The Japanese Dream




Has it ever happened to you, that during your first hour of a new job you pause in the center of a hectic moment and say aloud, “Yay… I fucking love this” ! Those of you who are nodding along are the lucky ones. Today, I join you.

It started with me walking through a dark office building. The power was out. I was curiously following a sign to a Japanese language school. At one point the nearly abandoned building, dripping wet from rain, got so creepy that I almost turned away. Thank the Gods I kept walking cause I walked into a dream I didn’t know I had.

I found myself inside of the Japanese language school. The school’s focus is to prepare Nepali visa holders and aspirants for life as wage workers in Japan. Nepal is an immensely poor country, and these students are the few, lucky enough to be reborn in Japan. Many of the student are so poor that they will repay the school with the wages they earn in Japan. They will work tirelessly in factories, resturants, and in after-hours industries. They will do the dirty jobs without complaint, to feed their families in Nepal and leave surviving behind.

The students will face discrimination, gentle segargation, and hard hard work as migrant labors. Japan is an easy country be Japanese, White, or American. Anything else and you’ll have to hustle. I admire their bravery. Bless them, they are trying to survive. It was written than that the Gods taught me Japanese and sent me across the world and through that creepy building in Kathmandu to help these awesome people.

As I entered the school, I explained myself to a curious Nepali man. There are no native Japanese teachers in Kathmandu. Just Nepali workers who have returned after years of service. The man said, “ Ok… teach the class”. On the spot, I taught a solid hour and a half long lesson on basic Kanji. I completely lost track of time while I was teaching. My students loved the class and I loved them.

In the midst of it, I remembered that Halli had described our Dharma as what we do that breaks our time consciousness. She was onto something. I heard the satisfying sound of a Tupperware full of success opening unto me. Then I said midthought and aloud, ” Yay… I fucking love this” The students didn’t notice.

It was set, I became a full-time Japanese language teacher for young Nepali adults pursueing a better life. Class sizes range from four to seventeen. Agreement signed in writing. I’m going to prepare them for the visa language exam. I’m going to make an impact in the story of their lives. Six high fives for your hands Ganesha and a trunk bump!

This job is something I love, Japanese, and it is something I believe in, the gamble for another life. That was the initial force that brought me to Nepal. Now I’m being paid to do all the things I love with people I completely respect. I came to Nepal to learn about development. This job puts me at the heart of Nepal’s remittance industry, which is 50% of GDP, and a major part of Nepali human capital. This work puts my language, culture,and visa experiences to good use. It gives me even more respect for Japan. Plus friends my age with a common interest that call me “Sensei” ! Fingers crossed that are pretty girls.

Above them all, it gives me hope to help people rise up out of their poverty. and Yes They Can.

When I told Radha about my job he was so happy that he did a little dance and blew me a kiss. I was just that happy too.

As I went to write this on my phone, I came across Halli’s last text message, ” I can’t believe u r leaving! I’ll tell u 1 thing. Don’t search for success. Do ur best. Success will find u. Haha now u can go!”

… And so it was written.


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