Friday, December 30, 2005

This is too important to not post on blog...

To those people who had left Kanoya, but then had not quite left my blog... (that means you guys, Mike and Heather!!) It snowed in Kanoya... yes, it friggin' snowed whole night and I have the photos to prove it! On the morning of December 22nd, Kanoya people woke up to a world that they had never ever seen (well, except for those really old people, because the last time it was so white on the ground, was like 88 years ago)

The photo above was taken from my apartment window... everything was covered with snow... white powdery snow...

And in this keitai pic you can see the Takakuma, completely snowed up...

And on the right, is a pic of the Kanoya city hall... amazing sight.. but then before it reaches noon, the sun came out and melted it all away.. no fun... :p However, I think lots of kids made snowman (and they were terrible at it, none of them could pack the ice well like us Canucks do.) heh. Oh and Minocchi and I had to return the equipment for Film Night event, we couldn't get the car to climb uphill... since it was too slippery and the car's tires were just too shitty. While we were in the car, Nanette voiced her opinion that we should shut the city down since nobody knows how to drive anymore... not in this weather condition anyway.. well... good thing it melted so quickly, eh?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A fun day in Kagoshima Aquarium

Went to the Kagoshima city Aquarium for the day with Yuka and O-tomi (from here, Tomi). It was quite fun, considering how I never quite appreciate Aquariums, well, until today anyways. Because Tomi volunteers at the Aquarium and he knows alot, and I do mean ALOT, about fish and stuff... He gave us a tour and we could basically ask any stupid questions we want.

Here's a pic of the Inuzame (Dog Shark, in Japanese)'s baby. They actually look kinda cute like this when they're babies, but then when they grow up they just turn grey. Since next year will be the Inu toshi (Dog year), the Kag Aquarium people decided to showcase these babies. But then they were all like this, not moving at all. Apparently they were just saving energy... since they only get fed so few times, if possible they would not move unless there's food involved. heh

And we also found Nemo.. hee hee, well clownfish anyways. They're so cute.. I showed the movie "Finding Nemo" at my eikaiwa class just last week and used the film to test their listening. Instead of Japanese subtitles, I put up the English caption, so they could understand it better.

And here's the dolphin show... oh sorry, "Dolphin's Time" The Kag Aquarium people never call it dolphin show, since the reason for the dolphins performing is to teach kids about the dolphins, not exclusively for entertainment. Basically to make people more aware of the aquatic life of dolphins and whales. I guess because the place is kinda small, I felt like it's alot closer than other times when I saw dolphins... well, I saw dolphins numerous times when I worked at West Ed, but only passing by and not once had I ever paid to get in and sit in the audience. In the photo, one of the dolphins did a jump to show how high she can jump to reach the ball by using her tail. Very cute.

Then we went to Yoshino Park to see the supposedly best view of Sakurajima since the day was just gorgeous! The sun was shining and very clear... as you can see there was absolutely no cloud, just beautiful blue sky. That's Otomi sensei, and he has dubbed himself as "Tomi" since it would be easier for everybody to call him.

Over all the day was just awesome and Yuka and Tomi were fun to hang out with. It was a great day. and we all got souvenirs, courtesy of Tomi, the Aquarium's desktop calendar.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas to everyone!

(<= My Christmas present my family sent all the way from Canada ;p)

Exactly a year ago, there was the true Christmas miracle for my whole family... On our way to Whistler, our van slipped on the highway and went circling around the roads in two full circles and then landed on the other side of the road... thankfully we were only just shocked, no injuries or anything... That was the best present I had ever got for Christmas, my family and I were all safe and sound.

Well.. anyways, this Christmas I'm just relaxing in the good ol' Kanoya, can't really go anywhere because of the stupid city merge (gotta work tomorrow.. arrrrgh...) I went to help moving office stuff on last Friday too (and it was the Emperor's birthday!!! I started whining why I had to go when it's the Emperor's birthday, we should all celebrate in his honour! :p) oooh... gotta stop complaining... on a lighter note, I'm enjoying the silly variety shows they have on TV, some Christmas specials. And I played a full afternoon of PS2 game "Kingdom Hearts" hee hee~ People think it's sad that I spent Christmas at home and alone.. but nah, this is EXACTLY what I would do at home in Canada... watching TV and pigging out at home. hee hee

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all who just enjoy the holiday spirit!

'Tis the season to send Nengajo

Just like what I said in my presenation at the midyear conference in Chiba last month, I send out nengajos every year when I'm in Japan. And this year, man oh man, I have twice as many people to send out... After 1 year and a half in Kanoya, I've gotten to know quite alot of people, and then... yes, gotta send them nengajos too.

And I went a bit overboard.. so here is what they look like :p
I love those glittering gels... and the cute stickers... man, maybe next year I'll just get the conbini people to print out nengajos for me... making these takes a looooong time. I just hope that I get as many as I sent out on new years day :p

Monday, November 21, 2005

High Security of Kanoya city

Today the Minister of National Security came to Kanoya city for the affairs about the relocation of American military to Kanoya Self-defense Airbase... and our whole city hall was in full alert since morning. Everyone was to put on their name tags otherwise they will not be allowed to get in third floor area.

And sure enough there were a bunch of protest people who are waiting for the Minister to arrive... and we saw (yeah, yeah, we were waiting by the windows...) the Minister's cars (about 5 nice shiny black cars with 2 huge busses behind them) arrived. It was kinda funny cuz the main parking lot was saved for those cars, but then some of the regular people (i think more on purpose) would drive in and had the security people chased after them.. hee hee

They got off in like 5 seconds and just got in, and that's when the protest chants began... It was not so annoying, but rather interesting, and we were mostly amused by the content. Boueichoukan Kaere-- (Minister, go back!), Kanoya shicho no hanashi kike (Listen to the Kanoya Mayor!) And the whole thing went on and on until the minister came out around noon.

He came quickly as well, and as I was saying that ooh I only saw his hair, as his car passed by, he friggin' rolled down the blackened window and waved like a president at us on 2nd floor... I was more than shocked...

And then today I had to get home to get my iron so I could make the zekken for futsal on Wednesday..(sigh.. another long story..), I got stopped by the NHK people in front of the city hall, and they asked me what my opinion about the relocation of American base... I pretty much just rambled on saying that I think it's important for the government to listen to Kanoya people, but I suppose it's difficult to change what the big people had decided... and then I half-laughingly said:"actually, I'm not Japanese... just a Canadian, working at the city hall." And I could see that the interviewer smiled, (quite nicely actually) and slowly pulled his microphone away. hee hee.

Lots of people said I should've just let it all out, but oh well... I wasn't looking my best anyways.. :p

Friday, November 18, 2005

Can you imagine?

Nanette, Joe and I went to Joyfull for some ice cream and drink bar earlier tonight, and as soon as we sat down, we did the regular "is there any SHS students in there from their schools" thing.. and interestingly, there's none.. but 4 kids from Kanoya High school were sitting in the corner and apparently discussing whether they should talk to Joe or not...

But then somehow Joe started this conversation with them asking them if they know David who's the ALT at Kanoya SHS. They all said yes and that they like him alot. So we started chatting, like right across from the walkway... while most the other people were watching us amusingly.

Their English was AMAZING!!! I never thought they would be that good, but hey, you never know... They're so much better than most of my adult English conversation class students! They all know which university they wanna go, and what they want to do in the universities.

Finally one boy (Miyawaki-kun) pulled out a camera and hesitantly asked if he can take a picture with us. So we did... but this is the day I chose not to have my camera with me... so this keitai pic would have to do.

