<   2012年 09月 ( 7 )   > この月の画像一覧   

Rambling   

Hello, everyone!

Well, if I am to tell you about what I've done recently, that might take a while! Within just a week, I've gone to Shiroi Koibito Park, Hokkaido Shrine, an International Festival, a Cat Cafe, Moerenuma Park, a kindergarden, and an elementary school! Lots of incredibly fun things, as well as wonderful opportunities! To narrow down my favorites, I would say Hokkaido Shrine and the kindergarden/elementary school visits were the most exciting!

The first time I went to Hokkaido Shrine was during a festival. There were many people, many food and snack stands, and there were stages and portable shrines taking up much space. I truly enjoyed my time snacking and watching reenactments of old Shinto stories. This recent visit, however, felt much more exhilarating. I was able to calmly enter the area, while taking in my surroundings. The silence was peaceful, as it made me think of the historical and spiritual energy within the enclosed area. The people I saw that day were present for the sake of respecting the gods or their ancestors, which I could appreciate. Whether or not one is religious, I've learned that it is the sincerity, honestly, love, and respect within oneself that preserves the beauty within a shrine or temple. I was able to experience that at Hokkaido Shrine, and I absolutely loved it.

Next are my visits to a kindergarden and an elementary school. In Japan, kindergarden is separate from elementary school. It is also not mandatory for children. (In America, elementary school starts with K, so a child must attend.) Those who attend are either sent by parents who hope to provide an earlier start to their education and development, or the kindergarden becomes a daycare, filled with positive reinforcement. The one I visited was having an English day for their kids. I can be a little shy amongst other people, but with children, they just find ways to have fun with you, so I was immediately included in their activities. Running, singing, picking potatoes, cooking, etc - so many things, so much for them to learn, but presented in a fun way! Surprisingly, the children's English was quite good! Of course, I chose to speak what little Japanese I could with them. I must say, children that age are absolutely precious. They are full of hidden ambition and are always ready to learn something new and exciting. As a mature adult, I helped them, guided them, played with them, and taught them. My heart was smiling non-stop that day! I love children's innocence, but I love being able to help a child grow even more. The same can be said for the elementary school, where I met two different classes and introduced basic English through fun activities and songs. I absolutely enjoyed myself! My cheeks were hurting from grinning!

I am a quiet person. I prefer contemplating rather than speaking jibber-jabber. My time at the shrine was perfect for getting my thoughts organized and in-tune with my soul. Stress always needs to be resolved, not forced away - the quiet, spiritual shrine was a great way to relax and lift my spirits. With that heavy weight lifted, being with the young children brought out my cheerful and social personality, energizing my spirit once again, which also allowed me to create a fun-filled time for the students. I recommend this for people like me!

By the way, autumn is finally here! Do you ever smell the air or have a feeling come over you that reminds you of a season, holiday, or past occasion? Right now, the chilly weather, slight wind, and moist smell in the air makes me think of Halloween! I feel a little nostalgic, ready for Halloween decorations and talk about costumes, candy, and parties. Fall is my favorite season, beautiful colors and cozy weather. What are your thoughts?

I hope we can chat about a lot in the cafe! I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone!

Cynda (USA)

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by chitchatcafe | 2012-09-26 18:30 | 札幌 英会話 サークル

Rock Bongos   

Hey everyone!
I hope you’re having a great September. It has been extremely hot, and very rainy the past few days. If you are trying to stay cool I suggest you try the drink “Salty Watermelon” if you can find it. It is a soda that tastes like a salty watermelon!! It might not sound refreshing, but it really is.
This is my first blog, and I wasn’t really sure what to write about, but then it hit me! I’ll tell you all about the things I love. If we’ve met then you probably already know that I love music. I’ve been a musician my whole life playing the drums and the piano. I’m currently in a band in Sapporo called Triple S.
In the band I play an interesting role. I’m a drummer, but I don’t play the drum-set. I play the bongos! In Japan the bongos are kind of a rare instrument, so I thought I’d tell you about the instrument.
Bongos are a set of two linked drums, one big drum and one small drum. They are an Afro-Cuban instrument and they were first played in the eastern part of Cuba. The small drum is called the “hembra” (“female” in Spanish), and the big drum is called the “macho” (“male” in Spanish). Did you know that the word “macho” came from Spanish?
To play them you hold them between your legs, with the smaller drum on the left, and hit them with your hands. There are many different ways to play the drums, but the most common is to hit the edge so that it makes a nice, loud sound. The bongos are very high-pitched and you can usually hear them over the other instruments. But trying to be heard over an electric guitar can really hurt my hands, so I use a microphone during our live shows.
If you search for videos of bongo players on youtube you’ll be able to see how they sound. Also, you can search for images to see how they look!
Thanks for reading, I hope that was informational. I look forward to seeing you at the cafe soon!

