Chatper 20 – Udon Mugizo 麺処 麦蔵


Welcome to the Ramen Vagabond, Chapter 20! Hooray! Who would have thought I would make it this far without giving up? For the Westerner readers out there, do you know I write about different things in Chinese and Japanese below? Of course I do talk about ramen with equal passion, but for the one paragraph on my personal update, I tend to just write whatever comes to mind when I think in that language. It’s funny how we behave a little differently when we talk in different languages. I am sure those of you multilinguals out there can relate. For those who only speak English, I really suggest picking up a second language because you won’t be able to see the world in different colors unless you understand different cultures, which starts from understanding different languages.

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Chapter 19 – Yamadaya 山田屋


So, I’ve been thinking about life a lot. Even more so since my parents left. Life is pretty short, and time passes without you noticing. If we can only live 80 years in a lifetime, assuming you don’t run into any accident, then why are so many people living for tomorrow and not today? I am actually guilty of this myself too. I always think, “okay, I will move back to Asia in three to five years”, or “I will start my company when I have enough experience”. But I came to realize if you don’t do now what you want to do in the future, then you’d never do it. Don’t get me wrong- planning and waiting for the timing are critical, but what is even more important is to set strict timelines and start making your future the present.

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Chapter 18 – Myzen 美善

I’ve been introducing all the good ramens, so thought I’d mix it up a little by introducing a not-so-good one. Ha! Before I do that though, I want to say I have really become seriously homesick since my mom left on Saturday. This past entire week, I was pondering what happiness in life. Should I stay in the US or should I move back to Asia? Should I start another company or expand the restaurant? Should I work so hard towards financial freedom in my 20s and give up my time and “freedom” to travel the world or should I postpone the dream and be with family more? My friends said I’m just going through a quarter life crisis, when really, I am just thinking about how to balance living in the present against getting financially free in the future.

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Chapter 17 – Ramen Izakaya Yu-Gen 遊玄


I sent my mom to the airport late yesterday. On the way, mom was being mom, repeating the same things over and over for countless times, and I was just rolling my eyes, playing along as if I was really listening. She did say one thing that echoes hard with my personal philosophy, however – “Life is short, so live today like it’s your last, and enjoy every single moment.” I often dream about becoming financially free in less than five years. And I think these two-three weeks away from work have once again solidified how much I hate working the 9-5 (or 7-4 in my case). I hate while I am weak and recovering at home, I still need to report to my managers. I hate how I am going to the doctor’s appointment, worrying about the little dwindling sick days I have left. I hate how now I used up all my sick days (5 days a year) and had to use my paid vacations. F*ck all that sh*t, seriously. I want to be in control of my own life, and decide where and when I want to work. But at the same time, mom’s always right. While I work to expand my restaurant business and personal finance, I also need to take things slow and learn to enjoy the present.

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