Good boys. Heather would've been proud!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Fantastic Japanese TV News

So right before I went to the Tuesday weekly Eikaiwa, I was watching TV news... A couple of big news: US President George W. Bush arrived in Kyoto for the official visit, the wedding of Princess Nori, and... this daikon (radish) that grew on the sidewalk that apparently captured so many people's heart that the city hall felt the need to take care of it!

This is just one of those things I didn't understand about Japanese news... So, the daikon is apparently as important as the arrival of Bush and the wedding of Princess Nori of Japanese royal family. Interesting...

And Japanese local government would issue Juminhyo (certificate of residence) to Tamachan (a seal)... and become obsessed with this red panda Futa-kun when he stood up (which is normal for this kind of animal anyways...)

Is it because this society is so safe that there's just not much other news to report or just that they would rather look at news such as these to tell everyone that there's nothing going on?

Frankly, I'm confused...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Went to the Nuclear Power Plant in Satsuma Sendai with the Kinroseishonen Home English conversation class... and it was... interesting, and I supposed I learned more about the nuclear power plant... better than what I learned from the Simpsons.

Here's a pic of a model of the power plant energy machine thing... quite impressive, especially with the blue colour, hee hee and the guy had this tiny little black cap thingie (smaller than the tip of my pinkie finger) that can power a regular household for up to half a year! Interesting~

Then after lunch, we went to the shochu factory Kaido in Kushikino, and we had some really nice tasting of interesting shochu. Kaori said that she wanted to try this one that got many awards for quite many years... and I thought, well what the hey. But then... it was so very strong... that I almost choked.. :p

It was quite nice to hang out with Shoko, Kaori and Aki outside of class~ a change of environment kinda changes everything... and today I wasn't a teacher, just enjoying the bus tour with everyone~ hee hee

P.S: I hope Natasha won't get mad at me for posting this...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

OMG, they're even cuter!

I did the same Halloween Lesson with Keishin Daycare kids, and they're just sooo cute!! check out the photos!

As you can see from the photos, I had hawaiian lei, bunny ears, shrek ears (from USJ), princess tiara (from USJ), baby bib, panda mask (very popular one among kids), and the cute winnie the pooh ears I got when went to Disneyland with Noriko before my B-day.

And here's Yuka-chan, wearing the fairy wings and the fairy wreath that I made... She looks so adorable!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My Halloween Lesson

Because of the sudden request of Erina sensei from Oaira elementary school (when we ran into each other at the dragon boat race), I promised to do a Halloween Lesson the next Tuesday.

It was just hilarious! Who would've thought that some small props bought at 100 yen stores would create such a buzz!! I got some stupid party props, like round spectacles (harry potter), bunny ears (rabbit), and my fairy wings (fairy) that I made for last Halloween, etc... I got them to play the costume karuta in which I will say a character, like fairy, and then 2 kids will get to the table with props spread out and get the correct prop, like the fairy wings, and then put it on for a point. They just love it.

I also printed off some pumpkin crafts for them to make their own pumpkin faces. I think it's the craft part that they just love so much. As soon as I handed out the papers, they were all ready to just start cutting it up and paste the eyes, nose and mouth to the pumpkin.

I think maybe I'll try again at another school or something.. hee hee Can't let this great chance to see kids dressed up in stupid outfits go to waste (well... isn't it how Halloween has always been like..? kids dressed up in stupid costumes..?)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Finally I can catch my breath...

After that last posting about my birthday flower... everything went up and down, and then down even more, then up a bit... and then down to the newest low that I didn't think it could possibly be any lower... finally now up a bit.

The homestay event was quite good. The cooking part seemed like a success because everybody told me that it was quite nice to have the cooking lesson as an icebreaker. The food that we made was too much... We made chirashi zushi, chawan mushi, goma ae, and buri teriyaki. We had too many things to cover, and I had to get in this group that only has 2 people (well... if people would have shown up...) However, the chawan mushi (the egg custard thing that I thought everybody's gonna mess up) turned out REALLY good. I was very impressed.

I was worried if the homestay people were alright or not.. but it seems like everything was fine. So, both my supervisor and I were relieved. Especially this event was done entirely on my own. My sup had to go to this seminar for a week (which all the JETs know that the 研修 (kenshu) seminars in Japan are never about learning... it's the drinking afterwards...), so I had to just do it. It turned out alright.

Then after a week of dreading, the Italians finally arrived. The Italian chapter of Rotary club sent 5 people to Southern Kyushu for a friendly visit. As usual, they would come to the city hall for a courtesy visit (NO idea why...), and I would do the usual interpreting in the short meeting of 30 minutes. It was all good, and I was glad that there was also the Italian priest of a Catholic Church in Kanoya there, and he interpreted a few too.

Here comes the best part.

I was told that they wished me to attend the welcome banquet on Friday night and be seated at the table with the host family that doesn't have anybody who can speak English. Just to get the communication going and make the guest feel welcome. Okay, that I can do. Small talks, right, no problem.


After the first speech (which was translated by the priest, from Japanese in Italian, for the guests), the team leader of the Italian group started this powerpoint presentation thing, and the MC just looked at me and went:"Sandy-san, please interpret."

I don't know why, but I stood up. And numbly walked to the stage, as I was telling myself:"WTF...?" This was NOT what I thought it would be. Okay, Sandy, you can do it. I fumbled through some slides, and it wasn't as bad. Then as it progressed to introducing very specific things about Italy and the Rotary clubs there, etc. My brain stopped working.

It was like one of those times when you accidentally slipped in the pool and tried to get above the water, and then realized that you can't reach it. I couldn't breathe, and my stupid suit was too tight. As I felt the sweat dripping through my spine, I was still trying. And then it got worse and worse... Finally I kinda gave up and turned around to look at the priest. He kindly took over and did the rest of the interpretation. The whole PP presentation lasted, oh I don't know, like 30-45 minutes.

I had never been so ashamed before in my life. I felt like breaking down and just cried. But I couldn't. About 70 people were staring at me. I had to be strong.

After that my sup and I went to this other place and meet up with other office guys. They tried their best to say nice things to me, lamely saying that it was not fair for those people to just spring it on me. It was really silly to hear them trying to make me feel better, but somehow it worked. We went to Hemmings, and then about 15 ALTs and others showed up. I got to vent to Nanette and Rina. I got free drinks, so it was quite nice.

Then the next day I had to go the Kirishimagaoka Park and the Kanoya Sports U with them... It was actually not that bad at all. I got to translate most of it, and didn't look stupid at all. There was one thing though... At one point, we got to see this small pool room in the Kanoya Sports U where they would train athletes to swim in extreme condition, like high altitude. Kinda like a simulator thing. And then this guy who was showing us around said that, "oh and this is also used as an experiment room where they have animal testing, about 100 rabbit died in here." I just about flipped. I asked him if he was joking. He laughed, and said no. I had to tell the Italians what he said. And this lady just made this face like she smelled something really bad...

Well, then yesterday I went to the Dragon Boat racing in Nejime (now Minami Osumi-cho). It was a great day, and I had a fantastic time. But most importantly, we didn't suck!! Our team, Tiger Ladies, managed to squeeze into 6th place, past the pink ladies who were stretching all over the place, 1 hour before our Tiger ladies even got together to decide who's gonna do the drumming and who's gonna steer.

Whew... tomorrow gonna do a Halloween Lesson at Oaira elementary. Gotta be Genki Genki!!

