Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Friday

Yep, it’s so far away from last Friday that–if I chose to wait another day or so–I could still technically be right on ‘Friday’ and just a week late. Sorry about that; working abroad (and in Japan) puts certain requirements on you. If asked whether you like working early mornings or late nights and your answer isn’t an enthusiastic “BOTH!!!“, you may not want to work in Japan. Yep yep.

I went to volunteer as an English teacher on Saturday, which was fun, and then had to renew my driver’s license on Sunday, which was not fun. But all the same, I’m glad to have a valid license for another 3 years!  Otherwise, I’ve just been busy with work and narrowing down schools to go to for translator certification. So many choices.. I have some appointments for counseling sessions later this week. Wish me luck!

But now, let’s finish this up, shall we?

Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail

Friday Edition

Continue reading Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Friday

Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Wednesday/Thursday

Yes, even I have a hard time rambling about the junk that ends up in my mailbox. Forgive me; yesterday was not a good day for junk (I was also busy, but let’s not dwell on that). Today was a long day at the office (wound up starting early and didn’t get away from my desk all day; I was fortunate enough to have some corn soup in a can for lunch while continuing to type away), but that’s not to say it’s a bad day. Just busy.

In other news, I don’t know if I mentioned it or not, but I’ve started looking into learning Chinese this year. I’ve tracked down some schools to get licensed as a translator (those courses will start–like all schools in Asia–in April) and found two different Japanese tests to take this year, but I’ve always wanted to learn know 3 languages. As weird and pointless as it may be, I’ve always felt it was a personal goal of mine to be trilingual (polyglot, for those of you who care about the technical word for it). I don’t plan to stop with Japanese–as I mentioned, I have 1-2 tests lined up this year and will be taking a translator training course in Japanese–but I would try something new while I still have loads of free time. Besides, if I learn Chinese in Japanese, I’ll either kill two birds with one stone, or myself in the process.

This weekend? Going to volunteer to teach English in Tokyo (there’s an English conversation group that meets twice a month) and renew my driver’s license. Fun all around!

Right now? Well…

Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail

Wednesday + Thursday Edition

Continue reading Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Wednesday/Thursday

Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Tuesday

Blah, tired. Not so much of a ‘sleepy’ kind of tired, either. It’s more of the ‘Focus and concentration is completely shot, so I stare off into space’ variety. Working in a law firm seems to be like that: Long periods of time waiting for something to happen mixed with bursts filled with ridiculous amounts of work. You’ve got 3 hours worth of projects to do, and 1 hour to do them all because the court will be closing for business. Needless to say, your 1 hour deadline will be filled with phone calls and e-mails from people wanting updates. This definitely differs from teaching English in Japan in that there your job is mostly to listen and engage in conversation. The best way I can express to people the need for attention to detail in this job is by pointing out one random fact: Did you know that there are italicized commas and periods, and that they look different? I didn’t, and now I’m charged with finding them.

Fortunately, I rather like my job and working in general. It is, however, not for the faint of heart (or who don’t care for lots of stress). On the positive side, the coffee is delicious.

Now, I bet you thought that I forgot to document all my pointless junk mail. Of course not! Here we move into…

Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail

Tuesday Edition

What did the advertisers leave for me today?

Continue reading Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Tuesday

And Yuki replies!

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, please check out my previous post, Would you like some spam?, for more details.

Anyway, I got another e-mail from our favorite non-existent spam artist (see what I did there? Hilarious, I know).


I tried to e-mail my friend again today, but I still can’t get in touch. I don’t even know Nobu’s address. Also, even though I just bought this phone, it seems to be acting up. Just my luck..

However,  I’m really happy to get to know you like this, so I think we can be good friends!

If it’s all right with you, I have a little profile I put together and just updated the photo yesterday. I’d like you to take a look at it.

Also, it’s really embarrassing, but I really want you to see the text on the TOP page. I wonder if you’ll notice what I wrote…?

The address is free–beauty.info/gaga, so please put http:// in front of it and enter it directly into your phone. Ah! I think it’s a cell-phone-only site, so you can only check it out on your phone.

I’m a little nervous since I’m not so cute, but I’ll be waiting for your reply! ^_^

Hmm.. any of that sound familiar? Like, remarkably similar to my predictions? Before we continue with the (pointless) deconstruction, some info for ya:

Why is it cell phone only? Well, as I said earlier, they want to get your money. If I can access it via PC, they need my credit card number. Most people (hopefully) hesitate to give out their credit card. On a cell phone, all I have to do is enter my 4 digit number into a box to authorize them to direct-charge to my phone bill.

What’s with the weird address? Which part? The http being separate is because most cell phone carriers (mine included) caught on to these things, and give me (the user) the ability to block all e-mails with URLs in them (how often do your friends e-mail you a website?). So they need to separate it.

I can’t see the site! ..not a question. But I’ll let it slide. The notice tells you that you can only access that page from a cell phone (it’s probably limited to Japanese phones, at that).

What happens if you follow up? Now that’s a question. Well, if you’re curious what more our fictional Yuki has in store, read on!

Continue reading And Yuki replies!

Would you like some spam?

One thing that you don’t really consider or think about when you live abroad is that pretty much everything is different, including the simplest things that you’d never even think about. Culture reaches further into our daily lives than you’d typically think. For today’s example, we’ve got SPAM and other such junk (or scams).

Having grown up through the 90s, I’m no stranger to the Internet. I’ve had (and still use) an email address since 1997. I’ve been a member of many chat rooms (anyone remember WBS?), chat programs (AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo!, Trillian, Skype), and various message boards (I even ran my own board for 3~ years). What’s the point? Well, you grow up getting all the junk e-mails, scams, and various spam that we’ve all become accustomed to over the years. Basically, I ignore it without even remembering that I’ve seen it, because it’s just like a common background noise for us all now.

But when you move to another country, there are different scams, different ways of trying to get your attention. As a non-native speaker, relatively new to the country, you can’t always sort it out so easily. In the case of Japan, some of the most prevalent spam advertisements utilize the cell phone system. You see, every phone here has an e-mail address associated with it. Unlike texting, as is prevalent in America, in Japan you can give out your e-mail address for your phone to people without giving out your phone number. Pretty convenient, actually. Since cell phones are a daily necessity, there are many hundreds of businesses that thrive off of the cell phone Internet system (which has special types of websites, etc, as well as being able to charge fees directly to your phone bill when you join. I’m sure you can see the problem coming).

Where there are legitimate businesses, there are scams artists. It’s like rain and wetness, income and taxes; you get one, you have the other.

What’s my point? We’re gonna take a look in how a Japanese e-mail scam works!
Continue reading Would you like some spam?