| Sep 2, 2003

Baby names, death tax and crackers

Greetings from Baghdad, where it’s 120 in the shade, the food is great, the people the best and electricity a dim memory. Oh, for the goodness of Japan. Joint names I live in Shizuoka-ken. My wife and I were married 1 1/2 years ago ...

| Aug 19, 2003

Biculturalism, accessories and recession

Greetings from Baghdad. It is a good place to appreciate all the blessings of Japan — peace, freedom, safety — all the things we take so for granted. Sadly, the one country that could do so much for Iraq is strangely absent and seems ...

| Aug 5, 2003

NHK fees, will-writing and shipping

The NHK man Dear Lifelines: Recently my wife, who is Japanese, answered the door to an NHK rep. She was warned that not paying the monthly fee of 1,000 yen could wind her up in court. She paid. I wasn’t home at the time ...

| Jul 15, 2003

Scooter worry, motorcycles and doctors

Motor scooter We own a Honda Today motor scooter here in Tokyo which we’d like to bring with us back to the U.S. next year. How can we find out if we can do this? — Tokyo Jack Dear Jack, I did it myself ...

| Jul 1, 2003

Auto English, penguin suits and frugality

Driving in English Dear Lifelines: I would like information on driving schools in Tokyo that give instructions in English. — Lalila Dear Laila: You can take your instruction in English at the Koyama Driving School. They operate a “Foreigner Information Line” at 0120-090926 where ...

| Jun 17, 2003

Pensions, immigration and health

Hello again from Baghdad. It is definitely hot — apparently 33 C the other day. Things here are settling down and the city is beginning to work again. What do you say about a 7,000-year-old-city? It just slowly gets on its way. It is ...

| Apr 1, 2003

Many Iraqis see war as their only escape route

The older man sitting beside me at a simple meal to welcome peace activists to Baghdad sounded me out cautiously. Finally, emboldened by the freedom to talk in the midst of the mingling crowd, he spoke: “There is something you should know — we ...

| Mar 18, 2003

Taking issue with a visa 'investigation'

“Dear Lifelines; I am a Hong Kong citizen with a British passport. I married a Japanese national in 1992 in Hong Kong. Three years ago, my husband was transferred back to Tokyo and so I came to Japan on a spouse visa, which is ...

| Mar 4, 2003

Homesickness, toll-free numbers and money orders

Greetings Greetings from London, England, where my fellow Assyrians are making me feel at home with their sweet hospitality, wonderful food, but also making me homesick for Japan. There are 2 million of our fellow Assyrian Christians in Iraq. They need our prayers at ...