Did You Know the Origin of Christmas Pudding?

Kenji Tsuchiya

Since the government decided to allow me to study philosophy at Cambridge University for 10 months, my friends, colleagues and students have been giving me a lot of information and advice. As a result, I have come to believe that going to Britain is like being sent to an environmentally very poor prison. The information I have been given is:
The shops close at half past five. Most days in winter are rainy and windy, and the wind is so strong that umbrellas are useless. Days are short in winter; it gets completely dark at four o'clock. You cannot live without a car (Hearing that, I took my driving test and got a driving licence, which was not so very easy. After that, someone told me that a Japanese driving licence is not valid in Britain. And then another friend informed me that a car is not necessary at all). Clothes of high quality are not worn (It was the first time that I felt glad to have none. I would have had to have bought cheap ones). It is difficult to understand lectures in a year. Even one who does not understand lectures has to pay tax. The food is not good. The women are not beautiful. Unkind people are not kind. The newspapers are written in English. You must take off your shoes when you get on the aeroplane. But if you pay ten pounds, you can pilot the aeroplane for three minutes. People of different classes and from different areas speak different English. I protested, "Why can't they unify their language in such a tiny country?", but It was pointed out to me that Japan has as many dialects. The fact that my utterance betrayed my stupidity depressed me even more. I asked imploringly, "Isn't there anything to cheer me up?", and merely got the answer, "The fields are pretty and the cows are lovely".
I have set some goals, which I have reduced at last to four from the original fifty three.
(1) To arrive in Britain. I have never been abroad. I have never been even to Hokkaido, though I have been in a concentration camp in Syberia and in a prison in Mexico while I was dreaming. It would be embarrassing if, after ten months of wondering why I can't make myself understood in English, I found that I have been in Peru. It would be even more embarrassing to arrive at Heaven. So my first ambition must be to arrive in Britain, no, to arrive at Narita air port. But I don't know how to get to Narita, even now, three days before departure. I should have rehearsed how to get to Narita. If possible, I should have rehearsed how to get to Britain.
(2) Not to put Japan or Japanese people to shame. The behavior of an individual abroad may well determine other people's opinion of Japan. So it is important not to put myself to shame. There are two ways not to put oneself to shame. One is to stay at home and never go out. The other is to keep pretending to have a different nationality. Both are extremely difficult, but I feel they are not so difficult as to avoid putting myself to shame.
(3) To become a gentleman. I would like to improve my knowledge and my personality. Someone, especially who doesn't know me, might wonder how I could improve my character, but the nobler character one has, the more modest he is. It is true that if I become even nobler, I might lose many friends. But one has to pursue one's ideal whatever consequences might await one.
(4) To come back to Japan. It is a sad truth that one whose departure was grieved deeply is forgotten when he returns. As my departure approaches, my colleagues and friends say, "Are you still here?", "You will certainly come back with a blond baby", "I hope you'll have a job to come back to". Everyone is concerned about me. I would like to come back to those people and hear welcoming words, like "Are you back already?". To tell the truth, I don't want to come back to those people, but I still have things to finish, such as cleaning the room and repaying my debts. Above all, I must continue the guidance of my students. My students said,
"We are sorry you have decided to abandon us".
Although their happy looking faces slightly worried me, I was deeply moved and replied,
"I will never abandon you. I am certain to come back. Even if they ask me to become a professor there, or to become the King, or if I don't like that, to become the Queen"
With these words I started for Narita.
On 31st August, the Boeing Jet took off into the clear summer sky for Britain. Among the hundreds of passengers in it was I not. The plane I got on took off next day. When the jetplane went through the cloudy sky and got above the clouds, there was not a cloud.

More than four months have gone by. The following are some of the letters I have written during that time.

***
[To my parent's family]
I am now in the plane. The tension at the time of taking off has just been relieved, but anxiety still remains. I am writing this letter with a shaking hand. I am anxious that there is a vast space underneath me. I wonder why it is scary, while it is not at all scary that there is a vast space above me. What scares me is the fact that nothing except one or two metal plates are between me and the space and that the plates are not supported by anything (unlike a building, whose floor is connected to the earth). As I thought that this kind of analysis might lessen the anxiety, I worked out the following argument:

Planes are floating in the air. But the earth is also floating in the air. Therefore floating in the air is not necessarily dangerous.

But I noticed the following argument is possible as well:

Both planes and the earth are floating in the air. Therefore the earth is also dangerous.

