Back to most current version of Gary Joe Wolff's welcome page
The current time in Japan is Fri Jun 25 23:49:33 Tokyo Standard Time 1999
Excuse me, but are you lost? Are you sure you're in
the right place?
Oh well, regardless of whether you stumbled here by accident,
came on your own free volition, or were ordered here at gunpoint,
why don't you take a load off and stay awhile.
By the way, "Howdy" (as we say back home in Texas)!!
Welcome to my home page.
I live in Tokyo,
an exciting 24-hour-a-day metropolis inhabited by about only 30 million folks,
where I am currently working in the English education business.
I've been here for about 6 and a half years now,
and my main job is with a large Japanese construction company.
I have taught over 4,000 students
at over 80 companies, schools, and governmental agencies.
I also work for a company licensed by Disney,
where I travel all over Japan singing and dancing for young children
in an english education stage show.
My life in Japan is pretty cool, but I always seem to really
miss my family,
Tex-Mex food, and my mom and dad's home cooking,
especially my dad's barbeque.
Japan is indeed a very beautiful country
(especially the pretty women!)
- it's about 70% mountains -
and I have found the people to be especially warm and kind.
One of the most surprising revelations for me
was to discover after moving here that
Tokyo is not a city,
but in fact, a prefecture,
the equivalent of a U.S. state,
and is a massive expanse of real estate with a land area of 2135 sq. km.,
consisting of 23 wards, 27 cities, 6 towns, 8 villages,
as well as the Izu 7 Islands,
and the beautiful, remote Ogasawara Islands,
some 1200 km. south of the metropolis, which include Iwo Jima,
the famous WW II battle site.
And despite living in what is probably the world's
most populous metropolitan area,
one can be hiking in the mountains in a national park
in less than a two-hour train ride
or be surfing in the Pacific Ocean in less than a one-hour train ride.
The culture here is absolutely fascinating.
Japan is a truly wonderful place and I just love it here.
In case you haven't dozed off by now,
I hope you will have time to visit
the rest of this site.
As you have probably already gathered, I am from the Lone
I grew up in Bellaire, a suburb of Houston, Texas,
the home of NASA,
the Astrodome (the world's first domed stadium, built in 1965),
Compaq Computer, Shell Oil,
Continental Airlines, and American General.
Many world dignitaries have been treated at the
the world-renowned Texas Medical Center
(42 medical institutions and over 50,000 employees, including 14 hospitals,
such as the Texas Children's Hospital, the largest pediatric hospital in the U.S.,
the M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center,
2 medical schools, 4 nursing colleges, the country's largest medical library,
schools of dentistry and public health,
nearly 5 million patients a year,
and the workplace of Dr. Michael DeBakey,
the internationally famed cardiovascular surgeon and
pioneer in artificial hearts and transplants,
who recently examined Russian President Boris Yeltsin
prior to his heart surgery).
Houston is also home to
Rice University, the University of Houston,
the world's largest livestock show and rodeo,
the retirement home of George and Barbara Bush,
the 2-time world champion NBA Houston Rockets basketball team,
and the famous blues-rock artists, Z Z Top and Johnny Winter.
Houston is America's 4th largest city,
with a regional population of 4.3 million,
and its 2nd largest port (8th in the world),
so I guess you could say I'm a big city boy, but sometimes I dress up like a cowboy.
Houston has become quite the international city,
now with consular offices from 65 countries, 45 foreign chambers of commerce,
and 28 foreign bank representative offices.
I used to be an engineer, designing streets and highways
for a living.
In my college days, I lived in Austin, Texas,
where I studied at the University of Texas
(yes, I am an avid Longhorn fan!).
I even lived in the same dormitory with
the famous Hall-of-Fame, Heisman Trophy-winning,
3-time MVP, and 7-time Pro Bowl running back.
I guess there are certain aspects of the engineering profession I miss;
however, becoming a language teacher has been a blessing in many respects.
I decided to move to Japan after my ex served me with walking
which in essence read "take a hike, and get lost,
but while you're out of work and with no place to stay,
you MUST send me money."
I received a quick education in America's infamous no-fault divorce system.
Fortunately, my parachute functioned properly, and I landed on my feet
in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Although my hometown is
Houston, I have lived all over Texas
and in a number of places in the western U.S.,
including Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.
And, although I'm not looking for work,
just in case you happen to be hiring and have that dream job available,
I've decided to throw in my resume.
However, try not to fall asleep in the process
(you could spill coffee on your keyboard!).
My first love
in the whole world has always been mountain climbing,
and I have had the pleasure of climbing some of the highest peaks
in both America and in Japan
(be sure to check out the 60+ photos in the photo gallery).
When I'm not working, hiking, or surfing the net,
I sometimes enjoy cycling and playing tennis.
And once in a blue moon,
I tickle the ivories on my Casio electronic keyboard.
My favorite keyboard pieces tend to be easy classical and love ballads.
I also really enjoy partying, telling jokes, and trying to make people laugh.
And all my close friends know
one of my favorite hangouts is a tiny little karaoke bar named Pub Elvis.
Well, I guess that's all for now. Thanks for visiting.
I hope it will be a culturely rewarding experience for you (joke).
Come back when you can stay longer -- or as they say in Texas,
"Y'all come back now, ya heah?"
Happy surfing !!
Don't forget to drop me a line if you have time.
If you have any comments, suggestions,
or would just like to yell at me,
please send email to:
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