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Back to Australia!   

Hello Everyone!
Time for a Rocky update!
You may have not seen me for a while, and that's because I went back home to Australia for 5 weeks. My sister recently had another child, another little girl named Harriet (pictures below). I decided to surprise my sister by visiting, however my father ruined the surprise. I was wonderful to see my nieces, both are very cute but I feel I might be biased as a doting uncle.
I also had some of my friends from Sapporo visit me in Australia. They travelled Australia from Queensland to Alice Springs and saw many things that I've never actually visited. I really enjoyed showing them around, it was a reverse of when they showed me around Sapporo for the first time almost 4 years ago. We even went for a ride in a real Tank! It has always been a dream of mine to ride in a tank. Luckily my grandfather repairs military vehicles as a hobby so we got the grand tour of the workshop. I showed my friends the beauty of Australian beaches, and we swam in the ocean for almost 5 hours! I was so tired.
My Mother and Father were also very glad to see me. My Mother and I have always been very close so she really misses me, but she is glad I'm in Sapporo experiencing a different culture. My Father on the other hand gave me a list of computers that didn't know how to fix...and he also forgot how to fix the internet.
I returned to Japan at the end of May and spent a week exploring Tokyo with one of my friends from Australia. It almost felt like I was experiencing Japan for the first time again as I taught him some basic Japanese and helped him navigate the Tokyo subway system. It feels like only yesterday I was getting lost in Tokyo, desperately looking for the Ginza line. I didn't realise how confortable with Japan I had become. Even in Tokyo I felt at ease, and luckily I didn't forget my Japanese in the 5 weeks I was away.
Still; nothing felt better than coming back to Sapporo and finally getting settled in my bed again. Catching up with friends about what I had missed while I was gone and trying to organise all the bills I hadn't paid yet....oh dear. It's great to be back in Sapporo and I hope to see you all very soon!

Rocky (Australia)

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# by chitchatcafe | 2019-06-27 16:31 | マンツーマン 英会話 札幌

Trip to Tokyo   

When I first heard the news that Arashi was taking a hiatus starting next year I was very sad, although not that surprised due to their age. I have been a fan of Arashi ever since watching Hana Yori Dango in high school and falling for Matsumoto Jun. Even though I moved to Japan it is still quite difficult to get tickets to Arashi concerts. There is no such thing as fan clubs for bands in the U.S., therefore I was very confused as to why I needed to pay money and join a fan club to even be able to enter a lottery for tickets. My love for Matusjun is quite strong, however, so I did enter the fan club and bought a ticket from another member for the Arashi concert in Tokyo last March. I got a hotel room, bought plane tickets, and headed to Tokyo! While there I went to harajuku to buy goods from the official Johnnys store, which I had to line up for three hours to get in. I also went to yebisu garden place because it was a landmark in Hana Yori Dango and Hana Nochi Hare. This was all very fun and exciting, but when it came time to go to the concert as Tokyo Dome I was not able to go in! The tickets I had purchased were real tickets, however the name on them was another fan club member that I had bought them from. The Arashi security guards are quite strict and so I lost almost three hundred dollars and did not get to see Arashi perform! Although I am quite sad about this, I still feel like my trip to Tokyo was enjoyable and at least I can buy the dvd of their performance someday! Even though I may never go to an Arashi concert, I will always go near the venue to “breathe the same air!”

Maggie (US)
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# by chitchatcafe | 2019-05-23 15:11 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

Learning to say yes   


I have now been in Japan for 6 months! Wow! Time sure does pass quickly here. This has been the longest I have spent away from Australia and my family. It has been exciting and challenging, but I have decided to stay another year.
After renewing my Visa last month I decided to really think about what I want to do with my remaining time in Sapporo. I have made so many friends and have taught so many interesting people.
I have climbed mountains, made snowmen and been Santa Claus; all in one month! While living here I wanted to become a "YES" man, If someone invites me somewhere, or if I'm offered some strange work; I say YES!
December was definitely the biggest test of my new "YES" attitude. I was working at the Sapporo Christmas markets; working in a stall selling candles and Christmas figurines. It was amazing! Seeing all the happy people enjoying the Christmas spirit reminded me of home, making being away for Christmas bearable.
But the most fun I had was being Santa Claus for a shopping mall outside Sapporo. When I was younger I dressed up as Santa for a local nursing home, so I had plenty of practice. I had mixed responses from children; some ran up to me excited; but some where so terrified. It was very special to me; seeing children believe I was actually Santa was so adorable.
I think living in another country allows you to step outside of your comfort zone and become a "new" person. By breaking the routine of my life in Australia I feel so much more fulfilled. It has also made me a healthier, happier person; which I am very grateful for.
And to all the people I have met and shared stories with at Chit Chat; Thank You! It has been amazing getting to know you all at chat sessions and parties. I hope to see more of you all!
Until Next Time!

Rocky (Australia)

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# by chitchatcafe | 2019-04-12 15:01 | 英会話 スクール 札幌

Spring Break in Thailand   

For my break at university I decided to go to Bangkok, Thailand with my roommate. It was a very exciting opportunity for me as I had never been there before and it was a much cheaper plane ticket than flying back to America. Although it was difficult living with my roommates family who speak Mandarin and being in a country that speaks Thai, I had a lot of fun and would love to go back sometime.

I never knew much about Thailand and Thai culture until I met my roommate and she showed me a Thai drama. Ever since watching that show, I fell in love with Thai traditional culture. One of my favorite experiences this spring break was going to see a historical play and being able to try on Thai clothing.

I do not handle spicy food well, which was a concern of mine when traveling to Bangkok as it is common knowledge that Thai food is spicy. However, I found that there are many different options in Thai cuisine like sweet and sour dishes that were right up my alley.

All in all, I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to a new country and experience a new culture while I am in university. That is one of the best things about living abroad and making friends from all over the world. I am, however, happy to be back in Sapporo and go back to my daily routine!

Maggie (US)

# by chitchatcafe | 2019-03-28 15:40 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

My Journey to Japan   

How I came to Japan!

When I was very young I was deeply interested in Chinese history and language. As a middle-schooler, I begged my mother to let me go to the Chinese Saturday school. She finally agreed, so I studied Chinese language and culture for two years.

Going into high school, however, my school did not not offer Chinese as an elective, they offered Japanese. It was closer than French or Spanish, so my brother and I decided to take it. Through this class I gained a new interest in Japanese history and culture, although I didn’t learn much of the language! We mainly just watched Ghibli films!

As senior year approached, I looked for many universities in the states, as I wanted to be closer to my family, but all of these schools cost $20,000 to $40,000 per year. One day, while on a walk with my father and my dog, my dad said, “if you really want to move to Asia then why don’t you just go now.” This comment surprised me and as soon as I got home I started researching universities in Japan and China.

I found that Japan has more programs for foreigners in undergraduate than China, so I applied to three Japanese universities. I was a nervous wreck until I found out whether I got in or not. Hokkaido University was where I really wanted to go, so when I got accepted I was ecstatic.

My mother was not happy, she still blames my father, but I came nonetheless. I hope that I am saving my parents money and making them proud!

Maggie Thomas (US)

# by chitchatcafe | 2019-02-21 15:27 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン