In which our hero, an English-speaking expatriate, explores Hokkaido, Japan, and the rest of the world, at the end of the Second Millennium and the start of the Third. Narrated in essays and travelogues, stories & poems, photos, and weblogs.



KettleAvailable Light Tokyo: Photo Gallery
Available Light: Barcelona: Summer 2004
Tokyo Kills Me: an expat blog



Essays & Travelogues:

Shooting Bunnies: on the road in rural Laos
Home Alone:(World Hum): expat life in rural Hokkaido Part II
Sleeping With Ghosts (Travelmag): down and out on Okinawa (the long-awaited sequel to Stalking the Iriomote Gomi Cat
Stalking the Iriomote Gomi Cat( on the tail end of the Year of the Tiger, in Japan`s rain forest wilderness
So I Married an AET (first published in Asahi Evening News): expat life in rural Hokkaido
Up the River: ( mountain river climbing in Hokkaido`s wilderness interior
The Ugly Gaijin (Slow Trains): love and lust in the land of princess disease
Where Am I Gonna Go Today? ( surfing the Internet, in search of meaningful content

Stories & Poems:

haiku & tanka (Haiku Hut) 5 poems
You Speak Good English (Slow Trains): "'Cultural differences?' Who taught you that one?...
Snow Country (Blue Moon Review)
Station Blues (Crania #8)
Rocket-Ship Boy (it's a bunny)


Available Light: Kyoto
Available Light: Hiroshima
Available Light: Hokkaido: Pictures from 1998 to 2002
Good Medicine Islands: Iriomote-jima and Okinawa
Shooting Bunnies: Pictures from Laos




Tokyo Kills Me 2005: STILL expat life in the Big Sushi
Tokyo Kills Me: expat life in the Big Sushi
Postcards from Hokkaido: expat life in rural Hokkaido


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copyright 1998 - 2005 Aaron Paulson,

Exit Booted

 "A traveler has a right to relate and embellish his adventures as he pleases, and it is very impolite to refuse that deference and applause they deserve."
–Rudolph Erich Raspe
Travels of Baron Munchausen
Japanese Doll
Even with my eyes wide open, I can't see a thing.
- Zatoichi


Live while you live, and then die and be done with it.
- Dorothy Caulfield Fisher


I don't believe in doing work I don't want to do in order to live the way I don't want to live.
- Edward Abbey


Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it. Perhaps for or fives times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
- Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

The more one is able to leave one's cultural home, the more easily is one able to judge it, and the whole world as well, with the spiritual detachment and generosity necessary for true vision. The more easily, too, does one assess oneself and alien cultures with the same combination of intimacy and distance.
- Edward Said

"Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity."
-G. Flaubert

A day spent on the sea is a day not deducted from your life.
- Phoenician Proverb


Travel is the best way we have of rescuing the humanity of places and saving them from abstraction or ideology.
- Pico Iyer


There's a story everywhere. Being bored to death someplace is basically a funny proposition.
- Tim Cahill