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Iron Chef

Rest in Peace
26 Feb 2003
Hajimemashite yoroshiku onegai shimasu minna-san!

Greetings all! I accidentally stumbled upon this site and much to my surprise if it wasn't what i've been looking for, heh. As this is my first post please forgive me if I tend to run a little long-in-the-tooth as I tell you a little about myself.

My real name is Alfred J. Moran III but all my friends call me "Gus" (and I encourage you to do the same). I am currently in the graduate program at GVSU (Grand Valley State University) here in cold, dreary, and bleak Grand Rapids, MI (USA). My program of study is the MPA program (Masters in Public Administration) and I have my undergrad in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. I am also thirty-one years old BUT I am still a spoiled kid at heart who feels and acts likes he's still twenty-one! *cough*

Without boring you to death with details, I first had an opportunity to go to Japan in 1997. After moving around a lot here in the States, I had finally just settled into my new apartment I was sharing with my brother in Hollywood, FL after moving from St. Louis, MO. Less than a month had passed though before I received a phone call from my mother notifying me my father had passed away. It was at this time that I decided to put aside my personal plans and move back to Traverse City, MI where my mother resided in order to be with her during this time. I could not stand the thought of her being alone and to be honest I had not really invested anything into Hollywood at the time that couldn't be broken. My idea at this time was to help and support my mother for as long as was needed until at which point in time I would decide what to do with my life then.

Still with me? Just checking 8-p That summer I spent at home would be an opportunistic one for me as it turned out. One day while I was out and about, I decided to stop in and see an old professor of mine. The man had been a mentor for me through most of time as a student there and I greatly respected his opinion. Deciding to stop in and check on him, we started catching up on old news. As it turned out, his yongest son who was also a dear friend of mine from my early days at that school, had accepted a position as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) with a private visa sponsor in Japan! Naturally, I was intrigued. As luck would have it, my dear friend also happened to be in town at that moment with a visiting group of seventy-eight Japanese students and a handful of adults. Needless to say, I sought them out.

After meeting with my friend and catching up on old times, he recanted to me his story of how he eventually got involved. As he neared the end though, a little lightbulb went off inside my head when he mentioned that while he enjoyed living and working in Japan, he also missed his family and could not wait to get back and further his schooling. It was at this point, that on a spur of the moment I asked him "So what will happen to your position when you return to America?" His response was that his superior would need to vacate it as quickly as possible... This set my mind to racing...

Needless to say, after a several month long period of letterwriting, phone tag, and getting all the necessary paperwork in order (Work Visa, Passport, etc.), I suddenly found myself VERY excited at the prospect of going to Japan. Being single and not having any social responsibilities at the time, certainly allowed me the flexibility to make this spur of the moment decision and undertake what would be the single greatest period of my life.

While it would be hard to leave my mother behind (yes, I am a self-admitted Momma's boy 8-p), I also knew that this was an opportunity that resonated deep within me in terms of something I just had to do. It should be noted at this time that as I prepared for my one-way departure, like many people I tried to cram as much basic Japanese as I could before going--none of it of course which was much help, heh. Nevertheless, leaving my family and friends behind, I embarked upon my journey of self-discovery.

For me, the two most vivid recollections I have in my mind are the first night I arrived in Japan and settled into my very own apartment for the first time, and the last night two years later in that very same apartment before I left for my return trip to the U.S. That first night I can easily recall how eager with anticipation I was, while at the same time more than a little hesitant and afraid at the prospect of living, working, and immersing myself in an entirely new environment. As well, I can also remember how painful it was for me my last night in Japan, wrought with emotion, two years later when sleep would not come easily and I was troubled with visions of leaving so many dear friends behind...

In-between those two moments, the sum of my experiences was like an epiphany for me. Literally meeting over a thousand people with whom I would have never of had any contact with had I not taken the opportunity to this day still overwhelms me. I still carry the memory of my dear friends and so many wonderful students with me and I often wonder how they fare now, several years later in my absence.

That is my story friends and if you are still awake and haven't gotten an eyesore reading all this then I commend you! :cool: The bottom line is Japan was, and forever will be, the greatest journey I ever took, both in terms of self-discovery and intrinsic motivation. The Japanese people have taught me so much in the limited time I was there, and for that I am forever grateful. And on a side note, I must also say that I am also rather proud of my ability to pick up as much Japanese as I did. I am a strict subscriber of the old "When in Rome..." adage and my first priority was to learn as much of the language as possible without surrounding myself with English-speaking friends. I can't tell you how happy I am to have stumbled upon this place. As of returning from Japan, I have since earned my B.S. degree (/w Honors) and have one semester left after this summer before graduating with my Masters. At which time, naturally I look forward to "Shigoto sagashteru" or job-hunting in Japan.

Thanks for listening, and I hope to make many new friends here :cool:

Ja ne!

p.s. I can't help but think I may have met Mr. Arudou Debito on at least one occasion as I often spent much of my free time in and around Sapporo. If you are reading this by chance, do you recall ever meeting the Nanporo ALT between March 1997 to March 1999 (I doubt he remembers my name)? It may not have been in Nanporo either... Naganuma, Ebitsu, Iwamizawa, Yubari? I may be off base, but for some reason I could have sworn we must have ran into each other at least once lol.
I am also thirty-one years old BUT I am still a spoiled kid at heart who feels and acts likes he's still twenty-one!...

Sounds as if you describe this forum's admin... :D

Gus, it's a pleasure to have you on board. Also congrats on the longest intro so far (I've read all of it!).

@ intro, Brilliant😍 that must be 10 out of 10.....
@Gus, ( the person) you are now my friend for life, that was so, touching!! Emotional, a credit to any-one who writes such a piece as an intro, deep yet mysterious, sad but full of joy!!!
I have to give you a big 🙂 wave for that one,
welcome to the forum Gus, please enjoy your stay here! I'm sure we will have much to talk about.🙂 🙂
Thank you all so much for the warm reception. It's so nice to have a place to meet and discuss with friends who share a similar passion 🙂
Just as a side note, is there a reason for the chef title???
I'm looking for a sushi recipe,(a good one) if you can help it would be greatly appreciated!!🙂 👏
"Iron Chef" was one of the first Japanese television shows that captivated my attention when I first arrived in Japan and as such i've always been a fan. Unfortunately, my own cooking skills are somewhat limited, heh.

Re: a good sushi recipe here is a very useful link I've found that provides some nice info that may or may not be of use to you. There's a good deal of info on how to properly make sushi race along with various recipes not only for sushi but many other foods as well.


Also, if you're interested here is a link to former Iron Chef Japan, Masaharu Morimoto's restaurant in Philly. No recipes per se, but they do have online versions of their entire menu. Worth checking out if you're a fellow food connoisseur.


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