Friday, July 31, 2009

EP Renewal Application Complete

In this early afternoon, I dropped my EP renewal application, with the turnovers filled in, into the mailbox of MOM. Otherwise, it was a relaxing day with some reading and napping.

EP Renewal Letter

I went to the Robinson Road office to collect the EP renewal letter. This is the second letter that MOM has sent to me with the first one having gone to the old Shenton Way office. Is it too much to ask that someone at Shenton Way would notify me of the original letter when it was delivered?? Certainly, people should have seen the sender was MOM, thus about the status of a foreigner. I wasted time by contacting MOM, sending the “ACRA BizFile” of the company borrowing the fax machine at a client’s office and requesting them to send me another letter, etc. Picking up the letter today, my plan was to go to MOM after filling in the renewal request, but I couldn’t. The form requires the turnover of the company for each of the past three years. No idea, as the company was not mine then. I had to come back home to search the relevant documents…

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rather Sleepy "Good Morning Hanoi"

Interrupting “The White House Years,” I have been proceeding with “Good Morning Hanoi.” Rather than a writing that bolts the brain, this book reads like a flat diary. There is no “toxin factor” in it.

A work inquiry came from someone that I’d met once before. It seemed she was spitting out words at me in a rapid succession. Her main concern was the rate I’d charge, which made my short phone conversation with her more uncomfortable. Or she might be nervous talking to me for some reason.

Since I finished the 3-week interpretation last Friday, my sleep has been sound. I even wake up early and start working before noon! This should be due to a sense of relief that I feel in having completed the job and understanding that, with all the work I’ve done since coming back from Japan, my finance should be okay for the next few months.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Stinky Stuff under the Lid

When a rigid way of thinking characteristic of communist countries is described as in “Good Morning Hanoi,” with the media’s role as an important vanguard to represent and protect the interests and views of the government and the party and taboos that people are not supposed to touch on, my mind automatically drifts to the situation here. There doesn’t seem much difference. “Put the lid on things stinky” as people would say in Japan. Open discussion on sensitive topics by decent, rational people with thought-provoking ideas should lead to a more inclusive society, benefiting everybody.

Friday, July 24, 2009






Thursday, July 23, 2009

"The Fog of War," Washed Phone, etc.

昨夜、「The Fog of War」を見た。今回、「Hearts and Minds」と合わせて見ることができてよかった。Rationalな人間がrationalな行動をとるとは限らない。何の用もないはずのアメリカがベトナムに介入を深めた様子が、先日亡くなったマクナマラ元国防長官の口から語られている。キューバでのミサイル危機だって、「Kenney was rational. Khrushchev was rational. Castro was rational」だったと。この危機から「共産ドミノ」を信じたがために、ベトナムに深入りしていったと。しかし、自国と同盟国の周辺に核兵器を配備されたソビエト連邦が、アメリカと目と鼻の先にあるキューバに核を持ち込もうとしたことを不思議だと感じる方が不思議だ。まして、対資本主義/民主主義戦争としてではなく長年の植民地支配からの独立を勝ち取るために戦ってきたベトナムにとって、アメリカの介入は新たな宗主国の登場に他ならなかった。




Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ozawa Stays with His Old Supporters, Eye on Future Cooperation with "THEM" & High Fever





Thursday, July 16, 2009

DVD Days

On Tuesday, the five DVDs arrived, one day sooner than notified by Amazon. I watched two of them, “The Sea Is Watching (海は見ていた)” and the documentary “Hearts and Minds.” The documentary may be the one that is played in the War Remnants Museum in HCMC, part of which I watched last year. Tonight (Wednesday), I watched a tribute to Yasujiro Ozu, “Café Lumière (珈琲時光)” by Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢).


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Review 12

Once again, it was quite an experience to me, educational with lots of new information. And special too, as the two training were held in Tokyo. I also learned that two much more expensive interpreters are usually required to perform this kind of interpretation. I’m not very sure whether this is really true but there are only about five interpreters in Japan who can handle this specific field of industry. Nothing lasts forever, as I have witnessed with the GMS training school. But then, I do hope this very good relationship will be maintained at least for the few more years.

Today’s Japanese class was cancelled. Instead of the class, I went to Borders and got “Good Morning Hanoi: A Year on the Airwaves in the New Vietnam” by Iain Finlay and Trish Clark.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Review 11





Thursday, July 09, 2009

Review 10

5月25日(月)に日本から戻り、29日(金)夜のフライト(土曜日着)で再び渡日するまでの翻訳2件を納品した。工事中ということもあって、東京駅周辺はやはりわかりにくく、その地下街の「東京駅一番街」に行動をとどめた。午後になって、タクシーで宿泊するホテルに移動すると、チェックインが午後5時になっていたが、その1時間前には入室できるようにしてくれた。ホテルロビーには結婚式に出席すると思われる人が多かった。時々小雨の近くを散歩すると警官がやたらと目立つ。理由は道路を隔てたところにあるアメリカ大使館へのテロ防止のようだった。時間をもてあまして、またロビーに戻った。「When Heaven and Earth Changed Places」を読んでいると睡魔が訪れ、そこでしばらく眠った。野球中継(広島X巨人)を見ながらビールと酎ハイを飲んで、就寝。翌日曜日は午後まで寝ていた。日曜日もよろしくない天気だった。少し歩くと、「アークヒルズ」があった。そのビル内のどこで食事をするべきか迷った挙句、トンカツ・レストランに入った。「When Heaven and Earth Changed Places」を持っていたせいだと思うが、「英語メニューを持ってきましょうか?」。店から出ると、雨模様だったので、ホテルには戻らずに1階の「Starbucks」で続きを読んだ。

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

"Communist Devils"

