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Gifu Salsa Party

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Gifu Salsa Party
On Saturday I went to Gifu`s salsa party, and enjoyed some cold beer, hot food & super-hot dancing - wow! Thanks Rosa & Mitsuo (in the above photo) for the amazing salsa dancing demonstration. Rosa also demonstrated some basic salsa steps, which we could practice. I didn`t dance, but I should have. After, I regretted not trying... Next time I`ll try!
It was a great night, and everyone had a good time. I also enjoyed chatting with various students from Gifu & Ginan Teragoya.
Gifu`s next event is `Rock Night`, and the band `God of Thunder` will play live. I`ve seen them before and they are AWESOME! Please come and check them out. The party is on Saturday, 24 July, from 6 - 8pm. See you there!
#パーティ

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World Cup Update #3

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World Cup Update #3
The group stages are now over, so we can say goodbye (& au revoir, & ciao!) to 16 teams.

Some of these teams will be very disappointed (France, Italy) but others, like New Zealand, can be very proud of their performance.

Of course I`m disappointed that Australia is going home. We always seem to have bad luck with referees in World Cups, but of course a lot of other teams have suffered because of bad refereeing decisions too.

From now on, if the games are still drawn at 90 minutes, they will go into extra time, and then penalty shoot-outs! Agh! So stressful!

I`ll probably go to Sportscaster bar in Ichinomiya to watch the Japan-Paraguay game on Tuesday night. How about you?
#スポーツ

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One Man`s Trash #1

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One Man`s Trash #1

In English, we have a saying which I like: "One man`s trash is another man`s treasure."
Japanese beaches are a great place to find interesting things that other people think are trash, but I like to collect and keep. Sometimes I even make things from them. Because they come from the sea, they have usually been washed clean, so I don`t really think of them as `real` rubbish like the stuff you put in your rubbish bin at home.
In the picture above, you can see some things I collected last week when I went to Mihama Beach in Fukui. Do you recognize any of them? Have you ever picked up these kinds of things from the beach, maybe when you were a kid?

Anyway, this is the first in an intended series. I hope you enjoy it.
#アート #伝統 #文化 #芸術

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World Cup Update #2

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World Cup Update #2
Wow! Every World Cup delivers shocks and unexpected displays, but this World Cup is like no other. Who could have expected these results? There have been so many surprises! Although having said that, some things never change.
What? The games? No! I`m talking about the hair!
These are my choices for the worst haircuts of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
By the way, I know some girls like ponytails. Actually, me too - but not on guys!
Who do you think has the worst/strangest haircut at the World Cup?
#スポーツ

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2010 South Africa World Cup Notes #1

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2010 South Africa World Cup N...
I love football (soccer) so of course I`ve been watching a lot of the World Cup games. I realise some strange/American/dead people are not interested in the FIFA world cup, but for the rest of you, here is the first installment of my...

2010 South Africa World Cup Notes

- I was just getting used to white boots; now they are all the colors of a radioactive rainbow; orange, yellow, violet... One guy had fancy orange ones that look just like the shoes that some little Japanese boys wear.
- Germany is very strong, and deserved their 4-0 win over Australia, but they got TWO yellow cards in one game for DIVING... I don`t like teams that cheat & try to trick the referee
- a few of the `big` teams have drawn their first games against `weaker` opponents: Italy, France, England, Portugal. Brazil only beat North Korea by 1 goal. Interesting.
- Congratulations Japan! (though I thought Cameroon played quite poorly). One more win and you`re into the next round!
- Congratulations New Zealand! 1-1 against Slovakia.

