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December 30, 2010

Osechi Food

Filed under: So Japanese — RICKY @ 5:51 pm
Osechi ryori is Japanese New Year's food. Unlike Christmas food (Kentucky Fried Crap, YUCK), it is colorful, gorgeous and delicious. The above pictures (middle and right) depict Osechi ryori at Daimaru Department Store. The best one, however, is the one on the left: Homemade osechi ryori, beautifully arranged in a lacquer box. It contains: Kuromame (black beans). Simmered in sugar, these sweet black beans are eaten for good health in the coming year. Kazunoko (herring roe). Crunchy, salty fish eggs that are held together in a thin membrane unlike other fish eggs that are loose. Kazunoko represents many offspring. I'll make sure to eat them all, lol. Ebi (shrimp). The spine of shrimp are curled like the backs of the elderly. Those who eat shrimp on the New Year hope to live to a ripe old age. I'll have plenty of these too! Konbu maki (seaweed rolls). The word konbu, or kobu, is similar to the Japanese word for happiness, yorokobu. Kuri kinton (sweet potato mashed with chestnut). The golden color represents prosperity. Tazakuri (baby sardines). These tiny little fish are used to fertilize rice crops so as an osechi food, they represent a bountiful harvest. Datemaki (sweet egg omelet roll). Slices of rolled omelet. Its golden hue symbolizes gold and wealth while the egg itself represents fertility and children. Thanks Tomoko, made my day, and I can't wait to have all of it! 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。
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December 29, 2010

The hidden door

Filed under: I recommend — RICKY @ 5:38 pm
This is my favorite bar in Sapporo, an authentic New Orleans-style lounge with a genuine American atmosphere, hidden behind a secret yet famous door a dozen or so blocks north of Sapporo Station. Super-cozy blankets are available to wrap yourself in during the chilly winter months. Then, as soon as the first buds start to sprout in the spring, the backyard (a frontyard actually) is cleaned up and opened for customers to enjoy outdoor dining & wining. As for drinks, I recommend the cajun martini and the cajun bloody mary - nice'n'spicy and my friends say the latter is not a drink, it's food, lol. There's also a nice selection of bottled wine, not only from France (as in most Japanese establishments) but from all over the world. My favorite dishes on the menu are the devil fish marinade (marinated octopus), the salmon avocado carpaccio and the cajun chicken salad. N24, W4 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。
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December 28, 2010

Xmas & Darts

Filed under: News & Events — RICKY @ 3:06 pm
Xmas & darts - what a fun party! Other than playing darts, we compared leg sizes. Turns out that my legs are about twice as big as most of the Japanese girls' ... no kidding! One of the teachers even suggested that my weight might be close to 80 kgs. Far from it ... it is still 70. I have to say to my defense that in my own country my size is average. The only reason why I appear this big is that the Japanese women are so cute & petite! So, 80 kgs ... no way! 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。
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December 27, 2010

Christmas Cake

Filed under: So Japanese — RICKY @ 6:57 pm
This is the traditional Japanese Christmas cake: a strawberry sponge cake with holly or Santa decorations and fresh strawberries on top. Recently a larger variety has become available, among them cheese and chocolate cake, or "bouche noel" - a French chocolate rolled cake resembling a tree log. I had the traditional version and I had it on the 25th. You know what they say in Japan about eating Christmas cake on Dec. 25? They say it is like a woman ... not delicious anymore (think age 25). Sounds a bit harsh, huh? These days some men are more gentle and they compare women to toshikoshi soba noodles rather than cake ... men don't want them after the 31st ie older than age 31 ..................... 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。
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December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Filed under: News & Events — RICKY @ 5:39 pm
Merry Christmas Everybody! See you later at the party with festive food and drink :) 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。
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December 23, 2010

Final Countdown to Christmas

Filed under: News & Events — RICKY @ 8:09 pm
This is the final countdown to Christmas, and the picture above was taken in an authentic American bar with a real red-and-gold American Christmas tree! 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。
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December 22, 2010

Ageless Cher

Filed under: I recommend — RICKY @ 5:12 pm
I watched Burlesque last night and must say I liked it. Two of the greatest singers of our times in a movie/musical/comedy, fabulous costumes and great dancing, that's just what I needed for a little pre-Xmas fun. This was Cristina Aguilera's debut as an actress and she had good screen presence even though Cher blew her away in every category. Cher is ... amazing, there's no other way to put it. Her voice is so powerful it always gives me goosebumps. Not to mention her age: 64 years! That woman rocks. So, if you're looking for a light comedy, lots of glamour and color and two tremendous artists in the center of it all - Burlesque is it. Superwoman: Cher at 64 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。
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December 21, 2010

White Christmas

Filed under: News & Events — RICKY @ 6:41 pm
This year popular: White Christmas Trees. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。
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December 20, 2010

New “tarento”

Filed under: So Japanese — RICKY @ 7:36 pm
It's the end of the year and every weekend there are special programs on TV to celebrate the outgoing year and welcome the new one. Yesterday there was a live broadcast on Nihon TV featuring SMAP and some of the more popular young comedians, dubbed "tarento" (young aspiring TV personalities). The one comedian that had his big breakthrough in 2010 is Tanoshingo ("tanoshi" means fun in Japanese)- and while not being sure whether he is fun, he is definitely funny! He talks in a high-pitched voice, moves like a woman and even has long skinny legs like a girl, walking around giving imaginary shots of his "love chunyu" (love injection). He's so popular right now, you can find him on some talk or variety show on any given night. Not sure if what he says makes a lot of sense but his gestures are hilarious. The other booming comedian right now is Matsuko Deluxe, a 150-kg transvestite. He has a huge double chin instead of a neck and that makes me change the channel immediately whenever I come across Matsuko-san. Definitely a different culture! 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。
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December 18, 2010

$-11 million Xmas Tree

Filed under: News & Events — RICKY @ 7:15 pm
This is the Christmas Tree at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, worth US-$ 11 million - in a Muslim country! That's what I call decadence. Hey, I love glamour too, but that's a bit over the top. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。
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