I am leaving Japan after staying here for 2 full years. I haven't even really missed my native country of Italy during this time. I 'd like to congratulate The Alien Times for having improved a lot. I don't mean to say that old issues were sometimes uninteresting or anything like that; but I feel that from being "a newspaper for the readers" it has become "a newspaper of the readers". I wish for you to get more writings and contributions from the community. More participation means more interest. I like equally well "The Alien Times" and "The Gaijin Gazzett" for names, for one reason. When I moved to Italy from my birthplace, the Czech Republic, I also was called "Oriundo", half foreigner, and it sounded lively, making me feel the same as soccer players from South America. Nowadays it could be used for Nikkeis in Italy too.
I appreciated most your articles on the theme of Dioxin even before it was a topic of general awareness. Likewise, I appreciated all the articles on garbage disposal and the recycling of papers. In 1996, I at first felt admiration for the way plastics and other burnables would be collected separately, only to be frustrated to find out that the real campaign won't start until sometime in the future. Where I live, in Kaname, our apartments are provided with an incinerator (how many manga ended there) and an underground trash space for leftover foods,etc.. This system is also used in the public schools, but soon will be closed down because the burning of the plastics produce dioxins. So I hope that in the future a better program will be instituted for recycling papers, which could decrease the release of carbon dioxide and help the conservation of forest wood.
Concerning CO2 and global warming, it is not good to pave all the parking lots with asphalt, as in case of the hospital lot this year. In the first place, it gets hotter in summer, and in second place, it doesn't allow the water to be absorbed and regenerate the underground resources. We will feel "atsui" and put the "aircon" on full power... Why build dams when one of the reasons for low water levels is also the progressive pavementation of the soil? It will be worth walking in the mud after the rain if this means more trees and more grass growing. Likewise, when I realized the charcoal sold in Japan comes from Malaysia. I didn't want to do any more barbeques. It is made from rainforest wood, so every time you eat roasted meat, a piece of forest is damaged. Everything that is sold cheaper here comes from poor countries. The Japanese, which show awareness of the value of materials when it is from stone or ceramics, consuming cheaply the resources of poor Asian countries shows an attitude typical of colonization. Here in the international community in Tsukuba, there are people active in the conservation of the environment, who organize clean-ups of the city.. I wish to give everybody the reference for them: Lilyan De La Vega and Bernanrdo Gardunio (0298-53-1567).
I am taking with me many good memories but also few perplexing contradictions: one is the feeling that the life here is under the rule of the timer in the parking lot, in a city that resembles a big love hotel with fees every hour; a big karaoke room business, that will not allow you the feeling of being given plenty of time to feel confortable. Because the time people spend together doesn't exceed the time of performing an action, whether that be dinner, a karaoke party, attending a movie or making love. I tried to have a night stay in a place which was called a hotel, but they looked astonished at the request. No, they prefer to remain empty rather than purchase the service of a motel. Afterall they have some respectability to defend. On the contrary, I will remember nice parties and good music, as the one from the Jazz groups at the student festival, or the Hasegawa Jazz Quartet at the Masumi music festival. Thank you!
In conclusion, I want to wish everybody a good stay in Japan and a nice time in Tsukuba - in the lovely countryside and the woods of Tsukuba san, and the fabulous seasides. Sayonara! My mail address in Italy: sange[@]irba.le.cnr.it.
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