That made the anxiety only spread. The most effective argument was the one I found when I saw the beautiful stewardess:

I could die with this lady.

This logic worked, and I could enjoy the meal she devotedly served me .
But after a nap, I found the anxiety has come back again. Perhaps it is partly because I could not see the stewardess. In addition, several things made me anxious. First, the pilot. I glanced at him before I got on the plane. He looked utterly unreliable. He looked spoiled and as if he has an underdeveloped sense of responsibility. He probably became a pilot through nepotism. And he was not good looking like in the films. Besides, some passengers look suspicious. I would not be surprised if they turned out to be hijackers. They are ill-looking like in the films.
Even with excellent crew members, law-abiding passengers and a beautiful stewardess, planes crash. Compared with this scenario, the present situation is extremely dangerous. This morning a button came off my jacket. This must be an ill omen. All things considered it looks like this is the last letter. I am writng this letter as the note I leave behind me. In case this is the note I leave behind me, I warn you that planes are dangerous. My bankbook is put between the pages of the book "How to live untill 100" at the bottom of the bookshelf. Please forgive my undutifulness in dying before you. I hope you will remain on good terms with each other and live happily.
If I should survive, which is absolutely impossible, I shall never be selfish. I shall never tell a lie. I shall quit smoking for good, work earnestly, and devote myself to other people. Good bye. (never posted)

**
[to one of my colleagues, A]
Dear A,
Three weeks has passed since I came to Britain. Everything is going well. Today I went to the bank to pay the electricity bill, to the City Council to pay the Council tax, and to the piano shop to pay for the hire of a piano. If you asked me what I have been doing, I would answer without hesitation, "paying".
Houses here are all old. I live in a house built in 19 C. But it can be said to be 'newly built' here. The university buildings are even older. The whole city is a historical museum. The houses are beautiful with their old bricks. You could never fully savor the beautiful appearance of the city in a short time.
I go to the university by bicycle. The city is so small that you can go to anywhere in the city by bicycle. If you have plenty of time, you can go anywhere in Britain by bicycle.
People are very kind. This might be because I pay them money. I feel people here are more amiable than Japanese people. Sales assistants here don't forget to smile. Perhaps they burst into smiles on seeing my handsome face.
People here constantly apologize and say thank you, even for trivial things. Or they might do so only for trivial things. The truth will be revealed when I come back to Japan without paying my debts.
I would like to ask you a favour. Could you check my mail, and if there is any registered post, send it to me. Throw the other mail away. Thank you.
Yours Sincerely

**
[to a student B]
Dear B,
Thank you for your letter. Time goes by rapidly. It is two months since I came to Britain. It is ninety five years since the twentieth century began, almost 2000 years since the birth of Christ.
It is very good idea to start learning English, in fact the best idea you have ever expressed. You can boast about it.
Anyone who comes from abroad regrets that she/he didn't learn enough English. I myself was slightly confused by the strange accent spoken here at first, but it didn't last long. At first, I ordered at a hamburger shop in a perfectly correct English, "A whopper and a tea, please", and got a cola and a tea. Then I thought they were able to understand at least a half of correct English, and I felt deeply confident that I would be able to cope with them. Now I don't have any problem with English.
The term has begun. I attend some lectures and seminars, discuss philosophical matters with a famous professor, and enjoy a friendly talk with others. I wish you could see how I enjoy a talk in English.
Cambridge has produced a large number of great people. People who lived and worked in Cambridge include: Wittgenstein, Russell, Moore (philosophers), Keynes (economist), Newton, Hawking (physicist), Byron, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Milton (poets), Santi (my neighbour). I am on friendly terms with Mr Santi.
I see Prof. Hawking some times in the restaurant in the University and elsewhere. He doesn't seem to notice me, probably because he is thinking hard. Or he might be very shy. I considered talking to him, but changed my mind because he might be thinking about important things. Besides, come to think of it, I myself am supposed to be thinking about important things. For details, see my book "Prof. Hawking and Me" which I am going to write.
There are many great scholars here. An old man who is washing test tubes turns out to be a Nobel Prize Winner, an old man who is riding an old bicycle turns out to be a Master of a College, a lady at the register at the restaurant in the University turns out to be on the staff of the restaurant, and a child who doesn't look very clever turns out to be not very clever.
The buildings of the University are old.@The college where Russell and Wittgenstein lived and studied still looks the same and is used as if nothing happened. It will remain the same after I am gone.
But since the old buildings never change, it is possible to immortalize my name if I inscribe it on a wall.
What surprises me is the clothes of the professors. I thought the professors here dressed extremely formally, not to say wore formal gowns. But the reverse is true. They wear mostly jeans that look like rags and rags that look like waste papers instead of shirts, and look like homeless men. Perhaps they have no home. Very few professors wear suits. So there are two types of professors here: the shabby-looking homeless type and the tidy-looking homeless type. So I can confidently affirm that I am not behind them at least in clothing and housing.
The professors here never put on airs, nor are they authoritarian. This is already apparent from the fact that they seem not to care about their appearences. One of their excellent points is that they honestly admit that they don't know what they don't know, and that they know what they know. I am not behind them in this respect, since I always admit that I don't know what I don't know, and that I know nothing.
Quiet atmosphere, modest and honest scholars, magnificent buildings --- all these suit me perfectly. I wish I could live here forever.
By the way, I heard that mail sometimes fails to reach its destination. If this letter does not reach you, please let me know. Yours sincerely.

