<   2009年 12月 ( 7 )   > この月の画像一覧   

Christmas is around the corner!   

Hello everybody!

Christmas is coming and I'm super exited to see it. In Russia Christmas is on January 7th, and we don't have that big parties, just gather at home with family and friends, have dinner and speak, but it's never a big party(actually, it's not a party at all, we just call it "dinner"). In the city you can't see posters about Christmas, but during the day, everybody says "Merry Christmas" to each other, but we don’t give presents.

On the other hand, "New Year" is super big. Mostly everybody buys a Christmas Tree, presents for each other and prepare the house. Then, on December 13th evening(usually about 6-9 pm) everybody gathers at someone's home, helps to finish preparing and putting the food on the table and wait for 12:00. Than, at 11:50, the President starts his speech on TV, and everybody gathers around the table listening, and after he finishes, the biggest Russian clock tower starts to ring its bell 12 times and at this time we open champagne and fill our glasses, and we should do it before the bell rings 12 times. Everybody starts to panic and laugh, because someone has trouble opening the bottle, then, when all the glasses are full, we wait a little for the bell to end ringing and raise our glasses to celebrate New Year. After, we eat and drink and play some games. And on other days we usually go to friends, who had party at other place, to celebrate a little with them (not a party, but a small dinner).

Do you already have plans for parties? I'm looking forward to hear how you spend these holidays!

Maxim

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by chitchatcafe | 2009-12-24 14:27 | 札幌 英会話 サークル

CZECH CHRISTMAS   

In Czech, Christmas is the biggest and the most popular annual event.
Most people start with the preparations in the beginning of the December, when the Advent (a time of waiting for the celebration of the nativity of Jesus, which starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25) starts. Women bake Christmas cookies, do the big cleaning and all people are buying presents for their family members or friends. And of course we send to each other Christmas cards.

The Big Day is for us December 24. In the morning we decorate the Christmas Tree on the bottom of which we also display usually wooden dolls which represent how the baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Then we eat something very light and simple and go to the cemetery to decorate the grave and pray for those who passed away.

Christmas dinner starts when the first star appears in the sky. We eat fried carp with potato salad and drink a little sparkling wine and of course beer (it is not usual to drink a lot during Christmas! - just a little) When we enjoy coffee and cookies suddenly the bell rings (the oldest member of the family has the duty of secretly ring it) – that is the sign that baby Jesus (not Santa Claus!) brought the presents and we go to light up the Christmas Tree to open them. Afterwards we enjoy the movies on TV, which are the same every year, but we still love them and before midnight we go to church for the Christmas Service.

There are not many religious people in my country but never mind all of us celebrate Christmas and most of us go to Church on Christmas Eve. We say that Christmas is the time of love, peace and ease. We gather all the family, talk to each other a lot, eat a lot and have a great rest and fun all together.

For children Christmas is mysterious and full of miracles of baby Jesus – for adults it is a holy time full of miracles of life.

Ivona

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by chitchatcafe | 2009-12-17 16:10 | マンツーマン 英会話 札幌

Here comes Santa Claus   

Hello everyone! I hope that you are all well and looking forward to Christmas and the New Year. I still can’t get used to Christmas here in Japan. I really miss the Christmas back home with family and friends. To be honest, the Christmas I probably miss is the one I enjoyed when I was a child.
When I was a child, Christmas was always my favourite time of year. Christmas Eve was nothing special, but getting to bed was a difficult task as I was always really excited about waking up the next day. Sometimes it took a long time to get to sleep!

Before going to bed I would leave a plate with a mince-pie (a traditional Christmas pie with dried fruits) and a glass of sherry below the Christmas tree. This was a gift for Santa Claus (or Father Christmas as we say in England). Then I would leave an empty pillow case at the foot of my bed (for Santa to leave presents).
When I woke up, the pillow case would be full of presents from family and when I went downstairs there would only be crumbs left on the plate below the Christmas tree and the glass would be empty. Even though at some stage I knew that there was of course no Santa Claus, I still enjoyed this tradition in my family and insisted on leaving my pillow case at the foot of my bed. I don’t know whether it was my mother or father who filled the sack, because I never heard them come in. Who knows, maybe it WAS Santa Claus…

Here in Japan, Christmas is a lot more low-key. Christmas Eve seems to be more important and for some reason people like to eat fried chicken! At least there are lots of nice Xmas decorations in Odori Park and every shop you enter seems to be playing Xmas music.
Hope that you are enjoying this season. Keep warm and don’t slip on the ice!
Ho ho ho!

