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April 27, 2011

Party Party!

Filed under: News & Events — RICKY @ 8:45 pm
We celebrated 5 years of DLS with 50 students & teachers, Mexican quesadillas, corn chips with salsa & guacamole and lots of Corona beer!! (see pics) Everybody went crazy on the dance floor to the rhythm of a special African drum performance (I'll upload the video soon!). Not to forget Morgan's solo guitar act that left no doubt that he is not only a pro teacher, but a pro musician as well. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

April 26, 2011

Best Students

Filed under: News & Events — RICKY @ 8:53 pm
These are gifts from our DLS students - the best students ever! The drawing was created by Naoko's daughter, a very talented artist. I'm sure everybody recognizes the characters in the picture ... :) 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

April 25, 2011


Filed under: News & Events — RICKY @ 7:36 pm
Dearest DLS Students, thank you for attending our 5-year anniversary party, for all the gifts and surprises, and most importantly for having been such wonderful, dedicated students & friends over the past five years. WE LOVE YOU! 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

April 22, 2011

Way to go!

Filed under: About Me — RICKY @ 8:08 pm
This is me with one of my high-school age kids at a recent school event. I teach several boys and girls aged 16 to 18 and these kids are amazing!!! They are focused, motivated and learn incredibly fast. Way to go! 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

April 19, 2011

Soup Curry Update

Filed under: I recommend, Soup Curry — RICKY @ 7:27 pm
Today I tried to squeeze in a salon appointment in Asabu between my morning errands and my afternoon management tasks. To make a long story short, I would have had to wait but didn't have the time, so I decided to have a nice lunch instead of a haircut. Shorin is just around the corner from the salon and I ordered a lamb lunch special: soup curry, a decent portion of rice, a choice of 4 salads (I had Cesar) and a beverage for a mere 750 yen! I chose spicy level 10 which added up to 850 yen but it was still a great cost performance. The soup was rather defty and high quality but also high calorie, lol. And the service was faster than at a fast food restaurant in the US! So the time I lost waiting at the salon was made up for at lunch. I also revisited Chutta not too long ago, and what I like about this place is that the quality is stable. This time I got a 16-vegetable-curry to go, spicy level 10 (max), and that was a bit hot even for my taste, so I'll stick to 8 or 9 from now on. The drawback at Chutta is the waiting time: Meal preparation takes rather long, so not recommended in case you're in a hurry, or hungry as a bear. A friend from Mexico was visiting last week and since she already started missing home I took her to Lavi Esta (10 F), a tropical venue with magenta colored walls and paintings of lush rainforests and exotic birds. She had pork and I had chicken and this has been my best soup curry at Lavi so far. We both chose the "original soup" (there are four different choices) and I realized that since the soup is quite sweet it tastes better when it's spicier. Hence, I ordered level 50 (max) - it was out of this world! And Lavi has just entered my favorite 5. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

April 18, 2011

Japanese food: tiny pieces of art

Filed under: I recommend, So Japanese — RICKY @ 7:45 pm
Did anyone say spring diet? Cause all I've been doing is eating and eating and eating more. Work hard and play hard, that's the lifestyle that fits Japan perfectly. Then again, with all the healthy Japanese food choices & tiny portions it's impossible to get fat. Look for yourself, then judge! Itadakimasu :)TAKU Maruyama, N1, W27. On another note, they thought we were Brazilians and sent us an arigato card saying "muito obrigado". Cute! 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

April 17, 2011

Teishoku: Japanese Set Meal

Filed under: So Japanese — RICKY @ 10:53 pm
This is my favorite Japanese winter set meal: Deep fried oysters on a bed of grated radish and lettuce leaves, miso soup, pickles, a pasta salad and a decent portion of rice. The oysters are typically eaten with soy sauce but if you are a foreigner you will most likely want to have slices of fresh lemon. They are available on request (see pic). In the US we say "Never eat shellfish in months without R", and the same is true for Japan (their saying is a bit different but in essence it's the same) so I figured this might be one of the last chances this winter to have oysters! Luckily there's a teishokuya across the street from my office. The meal comes in record time of less than 5 minutes and costs only 690 yen! 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

April 16, 2011

Women do the real work in Japan

Filed under: So Japanese — RICKY @ 5:30 pm
April is definitely not my thing, or my month, for that matter: The staff at softbank just deleted my 400 contacts in my address book! I went there to ask if it was possible to have data transferred from a different cell phone. The clerk tried for a while and then informed me that unfortunately he couldn't do it. I left the store and a bit later I intended to make a phone call. I didn't believe my eyes when I realized that all my contacts in my address book were gone! I returned to the store and the clerk mumbled "This is unbelievable" (it def is!) and "Sorry". He also said that there was a backup option available for only 100 yen per month but nobody explained that to me when I signed up for softbank five years ago! Without my friends' phone numbers and business contacts, I feel somewhat disconnected from the rest of the world, and every time I want to call someone I have to go to great lengths and get the phone number from someone else. This is not the first time I had issues with softbank, but it has been by far the biggest. I still recall the day one chilly winter morning when I went to inquire about something at a softbank branch in North ward. It was two minutes before opening time, the store was brightly lit and the two clerks, both young guys, were sitting neatly behind their desks. I tried to enter but realized that the door was locked. I knocked on the glass door and signaled the clerks to let me in. The younger guy came to the door, placed himself behind it pointing at his wristwatch. He seriously wanted me to wait two minutes outside - and remember, this was in mid-winter in Hokkaido - because "according to the manual" the store has to open "on time". On another occasion I went to pay my cell phone, gave the clerk the bill and the money, and he - again a young guy! - seriously said he wanted to see my foreigner card. I replied "Is this a police station? It looks like a softbank branch", to which he answered "If you don't have a foreigner card you can't pay." At this point another clerk intervened ... It was almost comical that after having used softbank for about five years that I was asked to present an identification. I was paying my bill, for heaven's sake! I am seriously considering changing the phone company. Then again, I don't think the other phone companies are much better. The real problem here are the young Japanese men who are incompetent and apparently unable to provide good customer service. Young Japanese women, on the other hand, are the exact opposite. They are efficient, hardworking and always always serve customers with a smile. These days women do the real work in Japan, and it is about time that they get rewarded for their efforts. They deserve higher salaries than their male counterparts. Truth is that their pay is still quite a bit lower than that of male employees. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

April 15, 2011

Convenience is key

Filed under: I recommend, News & Events — RICKY @ 7:22 pm
We live in an era of convenience, and Tsutaya's latest service is another proof: You can return your DVDs by dropping them in a postal mail box, free of charge, in an envelope pre-designed by the video store (see pic). I watched "Robin Hood" last weekend (Russel Crowe's performance was fabulous as always) and took advantage of this new service. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。

April 14, 2011

A Lovebird to brighten your day

Filed under: News & Events — RICKY @ 8:14 pm
This is Pipi, the 2-month-old Lovebird of a friend of mine. When I got these images I immediately sensed: Spring is near! All the newborn birds, kittens and puppies. And I have an invitation to go and see newborn kittens next week. Spring is great. 私は英語とスペイン語の先生です。
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