OH BIG NEWS!!!! Jeni gave birth to a healthy baby boy Ethan Robert Coster!! CONGRATULATIONS to Jeni and Chris! Baby Ethan's birthday is the same as Daniela's too!! hee hee October 18th! Just 3 days after Chris's and 5 days after mine! Another autumn baby :)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Happy Birthday to me!

I'm one of those people that just don't wait until people notice that it's their birthdays... I tell people about it. But I don't expect anything... then that's when this flower happened... Toriken san came to my desk after 5 pm bell chimed... and he poked my head and said: "sandy, happy birthday" I was just about to cry... The people in my office bought me flowers for my birthday!!!

Then the party that Nanette organized for me was just awesome!! I am so glad that I have so many good friends. This is the time when I just thank virtually everything.

I am a lucky girl.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Please don't use Japanese gestures in an English speech contest...

Went to judge the Tarumizu Jr. high English Speech Contest yesterday... and seriously, I think the kids did alot better than what I saw last year. Last year alot of them fumbled through their lines and couldn't even speak up so we could hear them.

This year quite impressive, and a pair of the 1st years stood out. The fact that the girl had crutches didn't have anything to do with it...(well, maybe a bit...), but she was just so cute when she stressed in pronunciation at just the right time and their script was just alot more interesting the other ones (except with this other pair that the girl totally was over-gesturing and over-acting...). However, I did have problem with them saying "kanransha" instead of "ferris wheel" in English. I mean, hey, maybe it's just me, but I thought this is an English speech contest..?

But... okay, what's the deal with using Japanese gestures in an English speech contest...? frankly, they should just "ban" the whole gesturing thing. It's just plain stupid. Have you ever seen a regular English native speaker gesturing "I look out the window" with his/her hand on his/her eyebrow and looking out..unless! they're talking to toddlers... ;p seriously!!!

Well overall I enjoyed it alot better than last year... I think... but if I wasn't so hungry, I would've enjoyed it alot more... I didn't have lunch before that because the stupid area around that school had NO restaurants!!!!! I walked around that place for about 30 minutes, and then another 30, finally gave up and sat at the bus stop bench to wait until it's time to go in... while the sky was getting grey every minute. Just about 5 minutes after I got into that school.. it started pouring... whew~ Now, THAT would've been ugly... (being completely drenched from head to toe is probably not the best way to look when you're judging a speech contest and then later having to do the model reading...)

Then I rushed back to Kanoya to attend the staff meeting for our International Exchange Assoc.... so.. no supper... was so hungry I thought I was spinning in circle...when in fact only sitting in a chair. I gotta start packing one of those "calorie mate" stuff in my bag...

but me no likie 'em... :p

Sunday, October 02, 2005

World Music Festival!! Yay!!

And I am SOOOO glad that it was over... I spent the last 2 weeks preparing for the event and I was just exhausted after that. But hey everybody had a good time and it all turned quite well. I'm just gonna load the pics and let them tell how fun it was!

Okay, so the first batter is the two Kim sans from the Kanoya National Institute of Fitness and Sports... They're REALLY good! And, it was really cool to see a person playing violin live! It's just too cool! I just hoped that they could've been up the stage, instead of being on the same level with the audience.

And now, here's the Los Ponchos who are from JICA, a volunteer organization that goes around the world to do teaching or volunteering in places like Africa, South America, and South Asia. They were actually a bit nervous, I think, but they did a good job and the music was nice and upbeat. Muy Bien!

Then Son san who owns a Kimchi shop down in Oaira came up and performed the Korean Chango drum with some of her vocal! Very impressive especially her music was solely her drumming's rhythm and her singing. Some people were like... "oh is this like North Korea..??" Give me a break, N. Korea South Korea...they're all Koreans... :p Of course the traditional Korean songs are the same... silly people...

And here are Sameshima sisters who performed Niko (the Chinese string instrument) and piano. The older sister Yumi works at KTS Kanoya Studio and she was extremely nervous. But honestly, she was AWESOME!!! I wish I could play niko like her! Hmm... maybe it's time to start thinking about picking up a hobby, eh?

Okay, maybe it's weird for me to say this since it's a "world music festival" afterall... but the Samisen trio was just brilliant!! I had operate on the laptop for the projector so I sat right at the corner of the stage. And the Samisen sound was blaring... wow!! Amazing performance. And they didn't even make it to our programme list because they told us one day before the event and everything was already printed. Nonetheless, GREAT performance!

And here's our lovely Daniela, doing her Indian dance in the Sari and Gunguru ankle bells. It was too bad that the stereo couldn't play the CD... so she had to do the dance without it. Well, not without any music at all because she still had the bells on her ankles... ah whom am I kidding... just not the same. However she did do her routine and even taught people some of her moves.

And here's a little cutie boy trying to imitate Daniela's dance move. Awwww, simply TOO adorable!

The Kagoshima Latin Dance Club in Kagoshima University from the city came all the way here and here they are doing some nice salsa move. The music was awesome (albeit skipped a couple of times... stupid stereo...), and the salsa moves were more than impressive! As we were all itching to get off our seats and dance... they stepped down and we all formed a long train... but then the stereo quit on us again. Then Son san just started beating her drum... everybody danced to the rhythm, and the Samisen trio's Ritsuko san (while wearing her kimono) danced as well... in the long long train. V. interesting sight to see. Heck this is the whole world music festival is all about!! Then we finally got a CD that works... so dance dance dance!!

Aaaaand... here's a picture of me hopping happily with a silly grin...and there's Satoko san and her daughter Kozue-chan behind me... hee hee we had fun, oh yeah~

Well, we had a good day, we had estimated 150 people showing up at the fest and everybody raved about the event... except for about the music for Indian dance and the Salsa... yeah yeah.. but that wasn't exactly our fault... Who would've thought that stereo was so temperamental.

Oh... so tired... but it was all worth it when everybody came up to me and told me how much they had fun :)

Friday, September 30, 2005

No cat left behind!!

Today went to the self-defense navy english conversation class...and as the two officers who came pick me up pulled out of the city hall parking lot, we were right at this intersection...and they saw this tiny little kitty cat right by the side of the road. It was quite scary, almost any moment that any car could just run over that little cat. The two officers were debating whether they should save that cat or not...and 5 seconds later, the officer who was driving pulled over by the side and then both of them went over to pick up that cat, and then contemplated whether they should put it in the garden of the house nearby or they should leave it in the bushes... and after about 10 min, they came back and we resumed to the navy base.. that's about the silliest, but the coolest thing! Yeah huh! they're the military men~~

Daniela brought me some macoroni and cheese from U.S. of A, and I finally cooked it the other day. Man, doesn't it look awesome?! I actually couldn't finish it all, so had to put half of it in the freezer... so I can eat it whenever ;)

It's funny how one bite of the mac n' cheese can trigger all the memory of 1st year in UofA, 3rd floor of MacKenze Hall... ah~ the good ol' days. The smell of margarine and cheese, all remind me of the crazy time I spent with the 3rd Mac people in 1998 and 99. Good times~

Was watching "Wonder Boys" (with Michael Douglas, Robert Downey Jr--when he was off the drugs, temperarily, Tobey Mcguire and Katie Holmes)... hee hee it was hilarious! I love the scene that when Michael Douglas's character started making up stories with Robert Downey Jr. when they saw a guy with interesting haircut and other things... I gotta try it at least one time. hee hee~~

Ah... have been working a little too much lately... today after the self-defense navy english conversation class, I got back to the city hall around 7:30pm so I could continue making signs for the world music festival this Saturday. I've been working frantically on the programme, posters, signs, stuffing envelopes and stuff... just so we could get the event rolling. My supervisor is too busy working on other things, so I am the only person who can do all these stuff. Worked until 9pm and my stomach was just growling terribly...then I remembered that I hadn't had supper :p I just had to leave... and there was my sup Kawahara san, working alone on that floor. Poor guy... But, good news! Next year when we do the merger, I won't go outside of the city hall as previous rumours suggested. Apparently they are gonna make an office for the International Exchange section on the 6th floor next to the Board of Education. So, that'll make all the "I need to go see Sandy for something" for the ALTs a bit easier~ hee hee. Oh, and probably less people in that room too, less pressure from people watching you while you work :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

So I suppose now I gotta do census in Japan too?!

