Sep 11, 2012

I Will Be Here For You

Many of you have been waiting for this final chapter of the blog. But I guess I was just not ready to say good-bye to Tokyo. Until now.

Packing 14 years of my life in Tokyo into 60 boxes was like walking through the emotional land mine. The application form for the Japanese language school, the first job offer letter, many happy-birthday cards from my students, the divorce papers, etc. all exploded in my mind and took me down the memory lane where I was extremely reluctant to go.

Of course moving countries is never easy, but renting out the apartment I designed and decorated, getting rid of the furniture I spent weeks choosing, quitting the job I loved, and leaving my familiar and comfortable life style behind were all much more traumatic than I expected.

However the hardest part of all was saying good-bye to my dear friends. You see, I can force myself to throw or give away things that have sentimental value to me, but I can never do that to friendship.

I don’t have much. The only thing I am proud of is having so many wonderful friends in Tokyo. Some of them have been my guardian angels for years and some of them are new friends who I would love to get to know. They have been part of me and leaving them is almost like emotional amputation. It was the most difficult part of my leaving.

Before I left, I organized a charity auction to raise money for Japan Cat Network and to introduce all my friends to each other. Although I couldn't be there in person for the event, now many of my friends are connected and I am sure that their friendship will flourish with time.

But I want to remind them all that I will always be here for them. The distance shouldn’t matter with true friendship. And I also want to say thank you to all my dear friends - for having enriched my life, for laughing and crying with me, and for helping me through the darkest hours. Thank you!

Jul 19, 2012

Drink Myself Single

I understand it's probably easier for girls because maybe, and I mean MAYBE, in the mysterious “men's world,” the leader of the pack should always drink the largest quantity of alcohol and sleep with the most beautiful woman if not with the largest number of women – not very different from "The Animal Kingdom" on Discovery channel I suppose.

Fortunately I’ve been blessed with a near-zero alcohol tolerance. So it comes natural for me to relax and enjoy myself without drinking a drop. Oh yes, I get high on a glass of ginger ale and some good company.

I know many people depend on alcohol for a good time. The world simply looks brighter when they have some beer in them - people are nicer, jokes are funnier, and they are nicer and funnier themselves too.

Having said that, I do enjoy a glass of wine with my food sometimes. I like the taste, but not the effect on me – I just laugh louder and then fall asleep. I don't really care if people see me drunk, since I have already seen most of them drunk anyway. But I also don't care what people think of me even when I am the only one not drinking at the party.

Japanese are very relaxed about drinking, among the other issues such as smoking and sex. Most people don’t drive here anyway, so drinking is usually not considered as a problem at all.

But then again if you live with your family and you can’t control the amount you drink – oh well, it depends. If you are a man, lucky you, you could go home drunk every day and your wife would most likely stay as long as you didn’t beat her. But oh no, if you are a woman, your husband will not wait around and see if you can sober up because let’s face it, who wants to go home to a drunk wife?

Of course it’s an entirely different story if you are single. Come to think of it, it’s great for the economy if you go out and drink every night. In fact, our society is in urgent need of single drunks.

So now if you are with me, raise your glass – kanpai!

Jul 15, 2012


Knowing winks, glinting eyes, and naughty smiles – the reactions I often get when I talk about Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, etc. with my male Caucasian friends. It’s not a big secret why Caucasian men love to visit Southeastern Asia, usually alone or with their mates. They enjoy being Sex God during their vacation. Girls want them suddenly! They don’t have to make any effort. Girls seem to throw themselves at every white man they see.

Of course the men didn’t expect anything like that or plan for anything to happen. They only buy the flight tickets, get on the plane, and innocently plant themselves at the right place - nightclubs or some famous streets and at the right time.

And when “it” actually happens, ooooops, I just got lucky – they think. And naturally they ignore the phone numbers and email addresses those young girls left for them. Yes yes, they have all been warned by their mates about the gold-diggers in that part of Asia where the average monthly wage is probably not even enough for a square meal back at their comfortable home.

It’s a fair exchange, they get free sex and the girls also get something they are interested in – their body, if not their money. And for those less confident men, not to worry - they can always buy sex. Many girls are for sale, and the men just happen to have the money and are indeed holidaying in the country, so why not? Remember, they didn’t plan anything to happen! It just did!

And the best part is, they can just disappear after they have had enough, unlike having one-night-stands at home with those young Asian girls who want to immigrate.

So now they can all go home after the holiday with a clear conscience, boost egos, satisfied grins, and perhaps something they refuse to believe until the doctor confirms their suspicion.