Emilio Buonanni (USA)

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by chitchatcafe | 2012-09-26 15:40 | カフェ 英会話 札幌

Ready for the next step!   

Hello everyone!

I hope it is going as fine for you as it is going for me.
I'm still living the dream here in Japan, My japanese skills are increasing slowly but surely and I still enjoy a lot learning this wonderful language, no matter how hard it is.
I also spent a great summer, (for those who already know me they must know all about it so I will make it short) I could travel a lot in Hokkaido this summer, I found out many outstandingly beautiful places, and could eat a lot of good food. and I'm not even talking about the good sake. Also two of my best friends from France came to visit me…in one word: "perfect" summer vacations.

Well, after this very funny summer and as sure as the autumn will succeed to the summer (even if right now that last one does not seem to be in the rush to clear the place) I'm planning to start a new way of life. Less fun, more studies.
Until now I could count on what I already knew in Japanese to take it easy but from now on everything I'm about to learn is brand new, so I'll have to be much more serious. I'm also planning to pass the JLPT N2 next December, which is a test in Japanese way above my current level. It will ask me a lot of personal work just to get 20% of chance of success. but I've got the right motivation, I want to improve my Japanese just as you want to improve your English.

In order to fulfill that dream I filled the application today and will probably send it tomorrow or next week. I will probably buy next month at least four different books (grammar kanjis etc..) and I'm also reorganizing my life to be more adequate to my purpose. Which means less going out, of course more studying, but more sport as well. If your body feels right, your mind does too! But that is an other story.

Thank you for reading me, I'm looking forward to meet you, or to meet you again!

take care,

Gilles (France)

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by chitchatcafe | 2012-09-21 18:42 | 子供 英会話 札幌

6 month   

Now I am nearly a half year in Sapporo and I still enjoy it. It is really fun to spend the time with the kind people in this city, therefore the time is leaving very fast. For me it is really like yesterday as I had my first day in Chit Chat Cafe. Many of you already know that I am pregnant so maybe this will be my last blog, because I think I will stop working in Chit Chat Cafe around October. At the moment I feel very fine, but I noticed that daily life is getting harder day by day! However I love to go to Chit Chat Cafe and I am sure that I will also come to visit you in 2013 ...

However ... back to my time in Sapporo and Hokkaido! I am in love with this place. In the six month I spent here I had the possibility to see many places and interesting festivals. Often people, also from Germany, ask me "which's better Sapporo or Tokyo" and they are really surprised when I answer Sapporo! I often said, that I love the area around Odori park. Nearly every month there is something special festival or event but till now of course my favorite is the BEER FESTIVAL! There are so many people and it is so much fun!

... I also can't wait for the German Christmas market but I think this year I can't go there ... so if you go there please eat one "Stollen" for me and drink one "Gluehwein"!

Jana (Germany)

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by chitchatcafe | 2012-09-21 15:39 | 札幌 英会話 教室 求人

Still summer in September   

Hey everyone how is it going? I'm fine just doing the same things as always singing lots of karaoke and eating ramen. The weather has been very warm for the month of September but I'd rather it be this way than cold and rainy. I hope it will be a warm winter this year or at least a short one.

Besides that I've just been busy with work. I work about 5 or 6 days every week so I stay pretty busy but I still have plenty of time to do all of the things I love to do. Before it is over, I hope to go to the Autumn Festival with my friends but I don't know if everyone's schedules will work out.

Oh by the way this Friday the 21st is my birthday!!