Okay... now... I never liked it when I had to answer all these questions for Statistics Canada, and I thought doing it the same for the Japanese census would be just as annoying... hmm actually quite surprised that it was painlessly short. hee hee... however it includes questions like how big is your house... and they want like the exact square metres... I only gave them the approximate figure. How am I supposed to know...? Not like I was ever gonna measure it... ;p Anyway~ The people who are supposed to distribute the census papers are mostly from the city hall. I thought it would be somebody I know, but then hey, there are more than 600 people employed in the city hall, guess I wouldn't know them all ;)

Have been watching "Lost" season 1 these days and am, again, seriously addicted. I think sit com is out... and drama is so very in right now hee hee~ However, so many shows are just not the same anymore. Like "Gilmore Girls"... Seriously, I am SO not liking the show. If they don't fix it I might just stop watching it all together... but let's hope that it won't come to that.

The new season of "The Apprentice" is just so strange... everybody's so beautiful and apparently very successful in their own ways. And the people have gotten so fake that I can barely see the "reality" in the show anymore...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

This time I got it right!

SO, last night marks my second appearance on the Osumi Flash for KTS TV Station... 4 other volunteer staff in the KIEA and I were on TV last night to promote our event coming up next Saturday 10/1, the World Music Festival (starting from 2pm to 5pm... in case any of you are wondering *wink*).

I taped it but didn't remember to watch it when it was aired... Higashi san sent me an e-mail and said that she watched it,... then I remembered to rewind my tape and watch it. Hmmm actually turned out quite good and my voice sounded alot happier than last time when we did the Ajisai Matsuri.

Yume-chan couldn't hold any of the boards (too little) so she just stood next to me and look cute while I was reading off the script. She's so cute... and if you talk to her she would just say whatever it is that she wants to say, doesn't matter if it's related to what you were talking to her about or not. hee hee~

Speaking of kids... on Thursday morning, I went to this other daycare centre... and I got LICKED!! by a girl. At first she was grabbing my hand and kept saying:"Sandy sensei," and I was distracted at the time... and then sure enough, I felt this wet streak from my wrist all the way to my elbow... ewwww... Seriously, I'm NOT a lollipop! And when I quickly pulled my left arm back, she was gonna go for the right arm too! geez... I just got away as soon as I could.

Oi, kids...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Addicted to reading recaps?? Who would've thought?!

Yes, so these days I've been reading what the glorious recappers have been writing in the "TWoP (Television Without Pity)" about shows that I'm watching. It's almost sinful to read about the sarcastic comments that they wrote in the recaps... hee hee but it's just too funny to pass. Since Mike is gone, I need someone to give me that dose of American sarcasm with class. My favourite recapper is Miss Alli who handles the three most popular shows, "The Apprentice," "The Amazing Race," and the "Survivor." She was also the same person who wrote that great blog entry that Medea had linked on her page... Oh what the hey, I might as well linked it here. It was a blog entry about the lack of humanity shown by President Bush when confronted with the Hurricane Katrina. Miss Alli ain't one to take no s**t.

Went to school visit in Oaira Elementary school and I can honestly say that I'm just spent. So tired that as soon as I came home I took a shower just to feel a bit less tired. I started sweating as soon as I arrived the school and began to change into my "indoor shoes" (I never understand that idea of indoor shoes in schools because frankly it's just as dirty inside the classrooms as out in the school ground. But hey I'm just a foreigner, who am I to judge, eh?).

Anyways today's school lunch was packed with carbohydrates that I am gonna regret eating at all. It was a huge roll of bread (white, I might add), some warm spaghetti with random veggies and bacon pieces (all steamed), and some of that black veggie hijiki with some other veggie salad. Other than the hijiki salad, I didn't quite enjoy the bread or the spaghetti at all. It was too much. I think so far the best kyushoku (school lunch) would have to be either that Haraigawa Elementary when they had the Tanabata Cake for July 7th, or that nice curry (very sweet) I had at the City Daycare Centre. hmmm can't decide which one...

I played soccer (actually, just watched or rather coached) with the 3rd graders. They listened to my advice and scored 2 goals. It was quite good except I was sweating furiously and feeling a bit dizzy because of the sun. Man it was scorching hot today! Seriously, it's almost October, and there's just no cooling down!

Taught the kids how to say father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister...etc. It was all good and the kids recognized the Simpsons pictures (idea courtesy of Daniela!) from the CC Lemon labels (Don't ask me why the CC lemon drinks company used the simpsons... maybe because they're both yellowy..??) And they could almost all say how many brother or sister that they have. Most of the kids have more than 1 siblings, and I'm intrigued that most of them have brothers... quite alot in fact. So does that mean Kagoshima, or just Kanoya people have more boys than girls?? wow, that's quite impressive.

Now I have a headache and simply falling asleep at the keyboard. What's wrong with me?

Maybe it's the weather... or maybe it's my body telling me that it's time to get out of Kanoya again..?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

When the weather outside is frightful...

... you drink some shochu at town hall~~

hee hee that's exactly what happened in Fukuoka on the 6th when typhoon #14 hit Kyushu, two kacho (division director) were drinking shochu in the town hall, and then the vice director joined in as well... when they were supposed to be manning the phone and make sure that they're ready to respond to any emergency. After that the superintendant of the BOE saw the fun and just had joined in. Then the town mayor walked by, saw the otsumami (snack to go with alcoholic drinks) and nibbled a bit too. The town mayor claimed that he didn't know they were drinking shochu (Just how do you NOT know that they were drinking shochu?? the smell can't be ignored!) SO all of them are punished... (no idea how they were gonna do that) and the town mayor will have his salary deducted.

(if you can read Japanese, here's the link.)

Rumour has it that "some oyaji" in my city hall did the same thing... hmmm... interesting...

Anyways, am really glad that hockey season is gonna start AGAIN soon!! I know that I can't watch the games here, but it's good to know that NHL will be back. GO OILERS GO!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

If one more person ask me...

...whether I'm voting for Koizumi or not... I swear... arrrgh!! SO many people around the office asked me if I am gonna vote tomorrow for the Japanese election.

Seriously guys, you've gotta be kidding me, right? I mean, it's one thing to forget that I'm not Japanese because I look Asian, but that can't mean that I have voting rights too!! After I replied:"no, that would be silly. How is it possible for a person to vote when don't have citizenship in that country?" Then they just said:"Why not? You live in Japan!"


I suppose they're somehow right. There are so many foreigners living in Japan, and in some ways we are entitled to make our voice heard. I mean, sure for those of us who are only staying for a couple of years, I guess that doesn't matter... but what about the Zainichi Chinese and Zainichi Koreans! They were mostly born in Japan, and some of them can even only speak Japanese... They should have the same rights after they turn 20. They shouldn't have to carry the alien registration card like us the actual gaijins...

The other day I was reading Japan Times and an article mentioned that some of the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party in which the PM Koizumi is the leader) members in the Diet were trying to pass this bill to force all foreigners coming or currently residing Japan to carry the alien registration card that is an IC card which would have ALL our personal information, including our name, birthdates, nationality, visa number, passport number, school or employment status, and whatnots. If that happens, I'm outta here. Despite how many Japanese people think that you can just marry a Japanese person to become Japanese, I know better. (Jenn, I'm sure you do too.)

Anyways... today's Saturday... while there were a few schools having their sports day (the Tasaki-sho had theirs and it was friggin loud! I heard so many pop songs but it was all echoing around the neighbourhood. Quite annoying. And then once in awhile you would hear the election trucks passing through with their annoucement adding to the "excitement."

Went to this yakitori place just off the Internet cafe place with Rina, Joe, Nanette and Alyson (she's this girl who teaches at a local engish school. from the states. Really cool gal~). After awhile Nha-thy came and joined us too. It was a nice change from all the nomihodai and tabehodai. It's seriously bad for your diet...

Especially I went to a nomikai with my office last night too. And I gotta tell ya, it was a weird thing... And I discovered that Japanese men (esp. Kyushu men) can dish it out but they can't take it in. Maybe it's just my co-worker... but seriously... you gotta grow up! Geez!

Yeah, marrying a Japanese man. That'll happen... not :p

Friday, September 09, 2005

Typhoon #14...

I felt terrible for escaping to Nagoya when there was typhoon coming. But we had decided on the expo trip long time ago and I simply can't change… and you think I wouldn't have loved to stay at home when not having to go to work?! I would love to sleep away half a day and then wake up to watch some DVDs.

On the morning of the expo day, I even got a phone call from my section chief (kakari cho) and he sounded really worried: "Sandy, the storm is very strong so don't come outside. Just stay home today, okay?" I was standing in front of the bus terminal and waiting for Aki and Tanicchi with Nami, and felt extremely guilty as I told him: "actually, I'm in Nagoya right now…" He was shocked but relieved that I wasn't in Kanoya. After that I kept getting e-mails from friends in Tokyo, family in Canada and Taiwan calling to see if I was alright. Apparently the Typhoon # 14 was quite famous even in Canada. My mom was so worried that she called many times even after I told her that I wouldn't be back until Wednesday.

This time the typhoon was serious, and at least 5 people were confirmed dead because the landslide in Tarumizu. I became really worried after watching the TV news when I was in Gifu (couldn't book any hotel in Nagoya so had to stay in Gifu), so I started e-mailing all the ALTs to see if they were alright. It was good to know that they were mostly fine, except for some blackouts.

I guess this tells us that we probably shouldn't joke about not having much typhoon this year… as how natural disasters are… they caught us off guard when we least expected.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Aichi Expo 2005

WARNING: If you haven't been to the Aichi Expo or would prefer not to know what are inside the pavilions or anything that goes on in there… please skip this entry. Oh and the entry might be a bit too long for some…

On Sunday morning, I boarded the airplane from the Kagoshima Airport and therefore escaped from the crazy typhoon #14 (there will be another entry for the typhoon). After I landed in Chubu International Airport (Centrair), I was overwhelmed by how hot it was. It wasn't much of the sunny and sweaty hot in Kag, but those really irritating humid, wet kind of hot.

Maybe it's because of the sudden increase of people flooding into the city for the expo, the garbage on the streets increased as well. Last time I came it was at least clean, but this time… ah…

Then I met up with Aki and Tanicchi for supper, had some nice yakitori and great agedashi tofu (it tasted almost like cheese!). We decided to get up early in the morning and meet again at the bus centre at 7:45 to board the shuttle bus to the Expo. The ticket was 1500 yen for roundtrip, about 200 yen more than the price for taking Rinimo shuttle train. (But, we were glad to have taken the shuttle bus because we were all able to sit, whereas if you take the train, there's a possibility that you would have to stand or rather squeeze with other people for 35 minutes or so.)

Next morning, Nami and I were so excited to see each other we chatted on the bus the whole time, but Aki and Tanicchi decided to catch some sleep (after they were late for the meeting time, and they blamed it on the typhoon…)
(LEFT: Nami and I posing in front of the Korean pavilion which was one of the most popular pavilions in the Expo. Becauese the Han-ryu Boom [Korean Craze] that's going on, many people in Japan are suddenly very much interested in Korea.

After we got off the bus, there were people herding us to the entrance… It was only 8:30 am, and we were already lining up to get in. It was at that point, Aki said that we'd better give up any hope for getting in the Toyota group, because there's no way we would be able to get in with this number of crowd. And sure enough, when we got in, there was already a long line of about 100 people lining up to get the ticket for reservation of Toyota group.

We first lined up to see the Orange Hall + Mammoth Lab. I already made reservation for it, but then Nami and Aki wanted to see it too, so we all went anyway. Before we got into the Orange Hall, they gave us this card with small pokey edge that has a hold for listening and we were to get the magnetic strip side facing all the red bars on the ceiling so we can hear explanation about each exhibit. The Orange Hall also had a high definition show of many beautiful places in Japan. Kyoto and Mt. Fuji were of course expected, but then suddenly I saw a rocket launch scene… hmmm it can't be?! And sure enough, it was our Kagoshima's Tanegashima Space Centre!! I was surprised that Yakushima was not on there, but oh well. After that we lined up to see all the interesting knickknacks that were collected from the Moon (the moon rock brought back by Apollo 17), and some technology used to navigate on the Moon. When we walked by the real size model of Mammoth, the lady there held up a sign for those people's ticket number ended with 06 or 80 can get a free photo postcard with the Mammoth. It turned out that Aki's ticket number ended with 80 so all four of us stood in front of the Mammoth as the lady who took our picture said:"Manmosu (Mammath in Japanese)" and we said:"Daisuki" ("We love it"). Aki promised to scan the photo and send it to us… We'll see how long it would take~ hee hee.
(LEFT: A musical performance in the Mongolian Pavilion. The big cello kinda like instrument is called "Matochin 馬頭琴" and we actually have a small one in our Museum in Kanoya! It was nice to watch it live. There was also a video montage of Mongolian Fashion show. Really cool stuff.)

Although we all gave up on the corporate pavilions, I did manage to make reservation for the Mitsui-Toshiba pavilion so Tanicchi and I went there when Nami and Aki went to line up for the Korean Pavilion (which was quite nice too I heard). The Mitsui-Toshiba was like a "futuristic casting system" where they take CG pictures of all of us and then put our faces on the characters, hence the futuristic casting. There were so many rules on how to put your face correctly so you can be photographed, and also to make sure there's no hair or glasses… I couldn't get my bangs out of the way, but then there's nothing I could do. Then we watched this short movie completely done by CG. The story line is basically how a crew living on this new planet found a sound echoing in the galaxy (which was the sound of ocean) but couldn't figure out what it was. Then they decided to go back and look for the source of the sound. And then encounter this mysterious girl who… (I had no idea what was going on because we were too busy looking for oursevles on screen.) Anyways, so there's the film with our group's people's faces on the characters!! It took me awhile to figure out where I was, but then I was surprised that I didn't realize it sooner! I was the girl who stands next to the Captain of the crew. And I had a nice sexy voice J hee hee But too bad we couldn't figure out where Tanicchi was. Either he didn't photograph well or we just completely missed him. The funny part about it was that a little boy (about 5 years old) had a sticker on his face. It was not a teeny tiny sticker, but a HUGE square one. So as his face appeared on the screen, everyone laughed while he was like:"あれ?あれ?" ("huh??") wondering why he was on the screen. And his character actually was quite big in the film too…lots of speaking. Hee hee it was hilarious.

The rest of the time we spent mostly going to the global pavilion. The Asia one was mostly comprised of souvenir booths. We went to the Yemen pavilion ONLY because Aki saw the TV program introducing Aichi Expo and that the Yemen people are "great" sales people. They would just put bracelets, rings and other things on your hands, and when you said you are not interested, they would just keep putting on more as you take the others off. Eventually, some people couldn't escape and ended up buying some things they might regret when they get home. Nami and I went in and started walking around, then this guy extended his hands holding this shiny bracelets and motioned to put it on my wrist. I quickly put my hands behind my back and shook my head. He kept saying:"Kawaii, Kawaii" ("cute" in Japanese) to Nami and I, but we just shook our head and said thank you then walked away.

To show my Canadian Pride, we also went to the Canadian Pavilion and checked it out. It was actually a lot better than what I expected. Heather had told me that it was kinda abstract and some people might not appreciate it. But I thought it was quite fitting for Canada. We lined up for about 30 minutes and then got in to stand in front of this wall of mesh. Then the show began with music and rainfalls, basically sound of nature. With visuals of northern lights, the Rockies, and the Niagara. After that we moved a bit to the other side and then watched another big screen introducing 6 ordinary Canadians (they said ordinary people, but I know better…) from Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax and Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) and their daily lives. One thing that's interesting to me was that the Charlottetown person was the lady who plays Anne in the "Anne of the Green Gable" musical play in PEI. Hee hee very Canadian indeed! After the show, we went into the other room full of computers with further info for the 6 cities and the 6 people. Then there were lots of postcards of Canadian nature for people to take. (yes, free!) I couldn't find my friend Teanna who was probably not working on that day. And I heard the rumor that if you told them you're Canadian, you can get a pin too… well, I did mention that I'm from Vancouver, but then there's no pin giving out… :p

Most of the popular pavilions were all full of people lining up. Nami (who had been to Germany 4 times and studied German) really wanted to get in the Germany one, but the waiting time was like 2 and a half hours just to get in. Too bad it was Theresa's day off, otherwise we would've gotten in with "connection" and enjoyed one of the few rides available in the Expo. We went to the Ireland one, which was quite nice too. Photos of Irish greens and the lambs… Also the Celtic crosses were there for people to take photos with. Then we lined up to see this short film introducing Ireland and the natural habitat…etc. We waited for about 25 minutes, but it was well worth it. I don't mean that the film was interesting (well, not bad), but the sitting was REALLY relaxing especially after walking all day long. It was like a couch, but then reclining so you can see the film projected onto the ceiling, and the speaker was right next to your ears (but Nami used her speaker as a pillow). The position was so nice and relaxing and soothing celtic music was playing in the background with the narration. We were too relaxed to hear what the narrator was talking about. Aki fell asleep (couldn't blame him) and woke up with a jolt for some reason, hence woke up Tanicchi who was also sleeping next to him.

We also went to the UK pavilion and it was quite interest as they have many biotechnology on how to observe nature and how to preserve the nature and all that stuff. They have hands-on things for you to play. Like a virtual book that you can just put your hand on the virtual page and do a page turning motion, the page will follow your hand and move on to the next page. (like the photo on the right!) The souvenir shops sold some tea and biscuits and stuff… but then they were mostly made in Japan (actually I think they were ALL made in Japan so what's the point of buying them there in the pavilion, right?)

Yeah the food… Since there was no outside food allowed in the Expo, we all had to buy lunch and supper inside. We had chicken curry with nan at the Indian Pavilion and supped at the main food court. I bought bibimba in the Korean booth… and it was only okay. The egg was very well done and there was no meat whatsoever. Hmmm… should've gotten bulgogi, at least it would've been hot.

We also went to the Italian one which exhibits some artworks and also the Italian brands... (most Japanese OL can relate to, easily) There was also this statue that was only on exhibit in this expo before it would go into storage or some repair or touchup or whatever... and then we walked in this room smelled REALLY nice... while we were walking, there was this little girl who stretched out her hands to touch this car shell... and her father jokingly said:"Miss, please refrain from eating the exhibit." And that's when I realized, "OMG! This car shell is made of CHOCOLATE!!!" No wonder it smelled so good!! hee hee leave it to the Italians to make an autobody into gourment~

Overall, it was a great experience, and I couldn't have enjoyed it more if I hadn't gone with my old friends from Shizuoka University, Aki, Tanicchi and Nami. They were awesome and we pretty much just had fun ourselves. The rain was never a problem, except when there were a couple of times I was very close to being poked in the eyes :p) Good time, man, Good time...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Well, isn't this ironic...

Okay okay, I know that Alanis Morisette had the meaning of "ironic" all wrong in her song, but I just think this is kinda the same thing she was getting at in her lyrics..

As I'm preparing to go the Aichi Expo (FINALLY!), guess what I see when I was watching TV news weather forecast? A TYPHOON!! great.. so it's gonna rain all day, plus a slight chance that my flight might even be cancelled because of the storm. FANTASTIC...

Well, I don't really have a choice, just gonna go to the airport tomorrow and see how it goes. Oh and I wrote 40 postcards (by hand...) to register for the Satsuki to Mei no Ie house that was in Totoro movie... no reply, so I guess I didn't get it. I probably used up all my luck when I got the tickets to see the DCT concert... oi..

Last night a bunch of us Kanoya JETs and some other friends from Miyazaki, juku teachers... we got together at Weiss and had a few drinks. It was good time~ I like that bar, such a nice little place with great music videos playing in the background and some blacklights to make your shirts and drinks glow.

These days I've been cutting comic strip clippings and getting them off internet... thinking of making a English conversation class with some comic strips. They're nice and short. Mostly they don't use big words, so pretty much like daily conversation type of English.

Oh yeah, the other day I got told that a lady complained that a girl picked up the phone and didn't reply "Otsukaresama desu, Osewa ni narimasu." blah things they always say when they call... okay, so there's not many female around and the only person who would do that is just me... Well I was told that I should answer it no matter what. But in my defense, they were talking so freaking quickly, the best I could do is to listen intently of who they wanna talk to and then just transfer the call. heck, if I say that WHILE they were saying the name of the person they wanna talk to, how would I know whom to transfer the call to??!! Anyways... after that I'm just gonna say it no matter what... just to prove that I can do it... although it's just stupid... if I've never talked to them, how do they "osewa ni naru" me??

Well that concludeds today's rant... tomorrow morning I'm off to Nagoya, to meet up with Tanicchi, Aki and Nami. We're going to see the EXPO!!!!!

oh... gotta pack my umbrella too...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Surprises everyday

Just when you think the JET community is quiet... Nick in Amami's lost and found episode when he was rescued from the beach (after being sucked into the ocean while surfing), by not one, not two, but dozens of people in rescue team and several helicopters became quite famous as soon as it broke out. Everybody was wondering if I knew this ALT...

The good news is that he is safe and apparently felt so comfortable on the beach that he actually told the rescue people to come get him later cuz he wanted to enjoy the sunrise... pretty cool, eh? But I heard that he has to pay for 3,000,000 yen for reparation because of all the work put into searching for him... I never heard that people would actually have to pay for the search operation if they are responsible for the incident... hmmm... I wonder if it's the same in Canada.