***
[To a friend C]
Dear C,
Though the city of Cambridge maintains its ancient appearences, the agonies and ecstasies of those scholars who devoted their life to study emerge dimly and sink again, while by and by a leaden mist creeps in to cover the time-worn images and memories of the colleges, and, confirming the self-identity of absolute contradiction, in the midst of the referentially opaque context instantiated by propositional attitudes, cannnot manage to keep its truth-value, and thrusts paradoxes before the causal theory of proper names.
Although it is three months since I came to Britain, my English has not improved much. I have difficulties in picking up ordinary conversation. Some Japanese here say that after three months one can suddenly pick up and understand English. But I can not find any slight indication of it yet. Perhaps I don't notice that I already understand English.
I might say, in a sense, however, that I have made progress. At first it worried me that I didn't understand English well. After a while, it proved to be true that it is practice that makes perfect, not theory. Three months later, I have got used to not understanding what people say.
Besides, I feel I have learnt some kind of a knack, or rather, a trick. Imagine someone is talking to you at the University. Even in a light chat, it is important, in order to promote friendship between Britain and Japan, to carry on the conversation without it being discovered that you don't understand what he says. Suppose you pick up just the words, "How long ?". Success is almost yours, with this small clue. You can easily infer by the direction of his eyes that he is not asking how long the corridor is. You can also infer that he is not asking how long one million miles divided by thirty nine thousand feet is, or how long the Onin-War in ancient Japan continued, using common sense that one usually does not ask such questions in the first part of coversation. By the process of elimination, you reach the conclusion that he is asking either how long you have been in Cambridge or how long you are going to stay in Cambridge. The rest is easy. You can give an answer which fits both of these questions, such as "I came here last September and shall be staying until next June".
After that, you can easily continue the conversation without it being discovered that that you don't understand his words, by asking questions the answer to which you can easily infer or nobody cares about, such as "Is this weather usual", or by continually speaking about your experiences. But the surest way is to leave him pretending you are busy.
Thus I have mastered to some extent how to pretend to understand English. I can say I almost understand TV already. If you watch the news prgramme on TV every day, you will soon come to understand what the news says. Of course I can't make out trivial details, such as whether America has invaded Haiti, or is going to invade Haiti, or has given up invading Haiti. Probably this is due to the difference in cultural backgrounds. But I can understand the crucial point that the news is about America's invasion into Haiti (It is easy to infer by the picture together with common sense that it is not concerning Haiti's invasion of America).
It is also easy to understand the gist of TV dramas. I can clearly tell whether each of them is a comedy, a costume drama, a police story or a medical story (there is no other kind of dramas here). Even when I am not sure, I can always consult the TV guide on a newspaper which explicitly says which kind the drama is (British people can also have difficulties in deciding which kind it is, without such clues). In the case of comedy, you even don't have to consult a newspaper, since TV comedies take the trouble to insert laughing voices so that one can easily understand that they are comedies and where to laugh.
In the above sense, my English might be said to be improving. But I still need to concentrate hard. My understanding is gone as soon as I lose the slightest concentration, such as when I come to think about something irrelevant or fall asleep.
Some Japanese here say that it takes six months to develop a good ear for English. If I don't understand English in six months, I shall have to find the people who say it takes one year.
I wish to put an end to the life of pretence and come back to Japan as soon as possible to enjoy TV in Japanese and Japanese foods. Yours sincerely

***
[To the student B]
Dear B,
I understand that you wish to come over to see my activities here. But regrettably there are some problems. First, you cannnot enter the lecture rooms, where I play the most active part, so that you cannot see my best activities. Secondly, seeing the whole city takes only a few hours, since it is pretty small. You would soon be tired of it.
Moreover, they say that the most beautiful season of Britain is July and August. If you visit here at all, you should do so in July or August, though I shall not be here then. But you can see me anytime, whereas you can see the July and August of Britain only in July and August. I, therefore, strongly recommend that you learn English now for the future visit. Yours sincerely.

