<   2010年 01月 ( 10 )   > この月の画像一覧   

Some random “snowy” thoughts   

Hello! That is my first time to post to this blog. And last week was my first time at Chitchat café. Thank you everybody who came around last Thursday for being so friendly! I enjoyed it and am already feeling more confident before my next time!

Well since I have just come back to Sapporo after spending a month in Tokyo, I would like to share some of my first impressions as I arrived into a completely different snowy land (compared to what it was back when I was leaving in mid-December). As the plane was landing at Shin-Chitose airport, I just thought to myself –“wow…a winter fairy tale”. It was especially stunning, taking into account that less than 24 hours ago I was enjoying mild sunshine at Shonan beach without having my jacket on. It is hard to believe that only after 1hour 30 minutes flight up north, the climate in Japan changes so dramatically.

Having been born and grown up in a town 70km above the Arctic circle in Siberia I cannot say I am a newbie to snow. But I admit that I am impressed- that there are actually other places on this Earth where snow does not melt after just a few days. And I am even more impressed by how Japanese people handle the “snow problem”, diligently clearing snow from streets and pathways all day long. In my hometown we just let it be. So needless to say, that at the end of winter when the weather starts to warm up - there is a small “Great flood” for a week or so, when it literally becomes impossible to walk because of the amount of water everywhere.

I am loving this weather. Is not it a great feeling to be warm and cosy at home on a dark winter night, listening to the sounds of snowy blizzard blowing behind your window? That is what I missed so much in sunny Australia, where all the living is pretty much “outdoors”:O)
How about everyone, how do you like to spend long frosty days and nights?

Anyway, I hope everybody enjoys the remaining two months of winter just as much as I do…as well as looking forward to Yuki Matsuri coming up. I have already sneaked to the Odori park to see all the preparations- and definitely cannot wait for the real thing to start!

Anna

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by chitchatcafe | 2010-01-28 17:22 | カフェ 英会話 札幌

Hello everyone   

How are you all? I hope everyone has had a great start to the New Year! As for me I’ve been very busy, I’ve been trying to go snowboarding every day before I have school, or after I have school. Recently the snow has been getting better and better, so I always want to go more and more, but I always run out of time.

Normally I go to Teine Mountain, the snow there is in really good condition and the terrain is very enjoyable, not to steep but not flat either. Even though I always go to Teine, I still really want to go to Rusutsu, but its so very far!

Apart from snowboarding I’ve been studying Japanese a lot, and trying to get used to being back at school, I’m a little worried because the week after next I have a very big test ! But I study a lot so hopefully I will be ok.
Despite being busy with snowboarding and studying I really look forward to sitting down and having a good chat with all of you,
So good bye for now.

Sean

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by chitchatcafe | 2010-01-26 14:41 | 札幌 英会話 サークル

Best wishes!   

Hi,

Happy new year to all ! I hope you are fine and enjoyed Christmas and new year with your family or friends. For those who worked, Omedetto! thanks to you, life outside kept going during those days.

Singing at Mitsukoshi departement was a good experience, and I was happy to see some of you. Mariko offered me some sweet potatoes gift on stage, that was a great surprise that i will never forget! oishi kata!!!

Christmas and new year were quiet and nice. My friends and me made a secret Christmas party, the goal is to pick up a name but nobody knows from who is the gift.
For the new year we stayed at our place eating, and cheering for each country s new year (not all but many of them)! Campai ! it is midnight in India! it is midnight in Australia!...that was fun and we finished with Japan, french people kissing everyone (on the cheek of course...)
After that at 1 o clock in the morning we went to the Kotoni s temple for praying.
That was a very beautiful and peaceful beginning for the new year, near by a fire to warm ourselves...
I wish you all to find your way, i wish you health, light and love...

Peggy

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by chitchatcafe | 2010-01-23 14:25 | 札幌 英会話 教室 求人

Literature   

This time I would like to introduce you to an interesting book, which I found a few weeks ago. It’s title is “Making Sense of Japanese. What the Textbooks Don’t Tell You” and it was written by a famous translator of contemporary Japanese literature – Jay Rubin.

Of course, this book is designated especially for English speakers who are learning Japanese, but I think it could be very interesting and helpful for Japanese readers as well. Why?? First of all, because it is written in brilliant English, easy and entertaining. Second, because it discusses peculiar Japanese nuances, which are quite difficult to express in English. Third, because in this book Rubin uses his long and deep experience as a translator, so he shows the examples of Japanese popular novels and their English translations, so reading this kind of textbook could be FUN! And last but not least, I guess, that reading the language you are learning (in our case English) about one’s own native language (in our case in Japanese) can be highly effective in mastering your language skills.

Ivona

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by chitchatcafe | 2010-01-22 19:24 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

Haiti   

Hello Chit-Chatters! Is it the coldest day of the year so far? It certainly feels that way. My face was frozen by the time I arrived at CCC today and it took a while for the redness to fade. Hope that it will be at least a degree warmer tomorrow.