Anyways... speaking of surprises, last week I sent a mail to Rina and asked if she wants to come see the Kinko Bay fireworks with me Nanette and Joe... Then she replied and said:"hey you know what, I am in the hospital right now because I just had an appendicitis operation, and have to stay in the hospital for 10 days. So I can't make it." I just about fell off the chair after reading the above message. APPENDICITIS?? I don't even think people can get those anymore?! not since my cousin drank too much pop and had to be rushed to hospital when I was 14...

Then I asked Rina what she would like when I go visit her in the hospital, she wrote:"wet tissue"... hmmm... interesting request. Well on wednesday, I took the afternoon off and got wet tissue at the Midori Drugstore, got some cakes in the cake bakery downstairs, and went to visit her. Since my bike was still parked at the bus centre ever since I went to Taiwan, I had to walk there. Took me awhile to find her room because the hospital had 2 buildings and the rooms are marked most confusingly. Eventually I found her room and gave her the cakes, the wet tissue, and the notebook I got in Taipei 101 as a souvenir for her.

After we talked for awhile, I talked about my birthday flight and incidentally asked her when her birthday was. She smiled and said:"It's today." At first I thought she was joking, but then after a few times of confirming and reconfirming, she assured me that it's today... Poor girl, it was her birthday and she had stay in the hospital... Thank goodness that I brought cake! Rina, we gotta go for a drink when you get out of the hospital... probably not anytime soon though, eh?

Went to a daycare visit today and the kid Ren-kun was driving me nuts again... I don't know why some kids just behave so badly so they can get your attention. Wouldn't it be better for me to notice you if you're listening intently and enjoying the game, rather than rolling around the floor and tried to pulled my shirt then stretch it to a lenght that I can wear it as a dress?? Goodness...

Have been really addicted to "Veronica Mars" and now anxiously waiting for the new season to start. Now moving onto "Arrested Development," and glad to say that it's another great show too.

Ah... TV...

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Back in Kanoya... facing the reality...

Well, I know that I had a looooong vacation... and I should be happy that I even got to take times off to see my family (compare to alot of people in my office..) But, 10 days is JUST NOT ENOUGH!! Especially when you know that your family are still touring in Tokyo, having fun without you... :(

Anyways... I'm back to Kanoya, immediately resuming the regular work schedule, eikaiwa classes, meetings, unexpected nonkatas... It's all good.

I'm working on getting my pictures uploaded to either this blog or another space so we can all share what Taiwan is like~ So stay tuned!

(BTW, I think I ate really REALLY too much and it's not even funny anymore. I need to do some serious working out...)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I'm off to Taiwan~

Okay, folks... sorry that it's such a short notice, but from tomorrow I'll be taking around a week off from work and go to Taiwan... after being away for 10 years! whohoo~~

So, if you see any irregular activities (which would be blog entries...), don't worry~ but still leave comments all you want.

alright, I gotta go to bed, got an early morning tomorrow!

I've been tagged!

I got tagged by Jenn... so thought I shouldn't be rude and just write it out for fun... (ah who am I kidding, I LOVE this stuff!!) Okay, so here goes~

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Hmmm let's see 10 years ago this time... I was getting ready to go to Canada with my dad and two lil sisters. We packed carefully (or rather, my mom packed carefully for all of us) and we were getting ready for our departure... right after my entrance exam for high school in Taiwan. Now that I think of it, if I studied really hard and didn't get addicted to comics and novels, I would've probably gotten into a decent high school... ah well :p I went to Canada anyways.

What was I doing 5 years ago?
Okay... I think that's about the time that pretty much determined what I am right now. That year, earlier in Spring I had won the Japanese speech contest in intermediate category...and then went to Ottawa for the first time and got invited into the Japanese Embassy to do the speech and compete in the National Speech Contest. Then in Summer... something amazing happened to me... I got a free trip to come to Japan, all expenses paid, AND they give us allowances so we could go out and eat and shop and...etc. I wrote an exam in the Edmonton Japanese consulate, and ended up being the person chosen to join 67 other students learning Japanese around the world and come to Japan as their fancy gaijin guests in Kansai Kokusai Koryu Centre. We went to Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Tokyo~ That's when I actually realized that I want to keep learning Japanese and eventually work here.... hence here I am!

What was I doing 1 year ago?
Exactly 1 year ago? Hmmm... I had just arrived in Kanoya, and everyday seemed so boring with the office time but without anything to do. I hung out with the other new ALTs, Daniela, Jeni, Dan in Kihoku, Joe, and Heather. Those good old days we had fun... OOOh I think it's around this same time a year ago, we went to climb Mt.Kaimon... well, Team Canada didn't make it (that's me and Heather), Team UK and Team America made it to the top. (although Dan in Team UK argued that the water in Daniela's water bottle was a bit suspicious, that it had a little something extra in it...) :p hee hee

What was I doing yesterday?
I spent the morning chatting with Chris (the new ALT from London) and changed his keitai e-mail address into something comprehensible, then took the afternoon off so I could go the Yamada denki to get my beloved DVD player back (yes they fixed it and without any charge because of the warranty!! hee hee nothing to do with the lightning!), got photos developed for my grandpa, went to Uniqlo to buy presents for my grandparents...etc. Watched "In America" to prepare the Film Night event I'll have tonight... I had to watch it first in Japanese subtitle to see how the story is distored through the horrible translations...(actually not too bad, just not as good as the English lines..) Then last night I went to DUSK eikaiwa class and was pleasantly surprised that Chihiro became REALLY good! She managed to tell us a long story about why she wants another person to take her clothes to the dry cleaner.. all in English!! Very impressive!

What am I doing today?
Hmmm right now I'm just killing time until I can take the afternoon off... I gotta run some other errands (shopping for necessities...), and then the Kuroneko people will come pick up my luggage so they can send it to the Fukuoka Airport. yep, getting ready for myjourney back to Taiwan!!!! I'm so excited! Oh and then tonight (yes I have to work again..) I have the Film Night event and show the film "In America," and tell them why I am showing the film.. and try to get them to talk about it... if they would open their mouths.

Five snacks I enjoy
-"Cheese Arare" that you can get in 100 yen stores,sooo good
-"Chicken Ramen" dry noodle bits in many different flavours, like yakisoba and all kinds
-"Maccha pudding" or basically anything maccha~
-"Senbei(soysauce flavour)" Shoyu aji is the only togo if you are gonna eat Senbei...
-"Green Onion Cake" a specialty from Taiwan... yum~

Five bands I like
Maroon 5, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Orange Range, ThreeDays Grace, and Nickelback!! (Alberta!)

What 5 things would I do with a million dollars?
-take my family on a cruise
-backpacking in Europe
-buy a car..?
-get a HUGE screen TV
-open a bookstore (HOW I would be able to do ALL these with only a million dollars, I have no idea... ;p)

Five locations I would like to run away to?
-to where my mom is
-to the beach
-movie theatre..(any movie will do)
-Uji in Kyoto Prefecture (I just love the place)
-Edmonton... to see my gals~

Five bad habits?
-I tend to talk too loud to the point that people had to tell me to be quiet in the public places.
-I don't tidy up in my apartment unless guests are expected.
-Very VERY forgetful sometimes... (which is why I need my dayplanner with me at all times...)
-Everytime I take a long trip, by the time I'm well out of my house and on the bus/train/airplane... I almost always wonder whether I locked the door/closed the window/turn off the stove... I worry too much.
-I get upset when I don't get to finish the story I'm telling people (like getting interrupted..)

