<   2011年 02月 ( 8 )   > この月の画像一覧   

February   

Hi chit chatters!

What's up? I hope everyone is well. 2011 started and snow is still falling today. We have a blizzard and it's freezing. 2011 started with a bang Arabic countries are fighting with their governments, and my country was on CNN yesterday. You should check the news an earthquake in New Zealand and floods in Australia so the countries around the world didn't have a happy new year. But one good thing happened this February. Pandas came to Japan.

So see on Saturday!
Damian (Malta
)
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by chitchatcafe | 2011-02-26 14:04 | 札幌 英会話 サークル

German Bread   

A few days ago I went to a bookstore and bought myself a wonderful Bento-cookbook. Then, in Daiso, I bought all the utensils I needed to prepare my first lunch box. Yesterday, I finally made my first Japanese-style lunch box and it was perfect.

But while I was preparing it, I was thinking why we don’t make ourselves such pretty lunch boxes in Germany. In the end I came to the conclusion that the reason must be our very delicious German bread. Germans have bread for breakfast, for lunch and for dinner. We just love our German bread.

In Japan, when talking about bread, people normally think of the soft white bread available in different variations, such as white bread with sausages and cheese inside, or even bread containing Soba noodles. But to put it simply, in Germany, it’s mostly just toast.

In Germany though, we have a variety of breads made out of different kinds of flour. The result is very soft and light bread or bread that’s firm to the bite. Some of them have sunflower seeds inside and others are topped with poppy or sesame seeds etc.

Here is a list of breads you should try when visiting my homecountry:

Brown bread (Vollkornbrot), Laugenbrot or Bretzel, Zwiebelbrot, Brötchen or Semmel, Dinkelbrot, Pumpernickel, Kürbisbrot, Maisbrot, Rosinenbrötchen, Zimtbrötchen

Hien (Germany)

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by chitchatcafe | 2011-02-24 19:48 | マンツーマン 英会話 札幌

The milky way   

I always wondered what i would miss from Japan when I go back home ??? I don't really know yet. What I know for sure is that the mention of Sapporo would automatically be connected in my mind to SNOW. I shovel the snow, I eat (or drink) snow when I'm walking, my socks are often wet because of snow, I went to snow festival, I slip because of snow... Despite this apparently bad picture, I love snow (i hated it in the beginning of my stay). I love the thick one, the powder, the heavy one and I always like the sensation of walking on it and the silent sound it produces. I feel like walking on a milky cloud. And few days ago i found the best reason for loving snow which is the following: it acts as a mirror for the sun. It reflects the rays of the sun so powerfully that a bright day in Sapporo might be even brighter than a common summer day in Hawaii.

Romain (France)

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by chitchatcafe | 2011-02-16 14:26 | 札幌 英会話 教室 求人

Snow Festival 2011   

Sapporo’s annual Snow festival finished yesterday. I wonder how many of Sapporo people, and how many of you have visited it this year.

Even though I have been living in Sapporo 4 years, I haven’t skip it even once, and every year I faithfully visit Odori and take pictures of all snow sculptures. Of course, the first time when I saw huge snow statues in the middle of the town, is the most memorable one for me. I took a hundred of photos, and send them all around the world to my friends. Surely, after that I calmed down a little bit, but still I enjoy this event very much every year!

Actually this year I was a little disappointed to find out that the number of snow sculptures considerably decreased and the number of shops with food and souvenirs greatly increased. Anyway, I hope that this year the Snow festival was as popular as always, because the Odori was really crowded! Best wishes to all organizers and snow sculptors to next Snow Festival 2012!!

Ivona (Czech Republic)

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by chitchatcafe | 2011-02-14 14:31 | 英会話 スクール 札幌

Dancing Festivals in Austria and Japan   

First of all – a very happy new rabbit year from the student from Austria born in the year of the rabbit. (I realized that fact at the new year's eve when everyone was talking about the lucky rabbits next year...)
Today I would like to share my impressions about the dancing party of my dancing studio at the Otaru Grand Park Hotel on the 23rd of January with you.

As you may have read in Ivonas blog, we have a lot of balls (dancing festivals) in Austria as well, so I had some expectations about how a dancing festival should look like.
In Austria, those festivals are more like a big, very loose organized parties. We have some fixed show blocks, like performances of professional dancers or an act at midnight, which normally consists of an funny sketch, etc. Moreover there is normally a lottery for special prices which were donated by companies or individuals living around the area where the ball takes place. People go there to enjoy meeting people, chatting with them, eating good food which is served to the tables which are placed around the dancing floor and of course – to enjoy social dancing to live music.
So overall – a very relaxed atmosphere with an extremely loose organization.

