100 Conversations · Desk Notes · In real life

‘Last Christmas’

Dear D,

It was cool. I enjoyed it. The karaoke, I mean.

The song–I had a reason to be excited that you were singing it. [personal story deleted]

My stomach is fixed, now.

Meantime, I had been thinking over what you said. Unlike your exchange-student friends, I’m not that impressed about the whole language study being ‘sugoi’ or whatever. You and I both know that it’s practice, which is an internal drive to just be better. BETTER than ourselves, we have to compare ourselves to our former selves and just get more and more good. That isn’t something you need patting on the back from others to do. People like you and me, well, we like to study. The studying and learning is in and of itself the reward. For me, anyway, that’s the case. How about you? For me, the accolades, at least, are not for me. Exploration is. Discovery is. Pushing the box out, further and further. Expansiveness. That’s my jam—going there.


Alright, here’s the crux of what I want to say to you. Directly, and after all. Japan: over.

To me.

To me, after studying Japanese for 10 years and whatever, I feel… like… tearer’s… little to get excited about it now. But guess what? HCMC.

Here. What about here? HCMC is an incredible place with its own fountain of potential for showing the world… something new. New and different.

This is my local..

This is where Atelier S P A C E meets. Often. Regularly. Third Space-style. (Google that).

Man, D. I wish you could have studied in Kyoto and gotten it over with and seen that now, well, what Japan has said it is isn’t what it is. If you know what I mean? Same like anywhere.

OK, um.

Are you there? Can you hear me? Let’s talk about this. I’m not kidding.

I think whisky should be part of that. Oh, but 20. Are you allowed to drink? I don’t know the rules here. Let’s get coffee, then.

I’ll leave you with this.


Originality refers to the production of a new idea, without any particular care for whether these ideas will be useful or not. So when you’re brainstorming and trying to turn out as many possibilities as you can, psychologists would call this originality, not creativity. It’s originality that is enhanced by positive moods.

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