Five things I like doing?
-watching TV/DVDs, blogging (duh!), dip my feet in ariver, reading, talk about books/movies/TV with people with equal passion about these things.

Five TV shows I like?
The Simpsons, 24, Will & Grace, Amazing Race, The O.C.(yeah yeah, I know :p)

Five Famous people I would like to meet?
(I assume living and dead are all fine, right?) J.K. Rowling (so many questions!), Ewan MacGregor (just to look at him~), Thomas Hardy (to ask him if he did call his maid Tess), Li Shi Min (the greatest Emperor of Tang Dynasty in Chinese history), Murasaki Shikibu (so many things to ask her too!)

Biggest joys in my life at the moment?
That I can depend on my family to be on my side, and that I have friends that I can count on. Finally... doing a job that doesn't feel like a job!

Favourite toys?
I know I'm too old for this, but I love bubble blowing things that you can get in festivals and stuff...

Five people to tag?
I don't have that many people to tag this... so am very sorry, Jenn, this will stop here..

Alright here it is~ whew~ took me awhile to get this up.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Hmmm guess what slanguage I speak?

Wow... so this proves that I'm a true Canadian... finally? Thanks to Jenn for introducing the blogthings~ I absolutely love these trivial things :)

Your Slanguage Profile

Canadian Slang: 75%
Aussie Slang: 25%
British Slang: 25%
New England Slang: 25%
Prison Slang: 25%
Victorian Slang: 25%
Southern Slang: 0%

If you're a true Albertan...

I just realized that Jenn in Aira is from Edmonton too!!! that's so cool :) The Canadians I've met so far are all from the east coast, and it's just not the same... (you know what I mean...)

Since Jenn said that I can link it... Here it is. A list of things what a true Albertan would do/be/like~

Check this out! Western Canada Rules!!

(well, the Eastern part isn't so bad either...)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Nomikai and Karaoke

okay so we went to the okura hotel for the beer garden, as a wrap-up party for our summer festival thing.. look at Nakano-san, talking about something amusing... probably, and Yume-chan is "romancing" Matsuyama-san, the guy who went to Niger for a year to teach automobile mechanics stuff. He was the guest of honour. We had a nice night out, under the stars~ drinking beer and having second-rate food (yeah the food left alot to be desired...)

And on the right, is Yume-chan, on Chris B's shoulder... yeah she didn't really meet him before this, but that didn't stop her from climbing onto his back so she can enjoy a great view. Well, she looks really cute in this picture, and I think it's probably all that matters anyways...

And then we went to nijikai at the karaoke close by... just me, rina, kawahara-san (my sup) and Chris B... we decided just 4 was too sabishii so I called up Daniela and Gary, and they showed up soon afterwards. hee hee here, you see Chris and Gary singing their hearts out...while Daniela posing in the back :)

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Found something on Medea's blog... and just had to try this out. This is kinda interesting... hee hee check it out~

I did the Japanese name generator, and look what my Japanese name would be!

Your Japanese Name Is...

Yukiko Matsudaira

Your Hidden Talent
You have the power to persuade and influence others.
You're the type of person who can turn a whole room around.
The potential for great leadership is there, as long as you don't abuse it.
Always remember, you have a lot more power over people than you might think!

If I'm not mistaken, this picture is probably the Senbiro no taki waterfall in Yakushima... I really like yakushima, everyone should go at least once... especially those who live in Kagoshima!

The Newbies have arrived!

The newbies~ from left: Alison in Tashiro (Fergus's successor), Nha-thy in Kanoya (Mike's succesor), Chris in Kanoya (Jeni's successor). Note the glass of shochu in Nha-thy's hand! It's Osumi's own Kojika shochu!

After a long day of traveling all the way from Tokyo to Kanoya, Chris and Nha-thy had finally arrived~~ We met up for supper in the restaurant next to my apartment and then I called up Nanette and Joe. Then Daniela went to get Alison and her sup... then Michael from Nejime came as well... this tiny little bar was FULL of us gaikokujin!!

I just had to upload this picture... hee hee I love my blog!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

See you later, Heather

So... Heather left Kanoya this morning, and I seriously doubt if she would ever come back... :p maybe to Japan, but who knows when she would actually come to Kanoya in the near future.

I've been preped for this moment for awhile, but still sad that she's gone now. I guess I'll still see her again since she's just back in Canada. Ah... it's gonna be strange that I can't c-mail her anymore...:( Especially she stayed at my place on Sunday night and last night too... It was weird to see her go...

Well, last night we went to Nabeshima for Yakiniku, treated by Ono-san... Jeni, Chris, Mike, David, Heather, Nanette and I went...along with Ono-san and his wife. I don't even know how I got invited, just that Nanette sent me a mail and said that she's coming to pick H and I up so we can go for yakiniku at 8. Ono-san finally called me something other than Joshikosei (highschool girl--because he thought I look too young to be working...)... he called me a Joshiko Ninensei(2nd grade highschool girl).. Yeah, so I have finished my first year,and now I'm a 2nd grader in Joshiko :p

We ended up eating too much food and H had to walk around my apartment (and outside) so she wouldn't feel so bloated. It was a LARGE amountof beef we consumed... It's been awhile since I went to Yakiniku last time... I can't even remember when was the last time I had yakiniku!

Well, yesterday I also walked to Yamada-denki to take my DVD player for them to fix... On Sunday night, I put in "In America" to watch... and no sound came out. The screen on the player was blank as well... I took it there, and the guy immediately said:"is it from Saturday?" Apparently, lots of people have brought in appliances because they had stopped working due to the lightning-thunder storm on Saturday. If my DVD player was damaged because of the lightning, the manufacturer would not cover the repair with warranty... so I'd have to pay for it. I asked the guy if they could throw it away for me in case they want me to pay to fix it, he laughed and said of course. So, in a couple of days, the Yamada-denki people will call me and give me the verdict.

Am still at work, and it's gonna be lunch time pretty soon. I made a sign for Nha-thy, Mike's successor, and Daniela made a sign for Chris, Jeni's successor. D's gonna take the signs with her and Mike when picking the newbies up at the airport. I put a "Princess Kanoya" picture on Nha-thy's as well... thought she might like it. hee hee~~

I guess I'll read JAPAN TIMES for awhile before the lunch time chime...

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Karate Kids in Kag

Yesterday I went to volunteer at this karate tournament event in the city... and I took a few pictures of the event.

The event itself turned out not exactly as what I thought it would have been...and I was a bit disappointed. So I ended uptalking to Mike the whole time. Especially since he's gonna go back, so it's quite nice to hang out with him for a bit before he goes home.

So here are some of the pictures I took... Mostly not that interesting.. but ah, that's all I did anyways...

Here, Mike... for you~ (I don't wanna say anything offensive about this picture, so I'll let Mike tell you all about this picture.. I'm sure he'll have it on his blog as soon as I uploaded this. Posted by Picasa

Look at Mike... just finished his bento~ hee hee, great pic! Posted by Picasa

Look at the karate kids!! I actually think the kids are alot better than the adults... they just do the moves a lot more swiftly. According Mike, it's like learning English, they're always good when they are little.. when they get old... the whole english thing disappear Posted by Picasa

The Dragon Dance Company from Yokohama... er... can you tell me again how this is related to Karate? Posted by Picasa

Look how many of them!! after about an hour of speeches, the young 'uns were starting to stir... Posted by Picasa

The SOLE Canadian participant... GO CANADA GO!!! Posted by Picasa