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St. Patrick's College, Cavan


14 Apple Road


Co. Cavan

Republic of Ireland

Dear Mam,

I don’t know what our Scout leader, Andrew was thinking when he thought of that taking us all the way to Japan would be beneficial to our education. Learning to appreciate and embrace foreign cultures, traditions and values are obviously top of his priorities. I watch Hollywood movies. I watch Star Wars. I didn’t need to travel hours to appreciate foreign cultures. I could just go to my PC, my 2hr 80’s music playlist, my German language tutoring app, and my jokebook about France’s military achievements throughout history.  However, I never knew much about Japanese culture, apart from the caricatures of women with large body parts and daytime pyjamas. My view of Japan altered when Andrew shipped in two Japanese exchange students. Those caricatures were so wrong! In reality, they looked my age or younger, while actually, they were in their late twenties! I knew Andrew had something going on with them. When it was Japan that won the vote I assumed Andrew had rigged it. Clearly, Andrew’s dream of illuminating Japanese culture would pay off.  At least we had the students to act as interpreters. And they even offered to let us stay in their Scout den! When we arrived five days ago, I was as pale as an Irish winter. I soon found out that the Japanese didn’t know much about Ireland, just like I didn’t know much about Japan. When you point to Ireland on a map, they think Ireland is ‘’green land’’, with never-ending seas of grass and pots of gold. And actually, I thought Japan was ‘’red land’’, filled with red maple leaf trees and red fish in the ponds. Since they thought Ireland was so ‘’green’, they served me ‘’green tea’’. Mam, it was toxic! Nothing beats Barry’s tea!  Last night Andrew was getting adventurous, so we headed into Tokyo which at night is like my phone screensaver or Blade Runner. We ended up in a place called ‘’Robot Restaurant’’, where some millionaire pours in millions to hire the female population of Okinawa to dance and perform three times a day for all the drunken salarymen who come along. Basically, I was sitting in a room full of women riding neon tanks and aeroplanes mounted to the roof, questioning mine and Andrew’s sanity. Some looked just sexually confused, some looked like they made weekly pilgrimages to that place.

This trip I will never forget. My friend got the lucky chance to become the field marshal of that female army and drive the neon tank around the room where normality got thrown out the window. I will tell you more in my next letter.


P.S, It would be cool if I got a part-time job there!