Saturday, July 30, 2005

Some Indian food and a gathering for old and new

Tonight we had a little gathering of neighbouring ALTs for some Indian food~ I had chicken masala chicken curry and some garlic nan~~ so good but I couldn't finish it all ;p

Decided to take a picture for the occasion... well, the lighting wasn't perfect, but I guess this will do. From left back are Bryan, Heather, Cristina, David (Heather's successor), Daniela and Gary. From Right back are Shana, Angie (hiding a bit), Nanette, Laura, Adam, Jesse, and then Chris.

Posted by Picasa
Welcome to Kagoshima, David and Adam~

Alright It's official

Come in September, I'll be teaching at the Jieitai (self-defense army) in Kanoya, with their Eikaiwa club. Yep, there will be tonnes and tonnes of pilots there... hmmm

They told me that they will have to make my identification so I can go in and out of the Navy Base without being questioned much. wow... It should be quite interesting, although a couple of the people at the office were a bit hesitant about it. They thought we shouldn't always agree to whatever the Jieitai wants us to do (especially they are not necessarily always agreeing to our requests... i.e. the fireworks...). But I thought it's fine, just an interesting experience.

Right now it's HUGE rain storm outside... I don't know what happened, but this morning I woke up and there was the strong wind and heavy rain pouring down. I just hope my plants are okay. Ah, who am I kidding, they are long gone since that scorching day 1 week ago.

Was also surfing on the net and realized that the US site for Goblet of Fire is up.. hee hee so I got the supporter kit for Harry in the Triwizard Tournament :)
Yay~ I SUPPORT HARRY POTTER for the Triwizard Tournament~~ Although we already know who's gonna win anyways :p hee hee

Thursday, July 28, 2005

It's been one year since...

... I arrived Kanoya! whoohoo~~~ *que fireworks* and a round of applause...

well.. yep, exactly a year ago I was sitting in this exact spot contemplating whether to strip myself naked and sleep like that on the tatami floor or take another cold shower.

When I first arrived, the air conditioning didn't work, all what came out was just warm nasty air. There was no hot water, so I had to take cold shower (which I didn't mind so much as the weather was hot and humid). And I was overly exhausted from my worst case of jet lag (no pun intended) and also the stupid headache was still there when I bidded all the helpful people at my office goodbye, so they would leave me alone.

Ah... the first day in Kanoya.

Now is the question... why did I recontract again?? hmm...

Oh yeah, that's right, I happen to like this job :p and also the people that I've met over the year... also it would be really cruel of me to abandon my already-very-tense-whenever-we-have-an-event supervisor who had just started working in the city hall this april.

Hmm, so another year in Kanoya, eh?

Monday, July 25, 2005

This is by far the most hilarious Engrish!

OOOH my goodness... check out this link posted by a fellow blogger... (Thanks to Mike for sharing this great treasure.) The subtitles of "Revenge of the Sith"... translated into Chinese and then English back straight from the Chinese subtitles. I laughed soooo hard. Knowing Chinese, I totally understand why it was translated into that strange way. All in all, it's still HILARIOUS! Hope you all enjoy this as well :)

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Wow~ Kanoya Fireworks!! I didn't expect much but it was actually not too bad! Nanette, Joe, Heather and Rina came together, and we walked from my place to Shokokaigisho, where the fireworks would be.

Here's me and Nanette, in our yukatas~ It was certainly nice that I wasn't the only person wearing yukata...

Rina doesn't own yukata... (yet again, I never thought she would anyways.

One of the nice pictures I took of the fireworks!

Here's another really good ones! I never got those REALLY big ones... cuz I was busy watching it :p

Heather, Rina, Nanette and Me!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Kanoya Natsu Matsuri, Summer Festival!

Many people say that a picture tells a thousand words... well, I'm gonna post a few pictures to tell those words because I'm just sooooo tired! We, the Kanoya International Exchange Association--joined by the sign language club "Yamabiko" and the Kichiyo Dance School, did our Han'ya Odori Dance in the Kanoya Summer Festival! We were all very tired and seriously dehydrated. Been up this morning since 7 to prepare the Yamasha, (dashi, which would be float that goes before our dance group) and then taught those who didn't learn the dance until today.

The overall experience was definitely awesome and we had a great time making fun of each other with our happi and head bands. There were some minor mishaps, but they were all resolved quickly. I thought there were a few times that my supervisor Kawahara san was gonna pass out from the stress of organizing the whole thing, but then eventually he handled it quite well... ooooh geez I'd better actually let the pictures tell their stories... :p

Ino-san, posing in front of our "Dashi (float)." hee hee he's sooo funny~ He made the globe on the kei-truck and it actually rotates!!! isn't that cool!!