***
[To a friend D]
Dear D,
Autumn has deepened. Here in Britain, swimming and sun bathing in a bikini, beaten by the scorching sun of Bermuda has became people's wish.
Thank you for your letter. You wonder how far I have achieved the goal of becoming a gentleman. It was much easier than I at first thought. In fact, now I live as a gentleman. I use toilets 'for Gentlemen'. At shops, sales assistants seem to recognize me immediately as a gentleman, saying, for example, to another sales assitant, "This gentleman asks whether we have cheaper ballpoint pens than this one". Of course it is not the case that any male person is called a gentleman. They never call babies and toddlers gentlemen.
I have not found any gentleman wearing a bowler hat and carrying an umbrella, much less one carrying a bowler hat and wearing an umbrella. Maybe I am not in Britain.(See "Where have English gentlemen gone?" which I am going to write)
My view of British people has changed considerably since I came here. For example, I thought that British people don't like to show off their knowledge, but actually they compete about trivial knowledge with each other in various quiz programmes on TV. Possibly they compete to be the loser.
Besides, I thought that British people didn't cling to money, or at least didn't show that they did. But actually, they don't hesitate to show their delight without concern for the people around when they get money on TV.
Recently the national lottery has begun. The draw takes place every week. One can play once for one pound. The probability of hitting the jackpot is said to be so low that if one continue to buy ten every week for hundreds or thousands years, one will definitely be dead. I wondered who on earth would bet on such a small chance, but it turned out that there has been long queues to buy tickets. The fact that money blinds so many British people, deeply dissapointed me.
The show of the draw appeared on TV. It only made a fuss and bored me. I turned the TV off immediately after I confirmed my three tickets had all failed. It is not rational to buy tickets again after one has experienced the misery. Nevertheless lots of people continue to buy. I now don't watch the programme of the draw, because I know that I can see the result in the news programme. If I hit the jackpot, I shall send you a ballpoint pen. Yours sincerely.

**
[To a relative E]
Dear E,
Thank you for your concern about the food. I don't have any problem with the food at all. On the contrary, I have come to realize that the rumour that Britain is the Mecca of bad food is utterly false. I love British traditional meals. I particularly love fish and chips, kidney pie and Yorkshire pudding (the last two of which I have not tried yet), although I don't like Christmas pudding much (that is why I have not tried it yet). By the way, do you know the origin of Christmas pudding? I don't, either.
It has been said the best way of eating in Britain is to have breakfast in the morning, at noon and in the evening. The British breakfast is indeed excellent, indeed. When I had British traditional breakfast at a hotel, it was too abundant to eat it all, so I could not eat it all up. (Besides, it would have been difficult to eat it all up, since it was a smorgasbord)
British lunch and dinner may cause a problem. But it depends upon one's eating habits. Whoever hasn't eaten anything for a week would find British meals excellent. Whoever has eaten meals my wife has cooked would find the same. [*Some British people may wonder here and elsewhere how a Japanese man can say such a thing about his wife honestly. Japanese never speak well of their family, whether it be their wives, husbands, children or parents. The reason is probably that Japanese regard a family as a whole unity, so that they think that it is as improper to speak well of one's family as of oneself. This makes a striking contrast between Japanese and British. The Japanese husband never speaks well of his wife, even if it forces him to tell the truth, whereas the British husband never speaks ill of his wife, even if it forces him to tell a lie.]
But if they had British meals every day, Japanese people would feel unwell. Perhaps British people have a different constitution, so that having British meals every day does not make them feel unwell even when they are ill.
In order to understand British foods (which are something not to be relished, but to be understood), one must understand the British spirit. They respect pluck and plainness. Traditionally they have distrusted French dishes or at least have pretended to on the grounds that it is difficult to tell what they are made of, and thought that therefore real men should not eat them. Most British people, unlike the French and Italian people who enjoy long leisurely lunches lasting more than one hour, have a sandwich walking along the street, listening to a lecture in a lecture room, or drinking coffee in an elegant restaurant. In short, meals are regarded as a kind of fuel.
Once one has understood this, one would find British meals delicious for fuel or feed. Even if you can't find them delicious, you should disdain as decadance the attitude that one can expect taste from fuel or feed. Having been forced to be content with meager meals, I like this spirit. I even wish that I could keep having British meals for the rest of my life.
I also heard that British women are not beautiful. But this, too, is false. I think British women are beautiful. Of course there are exceptions. Some might say that there are more exceptions than the rule. But as is the case with meals, it depends upon the circumstances. Anyone who has not seen any woman for a week would find British women beautiful. Anyone who has seen my wife for three minutes would find the same.
By the way, could you send me miso, sea weeds and dried fish when you have a chance, such as passing by a post office. Yours Sincerely.