DON`T FORGET:

This Saturday, Ichinomiya teachers, staff & students will be watching the Japan v Holland game at a bar called Sports Casters, near Ichinomiya Station, from 7.30pm (kick-off is 8.30). 800 yen. Come on! Let`s cheer Holland... I mean JAPAN! It will be a lot of fun. You can get lots of practice saying "Where was our defence?!?" in English.
#スポーツ

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Daytrip to Mihama beach, Fukui

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Daytrip to Mihama beach, Fukui
Last Saturday I went to Mihama Beach in Fukui Prefecture. It`s one of my favourite places in Japan. It`s on the Japan Sea coast, but it only takes one & a half hours by car, so it`s pretty convenient, and now on weekends the highway charge is only 1000 yen.
The beach is long & the water is much cleaner & clearer than the Pacific Ocean side of Japan, near Nagoya. Now it`s still too cold to go swimming (last year I tried to go swimming there in May & I almost had a heart attack) but when the weather is warmer, it`s a great place to snorkel.
I like walking along the beach and collecting interesting things. In my next blog post, I`ll show you some of my treasure (not trash!)
#アウトドア

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Looks berry delicious!

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Looks berry delicious!
Recently my student Makie gave me a blackberry plant. I put it in a pot outside Ichinomiya Teragoya school, and watered it sometimes. Now some blackberries have appeared - cool! One is black, so I think I can eat it soon. The others are still red, so I have to wait...

I feel happy and positive when my plants get fruit and flowers - my students seem friendlier, classes are more fun, my wife looks more beautiful, and I expect Australia to do well in the World Cup.

I recommend keeping a plant!

Thanks Makie!



UPDATE: I ate the ripe blackberry today. Yum - it was perfect!
#園芸

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Bread Rolls - a force for good or evil?

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Bread Rolls - a force for goo...
Thanks everybody for your comments. I enjoyed reading them, even though some were pretty short... Come on, guys! Comments are not telegrams - you don`t have to pay for each word!
Everybody seems to agree with me that Nagasaki is a nice place. If you haven`t been there, you should try to go there one day.
A couple of commenters asked me about `bread rolls.` You can see a picture of some bread rolls here ----->
They can be various sizes and shapes. Long ones are good for hotdogs. Round ones are good for hamburgers and, when they get stale (old & hard), you can use them to play breadroll baseball!
#ブログ

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Teragoya BBQ

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Teragoya BBQ
On Sunday, we had our big annual (once a year) Teragoya BBQ. About 80 students came, and I think everyone had a good time. Fortunately the weather was great - unfortunately last Sunday we had to cancel because of rain.

It was a good chance for me to meet students from Ginan & Gifu schools who I have talked to before, but don`t often have a chance to meet (some of them saw me and tried to hide, but I found them). One student from Ginan let me try her Korean alcohol. Yuck! It was disgusting. Fortunately there was beer at the BBQ too. I like beer, but I didn`t drink so much on Sunday, because I get drunk quickly if I drink during the day.

The food was delicious - wieners, meat, onions, corn, and... breadrolls. Western people usually have breadrolls at barbeques, but Japanese people don`t.

What did you do on Sunday? Did you come to the Teragoya BBQ? Why are Japanese people afraid of breadrolls?
#暮らし #生活

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Nagasaki

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Nagasaki
After Kagoshima, I flew to Nagasaki (by propeller plane - my first time!). Of course we visited Glover House/Glover Park. The old, western-style houses there are very unusual for Japan, but actually, you can see many similar houses in my hometown of Brisbane in Australia. They are popular because they look very stylish and have character.
Our hotel was next to Chinatown, and from there it was a short walk to Dejima, where the Portuguese and Dutch traders used to live. The history of this area is very interesting! But I feel sorry for the Portuguese - they got kicked out for being Christian. How rude!
From there, we walked to the harbourside. There are lots of cafe-style restaurants here, with tables outside, so you can enjoy the fresh air and nice views - great! Such a comfortable place to eat & chat, or chat & eat even.
Nearby is the art museum, which was also a nice place. Well, the art was rubbish, but the building was nice. There`s also a big, grassy park beside it, and, while we were there, there was a visiting Navy - sorry; `Self Defence Forces of Japan` - ship. Luckily for us, it was open to the public at that time, so we could go on a free tour of it - cool!
In the evening I went drinking with my Japanese friend and his cousin, who live in Nagasaki.
I was really impressed with Nagasaki - it seems like a really pleasant place. They even have old-fashioned trams (streetcars)!
Have you ever been to Nagasaki? What did you think? Were you tempted to steal coins from the fountain at Glover House?
#旅行

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