Monthly Archives: July 2006

A Birthday Party

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     Last Saturday I was invited to a birthday party from a friend of mine. The friend has two kids, whose birthdays are not the same but near, so she held a birthday party for them.

     She rent a room of a community center in the neighborhood for the party. Most of the decorations were made by her. Those were really wonderful! I was very surprised to know her talent for it.

     There were about 40 people at the party. A magician came and performed a magic show there. He was quite nice! I prefer his character to his magic…I laughed at his show! That was fun!

      For the party, the friend and I made about 60 strawberry jellies. They were waiting in my fridge for a while. It seemed kids liked the jellies. I was delighted to see them eating them happily.

      We had also bingo game. I had to say number in Japanese, English and Spanish! What an international party it was! Kids were getting more and more excited when the game was going. They were close on me! I was sorry for some of kids who couldn’t get anything by the game. But that’s the life, kids!

      The most exciting event was breaking Spider Man. The friend made a doll which was a Spider Man shape from paper, especially from milk cartons. She hid many snacks and sweets in it. Kids hit the bat to break the Spider Man to get the snacks and sweets. When the Spider Man was broken at last, kids tried to get as many snacks and sweets as possible desperately. That was really fun!

      Happy Birthday, Takeshi and Akira!

Sayonara

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     I had been learning English from an Australian lady for two and half years. She was gone to Australia with her husband last Friday. She had been here in Japan for 5 years. 

     A friend of mine found an advertising of an English lesson on a free paper two years ago. He and one of his friends went to her to take a trail lesson one day, and I accompanied them. After that, he and I decided to take her class. After one and half year, he stopped taking her class because he has many things to do except for studying English.

     One day I bumped into a lady who I know in the subway. She and I used to go to the same English school. She told me she was going to quit the school. Oh, what a coincidence! I introduced the Australian teacher to her right away, and the lady and I started taking her lesson together. That was about one year ago…Time flies…

     She and I went to Centrair, the airport with another student of hers to show her and her husband off last Friday. There are many shops and restaurants like a shopping center in the airport. So we enjoyed shopping there and had dinner to see our teacher. When I had to say good-bye to her, I couldn’t say almost anything. I couldn’t stop weeping. I felt really sad.

      Thank you for everything, Amelia. I won’t forget you and your class forever.  

Expo Memorial Park

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     Last year I was into Expo, which was held in Nagoya district. I went there over 40 times! I made many friends who were from all over the world there. They are my treasures. As time goes by, the memory is getting thinner and thinner, but the event was one of the most important in my life for me.

     The place where the Expo was held last year is now under construction and is becoming a new big park. A part of it has opened since July 15th. So a friend of mine and I visited there last Thursday. (The grand open will be next year.)

     She and I were surprised at the park because there was a mere shadow of its former self! We couldn’t remember what was in the place exactly where we stood. We felt disappointed a little…

     After a bit strolling, she and I decided to have lunch somewhere. We are interested in organic food. According to her, there is a restaurant which serves organic food in a building in the park. So we headed for the building. I was surprised to know we had to pay for entering it. You have to pay extra to have lunch inside the building which is cool by air conditioners. Anyway we paid and went to the restaurant.

     How was the food? Oh, I’m sorry, I cannot to say about it there…After the construction finishes, I’m going to visit the park with her again. 

     It is strange but some of my friends who I met at Expo last year email me when I do something related with Expo. This time some of them were in touch with me as well. I am going to reply them with photos which I took in the Expo Memorial Park. I’m wondering whether they feel nostalgic, disappointed, or sad…

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

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     I like Johnny Depp. He’s handsome and cute. I like his voice, too! He appears on many films, but my favorite role of him is Captain Jack Sparrow.  

     I don’t think there is someone who doesn’t know that famous movie entitled Pirates of the Caribbean, though, Captain Jack Sparrow is the hero of the story. 

     Jack Sparrow is quite selfish man; probably most of pirates were like him, chases treasures, roman and women to the seven seas. Treachery and plunder are common for treasure hunting. But he and other pirates must obey the rule among pirates strictly.  

     He was under contract to a ghostly captain named Davy Jones. After possession of the Black Pearl, which is a ship, he must serve as a crew under the Davy Jones for 100 years. Davy Jones’ crews changed to monsters under serving him for a long time.  

     Jack Sparrow finds out something to escape his horrible fate, and… 

     If you get interested in the story, why don’t you go to a movie theater this weekend? I went to see the movie with a friend of mine last Tuesday. We saw it as a late show. It cost only 1000 yen each! 

     Before seeing the movie, she and I had a curry set. We shared one set because it was quite big meal. Sea food curry, beef curry, vegetable salad, rice, naan, tandoori chicken, samosa, and soft drink. That was wonderful! I love curry! 