Okay, right before we leave... hee hee look at us... right under the sun.. sooo hot.

Just when they called out our group and it was time to head out... we decided to pose for one more picture with our sign: "Warera Chikyujin (Us the Earthlings)"

Right before we were almost done... were taking a drinking water break. whew... so tired >_<

Throughout the time when we were dancing there were like random people just handing us cans of beers (already opened, mind you) and then asked if we wanted to have a sip... yeah.. right, we are gonna drink from your beer, that's right...

As we were only wearing tabi, our feet were all wet from the water people poured on the street... it was definitely really weird. Dancing with people watching and bus constantly passing next to us... hee hee~

Oh one last picture...

Ah.... now a picture of our dancing parade. hee hee~ It was fantastic fun, but then now my feet are aching terribly, and the "han'ya bushi" song is still in my head... "Han'ya~~~" oh... goodness, right... time for bed.

Friday, July 22, 2005

A Farewell Dinner at Blue Moon Cafe

Okay, so here we are... one year after... and now Jeni, Chris and Heather are going back home, to the place where the people wouldn't stare at them unless they're doing something weird...

I'm glad that they all came to the dinner thing so we can get together at least one last time... Cuz I know it's gonna be really hectic to get together the week before you leave. Well I've been there, ain't I?

It's too bad the lighting was terrible, and I didn't really trust the waitress to take the picture in night shots... so Gary and Daniela are a little hard to see... Well, at least you've got everybody here. Oh and I REALLY have to show you this picture... hee hee

Okay, here's me pulling Rina's "golden hair" on her face... yep, she's got this hair growing out of her face and her mom kept saying that it's good luck hair and she should never pull it out. And Rina always pulls on it and play with it. We were all kidding and touching it. We took a couple pictures of me pulling it... and after this picture, I turned around to talk to Heather, and then I heard "ooops!!"... then turned back to Rina, holding her golden hair, AWAY from her face... Yep, now her mom would be REALLY mad... hmmm It's okay, Rina, I'm sure it will grow back... however weird that would be.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Yeah, talk about being a Kagoshima-jin!

Just about couple minutes ago, Kodama san came and held a cup of red liquid then said, "Sandy, you wanna try some?" As I took the cup and gave it a smell... I instantly realized that it was more than just red liquid... It was shochu! The shochu that they have produced as the Rose flavoured shochu...

So as not to be rude, I drank it up (it was only about 3 sips or so), but then the strong smell of shochu is still lingering in my mouth... Now trying to drink as much green tea as possible... And, it's only 3 pm in the afternoon!!

So, today I did my best to make the Kanoya CIR home page as presentable as possible. However, I decided to slack off and the to do the work and just add whatever links I want it to have. so, there you go! a new homepage! Let me know how you like it :)

Monday, July 18, 2005

I got it! I got it!!

Last night just before I went to bed, I realized that the name R. A. B. on that piece of note from the locket that Dumbledore and Harry got from the cave... could be Regulus A. Black!!! Just when I thought I'm soooo smart and everything, I checked wikipedia, and apparently some people have already speculated it...

oh well, guess I wasn't the only one.

Anyways, I figured it out ALL by myself.

I think I need to take a break from Harry Potter world...

But, let me finish GOF first... :p

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Accio HP6!!

Yes yes,... I have the Harry Potter book with me, right next to my seat cushion on my tatami... and I'm glad to say, that I've finished reading "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"!! yay~~*cue fireworks*

Now, I just want to read the next and the final installment of the Harry Potter series so we don't have to suffer the agony anymore... It's interesting how so many people around the world let these book change their daily routines (like no sleep until finishing the book, or no eating... or worst of all, no bathroom...???!!) Ah, who am I to judge, I am the same.. except, in contrast to the OoTP, I tried to read it slowly so when I finish the book, I wouldn't feel too rushed.

Well, too late, now I'm doing the same thing 2 years ago, read the previous books...

Now reading GOF because 1) the movie is about to come out in November and I wanna make sure that I get my facts straight first before heading the theatre, and then criticize it... ;p (just kidding, I'm sure I'll love the movie all the same); 2) from the book 6, there were many references to the Riddle House, so I wanna see if Rowling got her story right or not... hee hee... am I obsessed or what??!!

Not to worry, people~ for those people who just stumble across my blog... no spoilers warning, means I won't talk about the details or the endings.