Jul 5, 2012

Love Me Like My Dog

I’ve had men after my boobs, my legs, my feet, my eyes, my lips, my nose, and my ears - and occasionally, my heart. They usually left my brains alone. Too intimidating, they said. But nobody has ever loved me like my dog. I had a dog before. He loved everything about me. And I loved him unconditionally.

Well, I am definitely a dog person, so it’s extremely weird how come I am doing something for Japan Cat Network now – a NPO mainly helping cats. And what I am trying to accomplish is also quite unique here in Tokyo. In fact, I believe it might well be unprecedented.

I am, hmmm, doing the first angel auction in the history of Japan - probably. OK to be honest, at first I tried to plan a bachelor auction since I can’t misbehave anymore myself. But the Japanese were horrified with the idea. So I decided to rename it “ angel auction” because I am too polite to use the word “slave.”

Now everybody is happy and we have about 20 angels ready to be auctioned off. But in the meantime I’ve started thinking about what to auction next. The cats and dogs at the shelters perhaps?

You see, if we give everybody a pet, it will be a world full of love. Isn’t that just splendid?

Jun 21, 2012

That’s Not My Name

Almost every week our diligent scientists alarm us of yet another brand new disease. I suppose that’s their job and besides, if you give a certain human disorder a catchy name, people can then start walking around sporting the very same disease like a badge of honor.

Of course I’m not promoting blissful ignorance, and I’m not a heartless bitch, not really. But I must say that we might all suffer from having one too many medical researchers nowadays.

Some may argue that we can only solve the problem when we properly identify it first. It’s probably true, but it also has the risk to blow things out of proportion and make the solving even more difficult.

Let’s face it, everybody is weird one way or another. Granted, there are patterns to some quirkiness, but can’t we just say, “Hmmm, she is quite a character.” or “Gee, he is certainly eccentric.” and leave it at that?

But then again, if those experts really need to label everything and don’t mind missing the perfect opportunity of naming the latest disease after themselves or something as bizarre, I suggest that we number the diseases like typhoons. It would save us the trouble remembering all the perplexing names too. And diseases could still be intelligently discussed, “Gosh, haven’t you heard? He has Syndrome Number 5, the poor fella!”

Jun 19, 2012

Love For Sale

Bachelor auction is very common in the States. You can see it in many Hollywood movies too. One of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day, has a scene when Bill Murray is dragged away by a very happy Andie MacDowell after she wins the bid.

It's a popular way to raise funds for the church, community center, high school football team, etc. However, it’s such an alien idea in Japan. In fact, charity itself is still a fairly new concept here. Japanese usually rely on family or the government for help.

But I thought they would have at least heard of bachelor auction when I suggested that we have one for Japan Cat Network, the only animal welfare NPO authorized to enter the 20km zone in Fukushima.

To my surprise, almost all my Japanese friends had never even heard of bachelor auction. Although I spent hours explaining how it worked, I am sure they are still worried about my sanity now. It’s almost impossible to convince them that I am NOT trying to sell men for slavery, start a matchmaking service, or become a pimp.

Another problem is somehow I just can’t imagine Japanese ladies trying to outbid each other on anything, let along men. They will probably have to apologize first, “I am terribly sorry, but I am afraid I will outbid you now, if you don’t mind of course.” And they probably believe the highest bidder will be obliged to marry the bachelor in the end.

So naturally I started to think about having it the other way around and doing a bachelorette auction instead. But then can you imagine the nightmare of Japanese men excitedly bidding on the woman with the biggest boobs with their tongue hanging out?

Hmmm, I guess I would really have to wear an Afro wig, a fur coat, leather boots, and approximately 4.8 pounds of jewelry then!

Jun 14, 2012

I Wish You Were Dead, You Rascal You

I met one of my old friends the other day and the first thing out of his mouth was, “Hey you look the same, even though you are married now!”

In fact he is not the only one. Many of my male friends are now at lost about how to treat me after I said, “I do” to another man. They either ignore me completely or behave rather awkwardly around me.

I often wonder what men think about married women, but especially now since I’ve recently become one myself. To be honest, I’m still practicing my role as a benign society matron, but somehow I just can’t really perceive myself as a paragon of virtue. Perhaps it’s a bit too dramatic a change from an evil slut!

And what do people expect married women to behave anyway? Should we stop wearing miniskirts and high-heels, only talk about our husbands and children, and exchange recipes with other married women now?

Personally I always feel safer around married men, not that I have anything against single men. But it’s true I lower my self-defense mechanism when I am talking with married men, even though I still pick up some unsavory signals from them sometimes.

It seems that the married status automatically grants us the image of being unthreatening – which is perfectly understandable. But I would really like to know why some of my previously close male friends suddenly consider me as harmless as the dead.