Monthly Archives: July 2011

Play It Again, D! : A wonderful class party with nice friends, delicious food and beautiful music.


casablanca      “Again!?” D exclaimed rolling his eyes, but began playing the piano. The room was filled with the beautiful melody. As Time Goes By. This music is well known for the theme music of the timeless classic “Casablanca” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. TS3N1169-a

     This is Jin’s house. He invited his classmates and teacher when the class in the first semester was over. We had a class party there. (I’ve written about our previous class party at his house before and mentioned how big his house is. Jin is very nice and kind, and needless to say, generous.  TS3N1170

     We enjoyed talking over delicious food, such as, hand-rolled sushi with fresh seafood and vegetables, most of which were raised by Jin and his wife K in their field, and K’s wonderful okonomi-yaki. K had baked cake for us, but no one could eat it at the place because all of us ate too much before it. By the time we had finished our ice cream and jellies, no one had room for the cake… (Of course, we took it out home.) TS3N1171

     I wrote “classmates” and “teacher” above. Jin and most of the participants at the party took an English class at a university in the first semester (spring and summer), and D is the “teacher”. Play-It-Again-Sam_3

     The class is not a usual conversational class, but quite unusual with movies, which we watch with media literacy, psychology and philosophy. In the first semester, we studied with “Casablanca” and a kind of its travesty “Play It Again, Sam” and a Warner Brothers’ cartoon “Carrotblanca”.   ShowImage

     “Casablanca” is, as we all know, a great film released in 1942. “Play It Again, Sam” is a comedy of Woody Allen in 1972, and the title is derived from the famous line of Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa in “Casablanca”. Actually she said, “Play it once, Sam,” in the movie. “Carrotblanca” is a cartoon of Warner Brothers’ in 1995. The role of Bogart is Bugs Bunny and Bergman is Penelope Pussycat. The punch line of Bugs Bunny is, “Here’s looking at you, Kit.” As you see, it’s a parody of Bogart’s famous line of “Casablanca”: “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

     In the opening of D’s “Again?” is, of course, from non-existent line “Play it again, Sam.” As Time Goes By played by Sam in “Casablanca” is wonderful, but I like D’s version, too. Nice and cheerful friends and delicious food and wonderful music…I hope we’ll have a party at Jin’s house AGAIN!


Aichi Summer Seminar 2011: Joyful and delicious Bangladeshi curry class!


TS3N1160-a      When I opened the door of the kitchen, I saw a familiar face there. She also sighted me and waved with a big smile on her face, saying “Look! I’m wearing the same shirt this year, too!”

     This is the kitchen at Tokai High School in Nagoya. I took part in an annual event called Aichi Summer Seminar with some of my friends. This event has more than 1,000 classes every year and you can learn many different things for free or at a low price. TS3N1162-a

     It was two years ago when I discovered such a wonderful event. Since then I’ve taken a class of Bangladeshi curry, and it was my third time to see her in the class this year. We found out that she was wearing the same shirt last year as she had worn it two years ago, and then she promised me that she would wear the shirt next year, too. TS3N1166

     I was very happy to see not only her but also Jean there. He’s a mini-celebrity. He is the only Seychellois in this area of Japan. That’s why he is sometimes interviewed on TV. I hadn’t seen him since we met first in this curry class last year, but he also remembers me.

     Actually, there were no Bangladeshi people in the class. So, I thought Jean was Bangladeshi at first. No Bangladeshi but Seychellois and Japanese in a Bangladeshi cooking class. Anyway, the class was fun and very interesting and made the participants so happy. Needless to say, the curry was so nice and delicious!TS3N1164-a

Bangladeshi Chicken Curry Recipe

Ingredients (Serves 6)

750g Chicken with bones
2 onions (chopped)

1.5 tablespoons ground ginger
1.5 tablespoons ground garlic
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1.5 tablespoons curry powder
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 L water

1. Rinse chicken and cut properly

2. Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions, stir-fly until onions become brown.

3. Add ground ginger and garlic, curry powder and salt, stir-fry 5 minutes.TS3N1168

4. Add chicken and fry 10 minutes.

5. Add water, shimmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

      Actually I don’t know the name of the lady who was wearing the same shirt as last year, and she doesn’t know my name, either. But we promised to meet each other at the curry class next year, too. She also promised me to wear that shirt again!

Handcraft Fair in Nagoya 2011: Can you find the enchanted bag shop?


TS3N1146      “Gotcha! What a nice bag! Yeah, of course! Cause I made it!” She said that approaching with a smile.

     There was an annual event named Handcraft Fair in Fukiage, Nagoya at the end of June. I was waiting for her, the bag maker, at her booth. I found it out from more than 150 booths at last when she was not there. A woman next booth called out to and told me that she was coming back soon. So, I was looking at her new bags on the wall while waiting. TS3N1145

     I turned around and saw her smiling at me. “Long time no see! I can’t believe one year has already passed since I bought this bag from you! I’m bringing it to show you. I really like it!” I said that when she beamed. She remembered when we had met at her booth last year and told me my t-shirt I had worn at that time would transform wonderful bags. TS3N1144

     While we were talking, the bag maker’s booth was filled with ladies. One of them asked her since when she had begun having a booth at the event. She replied, “Well…this is the fourth year, I think.” I was surprised to the answer because I thought she started last year. I hadn’t been able to find or see her booth until last year in spite of that I came to the event more than five times. In fact, the lady who asked to her was also surprised because it was the first time to find her booth in her over ten-time participations in the event. So, we talked this booth might be enchanted and chosen people could find it. Yeah, her bags are really awesome! She must make them with some magic!TS3N1186

     Look at these lovely bags! I bought the two of them this year because I don’t know when and where I can see her bags next time. She doesn’t have a shop or consign her works or sell them online. I really like my bags and admire her talent. I’m looking forward to see her and her new works at Handcraft Fair next year. But I’m wondering if I can find her magical booth next time, too…