However, I will say this. I like this book better than OoTP... and I'm glad that now Harry has grown to know his own strength and his ability. Not only to fight, but also to face his own fear. But I do hope that there is no more death... I can't stand having to cry over the book when it's supposed to give me pleasure reading it!

There, I've said it. Yes, I cried... but then I cried in book 5 too... actually I did in Book 3 as well... (geez, what's wrong with me??!!)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Oaira-sho kids and the kyushoku~

Me showing the kids how to dance to the "Hokey Pokey" tune~ The kids absolutely love it, especially the 3rd graders! There are always a few that refuse to do it, but then after seeing other kids having so much fun, they just end up joining in and giggling endlessly.

Before we eat our lunch the toban kids have to make sure everybody's got their set of lunch, but everytime I start taking pictures, they would just abandon their duties and decided that they really REALLY want me take their pictures.

Kyushoku for today is hotdog bread, dry curry to put in, cabbage and bacon soup, and of course milk. I was pleasantly surprised by this menu... it was actually quite good~ Usually the menu is really strange combination of sweet jam, white bread (HUGE too), and then some stew... But this time, not too bad, not too bad at all...

Now it's teeth brushing time... look at the girls posing with their toothbrushes in their mouths hee hee... oh by the way, they don't use toothpaste since they would just end up bringing those fruity flavour ones anyways. So they just brush with water... brush brush brush...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Koyama Waterfall on July 3rd~

Went to Koyama waterfall with Heather, Nanette and Joe, and looked what a nice little spot we found! Jesse was right~ it is a really cool place to hang out in. It's definitely less scary to swim in than the beach... (god the tides!!)

Look at Heather go! We all got a little scared when she went around this time cuz I thought she was gonna lose her balance. But then she landed in the water gracefully... or as graceful as she could manage anyway :p

Hmmm I think Nanette is trying to get the rope, but she's a little bit too far from it, I think.

Cooking Class ~Taiwanese Cuisines~

Okay, I know that being the CIR, I shouldn't be doing so many cooking classes because it wouldn't be fair for the Kanoya people to interact with more gaijiny foreigners. :p But I thought that Japanese people should have a taste of the simple Taiwanese food that they can easily prepared at home.

AND, it turned out to be a great success because they were surprised by how easy it was to make 2 dishes and another veggie stirfry to go with and then the egg drop soup to finish the meal. But then they had to go and put equal portions of different dishes for each person's plate... like the Japanese style. Oh well, whatever, since we're in Japan, I guess they can do whatever they want.

The Dongjian Shian Dofu, one of the dishes today... hmmm needs a bit more sauce, but oh well, it tasted just as nice :)

The Sanbeiji, chicken broiled with sesame oil/soy sauce with ginger pieces... hmmm it was the best! and the people that came all really loved it. Oh and Nanette and Joe said they especially liked this one... and it was the easiest one of them all!!

Ah.... the egg drop soup, it's the best thing to have when finishing up you meal... YES, Taiwanese people have their soup AFTER their meals! Which is another reason why we don't put "dashi" or any fancy stuff in there...

So the event went quite well, and my new supervisor seemed a bit less nervous after the event. Sometimes I feel so guilty that I had to tell him what should be done next... cuz he's just new and really had no idea what to do... But then he's supposed to be my boss...

Anyhoo... well, been trying to finish Order of the Pheonix, so when the Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince comes this Saturday, I'll remember what happened before... so as not to go "huh? who is...? what??"

And, now watching SW EPV: The Empire Strikes Back... the huge white mammoth like machine looks vaguely like the thing in Lord of the Rings... so which one came first? Did Lucas copied Tolkien and stole his idea first? or Peter Jackson got his idea of mammoth creature in The Two Towers from TESB?? hmmm intriguing...

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Haraigawa-sho kids and tanabata cake~

The Haraigawa-sho 1st graders, there are only 8 of them!! they are soooo cute :)

The Tanabata cake... hee hee, it tastes alot better than it looks like. All the kids seemed to enjoy the dessert more than the actual kyushoku...

Oh my goodness, it's July already?!

I can't believe it, we're officially in July! Wow... how the time flies... So anyways, after the wedding banquet I attended about... let's see... 2 weeks ago, finally I remember to write what has been going on so people back home can read it... oh well, Debby reads Japanese and she can go ahead and read my japanese blog.. it's good practice for her Japanese reading! (sorry sorry... no more excuses...)

