My Life in Japan in the 80s
Nonfiction author Joe Palermo self-published a memoir in March. Here’s a synopsis:
A young Japanese woman was running through Tokyo station screaming “Save me! Save me!” There was a Japanese man chasing her and closing in. He grabbed her wrist and caught her about 10 feet in front of me. The woman was still yelling “Save me! Save Me!” but the Japanese people in the crowded station ignored her, not wanting to get involved.
This is the beginning of just one of the stories from my experience living in Japan in the 1980’s, where I had moved right after graduating university. It was still rare to see an American who could speak Japanese fluently. This book guides the reader though my many adventures navigating through Japanese culture while living in the outskirts of Tokyo, as well as Tokyo proper.
Do you consider yourself (1) an introvert OR (2) an extrovert?
An extrovert. I love to be in the spotlight. I have done this throughout my business career as I gave sales and marketing presentations around the world. The most memorable was giving a one hour presentation about Walmart in Japanese at an international Food convention. I also play electric guitar in a Christian band for our church of 1,000+. I suppose writing about my Japanese experiences also falls into the extrovert category.
What is your (1) most favorite thing to do OR (2) least favorite thing to do?
The thing I love doing the most is traveling. I have traveled all over the world as part of my business life and have been to Japan many many times, besides living there for eight years. It’s difficult these days, but my wife and I have still made it to Japan, Las Vegas and Mackinac Island, Michigan this year.
Globe-trotting for you!
Do you find it (1) easy to give a witty retort OR (2) think of what you should have said after the conversation is over?
I have a very sarcastic wit and my mind immediately goes to the most unexpected response to any question. You can see this quite often in my book.
The riposte is quite an art!
Do you (1) love shopping OR (2) hate shopping?
My wife and I absolutely love shopping for clothes. We’ll often stay at a luxury hotel in Chicago (usually the Waldorf Chicago) and hit the designer shops there, usually when there is a sale going on. We’re really into fashion and especially love shopping in big cities such as LA and Tokyo.
People can look for you along the magnificent mile or at the beautiful Water Tower Place!
(1) Can you name just one favorite novel OR (2) you love too many to just pick one?
My favorite novel of all time is Knock On Any Door by Willard Motley. It’s an older book, but I first read it in middle school and many times since. I have a first edition copy which I treasure.
Thanks for being interviewed, Joe!