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<   2010年 04月 ( 6 )   > この月の画像一覧   

Good Bye Lenin!   

Few days ago I watched a movie which I would like to recommend to all of you who like a “human drama” and in the same time are interested in Europe and its history. It is the German movie called “Good Bye Lenin!” (2003).

The story takes place in the revolutionary East Berlin (1989-1990), on the background of the rapid changes from the communism towards democracy, tells the touching story about fragile mother and her son. In 1990, to protect his mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, her son tries hard to keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared. This comical plot will definitely make you laugh, but I would like to advice you to take the story seriously, because it hides a very special message!


by chitchatcafe | 2010-04-30 15:52 | 札幌 英会話 国際

Wakkanai and Hokkaido Spring   

Hello everyone:) Hisashiburi (long time no see!) What have you been up to in the last few weeks?

As for me, during the final few days of my spring break I went to Wakkanai (of what everyone probably already knows:)) - and that was one of the best places I have ever visited. The 6 hour train journey itself was something special. I truly enjoyed the variety and richness of the scenery of Hokkaido. It is interesting how it does change- from Sapporo to Asahikawa, where it gets really "foresty", and onwards to Soya - where again there were broad wide white fields.

I was very worried that since I went there at the end of March, there would be hardly any snow left. But that was in vain - there was Plenty (with capital P) of snow - much more that we have had in Sapporo even in the coldest winter months. Wakkanai itself turned out to be a very small town, but I loved the fresh air, and the magnificent scenery, reminding me so very much of the places I have left behind in North Siberia.

Being a dedicated "non-driver", that was one of those very few occasions, when I wished I knew how to drive. The roads and the surrounding landscapes are breathtaking around Wakkanai. I had no choice but to rely on public transportation to get to Soya Misaki- luckily the weather was extremely clear on the day- so I enjoyed the views of Sakhalin (alas, where I have not been to yet).

My trip just made me wanting to come back there once again - but driving a car, once again in winter, as well as in various other seasons. So I will make sure I come back:O)

As regards everyday life, nothing much happening. Just like many of you(I guess) I am still waiting for warm spring weather. As despite us being in the second half of spring (officially) I cannot regard as spring what is going on outside the window right now. It looks more like full on true Aussie winter on the coldest of its days. I have now realised the Hokkaido trick- after the real winter, we are having a couple of months of Aussie-like winter. But I still keep hoping for a short, but really warm summer (please:)

Tried going out for a jog outside a few minutes ago -with the cold wind blowing in my face- maybe it was indeed a very refreshing but certainly not enjoyable experience. I guess I will have to stick to my good old gym routine for a while longer - until it gets warmer.

I guess in direct connection with this weather I have been down with a cold and a virus for already more than a week, which has lead to almost total loss of voice. When I try to utter something- I feel scared myself of what I hear!

I hope to get better as soon as I can, so certainly some warm days would be a great help!

I guess that is all for now. Have a great week everyone!


by chitchatcafe | 2010-04-28 14:23 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

I'm going to be a father!!!!!   

Hello Chit Chatters!!!! How are you? I hope you're doing ok.

First of all a big congratulations to James and Yuka for giving birth to baby Joshua. And yes, as I wrote in the title, I am going to be a father in September. I am really looking forward to that day. My wife is now 6 months pregnant.

So guys, now Spring came and it is cold in Sapporo. I hate the cold……… I want to go and see some cherry blossoms! On the 3rd of May I'm going to “hanami” but I think it’s too early to go. The only thing I will see is branches so it will be “branchesmi”. I hope you get this joke.

So that’s my blog! See ya in CHIT CHAT!


by chitchatcafe | 2010-04-24 00:37 | カフェ 英会話 札幌

Hi from Kawagushiko!   

Last sunday I flew from Sapporo to Tokyo and guess what...blue sky above, clouds below, a white and dreaming mountain was showing her top...
Nothing around, just it in the middle of a pale scenary, my eyes couldn't watch anything else.
It made me forget the sad night before, reading that my brother, his wife and his nephew would finally not come because their trip had been cancelled due to the volcanic erruption in Island...

Anyway my flight was already booked, so I went on my own to Kawagushiko; near Fuji yama; with a small backpack and my tent.
The beautiful weather encouraged me, only two hours from Tokyo, sleeping in the bus because I had only slept 2 hours the night before...

I suddenly woke up like in a dream, with Mt Fuji in front of me.
Walking around, having a tea with an ice cream and a crepe with creamy cheese and blueberry jam...the time to think about where I will sleep the next night.
I saw a campsite but after coming to the conclusion that it was too expensive for a night outside at this season, someone showed me "K's house", a beautiful guest house well situated. I already slept there 3 nights in a mixed dormitory.

