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September 30, 2008

September means Sayonara

Filed under: News & Events — ricky @ 4:41 pm
September means Sayonara for Junko and Yutaro, both staff members at the Jersey Cafe. I like their international food menu and often grab something to eat there. Not only the food is good, but also the personal attention each customer gets. Yutaro used to always pick out the egg yolk from each egg on my Cesar salad after he realized I don't eat egg yolk ... Junko used to always make sure we had somewhere to sit even on crowded nights. Both of them are leaving Sapporo for good. Yutaro is returning to his native Niigata and start his own line of casual wear, whereas Junko is going to the big metropolis to pursue a career: she'll be working at a publishing company. Good luck to both of them, and thanks for all the attention and nice conversations! 札幌の英語の先生、札幌のスペイン語の先生、札幌英語先生、札幌スペイン語先生、英語のブログ、BLOG、会話、英語英会話、札幌の先生、札幌先生、英語の語学スクール、スペイン語の語学スクール、札幌英会話、英会話、English teacher in Sapporo, maestra de español。
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September 29, 2008

DanceSingEnglish

Filed under: News & Events — ricky @ 5:08 pm
3.JPG2.JPG1.JPGAt our DLS event last Saturday and Sunday we introduced several new courses, including DanceSingEnglish for kids and adults. Adam did a really cool performance, the crowd loved it and the kids immediately tried to learn the steps and English words. Take a look at the pictures. 札幌の英語の先生、札幌のスペイン語の先生、札幌英語先生、札幌スペイン語先生、英語のブログ、BLOG、会話、英語英会話、札幌の先生、札幌先生、英語の語学スクール、スペイン語の語学スクール、札幌英会話、英会話、English teacher in Sapporo, maestra de español。
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September 26, 2008

Essential oils & new line of shampoos

Filed under: News & Events — ricky @ 6:22 pm
mochaespresso1.JPGoil.jpgI ran into a friend this morning on my way to work. We always say hello with a cheek-kiss and I immediately noticed something new about her: She smelled like patchouli. As a teenager I was crazy about that scent and it was just so natsukashi! Patchouli is an essential oil that not only emits a nice odor but also has astringent and antiseptic qualities. I use essential oils in a burner and I particularly like lemongrass in summer, it's engergizing and refreshing. During the colder months I use bergamot which acts as an appetite regulator, lol. Speaking of indulging, this morning I tried the Starbucks "Discoveries" Kyoto matcha latte that is sold at convenience stores now. The name is a bit pretentious for a latte and the taste a bit sweet for me. Not my cup of tea. Lots of new fall products. I just discovered this really cool line of shampoos and conditioners called Organix from Florida, US. The products are sulfate free and not tested on animals. Good for my hair and my conscience. Available at Sapporo drugstore at Sapporo Station West entrance. Conscious living, a safe path to happiness. 札幌の英語の先生、札幌のスペイン語の先生、札幌英語先生、札幌スペイン語先生、英語のブログ、BLOG、会話、英語英会話、札幌の先生、札幌先生、英語の語学スクール、スペイン語の語学スクール、札幌英会話、英会話、English teacher in Sapporo, maestra de español。
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September 24, 2008

Purple is the new navy

Filed under: News & Events — ricky @ 3:58 pm
purple-fashion.JPGpurplefashion2.JPGPurple is the new navy, it's everywhere you look and everywhere you go this fall, not only in Halloween themed stores! Yui just said to me today "I was looking for some new clothes the other day but everything's purple!" It's also a spiritual color used by priests of various religions, and a popular color in music. If you're old enough to remember you'll think of Prince's smash hit "Purple Rain" and of him dressed in a purple velvet outfit. Hokkaido's native haskapp berry, found in many local sweets, is purple. Another trend I've noticed this fall are flat shoes and boots without heels. Yep, it doesn't take height to stick out. Small can be quite attractive if projected properly. 札幌の英語の先生、札幌のスペイン語の先生、札幌英語先生、札幌スペイン語先生、英語のブログ、BLOG、会話、英語英会話、札幌の先生、札幌先生、英語の語学スクール、スペイン語の語学スクール、札幌英会話、英会話、English teacher in Sapporo, maestra de español。
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September 23, 2008

Precise and punctual

Filed under: So Japanese — ricky @ 7:33 pm
cecil11.JPGJapan is the only country in the world where trains and buses run on schedule, people arrive on time for appointments and events start and finish punctually. Whether that is paradise or a nightmare - that's completely up to you. Likewise, Hokkaido must be the only place where fall starts on the exact day it's supposed to start, for today, the day of the autumnal equinox, was the first day with chilly winds blowing and leaves falling. In Japan, the day of the equinox is a public holiday, and I tried to get into fall mood by doing my first fall shopping. Purple is big this season and I absolutely love it. I got two knit-outfits, one purple and the other Norwegian. I still always struggle with the sizes in Japan and hence the skirts are too short for my height to wear them at the office ... sooo ... you won't see me wearing that, lol. But I'll be wearing the stylish tops as soon as temperatures drop below 15 degrees centigrades ... Had lunch at Hanamaru kaitenzushi, lots of tuna, salmon, saury. The place was packed as usual. Coffee at LeTao coffee shop - best cake in town and only available in Hokkaido. Their cheese cake is a popular souvenir for visitors from Honshu but personally I prefer their fresh chocolate roll. They recently celebrated their first anniversary and have not lost popularity. As we were strolling through Odori Park we realized there was an Autumn Festival, the first of its kind. A wine bar with a good selection of international wines has been set up, and they serve tapas too! So now, finally, they've created an event that bridges the gap between the beer garden and the pre-X-mas market. Nice idea. 札幌の英語の先生、札幌のスペイン語の先生、札幌英語先生、札幌スペイン語先生、英語のブログ、BLOG、会話、英語英会話、札幌の先生、札幌先生、英語の語学スクール、スペイン語の語学スクール、札幌英会話、英会話、English teacher in Sapporo, maestra de español。
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September 22, 2008

Japan has new PM

Filed under: News & Events — ricky @ 5:54 pm
aso.JPG A sponge cake featuring the new PM among other goods in Akihabara Taro Aso is Japan's new Prime Minister. Overseas he's best-known for his love of manga comic books. We all still remember his performance as Samurai Billy Blanks at the ASEAN Regional Forum in the Philippines last year. I hope they don't start broadcasting animation instead of the weekly parliament discussions on TV. But then again some argue anime is more interesting than politics ... 札幌の英語の先生、札幌のスペイン語の先生、札幌英語先生、札幌スペイン語先生、英語のブログ、BLOG、会話、英語英会話、札幌の先生、札幌先生、英語の語学スクール、スペイン語の語学スクール、札幌英会話、英会話、English teacher in Sapporo, maestra de español。
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September 20, 2008

Summer of Sanma …

Filed under: So Japanese — ricky @ 7:07 pm
sanma4.JPGsanma2.JPG... not summer of Sam! It's sanma season, in English pacific saury and in Japan an abundant fish. Tasty and rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are known to have countless health benefits, including disease prevention e.g. heart disease and Alzheimer's, lowering blood pressure, alleviating mood disorders including depression, improving learning skills and so on. Grilled or baked, as sashimi or sushi and after 10 PM incredibly cheap in most supermarkets, so, who said food crisis? 札幌の英語の先生、札幌のスペイン語の先生、札幌英語先生、札幌スペイン語先生、英語のブログ、BLOG、会話、英語英会話、札幌の先生、札幌先生、英語の語学スクール、スペイン語の語学スクール、札幌英会話、英会話、English teacher in Sapporo, maestra de español。
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September 17, 2008

Swim! Taiyaki-kun

Filed under: So Japanese — ricky @ 9:13 pm
taiyaki11.JPGWe've been having sunshine and temperatures like in mid-summer for all of September and it seems like there is still more fair weather ahead. Sunshine and some fabulous late-summer gifts, what more can I ask for. I got pears so crisp on the outside and so sweet and soft on the inside, and shallots in a kimchee sauce from Okinawa which I had for breakfast this morning - my new favorite way to start the day! (with fried rice on the side) Another late-summer gift came swimming. Sweet sea bream, and if you're Japanese, you know of course what I'm talking about: taiyaki. Used to come with sweet-bean-paste filling only and hence not edible for most foreigners. Don't get me wrong, I like anko once in a while, but I prefer the new version, taiyaki filled with chocolate, custard cream and marron cream. We had some in our girls' chat room today and devoured them, not very ladylike ... Taiyaki are so popular in Japan, there's even a song about one of them called Taiyaki-kun which became a super hit in the 70's and with 4.5 million copies sold remains the largest-selling Japanese single to this day. The song is a metaphor and tells the story of a taiyaki who escapes a hard life among many other taiyakis, jumps to freedom into the sea only to be caught and eaten by a fisherman. Here are the lyrics translated into English - Maiko, thank you for submitting them: SWIM, TAIYAKI-KUN ! Lyrics by : Hiroo Takada Composed by : Juichi Sase    Day after day I was waitin' to be fried    I always tried to run away and hide    One morning I said, “I want to be free"    I left the fish store and went to the sea    Swimming in the ocean felt so flne    Golden water filled me with sunshine   ★Even though my belly was full of bean jam,    I felt as light as air and happy as l swam    ★Repeat    Day after day, and now all I do is play    I live in an old ship under the bay    Sometimes sharks tease me, but I don't care    I swim fast till they can't find me anywhere    I'm hungry from swimming all day long    My tired body needs food to be strong ★★Thought I saw a shrimp so I jumped from my nook,    But I was fooled - it was just a fishing hook    ★★Repeat    Twisting, turning - but I can't get free    The fisherman now is laughing at me    I'm pulling hard but this hook is really stuck    I can't do anything, so I'm out of luck    I'm just a Taiyaki - This is my fate    A little burnt Taiyaki, ready for the plate    This hungry man wants something too much    Taiyaki, I'm so tasty - I will be his lunch 札幌の英語の先生、札幌のスペイン語の先生、札幌英語先生、札幌スペイン語先生、英語のブログ、BLOG、会話、英語英会話、札幌の先生、札幌先生、英語の語学スクール、スペイン語の語学スクール、札幌英会話、英会話、English teacher in Sapporo, maestra de español。
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September 9, 2008

Beijing: Riding a dragon boat in the Summer Palace

Filed under: India & China — RICKY @ 8:17 pm
Chinese people love being outside and socializing in front of shops, homes and in parks. In the lovely park of Beijing's Summer Palace people were chatting, practicing tai chi and even singing opera! 札幌の英語の先生、札幌のスペイン語の先生、札幌英語先生、札幌スペイン語先生、英語のブログ、BLOG、会話、英語英会話、札幌の先生、札幌先生、英語の語学スクール、スペイン語の語学スクール、札幌英会話、英会話、English teacher in Sapporo, maestra de español。
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September 8, 2008

Tiananmen Square: the world’s largest public square

Filed under: India & China — RICKY @ 4:47 pm
Yeah, I was a little surprised about the intense patriotic feelings most Chinese seem to have. I mean have people forgotten the decades of hardship under Mao Zedong and his successors? Or do they remember but are in complete denial? Whatever it is, Chinese love their country and will let you know in every conversation that China is the best thing there has ever been and will ever be. One day we visited Tiananmen Square, site of the student massacre of 1989 where between 2000 and 3000 demonstrators were killed by soldiers of the People's Republic of China's army. It was around 6:30 PM when we arrived there and slowly, gradually the place got fuller and fuller with new people arriving every minute. We thought some special event was about to start but when nothing happened we asked a Chinese onlooker and were told "Change of the guards at 7 PM, that's what we're here for". We proceeded South to get a better view and there it was, the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall with squads of soldiers in green uniforms parading up and down. Ah, there he lies, we said, the father of communism, dreaded dictator Mao Zedong. We were speechless to see the respectful feelings the Chinese seem to harbor for him! The change of the guards was not very impressive actually. Not if you compare it with the pomp of the change of guards at Buckingham Palace. Tiananmen Square. Hmmm. It was one of the disappointing aspects of Beijing. While the temples and castles are gorgeous, splendid, magnificent, Tiananmen Square seemed just like a big square, lacking ambience or personality. I would have expected more of the world's largest public square. But I guess that's just how Mao wanted his final resting place: bleak and dull, in other words - very Communist. 札幌の英語の先生、札幌のスペイン語の先生、札幌英語先生、札幌スペイン語先生、英語のブログ、BLOG、会話、英語英会話、札幌の先生、札幌先生、英語の語学スクール、スペイン語の語学スクール、札幌英会話、英会話、English teacher in Sapporo, maestra de español。
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