(Mysterious) Postcard from Taro: “AFGHANISTAN BECKONS”

Dateline: April 30, Kabul, Afghanistan

Well things have changed for me yet again.

Recuperating from my broken leg in Yongbyon Hospital was a fun and it was such a high-energy place especially with the Juche plutonium reactor next door. However a bunch of thoughtful bigwigs of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea —maybe even Kim Jong Il himself— were having meetings with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and they came up with a gr-r-reat idea.

If they issued me a diplomatic passport from Jordan as a consultant to the Aga Khan Trust, so I could carry an unlimited amount of sealed diplomatic luggage on an Air Jordan to Iran free. They said I can travel first-class for absolutely free on a flight to Tehran, deliver a bunch of medical equipment for them and then continue on to surprise my biggest fan on 3Yen.com, Nori-chan, who works for the Aga Khan Trust in Kabul, Afghanistan.

To make a long story short, I got my free first-class ticket, which allowed me to leave North Korea without any trouble with my huge broken leg, cast which wouldn’t fit in standard coach seats. The flight to Tehran Iran was uneventful and I delivered the medical equipment without any problems, which they all said was great since using sealed diplomatic luggage saved them weeks of paperwork that it normally takes for transporting nuclear medicine materials. Then I continued on to surprise Nori-chan in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Dang, she was surprised when I arrived at the front gate of Aga Khan Trust for Culture in a Humvee. For some strange reason I was put in protective custody at the Kabul Airport by the UN Coalition Forces so Nori-chan was kind of pissed. She said the Afghans have a perfect saying for my situation: HE RAN OUT FROM UNDER A LEAKING ROOF AND SAT IN THE RAIN.

Mysterious Pyongyang Passover Postcard from Taro

Dateline: April 23, Passover in Pyongyang

Yikes!
When last you heard from me, the nice folks from the Russian Cat Circus graciously have given me free passage to Shanghai on a tramp steamer of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Well—SLAM!—the ship got hit by an eighty-meter, rogue wave in the South China Sea. It was like the entire ship’s contents were spun like the Wheel-of-Fortune(c) and I lost the turn of the wheel. I re-broke the leg that I broke last February when huge stack of kitty litter fell on me. We had to take a detour to DPRK for medical care and repairs.

Not to worry. Unlike America where I’m denied all health insurance coverage under the charming “pre-existing conditions” clause, the Workers’ Party Cat-caregivers Collective No 13 has set me up with 100% free care in the Yongbyon Hospital.

Yongbyon is fun and there are so many urbane and educated doctors and physicists around. When I get better that say I could go out in the hospital’s gardens in the shadow the Yongbyon Juche High-energy Research Facility next door.

Is that great or what?!

Oddly, my doctor keeps on saying I should not try to fly home to Japan yet to my cushy job in the 3Yen.com Media Network. He keeps on telling me that Yongbyon hospital is the best place in the world to relax until my leg re-heals sometime in late May.

Please bear with these occasional postcards since the Yongbyon Hospital does not have the Internet because they say it interferes with heart pacemakers and there is a lot of background static from the Juche plutonium reactor next door.

Postcard from Taro

(Another postcard from Taro just arrived)

Dateline: April 17, South China Sea—-a DPRK tramp steamer heading towards Shanghai.

Yikes!

Things have really changed for me again. As you last heard, I ran off to Bora Bora with my ocha-girl from the office, “Mega-Bimbo” aka “Megan” nee Megumi-chan and was cruising in my catamaran in South Seas. Actually that is not as odd as it may sound because my old college roommate, Peter Pauls, a Peace Corps supervisor in Bora Bora and I helped build his composite fiber catamaran there.

Ok it sounds all great fun, right? Well it would be …except Peter ran off with Mega-Bimbo and left me on guano island country of Tuuva. Meh.

Anyway, on Tuuva I ran into these nice folks from the Russian Cat Circus. They graciously have given me free passage to Shanghai on an odly high-speed, tramp steamer of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. You might say I’m on the proverbial “slow boat to China…screw loose and fancy free.” All I have to do twice a day is clean all twenty cat litter boxes, force feed the cats cod liver oil for hairballs, and brush the twenty Persians who are shedding just a bit due to the climate change from Moscow to the South Seas. Oh and also the North Koreans have me teaching them English from the also the North Koreans have me teaching them English from the only English book onboard, Mossad Manual of Escape, Evasion, Infiltration and Surveillance.

Right now I’m practicing my magic act as “Mr. Mysterio…loses his head” which the circus folks say they’ll let me do between feline acts. After my our Shanghai matinee performance on Sunday I hope to fly back to Tokyo and back to the 3Yen.com newsroom ….if they will take me back at my old job.

Japan and JETROsexuals

(Just received this postcard from Taro. I guess he’s still reading the news on his catamaran)

The Japan’s government has a famous agency called JETRO, Japan Export Trade Organization. JETRO’s amusing mission is promote foreign companies selling products and services in Japan. You can imagine how ineffective this bit of bureaucracy in the Japan That Can Say No, hee, hee.

Now according to the always-informative Travel Insider newsletter of Thursday, 14 April 14, Virgin Atlantic
Airlines has:

…invented a new name for its target audience – jetrosexuals.
What is a jetrosexual, you might wonder? Virgin defines this as ‘people who move business and culture forward’…more…

I am having a hard time imagine the dried-up, washed-out bureaucrats of Japan’s JETRO combined with Virgin Atlantic’s hyperbole Jetrosexual, ha, ha. However, David M. Rowell who writes The Travel Insider sees it a very different way. He wryly observes that every time he reads Virgin Atlantic’s coined word “jetrosexual”, he understands it as, “Jethrosexual” like the character Jethro Clampitt in old The Beverly Hillbillies TV sitcom.