Is that Really Your Favorite Thing?

Hello everyone. “What is your favorite thing?” is a typical Japanese English textbook question. What is your favorite sports, movies, novels… you can create many series of this type of this questions. Anyway, we often talk about our favorite things or things we love. Some people can talk about their favorite things with enthusiasm. They really talk a lot even though I don’t have any interests on the topic. However, their faces when they are talking about their favorite things are really looked fulfilled and cool. During such time, I often think of myself who doesn’t have any specific favorite thing. If I were asked “What do you like?”, I would say “I like fresh clean air in countryside, and rice”. I cannot tell somebody why I love those things or how much money I have been investing to get such things.

Somebody loves collecting things. But I don’t. When I finish reading manga of “Damon Slayer”, I was so touched, but that doesn’t make me to keep owing volumes. I just keep the memories in my mind, and I sold them on Internet flea market site. It got really high price though, some of my friends who love the series said to me “You are so disgraceful”. I want to live simple life. I would rather collect precious memories in my heart instead of keeping stuffs. Things in your heart never be robbed or rusted.

Holi festival in India (throwing color powder each other to celebrate)

So, I have never belonged to some artist’s fan sites, or bought fan goods on anybody. I have never collected complete edition of something. I know how I’m spending boring daily life. Maybe that’s why I got depressed easily somehow. But, I think it is ok. I want to love such abstract things. I love travel especially for foreign countries. I love reading books. I love listening good music. I love writing stupid stuff. I love to meet new people. I love talking with my friends over the phone. I love to know new things or new world. Now I realize, I have many favorite things. Now I am so happy that I can live with my favorite things.

Dear Ashley (a friend who lives in Turkey)

This below is a personal letter writing for one of my foreign friend Ashely who lives in Turkey now. We met on Facebook 7 years ago, and we were a kind of pen-pal at that time. We used to send and receive air-snail-mails. And somehow we haven’t heard each other for 7 years, but we accidentally met again on Facebook this year (I deactivated my previous account 3 years ago for no reason). Anyway, please enjoy the letter as a kind of my self introduction, maybe.

Dear Ashley

Long long time no see Ashley. I heard that you had just come back to Turkey these days. I’m really relieved hearing that because there were a serious political issue around that time, and now, we are in a global pandemic of COVID-19.

How are you seriously. I became 27 years old now, and I currently live in the northern part of Japan, which is called Hokkaido, where I was born. I live in the very countryside of Hokkaido (like the most places in Hokkaido) called Saroma. The population of Saroma is about 7,000 and interestingly, the number of dairy cattle is about 14,000. Yes. The animal population is higher than people here.

And what am I doing in here? I became a high school English teacher now. Are you surprised? You must be. Because I’m surprised at too. Actually, I had no idea to be an English teacher so far. But I’m enjoying this job anyway (However, I’m always wondering if I could go and live in some other countries. I sometimes really wish if I could live like a world traveler).

I’m still a beginner teacher in a small high school. I struggle with teaching almost everyday, and now I finally found that it actually is really difficult thing to teach something. Learning English in Japan is such a difficult thing because anything is translated immediately in this country. Movies, TV dramas, Music, you can name it. Since Japan hasn’t much diversity race (especially in the country side), people really hesitate to speak some foreign languages and feel shy. So, students are also seems shy to learn English, but I’m trying to let them feel easier to learn English everyday.

The first time we met was when I was a university student in Tokyo (I forgot my age at the time). You sent me a letter with absolutely beautiful hand-drawing sketches. You have such a talent of drawing. So, if you still drawing, I really want you to send me some piece of your art. I will definitely put it in the frame and hang on the wall of my room.

By the way, I still have a dream to live in the US someday. So, it is a kind of working-holiday in Hokkaido for me, I’m saving money to go out from Japan someday. What kind of dreams do you have these days? I would really like to hear your dream and recent situation.

Above all, there are so many things to tell you about my history for this 5 to 7 years. So, just communicate through this analog letter, OK? I seriously love this format of communication. It takes time, but that makes our communication more precious one. Please send back to my address below even if you take a year to send me.

Thank you so much for being friend with me, and keep in touch.
I’m hoping you are doing fine and spending good life from Japan.

Tomoharu Watanabe

Thank you for reading and have a good night.
P.S. Have a good dream with this song…

Not Exactly Paris