**
[To the colleague A]
Dear A,
Thank you for your letter. You are worrying whether it is necessary to have good sense in order to live in Britain. You are absolutely right. Good sense is necessary, so that for me Britain is Heaven, whereas for you it would be Hell.
Since British people are sparing in the employment of notices and written instructions, people often have to judge what to do according their good sense. Most colleges have no signboard. So it is difficult to be certain of the name of a college. I once looked for a college and thought I had found it, but it turned out a library. Maybe the place where I have meals every day might really be a library, and I might really be eating books. Imagining in this way makes me feel sick, so I shall stop here (for furtherdatails, see "How far can we trust perception?" which I am about to write).
No one explicitly states what the rules are, although British society has fine rules. The entrance of the University Centre where one can have meals and drinks, for example, has no signboard on it (except "push" on the door), so one can only ascertain that elephants and whales are not welcome, by the size of the door. [*After I wrote the first draft of the present article, I found a signboard by the door, which I had not noticed before. Someone must have read my first draft somehow and put it up.]
In fact, there is a rule that only graduates and the staff of the university are permitted to enter. Though there is no particular notice, only distinct categories of people are there, that is, graduates, staff of the university, and those undergraduates and ordinary people who have entered without knowledge of the rule.
Shops have not got notices anywhere saying it is not allowed to steal goods, so that one can not be sure whether it is allowed or not, until one steals something.
The same is true of traffic rules. It is said that in British traffic good sense plays a more important role than in other countries, some busy intersections have no traffic signals. Drivers have to judge for themselves what to do there. Moreover, British drivers seem to decide when to violate the traffic rules by their good sense.
But I am afraid entrusting people's good sense is very dangerous, because 'good sense' is not reliable. The judgement of whether one has good sense or not is entrusted to 'good sense' of each one, in the first place. And only those who have not good sense think they have good sense. Any one with good sense would agree that if a person thinks he has good sense, that proves that he has not.
In fact, I have witnessed two accidents in three months. The number of accidents, including those I have not witnessed and those nobody, not even the people involved, have witnessed, will reach astronomical figures. 'Astronomical' might be an exaggeration, but it will reach at least astrological figures.
Though British people rely too much on their good sense, they, on the whole, have calml judgement and at the same time don't ignore natural emotions, and can be said to be people with good sense. You might wonder then why there is no end to serious crimes and political sleaze. But you must not forget the possibility (1)that perpetrators might not be British, or (2)that even if the alleged perpetrators are British, they might be falsely charged. I shall consider this in the book "The Mental Structure of British People and the University Restaurant".
Sincerely yours