Teren (USA)

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by chitchatcafe | 2012-09-20 17:37 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

Lost In Translation   

Hi everyone my name is Elgan and this is my first entry for chit chat cafe blog! Recently I am very interested in the term "lost in translation". A bit of warning before moving on this subject quite possibly has no point at all and quite possibly a big waste of time =D

Of course many of us when we heard "lost in translation" would think about Bill Muray's movie that was released some years ago. To be honest I vaguely remember the movie, it was a movie about a middle aged guy who is lost in Tokyo because he can't communicate with the local people. The movie didn't really coined the term "lost in translation" to me, I feel the title should be like "Lost foreigner in Japan" or something along that line.

I finished reading a novel by Murakami Haruki titled 1Q84 recently. Before I read the book, I thought the title was IQ84 (IQ being a intelligence measurement) and I thought "gee IQ84 is on the lower bracket of intelligence so the story must be about someone stupid". As I was reading the book I realised that it wasn't "iq84" but "1q84" referring to another world that the two main characters of the book is experiencing. After I finished the book I was thinking about the story and the title and I was thinking what an odd story and title it was. Why is it 1984/1q84? Why is it not 1983? or 1988? Was there a big event in 1984? I was only a year old in 1984 so I wouldn't have a clue about the world at the time. Suddenly, by some unknown force, I recite "1984" in Japanese silently, sen KYU hyaku hatchi jyu yon........ sen KYU hyaku hatchi jyu....... sen Kyu....... Ah it suddenly hits me! Ichi KYU hatchi yon!!!!!! Ichi Q hatchi yon!! 1984!! O wow I bet the average English reader would not understand that! The title meaning is lost in translation!!

Very recently, I found another example while doing my Japanese homework. It was a reading exercise and it is about Doraemon. Having read the manga and watching the anime in my mother tongue, which is Indonesian, I am quite familiar with the story and character so it is quite an easy homeowork for me. But when I look at the reading again the word "Doraemon" sticks out to me. "Dora" is written in Katakana and "emon" in hiragana.... why is that I wonder... I figured out long ago that the name doraemon probably has something to do with dorayaki since he loves it so much but I never knew it is written that way... Indonesian language use alphabet (or Romaji as Japanese called it) like English language so again something is "lost in translation"!!

It's amazing isn't it the way language works out that way? Don't you find it interesting? It makes me becoming more interested in learning languages and the important of understanding culture as well as the language itself!!! Do you have any experience like this? There must be something "lost in translation" too when we are translating English to Japanese!! Maybe when we meet we can talk about "lost in translation", or about the movie, or the novel 1q84 or even Doraemon =)

PS: My teacher asked in class what would I want the most from Doraemon and I said I want the magic pocket. Then she smiled at me and she said she would like Doraemon himself~ I laugh so hard when she said that ^o^

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by chitchatcafe | 2012-09-18 19:26 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Pizza   

Hi chit-chatters!

I'm Sio, a new staff member of this wonderful cafe! I come from Italy and I'm a friend of Nico, who unfortunately has left CCC and Japan for good (sigh), but some of you might still remember him!

So yeah! I'm relatively new to Japan, I came here in February in search for a job, running away from the doomsday-like Euro-Italian atmosphere, and after a while of struggling (I even had to do the visa run and sleep in Hong Kong for one night), I found some jobs and finally got a working visa in August!

I want to stay in Japan for a few years, here life is easier compared to Italy for me (read: there are no jobs in Italy), and my plan is to leave this country only when I'll have perfect Japanese language skills! Because I want to keep on using my Japanese even if I leave Japan, so I'll have to have extremely good skills to keep on reading Japanese comics (I love them, partly because I also write comics, or do I love writing them because I love comics?), or playing Japanese video games (I love Nintendo!). Also, for no reason, I want to study bungo, or classical Japanese. Any chance of some of you guys helping me out?

Loving the atmosphere here in Sapporo, it's a big city, but it's got a small city-like feel. I like it, and I'm actually looking forward to the winter, I definitely have to try skiing in Hokkaido! And, why not, snowboarding maybe? I have never tried, but I want to! Instead, I've been skiing since the age of 6, because the city I'm from, Verona, is just an hour away from the mountains! I haven't been skiing the past few years living in Venice (duh), so I want to start again this year!

I'm really looking forward to meeting you all on Thursdays and at the Chit Chat parties! Let's have fun and talk about James' hair!

Sio (Italy)

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by chitchatcafe | 2012-09-13 14:30 | 英会話 教師 札幌