<   2012年 07月 ( 5 )   > この月の画像一覧   

Kvas   

Hi, guys! How are you doing? Did you enjoy the Beer Garden already? ;)
I was very busy recently since I had to finish my research, but now it is done and I am waiting for the result. Hope it will be good. :)
It is getting very hot, isn't it? So I wish I could drink kvas right now. I have mentioned about this wonderful refreshing drinking couple of times in CCC, but I want to write about it in my blog also.

Kvas is a beverage and it is made from rye bread. Probably, it was born the same time as beer and it was the most common non-alchoholic drinking during Peter the Great time. However, it is still extremely popular nowadays.
Kvas is very similar to beer, but sweeter and classified as non-alcoholic drink according to Russian standards. During the summer you can buy kvas everywhere - restaurants, shop, etc. And of course, you can see many of kvas vendors in the streets.
It is also used for summertime cold soup called okroshka. Recipe is very simple, but it will refresh you during the sultry summer. As for me, I can eat around three bowls of this soup on a hungry stomach. And don't worry about your figure - there is no butter or oil required. ;) All you need to cook is to to cut boiled potatoes and eggs, add cut cucumbers and bologna. After that, put it in a large bowl or soup pot, add kvas and enjoy!

As I know, many of CCC members are great gourmets. So if you will ever find okroshka soup somewhere around Sapporo - let me know! ;)

Ana (Russia)

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by chitchatcafe | 2012-07-28 16:10 | カフェ 英会話 札幌

Rusutsu Amusement Park   

Hello every one! This is my first blog and I thought about talking about something one of my recent experiences here in Japan. Amusement parks!

On Sunday, July 15, 2012, I went to Rusutsu Resort with some of my friends and we went to the amusement park. This was my first time to an amusement park ever. I’ve been to fairs, but never amusement parks. Also, I’ve never ridden on any roller coasters before. (I have a lot of "firsts" in Japan.)

So the first ride was a roller coaster. It was called “Hurricane.” I was very nervous, but excited too. Since it was my first time on a roller coaster, I had to take my camera and record what happened. Of course it turned out that I was blabbering stuff and screaming. (LOL!) However, the ride was short. It only lasted about 1 minute and 30 seconds, but it was still fun!

Our next ride was "Space Shot." This time I didn't bring my camera and I wished I did. The view was great, since it shot us up in the air really high. Afterwards, almost all the rides we rode were "roller coasters" or "Thriller" rides. There were a few that were normal rides, but we mostly rode the fun ones.

On our way to more rides, we saw the "Mirror House." One of my friends suggested we go in and we did. I didn't think it would be difficult, but it was. You can't tell what's a wall and what's not. There were some clear glass as well that tricked us. I took my camera and recorded our adventure in the "Mirror House." I eventually lead the way out. I still had the camera rolling and focused it on the ones who were still coming out from the "Mirror House." We all were talking until we heard a thud noise. One of my friends ran into the mirror wall. We all laughed up a storm. There was a warning sign at the entrance to not run in the house. Seems like he forgot or paid no attention to it. (LOL!)

Eventually we made our way to most of the rides. It was noon and we were all hungry. So we took a break and went to grab something to eat. I got 牛丼. Miso soup came with it, but it was very salty so I didn't finish it. Although, the 牛丼 was delicious! I would have gotten seconds, but it was really expensive for me to pay for another bowl.

I was one of the first people out of our group to finish my food, so I went to the souvenir shop and bought something for my sister. After everyone finished eating, we took the "Mountain Road," which was like an escalator, up to where the Big Ferris Wheel was. We rode the Big Ferris Wheel first. This was my first time riding one in Japan. I found that it was different than American's. The Ferris wheel didn't stop to let people on and off. It just kept on going. The speed of the Ferris wheel is slow too compared to American's. (At least the ones that I've been on.)

We rode on more rides and I finally found my favorite ride of all time! "Ultra Twister"!!! It was so fun, exiting, and thrilling, that we went on it twice! We tried a third time later, but we couldn't because there was a malfunctioning at one of the carts. We all were heartbroken. *sobs* But I love this ride. There can only be six people per cart. It takes you to the end and then turns you around (180 degrees) so you're facing the rest of the people who are waiting in line. Of course when you aren't paying attention, the cart moves and you are suddenly tilted back 90 degrees. The cart slowly moves upwards like you heart beat. Then when it suddenly starts to go faster, you know it's almost to the top of the roller coaster and you know what happens after that...

The cart drops down and goes through its course. You twist around several times and then have a moment of rest before you begin twisting again. However, the ride comes to a sudden stop though. That was one of the downside of the ride. It was too short. :( I wish the roller coaster was a bit longer. :)

Since we rode the bus to Rusutsu, we had to catch it back in time. So since time was ticking, our last ride was the gondola up to West Mountain. The view was amazing! You can see miles and miles. It is so different from the U.S. The place from where I’m from, all you get are trees and maybe some hills. That’s about it. But here in Japan, you have so much greenery and mountains. This is one of the things I know I will miss when I go back. :( But at the top, we rand the Happiness Bell幸せの鐘. Took more pictures and watched one of the guys fly away in a parachute. He took it very gracefully.

