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October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Filed under: Halloween — RICKY @ 1:43 pm
Happy Halloween everybody, I hope you get lots of treats. See you tonight at our famous - infamous - DLS Halloween party. Fun guaranteed. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

October 29, 2009

Slit-Mouth Woman II

Filed under: Halloween, So Japanese — RICKY @ 7:11 pm
A statue of kuchisake-onna in Sakaiminato, Tottori Upon request: Here's one more time the story about the kuchisake onna (slit-mouth-woman). In the year of its first appearance this urban legend spread like a wildfire in Japan. It goes like this: A woman, her face coverd with a surgical mask, roamed the streets at night. Her preferred circumstances were foggy, misty nights. She tended to approach children and teenagers, asking shyly "Am I beautiful?" If the answer was yes she would take off her mask and say "Even like this?" exposing a face that was covered by a large scar due to a mouth that had been slit with a knife. If the answer was "No" this time, she would slay the victim or cut their mouths to resemble hers. If the answer to the second question was "Yes" she would follow them home and kill them at their doorsteps. The story went that if the victim answered "Average" they were safe. Some of my students vividly remember the time this legend appeared, it was during the spring and summer of 1979 - remember that unlike the US, Japan's top season for scary stories is summer. Creepy, huh? Check out my post from two years ago. Oh and by the way, I now know how to get rid of kuchisake onna: Throw bekko-ame or chupa-chups at her (her favorite candy). 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

October 27, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness

Filed under: News & Events — RICKY @ 4:57 pm
It's Breast Cancer Prevention Week and in order to raise awareness, Sapporo Station is decorated in pink from bottom to top. Check out the breast cancer site. Your click helps sponsor mammograms. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

October 24, 2009

Día de muertos

Filed under: Halloween — RICKY @ 7:16 pm
El día de muertos se encuentra entre las celebraciones mexicanas mas espectaculares. En esta ocasión los mexicanos expresan que el recuerdo de sus seres queridos es sagrado pues se dice que este día las almas de los familiares fallecidos regresan a la tierra. Ponen un altar decorado de flores, adornos, confituras y alimentos, y tratan de vivir la imposible ilusión de compartirlos con sus seres queridos que ya se encuentran en una dimension diferente. El 31 de octubre se arregla el altar. En la mañana siguiente se sirve el desayuno: chocolate con pan de muertos. El día de los muertos grandes, el 1 de noviembre, se ofrenda en el desayuno chocolate o café y pan, tamales, refrescos, cervezas y tequila. Esta misma ofrenda se coloca en el altar. En la noche los adultos mantienen la vigilia en el cementerio reviviendo las memorias de sus familiares fallecidos. El 2 de noviembre, el día de todos los santos, celebran el regreso de los niños muertos; la ofrenda en el desayuno consiste en chocolate, café, tamales y dulces. Mas información acerca del Día de Muertos. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

October 23, 2009

Halloween Memories …

Filed under: Halloween — RICKY @ 8:22 pm
Here are some Halloween pictures from previous years! 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

October 22, 2009

Breathtaking Fall Foliage

Filed under: So Japanese — RICKY @ 2:57 pm
The fall foliage is at its peak right now in Sapporo. I took these pictures at Hokkaido University. Truly breathtaking. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

October 21, 2009

Urban Legend: Ghostly kids …

Filed under: Halloween — RICKY @ 4:40 pm
This urban legend actually seems to be true. It's been talked about on many TV stations including a Los Angeles, California station by "The Earth Man" Garcia. It has to do with a school bus full of children that had stalled on some train tracks in San Antonio, Texas. A train was coming and was going too fast to stop in time to get the bus off the tracks. The bus was hit and all of the children died. It was a great tragedy. The tracks are located on a curve in the road but the tracks are on a small up-hill grade to both sides. If you stop your car just on the tracks and put it in neutral, it will slowly start to roll over the little hill and down the other side. A local Los Angeles, California station sent a crew there to check it out and it was done on tape, with a San Antonio sheriff present. The cars back end was cleaned off of any finger prints before the test was done and after it was done it was dusted for prints. Several small hand prints and finger prints showed up on the bumper, showing that the small hands of the ghost children were pushing the car to get it off the tracks. There are also claims that this is nothing more than a gravity anomaly allowing a non-moving vehicle to move over a small up-grade. But no one can explain away the hand and finger prints. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

October 20, 2009

Hanako toilet ghost

Filed under: Halloween, So Japanese — RICKY @ 8:15 pm
This is a Japanese urban legend that can be found at most every elementary school in Japan, and it goes like this: if you go to the fourth stall of a specific girl’s bathroom, usually on the third floor of the school, knock three times and call out ‘Hanako-san, are you there?’ then you’ll hear her reply, ‘Hai’ (yes). Open the stall and you’ll see a shimmering figure of a girl with bobbed hair in a red skirt standing there. It’s the ghost of Hanako, a girl who committed suicide after being bullied by her classmates, who is said to haunt the girl’s bathroom looking for revenge. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

October 19, 2009

This is where I work

Filed under: About Me — RICKY @ 7:54 pm
私が働いているDLS(ダウンタウン・ランゲージ・スクール)は、とてもフレンドリーな学校で、札幌の中心街にあります。他の5人の外国人講師たちと一緒に授業を行っています。私たちは、外国語や海外の文化を、インターナショナルでリラックスした雰囲気の中で習得していただくのをモットーとしております。学ぶ=楽しいこと。私たちの生徒は学ぶことを楽しみ、日々確実に上達しております。DLSで学び、外国語を身に付けましょう!DLSのWebサイトはこちらです。 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

October 17, 2009

Culture Shock

Filed under: So Japanese — RICKY @ 6:41 pm
Opposite cultures: Japan and Latin America When I first arrived in Japan, the culture shock hit me hard and I thought there were things I'd probably never get used to. Now, nine years later, I've come to recognize and appreciate the many positive aspects of living in Japan. Not everybody takes as long as I did to adjust. I talked to Matthias the other day and he mentioned that in only one year he got used to eating rice and soup for breakfast, sleeping on a futon and being the only foreigner on the train. He said he is, however, still having issues with sharing the same bathwater with the entire family - something I never had to deal with, fortunately or unfortunately, not sure if you know what I mean. Because I do believe that in order to make the most out of your stay in a foreign country you have to adopt a lifestyle similar to the local people. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, a universal truth. Then again, the bathwater thing ... probably not my cup of tea. Fish and rice for breakfast that's okay once in a while. What took me forever to get used to is living on a small space and having only one heater for the entire apartment, a Japanese particularity. Having limited space available is generally a problem for foreigners living in Japan. As a friend visiting from overseas put it: All things are so tiny, they look like toys ... plates, tableware, chairs, tables, not to mention the mini-portions in Japanese restaurants. On the other hand, what makes Japan a lovely and livable place is the courtesy of the Japanese people and the safety and cleanliness of the country itself. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。
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