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Meet ~*.*~mariko~*.*~

May 31, 2003, Mariko sent this short message:

My name’s Mariko. I study international cooperation at a university in Japan. Yeah, I'm interested in investment things around the world, coz, as you know, my country has long been in a severe recession and it seems to be the right time to consider economic probs and systems as an individual economic reformer. But my knowledge is so small now my only way is voodoo economic “policy” :)

I like jazz music (I sing & play the guitar in a band), painting (oil-color, graffiti), writing, reading, hanging out and yakking with my friends, etc. I don’t like alcohol, smoking, lies and pimentos :)

Earlier, she had sent us this looonnnngggg introduction

I like any kind of music, not only jazz and blues, and one of the reason for which is it's the sacred cow any of the most powerful political intrigues can't step in. BUT! Don't blame me if you know of politics-free things other than music ;-) I bet there are some though. I play music in a jazz band and have small concerts from time to time at the same old dingy hall, which I love. I like the atmosphere of many familiar people packed in a small, musty "snake-pit", rocking their bodies, singing together with us green musicians.

I may be too serious sometimes though so easygoing usually. I like jazz just because it comforts me, but why I like blues music is a little different; of course it turns me on as well, but what I see in it the most is the mood of lyrics. I think you can know the background of the origin of the black music. Slave trade and slavery in the US, I mean. This is what I found interesting about it for some reasons. I'm sure you can share what I'm saying now if you're interested in history.

Well another interest of mine I forgot to tell you in my last message is languages & cultures. I've studied Korean, German, English and French, but am master of none! :) Well, I've narrowed down the target languages to English and French for a certain reason... Anyways, I am itching to live in Switzerland to learn the two languages and experience a different culture. Also I am fascinated with the headquarters of WHO, ILO and International Red Cross. I think I can somehow learn so called international attitudes there. Although I have this plan in my mind what I have to do first is to graduate from university and be an independent individual.

It's often said that experiencing other cultures broadens your horizons, but it actually does, and did! I did home stay in California 5 years ago. The 3 weeks I spent with my host family, neighbors and other warm local people was beyond my words. Though it was a great challenge for me to do things in a complete different, unfamiliar way, I've learned to see things from different angles, which have enabled me to adapt myself to many other unexpected, or new, situations.

Thank you, Vance, for telling me my attached email had been dropped. Thanks a lot and sorry, Deden, I didn't know you hadn't read the message below. Thanks, Sheena, for writing to tell me you didn't find it, and you weren't wrong! And sorry, everyone, to have sent you mysterious messages. Well, I cut & pasted the message, hoping all of you will know of me better.

I'm Mariko, nice to meet (or write to?) you all new "classmates" and teachers!

I decided to join this group coz I wanted to improve my English through fun, interesting conversations and discussions with people around the world. I've studied English for nearly 8 years in Japan but what the textbooks taught me was a bookish language without humor and SOUL. Though I crammed almost all the rules of this language into my petite head, I'm not at all content with MY language. I hope I can learn to talk in the way I want to.

I have a great deal of passion: music (singing and playing the guitar, my favorite genres are jazz and blues), photography, fine arts (graffiti, oil colors, designing etc.), basketball, watching ski-jumping and figure skating, writing, reading (any kinds of books and magazines but of sci-fi), net-surfing, chatting and hanging out with my friends and so on, you name it.

Almost all of you may be unfamiliar with the music I like, but.I like Sara Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, Miles Davis, Luis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday.and yeah, you know of Norah Jones, don't you? The one who swept the Grammy this year.

I'm a 20-year-old university student whose major is international cooperation and my field is refugee studies. Also, I've been taking a distance learning course in freelance journalism for 8 months. You may find my future plan is a little rambling, but it isn't :) I WILL be a journalist who writes features articles on international issues, flying all over the globe, interviewing the "silent locals". Well, this is an image of what I will be in the distant future. I know I have to be at the bottom of the totem pole for so long.

I live in a city called Sapporo which is famous for its beer and the Snow Festival. Sapporo is located in the northernmost prefecture Hokkaido, where there is a lot of beautiful nature still preserved savage, and thus people visit this place for its fresh foods and for sight-seeing. We have visitors most in the early February when the Snow Festival is held. We have over 300 snow statues in 3 venues within Sapporo during the festival. The statues are built by Japanese Self-Defending Force and public people both form Japan and foreign counties such as China, Canada, the US and Australia.

My prefecture has an interesting, thought-provoking history of the indigenous people called Ainu. The Ainu were persecuted by so-called Japanese people till just a couple of years ago. They were first discovered by the Japanese over 200 years ago by the pioneers sent by the then government. As development got on, people began to come as settlers and this was the beginning of the 2 groups' collision. Maybe some of you know this kind of thing as your countries' own experience.

Now you see what I meant in my earlier message on webheads ;)


May 31, 2003, Mariko also responded to Phoenix, from Iran:

Nice to meet you, Phoenix! This is my first time to speak to an Iranian in my life ;) Anyways, welcome!!

I'm Mariko and I'm a Japanese university student who’s studying inernational cooperation in which my special interest is refugee issues and conflict resolution predominantly in sub-sahara Africa. Me, too, I’m badly interested in music(jazz, especially), art (oil-color paintings, grafitti, photography) and language learning. What kinda music and art do you like, by the way?

When considering refugee issues, Iran should be one of the most important nations in the world, but to my shame I have had few chance to look to it personally. Now this must be a good chance for me to give an eye to it. What has been stuck in my head is Iraqi and Iranian Kurd refugees fleeing to the UK and were detained in a small Norman city Sangatte, being forced to sleep on the ground outside the overgrown refugee center, waiting for scarce food and daily necessities. Now that the center has been closed for nearly half a year, though I once heard most of the asylum-seekers there suceeded in getting asylum in Paris to be allowed to immigrate to the UK as legal residents and some returned to their homelands. I bet you know of this much better than I, especially about what the prob’s like after the closure of the center though. Maybe this kinda topic interests many of people on this group, so I hope you can give us a little more “interesting” info on asylum-seekers and returnees.



You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in. -- Arlo Guthrie

See Mariko's writings on SARS Nation

Mariko's Lists:

Coucou a tout,

I've created some mailing lists, and wanna invite you to the brand- new places.

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Last updated: June 21, 2003