**
[To a friend F]
Dear F,
The winter is drawing near. The leaves have fallen off the trees. The parks are covered with lush grass. The cherry blossoms are in bloom. It is said that the weather is unusual this year.
The loveliness of animals here has surprised me. I can not adequately describe the loveliness of animals. In Britain animals get deep into people's life. Indeed, they get into people's stomachs.
Cows grazing peacefully besides the road I walk along comfort me. They are so lovely that I cannot help watching for a long time.
The ducks are not afraid of people. They approach me when I walk along a river. They are very pretty, and indeed so lovely that one could eat them up, as the saying goes. In fact, those who have eaten them at a restaurant will agree that they are very delicious. There is a Japanese saying that Heaven does not give anyone two virtues. Indeed one seldom finds that something can be both lovely and delicious.
It is strange that I am happy as long as I think of ducks' loveliness and deliciousness separately, whereas I feel guilty when I think of them at the same time. The case of cows is more complicated. Some people think that cows here have a dangerous bug or virus. So cows here have three virtues, loveliness, deliciousness and fearsomeness, so it is not easy to decide what attitude to take toward these three virtues.
Any way, this is the first time I have ever found cows and ducks so lovely. This might be a proof that I have developed in personality.
Among Europeans it is British people who love animals most. It is said that French people love animals as long as they are cooked. British people, by contrast, can be said to love animals before as well as after they are cooked. So the depth of British people's love of animals surpasses that of other nations.
Dogs here are worthy of special mention. People here love and cherish dogs so much. There is even an organization for protecting dogs and cats in case they are treated badly. So there are no stray dogs nor stray cats. Instead, there are homeless people.
The homeless people often keep dogs, perhaps because dogs can serve as hot water bottles. [*There are voluntary organizations for helping homeless people. But despite their efforts, they do not seem to be as effective enough as the RSPCA. Part of the reason is the universal fact that human beings are much more difficult to deal with than dogs and cats. Considering this, it is amazing that human beings are brave enough to marry a human being, not a dog.] The dogs are very lovely and behave themselves without exception. In some cases they can be said to behave themselves better than their owners.
Dogs here usually look calm and good-tempered. So do most British people. We have a saying that a dog becomes like its owner. But here, since dogs are sometimes more good-natured than their owners, owners might be learning from dogs.
If you were to think of Japanese guide dogs, that will give you an idea of how ordinary dogs behave here. You might wonder how they are trained to do so. The secret is that before dogs are trained, owners are trained. Owners attend the lectures teaching them how to keep a dog, and after they understand the nature of dogs sufficiently, they train their dogs properly as trained trainers. In fact the nature of dogs is studied well. But they don't seem to study the nature of people as well, as, as far as I see from the dramas on TV and problem pages on magazines, people don't seem to get on with each other.
British people say often that the dog is man's best friend, which of course means that a dog can be a better friend than a man or woman. It is because people treat dogs with deep understanding and love that dogs here looks happy. Considering this, it is strange that notices for information about a lost dog are often seen. Perhaps the dogs don't think men are their best friends.
The loveliness of animals here explains the zealousness of the animal protecton movement. Some extreme activists send letter bombs to researchers carrying out experiments on animals. Probably the activists act on the convincing principle that animals should be protected more than human beings because they are superior to human beings. In the future, people will undertake experiments on animals to prove the safety of some medicine, after they make sure it is safe by experiments on human beings.
British people exhibit altruism and a strong sense of justice, as long as it does not go against their interests. They exhibit an especially strong altruism and sense of justice, where it promotes their interests, for example saving Kuwait in the Gulf War. Of course they remain idle spectators in the similar case of Tibet, and the fifth largest exporter of arms in the world.
But they can be said to have toughness enough not to be afraid of inconsistency. That is why they love animals while they eat them. I have a lot of things to say about this, but I shall leave it to the book "On the Problem of Inconsistency in the Animal Protection Movement in Britain" which I shall write in the future. Yours sincerely.



**
[To my departmental assistants]
Thank you for your letter, from which it was clear how busy the staff there are. In view of the fact that I am leading an easy life in such a busy and hard period, I am really heaving a sigh of relief.
Thank you for your concern about my health. I am glad to know that all of you are very kind when I am away. It looks as though you have entirely changed your personalities. I sincerely hope that this change will be permanent.
My life has dramatically changed since I came here. People there (including you) were always ordering me to do something. Now there is nobody to order me around, as long as I am with cows and ducks.
I was always running along the corrider of the university to do what I was ordered to do. Now I walk slowly after pedalling a bicycle with all my power.
I was forced to mend computers at the department. Now I mend a bicycle and a vacuum cleaner, so that I could write a book "How to Mend Bicycles and Vacuum Cleaners" which would make a five page book.
I liked talking there. Now I am patient and quiet, and don't say anything unnecessarily. I often don't say necessary things, either.
I used to eat cheap meals there. Now I eat even cheaper meals (see my forthcoming book "More Expensive Meals Are Predictably Delicious" )
I often stayed away from university due to illness. Now I don't stay away from university due to feigned illness. The amount of lies I tell has decreased sharply. The amount of truthful statements I make has decreased even more sharply.
There were lots of selfish people (including you) around me. Now there are no selfish people here except me.
Please say hello to my colleagues and students, to the Prime Minister (I don't know who is it) and Japanese people (including you).
Recently my book "I laugh, therefore I am" has been published. Please recommend it to those who you know and those who you don't know. Yours sincerely.

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