Showing posts from February, 2009

Sweet friends

One of my super lovely students wrote a letter to me on her blog yesterday (to say thanks and goodbye). She has been a great student of mine for a loooong time and we have gotten to know each other really well. She knows lots of my deep dark secrets, so I can`t say too much about her ;)

She started writing a blog in Japanese and English (very cool) and here is the link to her letter... (the English part is halfway down the page)

Thanks my sunshine friend!

It`s that time of year again...

OK, before anyone asks - the following picture says `baka gaijin` in Japanese. It translates as `stupid foreigner`... and yes, it`s a joke (kind of).

Last year I paid well over $5,000NZ in local city taxes. This of course was in addition to regular income tax. Generally I don`t mind paying it. Osaka is a pretty clean city considering that over 6 million people inhabit a very small space; the garbage men come bright and early every Tuesday and Friday morning; the roads are well lit and relatively safe to walk alone at night... it`s not all bad.

Unfortunately, there are some times when I wish that my tax dollar would do something to benefit me directly. Last night I was up until 3am trying to find the chinese characters for `Tax office`, and the location of my nearest office, as this will be the first time I visit one in Higashi Osaka (since I moved here last May).

For those people who are interested, or need this information for themselves, the Japanese word for tax office is `zeimusho` a…

February`s nails

cute huh?

... a bit serious for a moment

After watching the news and reading the newspapers, one cannot help but be saddened by the terrible bush fires (and their devastating effects) in Australia.

Even here in Japan, the news coverage is extensive and lots of people want to help.I found out that the RED CROSS is accepting donations through various channels, so I used my NZ bank account to make a little donation.

If everyone can give a little, maybe we can help a lot.

Sending hugs ♥ and prayers to all who are affected by this terrible disaster.

Eric Clapton

So last night, I went to Eric Clapton`s concert at Osaka Castle Hall. It was his first concert in Japan for the 2009 tour.

Unfortunately, cameras were not allowed in the arena, so I couldn`t get any pictures, but it was pretty cool nonetheless!

Of course we were hoping to hear some of the classics like `Tears in Heaven` and `Change the world` and were a but disappointed that they weren`t included. But I was very happy to hear `You look wonderful tonight` and `Layla` ~ !!

The arena was PACKED with fans (most of whom looked to be as old as Eric, so there wasn`t too much jumping around) and in typical Japanese concert fashion, there was lots of very rhythmical clapping and arm waving in time with the music!

The funniest ENGRISH ever!

Eric CRapton? oh no ...


Despite there being 2 very important Japanese holidays in February (Setsubun - Seasonal Division Day - on February 3rd, and Kenkoku Kinen no hi - National Foundation Day - on February 11th), the biggest day of the month (and some might say the biggest day of the first quarter) is VALENTINES DAY!

With Valentines Day approaching, the stores in Osaka have gone mad (as usual, over decorated) with hearts, signs and promises of bargains for shoppers - whether they are buying chocolates for their boyfriends or clothes for themselves!The Japanese celebrate Valentines day in a rather unique fashion. Women give the men gifts of chocolate as well as other gifts.These gifts of chocolate are divided into two types: giri choco (obligatory chocolate) and honmei choco (chocolate for the man the woman is serious about). Giri choco is given by women to their superiors at work as well as to other male co-workers. It is not unusual for a woman to buy 20 to 30 boxes of this type of chocolate for distribu…