I have had the help of my sister and of a student here in Japan... Can you also help me? If you click on the photo, you will go to flickr and you can see the ones I have already identified...
Sunday, June 25, 2006
P.S. Does anyone know the name of the above plant? It seems to be a kind of fern or palm.
It is actually a cycad or そてつ in Japanese. Very old. From the time of dinosaurs and often mistaken for a fern or palm. That is why I made the mistake. Actually, I think it is specifically this one native to Japan.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Last night, a classic and amazing example of this generosity occured. I went to my Tuesday English class. These people alone are so kind to me. As I entered the room, one of them came over and presented me with a box. As I opened it, the student exclaimed in excitement...
"They are bookmarks. There are 50. They are a present for your students in Australia. They come from Hokkaido!"
(I have added several words and particles here to help his English make sense!)
It turns out that he does a computer course with a particular lady. Her sister lives in Hokkaido (the most northern island in Japan - far, far from here). The sister in Hokkaido made 50 origami dolls and placed each of them into a plastic envelope. They are the most beautiful bookmarks I have ever seen. This lady made them as a going away present for me! Really amazing. I can't stop thinking about the connection from Hokkaido to my students in Australia.
Lady in Hokkaido...
Her sister in Yamaguchi...
Her sister's friend in computer class...
My students in Australia!
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
People who know me, know I am photo obsessed. Flickr is amazing. I have been uploading lots and sorting, organising etc. Check it out.
Also... time is ticking down to me leaving Japan. I am trying to create a balance between socialising and packing/cleaning. Socialising wins most of the time unless I have no money. I actually don't enjoy the feeling of doing things for the final time. I am trying to ignore this fact and just enjoy each day. I know those at home can't wait to see me (I can't wait to get there) and the people here don't want me to go (I don't want to leave). The fact is, as time ticks down, by August 3rd I will be at home. Strange!
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Don't be scared of the apple in this. I made it last Saturday and it was divine. A friend who came over is quoted as saying,
"I don't usually go for fruit with savouries but this is delicious!"
4 Chicken fillets
Vegetable oil to brown the chicken
2 tablespoons of fruit chutney
1 cup of chicken stock
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup of coconut milk
2 apples pealed and sliced
2 tablespoons of green peppercorns in brine (use a small tin)
1 tablespoon of curry powder
Shredded coconut to serve (optional and I couldn't find it in Japan)
Cut chicken into pieces and pan fry in oil until golden. Put in an oven-proof dish with lid. Combine remaining ingredients (except coconut) and pour over chicken. Bake in oven (I did mine on the stove top) at 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes until chicken is cooked. Stir occasionally. If desired, sprinkle with coconut just before serving and serve with rice.
Monday, June 12, 2006
災害 This is the kanji for saigai or disaster.
The event even made it to Australian newspapers.
This morning at precisely 5am, I was rudely awoken by a level 4 earthquake. Why do these things feel so much more exciting during the day and just plain scary in the middle of night. At that time in the morning, I am usually fast asleep so it was a shock to wake and bound out of bed in the same breath. One problem for me this morning (get ready to giggle) was the fact that I wasn't wearing anything. It has become quite hot at night and I, at times, go to bed with nothing on. When I felt the earthquake I was thinking of gathering at an emergency centre in my birthday suit. Of course this added to my panic. I grabbed my jeans and pulled them on. Then I was torn with standing where I was or dashing outside (after putting on a top of course). This particular earthquake has to be the longest I have felt. Those earthquake simulators at science centers are pretty accurate but they don't add the sound of the paper doors in Japanese houses shaking like crazy or the feeling of being torn from sleep. We were lucky to get it at level 4 in Hikari, as in the center (Oita) it was around level 6. I think one of my Japanese friends summed it up perfectly in an email she sent me...
Of course I felt it. It was so scary that I covered with ふとん (futon) myself.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
The following photo was taken at the top of a fabulous look out at the top of a mountain. The 365 degree views were breath taking! It gave me a chance to appreciate that Japan is actually made up of thousands of small islands!
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Monday, June 05, 2006
Thursday, June 01, 2006
We then went hunting frogs with my tiny torch. This is an amagaeru (rain frog). I love this little guy. These are the frogs I hate killing on the roads when it rains. We sat and watched them singing for ages. You could actually see their throats blowing up to make noises. It was like being in a Discovery channel show!
Thanks for the photos Matt...