Anyways, last week I felt like I didn't really work at all since there was only the eikaiwa on Tuesday night and then Wako daycare visit on Thursday,... the rest of the week was spent on making my CIR HP for Kanoya/Osumi JETs (which is still incomplete...) Then on Wednesday, I went to Kag city to treat myself for a movie day~ Wednesday is ladies' day for movies in Japan, and since I finally get to have a weds off...

I went to Amu Plaza and saw "Batman Begins" and I gotta say this... I was VERY pleasantly surprised! Christian Bale is a great Batman and I found that the story is alot darker, but more dramatic, rather than the cool gadgets (although the gadgets in this movie are pretty cool as well :p) The Ra's Al Goul subplot has a twist and I didn't expect it (some might say I am slow in that way... just like I didn't get "the Six Sense" until my friend finally told me as we were walking out of the theatre...). All in all, I am now hooked on Batman... been reading wikipedia articles about the movie, batman series, characters, and whatever I could find on that site. hee hee

Then on Saturday, I went to Kag city "again" to see "Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith" with Maruchan... hee hee on the way to Sak ferry port, we spent an hour talking about SW, tale of Genji, japanese lit... ah~ felt so nice to talk to someone about these tops and that someone really knows about the subject to actually be interested (instead of nodding and smiling... then change the subject...).

ROTS was actually better than I expected too... although I had already read some positive reviews on imdb, and I trust the imdb like it's the movie bible... I wasn't really thinking that I would be disappointed anyways.

However, once again, Hayden Christensen was still delivering his lines in monotone, and Ewan McGregor seemed like he wasn't really acting at all until the last moment of Anakin Skywalker (by that I meant before he turned to Darth Vader). Don't even get me started on Natalie Portman... This is an actress who has such potential (see "The Professional"), but her character is just so... boring... when she can be so many things, other than just a fashion model to showcase the wonderful wardrobe that the costume peole designed for her.

The story itself can also be this great sci-fi story as well if it's not for the lack of character development... ah... Lucas, maybe you spent a little too much time on the CG and forgot about the plot, eh?

Anyhoo, the CG is definitely something that can wow anyone from a kid to an adult. The cinematography is stunning and soundtrack is quite nicely updated from the original trilogy, and the CG Yoda... wow! Yoda is just too cool! I like Yoda in the original trilogy already, and I had some doubts about the CG Yoda, but I gotta tell ya, it's quite awesome~

After movie, I went to the beer garden on rooftop of Mitsukoshi Department Store for the AJET Leavers' Party. Got to see a few of the leaving JETs before they head home. ah... Betty is probably in Taiwan by now... She told me that she was gonna be taking the rest of her working days with her nenkyu and daikyu and then just go to Taiwan early to see her boyfriend... ah, how I envy her.

Then on Sunday the 3rd, I went to Koyama Waterfall with Heather, Nanette, and Joe. It was just a cool place to hang out and the water slide was definitely really fun! (although I only tried once, cuz it also looked a bit scary :p) I took some really great pictures and videos... I'll try to post the phots in the blog...

This week (July 4th-8) is basically a school visit week... Tuesday: Oaira-sho, Weds: Kanoya-sho, and Thurs: Haraigawa-sho.

Oaira-sho is probably my fave school to visit and the kids are just awesome. And apparently there is romance in the air, as Hiromu-kun and Riho-chan are an item, and Riri-chan can't decide whom to pic, Genki-kun or Yuto-kun. hee hee

Kanoya-sho, on the other hand, has the most out of controlled kids I've ever seen... I don't know why but there are just so many that tend to fight with each other and just won't shut up. The English teacher there, ah... I feel so sorry for her... there's always alot of yelling whenever a class is in session.

Haraigawa-sho is really quiet... cuz the students tend to be a little shy when it comes to English. But this time I went to teach 1 to 3 grade students, and they absolutely love the Hokey Pokey song and also the Simon Says (or I should say, "Sandy Says") game.

Since Thurs was also the Tanabata (July 7th, the Chinese Valentine's Day) Day, we had to gather around in the school gym and then listen to the picture book reading of tanabata story, have the tanabata kazari (decoration) contest, and then scavenger hunt for the tanbata keywords. Then after that we had Tanabata cake (which was more like a frozen pudding with cream and star-shaped jello on top) for kyushoku... hee hee it was DELICIOUS~~

Anyways... that brings me to today... friday, the most looked-forward-to day of the week. However, this Sunday, I'll be teaching a cooking class to introduce some easy Taiwanese cuisines, and let people ask me questions about why a Canadian CIR is introducing Taiwanese food...

whew~ that's alot of updates, and I'm sorry if people have already given up reading... oops, sorry. alright,I'll write more after the cooking class...