Hi, I am Raymond Woo Weng Pong, a postgraduate student and tutor at Osaka University's Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP)in Japan. I have been here for 6 years, living in this wonderful island country of strange habits, deep appreciation for the ephemeral, and more.
I come from Malaysia, a country that would have been another island nation, if not for Malay Peninsula that joins my country to the greater Asian continent. Therefore, Malaysia's cultural insularity is a bit less than than of Japan (ok I am making this up!). I lived in Malaysia for all of my first 20 years of my life, never having been to another country for more than 3 months (yes not even Singapore) until I left for Japan after graduating from high school, in order to pursue my higher education under a generous scholarship from the Japanese government.
Anyway, pardon my mindless self-introduction in the two paragraphs above, and time to define the mission of this blog itself.
What is "hanashibanashi"? It is a Japanese word that is the plural of "talk", "speech" or "words". So what does this imply? Rather than imposing my thoughts onto blogsphere, boring readers with my philosophical declarations, I would rather prefer this blog to be more conversational in nature; less of Stalinist-style proclamations, and more of merely sharing my inane observations and thoughts, then getting feedback from readers or other sources, and finally further clarifying my words or developing my stories. Yes, most blog posts here will not be essays or dissertations; rather, they will be more as part of a step-by-step thought process that should reflect my own personal and intellectual growth.
Therefore, "hanashibanashi". Conversations, not necessarily serious in nature, and definitely friendly and curious in disposition.
And as you might have guessed from my affiliation, I am a policy/political/social science wonk, and as such there will be a bias towards those subjects. Of course, I am ready to talk about anything under the sun, for that is what a good conversationalist should do, like my hero, the legendary Samuel Johnson.
Some of you might have known of the existence of my old blog, http://themarquis.livejournal.com/. I have not written anything on it for the past few years, due to several technical problems involving Livejournal, and also due to my own engrossment in my own problems and work in Japan. Yes, I am a resurrected blogger (pardon the hyperbole).
Looking forward to enjoying my new blogging life, and to great conversations from now on.