in Tokyo.  It’s a fitting season to be leaving Japan; a place where I’ve
developed so much and had my eyes opened a little more.  Everyday, I
struggle with the thought of leaving here and try to imaging what life will
be like in Vietnam.  However, I believe it’s the comfort of Tokyo that stirs
these fears since I have established myself quite well in this concrete
jungle.  Yet, I’m determined to go to Vietnam for a few main reasons:

1.  It’s developing and many American businesses are setting up operations
there.  If I contrast it with America I see Vietnam as a place where I could
advance my career as well as my character much more rapidly than I could in
the United States.  The entire city is developing and is filled with the
excitement of opportunity and a better life.  Plus, I could add another
language.  I’m happy with my Japanese ability and after this language,
Vietnamese shouldn’t be too difficult.

2.  The people are so poor there that they remember what it’s like to be
friendly and kind to strangers.  I’m less afraid of losing some rights there
than I am of the gangs in America and indiscriminate killing that goes on
everyday in our own town.  I’m also against this hyper-materialism that has
taken hold of America.  I’ve become quite fond of Grandpa’s generation and my
image of America at that time.  Everytime I go back home, I do meet many
nice people but most are superficial, shallow people who display their worth
by the things they buy and constantly sizing up the other person in terms of
material things.  It’s so refreshing to go to a country that is so poor,
they cannot behave quite as badly yet, although give them time and I’m sure
they will follow the trend.

3.  The quality of life should be much better there for someone like me.  If
I compare the salaries with the price of products minus the poverty, I’d
make out better in Vietnam (so long as I spend all my money there).  In
fact, since my salary here is paid a month in arrears, I should have plenty
of money for rent and all expenses for about three months.

These points along with many others drives my motivation to go and work
there.  I’m very excited to go and I’ve gotten some invitations for
interviews; one from a consulting agency and one from a language school.
However, I will do my absolute best to try to get a business job and am
applying to language schools as a backup.  I’m confident that I’ll land
something is business eventually however.

Finally, I read an excellent article that confirms many of my thoughts about
people not really being smart or informed enough to vote intelligently.  It
also talks about how the elites form most of the masses opinions about which
candidates to vote for.  I’m sure you’ve already read it but it’s a


E-mail to Dad 8.25.2004

Hello Dad,

They sent that Citicard awfully early.  My current card doesn’t expire until
03/31/05.  We are talking about the card with my picture on it right?  If
that is the case, then yes please, go ahead and send it to me.  I like to
have it on me just in case of emergencies and Citibank is worldwide so I
never have any problems.

Those were some great pictures of you and Uncle B umpiring.  It looks like
you’ve hit the big leagues!  Those were some big boys playing baseball there
and I hope you were being extra careful with your calls.  Probably wouldn’t
want to get into a belly bumping match with any of those hillbillies.

As I mentioned, I have one company in Hanoi that seems to be decent since
their office is located in the best building in that city and they have
famous clients.  I’ve also just received an offer for an interview when I
arrive for a place called “Human Capital.” www.humancapital.com.vn .  It’s
good to get some positive responses after sending out so many resumes.  I’d
be really happy to have a non-English teaching job in Nam and would most
likely get a lot of experience with important business matters right away
since most companies are just emerging with the help of foreign training.
I guess I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed for now and hope things
turn out well.

Finally, I’ll be sending two packages home.  The smaller one is of two CDs I
made.  One is for you to listen to that is full of “oldies” comedy and great
historical speeches I thought you would like.  The second CD is video and
pictures of Christmas and Lake Tahoe.  There is also video of a walk-through
of the old house that I took and is in the Christmas 2003 file.  The second
bigger package is of items that I’d like to put in my black treasure chest.

Thanks Dad,

E-mail to Phuong 8.21.2004

Hi Phuong,
Thank you for your offers to help me in Vietnam.  I am very excited to come there to work and learn about the Vietnamese.  I am a little nervous though leaving Tokyo and my apartment.  But, I think it is time for a change and I know I love Vietnam.  I don’t think I would be able to move there if I didn’t know you!  Thank you!  I have sent out many e-mails to companies in Vietnam and have got some responses, but haven’t had any luck yet.  I’m sure if I keep trying I will find something.  I will buy a plane ticket for the beginning of Octo bersoon.  I will be busy next month getting rid of all my things in my apartment so I can travel there with just one suit case!  It will be a lot of work! 
As for Lizard, I didn’t get any e-mails from him either but I see him on MSN instant messenger one time.  He uses it and you can sometimes contact him through that.  I think he is busy meeting his old friends.  Won’t you travel to America soon and see him? 
Good luck with your business Phuong.  If I can help you in any way please let me know!   Good luck with your English studies!