The next day I did a trail to Mitsutoge, sometimes stip, but a wonderful view over many mountains including Mt Fuji. It took me 3 hours to go up, I relaxed and walked very slowly because I wanted to see this scenary with a soft evening light...
When I arrived on the top, I saw a picture with a bear and two ropes in each side in case a bear would come...oups!...
I didn't know there were bears...

From the top I asked the man from a house where was the train station ( I was told there was a train not far form there to go back to Kawagushiko ), Big mistake or misunderstanding!!! the nearest train station was still about 3 hours walking distance...what to do?...the evening was coming and I couldn't imagine to walk 3 more hours, to risk to be in the dark and with some luck to meet a bear...

The man agreed and proposed me to follow 3 workers who were going down ( only one hour walk) and who could take me to Kawagushiko by car. I accepted thankfully...
The following days were more disappointing just because of the weather. When there are clouds, Mt Fuji disappears! but determinated, I went to see it closer at the 5th station of the mountain by bus but saw only trees, snow, clouds and it rained... ah yes, there were also many shopping centers...great the shopping center at Mt Fuji! so natural...I finally bought two special towels, the dressed women drawn on it get neaked when the towel is in hot water! OH.la.la!..
You must think why I bought that... but what to do at the 5th station of the Mt fuji when we cannot see Mt Fuji?
I finished the day relaxing at the onsen under the rain...
Tomorrow will be my last day at Kawagushiko. I will see the traditional village where they do many kinds of handicrafts, before to go back home in Sapporo of course!
Au revoir mes amis!..


by chitchatcafe | 2010-04-23 14:18 | 英会話 スクール 札幌

The volcano   

Hello everybody!

I'm sure you all heard about the volcano that erupted in Iceland, the Eyjafjöll. I give all my respect to the person who would be able to pronounce properly the name of the glacier that covers it: Eyjafjallajökull :)

It created a big problem in Europe! Flight companies are losing millions of euros, mails don't arrive any more, importations are stopped… It's a big issue for all the products that get spoilt very fast, like fruits. They are waiting and rotting in the producing country and cannot be sent to Europe. Millions of travellers are stuck, they have either to cancel or length their holidays… I have a couple of friends who got stuck in Sicilia because their return flight was cancelled. This situation is really bad!
And I feel bad for the Icelandic scientist who was looking after the volcano for 18 years, and who is now stuck in France because he was not there when the eruption happened.

For the historical touch, I'd like to speak about the Krakatoa. It's an indonesian volcano, between Java and Sumatra. It erupted in 1883, creating the biggest noise of human history. The noise of the eruption was heard until Perth, in the south-west of Australia! And the red glows it created in the sky could be seen until North Europa! The tsunami was terrible, and could be felt even in France! This eruption sent so much ash in the atmosphere than the next year, the sun rays had difficulties to reach the earth, and the temperature decreased dramatically. 1884 was called "the year without summer". In Pennsylvania, USA, some rivers were frozen until July!

It reminds us that human is not more powerful than nature, and we should respect it more. Otherwise, at some point, nature will get her revenge…


by chitchatcafe | 2010-04-21 12:47 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

One year later and a new baby   

Hello Chit-Chatters! It’s about time that I wrote for the CCC blog and there is a lot to write about, but I’ll try and keep it short.

Spring is finally here and the snow has almost completely melted. It is so nice not to have to wear a hundred layers of clothing when I want to go out and nicer not having to walk like a penguin to stop myself from slipping over on the ice or snow. I was able to go out today without a jacket and that’s when I realized that spring had arrived. Still, there is still the chance that the snow might fall again. Let’s hope not though!

I must give a big thanks to you all for your continued support! Last month was the first anniversary of Chit Chat Café and we wouldn’t have made it without you. The time has passed very quickly and it has been most enjoyable talking with you all. I have been very lucky to meet so many different and interesting people. Thanks!

As most of you are aware now, Yuka has been absent from CCC for a few weeks as she gave birth to our son Joshua (城守亜) on the 18th March. It has been a very busy month and things are just starting to settle down. Joshua’s due date was the 15th April, so we were very surprised when Yuka’s waters broke a month before. Although we were rather worried as he was born a month premature, everything turned out fine and both mum and baby are well. I’m looking forward to educating our child, but there is still a lot I need to learn about being a parent!!! Help!!

Anyway, it has been a particularly busy time and apologies if things have not been as organized as usual, but I think that we are fully back in the swing of things now. Thanks for all of your kind words of congratulation (both for Joshua and for our first anniversary) and thanks for the numerous words of advice regarding being a father. I need it!

Well, I hope that you have all enjoyed saying goodbye to winter. Enjoy the return of nice weather and hope to see you in Chit Chat soon!
Once again, a very, very, BIG thanks to you all!


by chitchatcafe | 2010-04-09 14:38 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