     I had a lovely night with the friend. Thank goodness! 

Gazpacho

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     Gazpacho is a Spanish cold soup. No, it’s more a Spanish cold liquid salad. Gazpacho descends from ancient Andalusian.  

     The other day, after the final class of my Spanish before the summer vacation, Mariano, my Spanish teacher, who is also a cook, gave me a light lunch. He’s gone to Spain with his son. He spends this summer there with his family.  

     It was my first time to try Gazpacho. I liked it! According to Mariano, many Japanese don’t like the taste, though… 

     You know, the summer in Nagoya is terrible! It’s not only hot but also humid! If you have no appetite because of the heat, I recommend eating the soup, no the liquid salad! One lick will stimulate your appetite! 

     It’s quite easy to make Gazpacho. You just put all ingredients into a blender. That’s all. Cold it, then eat. 

     Ingredients: cucumbers, green peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes, bread, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and spices.  

     Quantity? You can find many recipes on the Internet! Why don’t you try to make and to eat once? 

     My Spanish teacher, Mariano’s web page is here.

http://flordelis.tripod.com/ 

     Do you think he comes back to Japan in the fall?    

Grand Sumo Tournament

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     I like watching sumo, not doing it. I had longed to go to see sumo tournament once for a long time. At last my dream has come true. I went to Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium to see Grand Sumo Tournament with three of my friends yesterday!

     It’s really hot and humid in summer in Nagoya. In the hot place, in hot July the sumo tournament is held every year. Actually it was my first time to visit Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium itself. The gymnasium is located near Nagoya City Hall and Nagoya Castle.

     So I think the place is good for sightseeing in Nagoya. If foreigners who are interested in Japanese culture are in Nagoya in July, they can enjoy watching sumo and seeing many Japanese traditional things after visiting Nagoya Castle. Of course, Japanese people can enjoy themselves at the same tour!

     My friends and I bought a box seat called masu-seki. In a box seat four people can sit down and usually enjoy some foods and beer, watching sumo. The seat itself interested me. We took off shoes and sat down cushions called zabuton in Japanese.

     Haven’t you ever seen many those zabuton cushions flying in the air during the sumo tournament on TV before? If a yokozuna, the grand champion sumo wrestler isn’t skilled in tactics and is beat by a much lower position wrester, many audiences get angry and start throwing their zabuton cushions! The scene is really spectacular!  

     Yes. Sometimes Japanese people may become more dangerous than hooligans.

     I really enjoyed myself seeing Japanese traditional things there. All costumes were wonderful! The combination of color of them and devices were beautiful! At the same time, I’ve had many questions there. For example, where does the dirt of the sumo ring go after the tournament? Is it thrown away anywhere, or reused in the National Sport Hall in Ryogoku, Tokyo? Where does the salt which sumo wrestlers throw for purifying the ring? Does someone buy it anywhere, or is it made as special salt for sumo anywhere?

     What I was very surprised at sumo yesterday was that many foreign wrestlers took an active part in sumo world. I’m happy that the Japanese traditional sport penetrates to all over the world. But in the meantime, I’m afraid that Japanese sumo wrestlers may be driven away and vanish in Japanese national sport world someday.

     Anyway, I had a wonderful time. Watching sumo was much better than I had thought. You cannot have presence when you watch TV at home. Probably the three friends of mine and I will be at the gym in July next year, too.

At an Elementary School

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     Strange to say this, although I don’t know why I take part in an association of conservation of nature. I don’t have so strong will like other members to protect the environment from destruction for posterity. Because most of them have children or grandchildren, they work for the activity earnestly for them. Although I have no kids, I want to leave rich natural environment in the future, of course. Is it the reason why I join the group? I don’t know. Anyway, I sometimes help them as if I’m provoked by something.

     So I went to an elementary school today. Because I have no kids and any nephews or nieces, I seldom see kids. Of course, elementary schools were unknown world for me. Why did I go to such a place? The representative of the association was going to have lectures to kids at the elementary school, and I accompanied him to help with the lectures.

     We had two lectures. One was for pupils in their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. And another one was for in the 4th, 5th and 6th grade. I had expected the situation though; pupils especially in from the 1st to the 3rd grade couldn’t keep quiet for an hour at all! They ran riot. No one could control them. They hardly heard anything; nevertheless I hope the lecture sets off letting them think of environment.

     To tell the truth, what I was shocked were some of the teachers’ appearances and their behavior during the lectures, not kids’. They were dressed sloppily like mothers and fathers at home on Sundays and they talked to their co-workers, not listening to the lectures. They didn’t even pick up litter on the floor. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

     Last May I visited a junior high school, at that time teachers’ appearances and behavior were really good, though…It depends on the school? Anyway I’ve been worried about nature but I’m getting more worried about human nature.