I slept deeply but much shorter than usual thus was wanting more, though quite awake and keen during the daytime. The taxi driver of this morning was very talkative. After checking my nationality, he asked me “how many languages” Japan has. Someone has told him that there are “three languages.” Ah, it is not three languages, but three different scripts including Chinese one. The language is made up with a combination of the three. “Is it possible to write all in the two Japanese scripts?” “Yes, but hard to read.” He went on to speak about “communists” in China, who are “devils who knows only how to kill. Satan, destroying everything that God created” He reviewed the war between Vietnam and Communist Khmer Rouge Cambodia, into which China got itself involved to save the Cambodians, perhaps forgetting Vietnam was and still is a communist country. He also complained about the government of this country that has been “supporting China.” I told him that was because of business reasons. He disagreed with me. He also mentioned “Falun Gong” and asked me what I knew about the organization. I don’t know about its teaching, but I know some of the things that “the Chinese government had been doing to it.” Then, he said, the Chinese communists are doing “prostitution.” “Persecution?” “No, it’s prostitution, like here in Geylang, whereby they are trying “to satisfy people by giving them money.” I didn’t understand.

Last night, I bought a small dictionary of Vietnamese, and it is very interesting to look at words although pronouncing them is totally a different matter.

(At “Cable Car”)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Robert S. McNamara Dies at 93

After reading the chapter, “The Agony of Vietnam,” of “White House Years,” where his name appears in several places, and ordering the documentary, “The Fog of War” at Amazon (UK), which features him only a few days ago, I found a news piece of the death of Robert S. McNamara, a big war escalator-turned-disarmament advocate, during the afternoon break today. He was 93.

Unsound-sleep syndrome continues though I’m feeling badly tired.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Betrayed by Epilim Yet Again & Review 9

Last night, there was not choice but to resort to the discredited Epilim with very slim expectations that I would work after a long period of non-use. It did not let down what it had been. Too slow to kick in and making me groggy.

Coming back on the booked flight here from the Kansai Airport on May 25, it seemed a lot but at the same time it was not much... After all, it was a homecoming trip though there were some reverse culture shocks like there were few places (I could not find any) to connect to the internet wirelessly causing me communication problems and the language of some people sounded unrefined, even rude.

Back here, I had no luxury to relax. There was work to be finished and I would be off to Japan again on May 29.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Nice Dream after So Many Weeks

I had, even enjoyed, the best sleep I had had in many weeks. An American man appeared before me. He, unhappy with the current way that went too much to the direction of entertainment, wanted to establish a new system for pro-wrestling management. He was seeking investors for his plan. The minimum amount of investment was 100,000 yen. He was visiting my house, but not to see me, apparently. It seemed he was explaining his vision to other people. I was thinking that I might be able to invest 100,000 yen to his plan. Together with him present at my house, I found “Anton I.” who had already invested. The booklet the man from America had already had my profile even though I had no idea where he had gotten information about me. The profile listed my experience briefly. What made me so appreciative was the last line of the profile: “To his own credit, he did it all at his own initiative.” Every investor had a gold metal plate with his/her name on it in the man’s office. He was from “Mesa.” Someone was wondering aloud where the hell Mesa was. I answered, “Arizona.”

It was very different yesterday. I found some of my relatives walking down together in my old neighborhood. I had no idea at all as to why they gathered. I don’t think I exchanged any word with any of them. Then suddenly from one of the alleys connecting the road to the canal, my father appeared. Again I don’t know why. At home, I was not listened to and totally ignored. The only exception was a young girl, who was my sister, who showed understanding on her face. And I was thinking if I had been wrong in telling people that I was the youngest in the family.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

"The Agony of Vietnam"

“White House Years” describes the policy of the Nixon Administration and the public psychology in the chapter, “The Agony of Vietnam.” Kissinger tells us that it was unfair to criticize Nixon over his policy toward the war as this was something he had inherited from Kennedy and Johnson. Quite true. He also expressed his incomprehension for politicians, especially members of the previous administration who had escalated the war in the first place, and the public opinion of a vocal minority that asked for concession after concession and supported even a unilateral withdrawal of the US troops after 31000 dead US soldiers and with no reciprocity from Hanoi. It all seems logical to me. But, what sort of business did the US have in a far way country like Vietnam?

My sleep seemed better. However, it ended with a series of unpleasant scenes though. I managed to wake up only well into the afternoon.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Yesterday’s morning and this morning, nightmares again and so tired. Yesterday, there was a baseball tournament, which I was not aware of. All of my classmates were out cheering out own team. But I did not know even any kind of tournament was going on. I was very much ostracized.

This morning, it started off just fine. I was living in the northern part of a city and was visited a bicycle shop. The man who managing the shop very much looked like the guy who in reality has have my hair cut for the past few years. He was repairing a bicycle. I found the man was a grandson of the old man who was managing the same kind of place in my old neighborhood in Kyoto. This old man came into the shop wearing a workman’s cap. I politely greeted him giving my name and telling him that I used to live in that area. Change of the scene. The old man and I were at a restaurant. And I was telling him that as there were many college students staying, there had not been a big property and rent slump here. He agreed. I went on to say that even so, there were more shops and restaurants in the area, specifically a noodle shop. That was when I realized I was sitting at the noodle shop. I told him that the shop used to be across the street. And some more events occurred, like his grandson appeared at the noodle shop.

That was okay compared with what followed. I was meeting my relatives. Maternally side. They know so much more about my family history than I ever have known. I should not go further into the story. In a few days, I will forget what I saw in this dream. SIMPLY, I NEED NICE SLEEP.

Yet again today (30th) , I received a small translation work from Tokyo, which I finished in an hour and sent it back. Also I found a deposit has been made into my corporate account. I managed to pay myself.