It was time to go back so we went down the mountain and walked back to the bus. On the way back, I stopped to grab some ice cream. I bought Dinppin’ Dots. Although we have these in America, I’ve never tried them before, so it was another of my firsts. I had the rainbow flavored one. It was delicious! Just thinking about it makes me want more. The ride back was exhausting. I slept most of it. It was a fun experience and I want to go back there again, especially in the winter. Maybe I’ll ski or snowboard! :D

I hope you enjoyed reading my adventures! I’m sorry if it was too long. Hahaha… until next time!

Gaoly (USA)

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by chitchatcafe | 2012-07-26 18:12 | 札幌 英会話 教室 求人

Pre-travelling worries   

Dear chit-chatters,

I hope that your best endeavours and wishes are on the way to come true as well as I wish it for mine.

I'm in a rush these days. Woohoo! My great trip is coming soon and I'm not really sure that everything is prepared for it. So, I'm just keeping to repeat the mantra "everything is under coltrol" to calm myself. Refreshing lonely bicycle riding at half past two am, staring on the monitor with a data list wich I have to analyse, and other strange and meaningless things - don't quite belive that it could help but that's my method. Challenging of a willpower should become my life credo I think. In addition, I made a translation of some pack of documents from kazakh and russian languages; I was amazed again, that in kazakh language we have a numerous of special terminology for each type of all livestock, I couldn't remember the equivalent words in english and even in russian, what can I say, seems that our people likes them.

I'm full of desire to get a succes in a fieldwork and I believe everything will be managed.

There is no facebook in China, btw! I'm glad that I'm not so addicted to it and can survive a couple of weeks without checking and posting on walls; actually, I'm very bad fb user, my page feels lonely, i think, with all my high value of ignorance of events and occasions there.

Well, up - and a way!!! I'm going to share with you of the coming trip impressions afterwards, if you'd like.

Hope to see you next month, guys ( sound's a litlle bit pessimistic, isn't it :) ?)

Cheers!

Karina (Kazakhstan)

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by chitchatcafe | 2012-07-23 15:39 | 札幌 英会話 サークル

Diving in~   

Hello Chit Chatters! I'm Cynda, a new CCC staff member. I look forward to chatting with all of you in the cafe!

For my first post, I was hoping I could just dive into my personal thoughts. :) If you've read my profile, you'll know I study audiology, in addition to Japanese. Since it deals with the study of hearing, deaf persons and sign language are also an area of interest for me. So, today I'd like to share with you something I recently read on mainichi.jp. But first, I'll give you some background information - here we go!

It was only in the 1970s that the deaf in Japan were encouraged to mainstream and become everyday members of society. However, it wasn't until a decade or so later that the Japanese Federation for the Deaf took the initiative to establish an official sign language for the deaf in Japan. Sign language is the means of communication through hand movements and facial expressions. Deaf and some hearing-impaired people, as well as mutes, use sign language as a means of communication. Sign language is not universal, meaning Japanese sign language is not the same as American or German sign language. It is also not something hearing people understand, unless they have prior experience with it.

Even so, Japanese Sign Language (JSL) can only be used amongst those who know it. This means deaf people cannot communicate with hearing people, unless they too know JSL, or the deaf know how to write (written communication). This brings me to the article from July 10th. According to mainichi.jp, Hokkaido is starting a program that will provide more sign language interpreters to broader areas of Japan. This is in response to the lack of interpreters for deaf persons; despite the Services and Support for Persons with Disabilities Act, which states sign language interpreters must be available in all cities, towns, and villages throughout Japan, 40% of the local prefectural governments still do not have interpreters due to a shortage of qualified people who can sign.

Hokkaido's program will counteract this dilemma by having the deaf follow steps in which the Hokkaido Federation for the Deaf will eventually dispatch interpreters for those who need them. This proves how necessary communication is for everyday life. Being unable to share one's thoughts or questions can be troublesome, especially when deaf people cannot hear, nor speak. The article also shows how communication is not a simple task. Just as the deaf need to learn sign language, hearing people, too, must learn spoken languages well enough to efficiently express themselves.
The Chit Chat Cafe is one very special place that allows you to improve your language skills, so as to expand upon your ability to communicate in English.

Well, I hope this was enlightening for you, and not too wordy or dry! If you'd like to talk more about this sort of topic, I would love to do so in the cafe! Hopefully, next time I will have a more personal experience to share with you. ^-^

Ta ta for now!

Cynda (USA)
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by chitchatcafe | 2012-07-14 16:53 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

And now summer is here!   

Well it's finally time for my favourite season of the year. Cold drinks taste better, the beer gardens open, beaches are more fun, the sun is out, people look happier, and most of all, it's not winter! While it may be a little hot, my first summers in Japan were spent in Kyushu, where I actually wore t-shirts right through to November. So in comparison, the Hokkaido summer is just about right. I do wish my apartment had air conditioning though!

One of my favourite things about summer in Japan is fireworks. I come from England, where fireworks are sold only around November and New Years, when it's a little too cold to stand outside and watch them. They're also very expensive and many are banned by the government. In Japan though you get to do fireworks on cool summer nights, and they're cheap! I'm hoping to do a lot of fireworks this year as I didn't really get around to it last year.

The summer also marks a full 4 years in spent Japan for me, and a full year in Sapporo! I'll have to remember to go to the Odori beer gardens to celebrate, and of course make a toast to many more fun years in Hokkaido and Japan!

Hope to see you all in the cafe!

Chris (UK)

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by chitchatcafe | 2012-07-11 15:16 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