James

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by chitchatcafe | 2009-12-16 18:10 | 英会話 スクール 札幌

Thanks for the memories   

All good things must come to an end as the saying goes. And, I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Japan. Hokkaido is a truly beautiful part of the world. Some of my fondest memories include seeing the magnificent Hokkaido wilderness. I think you are truly lucky to live in a part of Japan with the largest and greatest number of protected national parks.

I have met so many kind and wonderful people while I have been here. Many of who have been the friendly customers of Chit Chat Café. Thank you for sharing with me your thoughts, stories and ideas, I have really enjoyed listening to them. I encourage you to continue to improve your English as it enables you to speak to over 500 million more people.

Returning home, I look forward to being able to go to the beach at nighttime in summer and sailing on my fathers yacht down Perth’s Swan River. Living in Japan has forced me to become a better cook, as it is hard to find vegetarian friendly places to eat. I look forward to eating at my favorite Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Malaysian, Greek and Italian restaurants. However, I will sadly miss the delicious tempura, soba, tofu, okonomiyaki, cucumber and natto sushi, which I have come to love. It would be nice if I could take back your lovely local brew of Sapporo with me as well.

Coming to Japan has made me appreciate some of the things, which I have previously taken for granted. In Perth I attended one of the most multicultural schools in Australia. I learnt that people are far more similar than they are different and that we as human beings tend to focus more on the differences than the similarities. Culture is living and therefore continuously growing and changing. I hope that our cultures can continue to grow into ones of inclusion and acceptance.
Thanks for having me and I hope I can come back soon,

Paul

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by chitchatcafe | 2009-12-15 20:22 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Christmas Holidays   

Hi Everyone!

I'm very excited now. In just a week and a half, I'll be going back to
visit my parents in the UK! It's going to be the first time I've seen
them in one year. I need to start my Christmas shopping - I have to
buy presents for my parents, my brother, my two sisters, my brother's
girlfriend and my sister's boyfriend. And I haven't bought anything
yet! I wonder if they would be happy with things from the 100 yen
shop...

But seriously, it's going to be a great time. There's nothing quite
like sitting round the Christmas tree, opening presents with your
family. I really missed it two years ago - I was in Japan over the
Christmas holiday, and I even had to work on Christmas day! That time,
my sister hooked up a webcam in our living room, so my family could
see me opening my presents over the internet. It just wasn't quite the
same... it was 10:00am for my family, but 7:00pm for me! Not the most
natural family gathering.

This year is going to be good, though. I'm looking forward to catching
up with everyone. I've been in Japan so long that there will be plenty
of stories for me to hear. I have a few good stories to tell about
Japan too! There's a great one about my visit to UniQlo which I might
save for a future blog. Have a great Christmas, everyone!

Jack

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by chitchatcafe | 2009-12-11 14:40 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Hello everyone!   

In the last month I’ve been very very busy, at the start of the month I was in Tokyo for the first time! It was really an incredible experience.

I went to Tokyo Disneyland, it was great everything was so well animated and built, the rides were really great, my favourite area was Tomorrowland where they have lots of ‘future’ style rides. It was also amazing to see all the people dressed up in crosplay, all the costumes were done with such detail!

I also went to Akihabara and Shibuya as well as a few other districts. I really love video games and manga so of course Akihabara was my favourite district, there were a lot of really interesting stores and …cafes… I did also enjoy watch Tokyo rush, it was a lot more intense than I thought it would be but it’s really a moving sea of people it was incredible.

I got to have the chance to walk around the imperial palace gardens, it was very beautiful and peaceful, I think if I lived in Tokyo I would go there a lot to sit and enjoy a picnic.

It was also my birthday on the 26th, I turned 22 and had a really nice birthday party at my house with my friends. But I couldn’t have too much of a wild party because I had a very big Japanese exam very early in December.

I look forward to having a chat and hear what everyone has been doing last month and of course what everyone is planning for Christmas.
Regards

Sean

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by chitchatcafe | 2009-12-08 14:22 | 札幌 英会話 サークル

experience makes growing up   

Hi,
Santa already brought some snow before Christmas!
Everything is fine fortunately, I can still use my bicycle (not for long time I think...), and I am happy to see this white scenary. Maybe after 2 motnhs I will not say the same...

Last week was quite busy, I song twice and others gigs are planned during december.
Many of you asked me where I currently sing, here it is!
I will sing Christmas songs at Mitsukoshi department store at 2 and 4pm and continue to sing every thursday at the Jazz club Soiree de Paris from 9h30pm. Click below for more informations.
http://homepage2.nifty.com/soireedeparis/

In all my jobs I work with wonderful people and feel lucky for that...

My passion is not only singing but also medicinal plants, manual activities, spirituality, travelling and to meet and share experiences with people too, that is why I work in Chit Chat Cafe!!!
See you!!!

Peggy

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by chitchatcafe | 2009-12-05 13:18 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