I got a nice surprise this week. A student who is working as a visiting researcher at the University of Pennslyvania sent me the following email.
Dear Mr. Bartle,
Hello, I am T.H. I am sorry for being late to contact you. Recently, I have gotten used to American life. When I arrived in America, it was hard for me to buy a food. Because, Americans speak English too fast. And, I was at a loss about the difference of culture compared to Japan.
In Philadelphia, There are some Japanese restaurants, but it is difficult to buy ingredients for Japanese dishes. Like a rice, udon noodles and specific vegetables. I heard that Los Angeles and New York have big Japanese food shops, so I expected. Thus, I have eaten Chinese food.
But, recently, I come to eat a sandwiches, pizza, and Mexican food. Especially, I like Philly cheese steak (sandwiches). It tastes excellent! And, in Philadelphia, local beer is very nice. A lot of local brewers provide each taste beer. Maybe, I can not drink all of these kinds of beer though.
My office (Chemical laboratories) is located in the western part of Philadelphia. The downtown of Philadelphia is called Center City. I have lived in Center City since I arrived. I commute to the university by bus. It takes about 10 minutes. So, I will commute by walking, when it becomes warm a little more. Members of my laboratory have many kinds of nationality. Chinese, Korean, Thailand, Vietnam, USA, UK, German, Poland, Romania. It is very interesting to touch a each different culture.
Though I was a little afraid of going to a foreign country, I think that it is very good experiment (experience). So, please try hard that many Japanese can go abroad by all means.
Department of Chemistry
University of Pennsylvania
231 S. 34th Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323
It seems overall that my student is doing quite well and has adjusted a little to the local lifestyle. However, as you can see he is having a hard time finding a Japanese food store. I am surprised about this a little as I would have thought that Philadelphia would have had several good Japanese food shops. Anyway, it makes me feel glad to hear that he wants me to promote more of my students to take the chance to live and work abroad. I hope that I can do that.