<   2013年 11月 ( 4 )   > この月の画像一覧   

snow or not snow   

Hey chitchatters !

Hope you are enjoying a little break before the looong snowy period to come. I already ''panicked'' a few weeks ago with the sudden ''first snow '' but thank god, it didn't last.

Why such a fuss about it ? Well, I already spent 2 winters here and I know Hokkaido's winter it's like wedding food : gorgeous looks at first but flat taste in the end.

December (in principle): first snow, how
pretty ! Joy in the world ! these tiny little snowflakes covering the ground's imperfection and making your days sparkle. It's christmas soon, happiness is here ! It MUST snow on christmas anyway, it's a rule (sorry, I am a christmas'lover and proud of it).
Tolerance : 110%
January: new year, euphoria... let the snow be as it shouldn't overshadow your resolution.
Tolerance : 99%
February : I concede for ski-lovers, and some late nabe-party
Tolerance : 65% (55% for those disinterested in ski but snow festivals still make it bearable)
March : my patience just vanished : no more !
Tolerance : 5%
April : ''snow depression'', I real, strong feeling of moving to Africa or in the south hemisphere.
Tolerance : -200%

The most striking thing is : I still love Hokkaido. And can't wait too see the snow.

Enjoy,

Lise (France)

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by chitchatcafe | 2013-11-27 16:16 | 英会話 教師 札幌

Fall   

e0169998_16371111.jpgHere we are again. Another winter knocking on our doors. Are you ready? Have you had enough summer or are you planning on brief escapades to Okinawa during the holidays? In any case there is at least one good thing that comes with winter and that's that it comes after fall. And fall means beautiful leaves. I usually love taking pictures and experimenting with different lens and setups. Unfortunately, I have been a bit too busy and/or lazy to open up my lens case and pack up the camera but since everyone is posting pictures of the beautiful colored leaves I am going to cheat a bit. Here are some pictures I took last year around Hokudai (with all the construction around campus and the lack of clear sunny days the leaves weren't particularly amazing either this year). If you want to see more - let me know.

Enjoy.

Slavi (Bulgaria)
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by chitchatcafe | 2013-11-05 16:39 | 札幌 英会話 サークル

Winter, our best friend   

Well, winter is again upon us and it means that all the fun winter activities are about to begin. I'll start mine by changing winter tires this week. It's kind of fun for me and a good opportunity to check that everything is OK for winter. Also it's time to dig out my snowboard from the storage and check the edges on it and put on a fresh layer of wax. It's a bit tedious job since it takes lot of dripping, scraping, brushing and so but it's well worth it when you hit the first snow! Usually I wax my board 3 or 4 times a season depending on the snow condition.

Last winter was very good in terms of snow and I hope this winter will be even better. There is no such thing as too much snow! I hope you have fun this winter!


Sami (Finland)

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by chitchatcafe | 2013-11-04 13:26 | 英会話 教師 札幌

Unsafe living in Japan   

Japan is known for being one of the safest places to live in the world, but over the past month or so, I’ve come to realize there is a very real danger that exists for nearly all foreigners living here: the danger of familial isolation.

I come from a not-so-small family of six: parents, myself, a sister, and two younger brothers. That’s just my immediate family; the extended lot includes a bevy of seven aunts and uncles on my father’s side, five on my mother’s side, plus their families, children, and grand-children. With such a large group, one can expect lots of big events spread across everyone throughout each year; events that are not to be missed, lest you become socially outcast or at least heavily chastised and never truly forgiven. This could include weddings, births, various religious ceremonies, etc. Miss one, and you can easily become a pariah among your own kin.

This idea comes to me after having travelled back to my old stomping grounds for just under two weeks at the tail-end of September until midway through October in order to attend my younger brother’s wedding. While I of course always wanted to go, the truth is that my financial situation here in Japan is—less than desirable, to put it politely—making any trips halfway around the world also less than feasible. I had to break the news to my family that I just wouldn’t be able to make it, despite my best intentions.

That certainly didn’t go over well with anyone, and my family went about changing some wedding preparations (I was to be among the groomsmen) to accommodate my absence, but at the same time exploring what could be done to get me home for the event. Missing it simply was not an option, even if my brother fully understood, amid his disappointment, and had accepted my withdrawal beforehand.

In the end, we were able to figure out a plan to get me home for a short trip. I had always wanted my first trip home after moving to Japan to be a bit longer (three weeks or more) in order to visit lots of people and do plenty of American-sized clothes shopping, but this time around, a week and a half was the best we could do. It was an incredible, lavish wedding, and I am elated to have been present, but it made me realize that being at such a physical distance from my friends and family, I am always at a high risk for missing important events like this, and thus in danger of being involuntarily-, emotionally-distanced from the most important people in my life.

Of course it’s not really Japan’s fault, but it is still a real “danger”—perhaps the only real danger—that lurks behind the otherwise happy lives us foreigners usually enjoy here. Have any of you lived abroad and felt or experienced this? Stop by and tell me about it!

Aaron (USA)

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by chitchatcafe | 2013-11-02 14:48 | カフェ 英会話 札幌