I’m sure that you are all aware of the terrible loss of life in Haiti after the earthquake last week. Countries around the world are donating and sending aid to the affected region and hopefully they will be able to help those that are so desperately in need at this time. I was happy to see that a number of convenience stores around Sapporo have a collection box for their customers to leave donations. It’s a very easy way to help, even if the donation is small. If we all gave a few yen, it would have a very positive impact for the Haitians in need. Every little helps!

I hope that your year so far has been a positive one. We’ve already covered three weeks of the year! Doesn’t time fly!

Have a good weekend and keep smiling!

James

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by chitchatcafe | 2010-01-21 20:01 | 札幌 英会話 国際

Couch potato   

Lately it's quite cold outside, so I prefer to stay inside and enjoy my free-time on the sofa. During New Year I just bought a PlayStation 3 and everyday a little bit I'm playing my first game on it: Assassin's Creed 2. Together with the new TV-set which we bought last year it's also really nice to watch DVDs.

Since GEO decreased the renting fee for older DVDs to 80 Yen I started watching the last season of Prison Break. As expected it's very thrilling and sometimes (emotional) stressful - I guess like the ride in a roller-coaster. When I will have finished watching Prison Break, the next season of "24" is already waiting for me.

How about you? Do have some favorite TV-shows? Do you like renting DVDs? Please come to the cafe and tell me everything about it!

Matthias

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by chitchatcafe | 2010-01-16 15:56 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

The Short New Year's vacation   

Hi everybody!

How are you after your winter vacation? I thought the vacation is very short in Japan. In Russia it's until 11th of January and everybody has a good time. A lot of people travel somewhere for visiting relatives or just for sightseeing. Some people travel on New Year's eve. I think that's just awesome.

Despite that I didn't go outside the city (actually, for most of the duration I didn't leave the home, going out just to visit relatives and to go to a shrine). It was a very cool experience. The Japanese food was great and I tried a lot of things that were new to me (I tried crab for the first time), and some traditions, like taking a bath.

So, it's totally different from the Russian New Year, but I like it as well.

What about you? Have you been somewhere or had a big party? How was your holiday? I'm waiting to hear about it from you and to tell you how mine was in detail!

See you!

Maxim
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by chitchatcafe | 2010-01-15 14:59 | 札幌 英会話 サークル

Happy New Year   

I hope everyone in chit chat had a good new year celebration, mine was great.
I had some parties at my house with some friends. My wife cooked delicous food on the 31st we had a count down party with some close friends and we drunk so much!!! That was awsome. And on the New Year she cooked "osechi" that was great. And I went to meet and greet the in-laws I got "otoshi dama" yeeeeeeepy.
That was my New Year celebration.
And my New Year resolution is ............. I will tell you at chit chat.

See you
Damian

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by chitchatcafe | 2010-01-13 14:23 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Happy New Year everyone!   

I hope you all had a really wonderful time. My mother and father came to visit me from Australia, it was really fantastic and we had a lot of fun, I showed them all of Sapporo, the beer factory, the JR tower, Odori park, and of course Sapporo Factory to do some Christmas and New Years shopping !

To celebrate New Years, we went and stayed with some very close friends of mine in Chiba, near Tokyo. It was a lot of fun, we ate traditional Japanese food and for New Years Day we went to Narita Shrine. It was incredible there were just thousands of people, we also went to Tokyo Disney Sea.

I look forward to talking to you all about your New Years celebration.

Regards
Sean

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by chitchatcafe | 2010-01-08 14:21 | カフェ 英会話 札幌

Happy New Year everyone and best wishes to you all for 2010!!   

I hope that you all had a fun and relaxing time. I’ve heard that some of you haven’t been able to escape work during the New Year period, but I hope that most of you had a chance to take time off. I’m sure that more than a few of you have put on some extra weight after eating lots of osechi food and drinking plenty of sake and beer. I know that I have! My New Years resolution will have to be to lose weight I think!

It’s pretty cold outside, but for some reason it doesn’t feel as cold as it usually does. I’m not sure if this is because after living in Sapporo for 6 years I have acclimatised, or if this is a sign of global warming. There certainly seems to be less snow on the ground, but maybe the serious snow has yet to fall!

I’m looking forward to the snow festival again this year, but only because when the snow festival comes to an end it means that spring is just around the corner. The snow sculptures in Odori Park are simply amazing, but I have already been about 5 times and I think I have seen enough now. I’m not a big lover of walking around in the freezing cold, but if any of you have yet to see the snow festival it’s definitely worth going at least once, even if you have to wrap up well and brave the cold.
Well, I hope to see you all soon and hear about your New Year resolutions.

James

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by chitchatcafe | 2010-01-05 17:58 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