In Japan, on the other hand, I experienced a neatly organized party with show blocks timed down to the second. The show dancers started and ended exactly on time, even at the end of the several hours lasting festival. There were also some parts where people could enjoy social dancing to live music, similar to balls in Europe, but also these blocks ended exactly on time, as scheduled.
I was really impressed and surprised, as I am used to attending festivals like that. In the European manner, those show blocks (even though there are only two to three and not 30 to 40 of them during one evening) start and end NEVER on time. It just seems that Japanese people are more disciplined in terms of organization and sticking to schedules than European people.

Some pats of the dancing festival reminded me of customs back home in Austria, some parts made me reflect about my own and the Japanese culture. There are so many things which are not written down or spoken out when interacting with people from different cultures. We have so many things to learn. And the best way of learning about different cultures is by talking to each other. This experience made me, again, aware of how important it is to be open minded and not to judge people from different cultures by only seeing what they make – it is much more important to see why they make it.

Lukas (Austria)

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by chitchatcafe | 2011-02-12 14:36 | 札幌 英会話 サークル

New Year in Austria – so very different from Japan   

Already February! I can not believe how fast time goes by. The first half of my stay here is already over. It has been very exciting and diverse and I am really looking forward to the next half year here!

I have spend a great New Year in Japan. Japanese friends invited me and a couple of other exchange students from Otaru to a traditional New Years dinner. We enjoyed delicious Osechi food and Sushi and watched this years music show on TV. Shortly after midnight we went to a shrine in Otaru and picked our おみくじ for the year of the rabbit. I hope my “Luck” comes true for next year! I really enjoyed the New Year celebrations but they also made me a bit sentimental and I had to think of home.

In Austria New Year is quite different. Like in Japan we spend this holiday with our family and eat lots of delicious food. In my family we traditionally eat cheese fondue. This dish mainly consists of a big pot of melted cheese mixed with spices that stands in the middle of the table. Around the pot there are many little bowls containing fresh vegetables, pickles and different kinds of bread. We then dip those pieces into the cheese and eat them – it's very delicious!

After the meal we play games together which is always a lot of fun. Shortly before midnight we make our good luck charms for the next year. Everyone gets a little metal figure which he melts over a candle (its a very soft metal). As soon as the metal is liquid, it is thrown into cold water where it freezes immediately. You then look at its shape and try to figure out what it is – this will be the symbol for your next year. After all the games, we usually rush to the city to make it in time for the midnight fireworks. Ten seconds before midnight everybody counts together from 10 to 0 and as soon as it strikes twelve the beautiful Blue Danube Waltz (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ft8sVG71iKo)
from Johann Strauss comes from all loudspeakers. The whole crowd starts moving as everyone dances the first Waltz of the year. Every Austrian dances into the new year to this music. I cannot imagine a more beautiful start into the year. After this dance we drink champagne and watch fireworks. I have to admit that even though I enjoyed New Year in Japan a lot, I missed this music very much. For me it is the very essence of the start the year. But I guess I will enjoy it in many years to come.
Well that's it for now, I hope had a fantastic New Years and that you can enjoy Viennas beautiful music form time to time.

Best regards, and see you soon in ChitChatCafe.

Anna (Austria)

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by chitchatcafe | 2011-02-10 14:42 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

The Great Snow Festival!   

The Sapporo Snow Festival is coming. I am excited and eager to see it! Actually, was wondering whether all the snow sculptures could stand the slight warming forecasted next week... Hm... Hope. It’ll be fine. In fact, already missing warm days and wish the spring takes over soon.

At least days are longer than they used to be the last month. Feels good !

Vitaly (Russia)

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by chitchatcafe | 2011-02-03 15:31 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Tips for learning English   

The white winter has started and I guess that maybe some of us who doesn’t like ski, snowboard, and all other pleasures of this season, are probably a little bored and fed up with the regular heavy snowfalls.
Well, may be winter could be a good time to enjoy nice books, movies or brushing up English in the warm room with a hot tea!

Recently I have found a very nice textbook of English, which I would like to recommend you. Actually it is book for beginners, so probably most of you will find it too easy, but you can use it while you teach some of your friend and relatives. It’s title is 中学英語を復習して英会話がペラペラになる本——「中学英語」でネイティヴに通じる!written by Tatsumi Ichiro (巽一郎) published in 2004 and republished in 2007.
The author’s slogan, is “Take it easy!”
Well, then take it easy – studying English & long Sapporo’s winter!

Ivona (Czech Republic)

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by chitchatcafe | 2011-02-01 15:50 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン