Saturday, May 28, 2005

Foreign Food

Today I finally made it to the Kobe City Grocers.

They have such a great range of foreign foods. Tim Tams, cheeses, curry pastes, sauces, cereals and all those familiar things I've come to appreciate more.

Today was Natalie's birthday (2nd year Aussie JET) and a group of us headed to an Indian restaurant for dinner. I forgot the name of the place but the servings were awesome. Both in size and taste factor.

Then we headed to Polo Dog - haven't been to that place for a while now but it's always got such a good, laid back vibe. They had a live duo called 'High Performance Things' on guitars. The chick singing had such a powerful voice and rocked 'Ironic', 'Time after time' and 'Sweet child of mine' in her own kind of style.

Friday, May 27, 2005

My kids

My kids crack me up so much.

Sure some don't do any work, some sleep, some talk too much but they all make my time here enjoyable.

Just the other day in class my 2nd year boys asked me about Brendon. I still crack up when I think about the first day when Brendon was helping me teach their class, as soon as he walked in the class erupted in giggles, swooning and "Dare?? Heeee?!" ("Who is that?").

When my teacher said "That's Chris' friend from Australia" the boys shouted out "John?! John-san!! Peter?!" hahahaha those are the most popular male names used in their English textbooks, just like Tanaka-kun and Sachiko-san were used in my Japanese textbooks.

After cacking myself I said "No, his name is Brendon." To which they replied, "Bren-don?" Aahh Bren-JOHN!!" and decided to call him Bren-John all throughout class.

Cheeky little buggers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Birthday wishes

Happy Birthday Rui!

Thanks for helping me stay sane in this crazy country. It's so good to have someone to talk to who is going through exactly what I'm going through and being able to share the experiences together. I've had a blast and will miss our long phone calls when you leave.

Come visit me!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

ESS Cooking

My ESS Club decided to do cooking for one of our activites. What was on the menu? Green tea jelly/pudding.

However since we weren't allowed to use the home ec. room's utensils and stuff (you know in case we burnt the whole place down), one of the girls made it at home and we just prepared it and spent the time eating and folding origami.

It was very tasty - I think we should do more cooking classes in future.

Green tea jelly with adzuki & mochi Posted by Hello

Origami Posted by Hello

Monday, May 23, 2005


The Bakamono club strikes again.

This evening we met up again in Sanners and headed to this 60/70's decorated izakaya, funnily enough named 'Modern Gourmet'.

It was mainly to get to know some of the new teachers, and as always the food and drinks kept coming out all night.

The hardcores continued on to a karaoke joint but I decided to go home oh-so-tired and stuffed. They really are the young club. Compared to them I'm the obaa-san!

Modern Gourmet Posted by Hello

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Friday, May 20, 2005

Jet Set's 5th Anniversary

I haven't really been out on Friday nights very often. Usually because after a week of work, I just want to have a nice relaxing sloth-of-a-night.

But not tonight. I met up with Bron, Dan, Maya and Michael (whom Maya and Bron met in Hawaii during Golden Week) and we were planning an all nighter.

Dan took us to an Indonesian restaurant - I forget the name but I will definately go back again. Their chicken satays and gado gado were super tasty (mecha mecha oishii). Afterwards we headed over to The Hub (nice to bump into Awaji Dan) and the Phoenix Vodka Bar for drinks then headed to Club Breath for Jet Set's (record store) 5th Anniversary event.

Headlining were Brennan Green, Jay Lee (although Michael decided to affectionatley call him Jay Zee), Hiroshi Kawanabe, Qotaroo, Yoi and DJ Peechboy. We only really saw the first 3 I think. It was good to be in that kind of environment again with flawless mixing, friendly happpy faces complete with crazy Japanese b-boyz who insisted on taking photos with us haha but the choice of music was a bit too 70's inspired for my liking. We needed more bass to dance to.

Before the first trains started up, we headed to Sukiya for a feeding of beef rice bowls - so much tastier at 4 in the morning don't you think? When we left the restaurant, the surreal morning sky was blue and bright with pink clouds accompanied by random karaoke singing floating through the air. Say what? Well we spyed a group of taxis parked along the street and the drivers were huddled in one taxi which had a small dvd flat screen and microphone in the passengers seat. I think they were taking turns for an early morning session of karaoke.

Another fun-filled but body-punishing all nighter under my belt.

Maya, me & Bron Posted by Hello

Phoenix Vodka Bar Posted by Hello

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Michael & Bron Posted by Hello

Me, crazy Japanese b-boy & Bron Posted by Hello

Me, Maya & Dan Posted by Hello

Brennan Green Posted by Hello

Brennan Green Posted by Hello

Jay Lee Posted by Hello

Morning has broken Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Long lunches

Yes, I do work and Yes, I've been super uber busy!

Now that the students are on exams I had hoped to catch up on my Japanese study, lesson plans and reading (Dan.Brown.Fan-sensei just gave me another book to borrow - 'Deception Point').

But alas, all has not gone according to plan, but then again when does it ever? Damn you Murphy and that law of yours! I've been really busy doing all sorts of random things so it wasn't so much of a normal exam break for me. However, exam time means nice, loooooong lunches. Yee-har!

One day I went out with another English-sensei and we always eat heaps and I get so full (I had remembered to wear my 'you-can-eat-heaps-pants) and I always have to try not to fall asleep for the rest of the day. It was a traditional Japanese style lunch of grilled mackeral, variety of mountain vegetables, miso soup, rice and cold tofu with a bit of ginger and soy.

Another day I was invited by 2 Japanese-senseis to a Chinese restaurant. One of them is mystery writer-sensei and he recently bought a new car and wanted to take us for a drive. We had the lunch course and the food just kept piling up! I felt a bit bad because our lunch ended up being about 2 and a half hours long but it was oh-so-good! Fried rice, sweet & sour pork stir fry, honey prawns, deep fried squid, kung po chicken - everything! And surprisingly I missed the taste of chinese tea.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Seiryo High School's Festival

Today Cheryl and I headed to Claire's annual school festival.

I think all schools have an annual festival where the students present their works, organise and run games, booths, food stalls and so on.

It was really fun and I can't wait for my school's festival this June. Being in the tea ceremony club, we get to wear yukatas (summer kimono - a lot lighter and usually made out of cotton) and serve tea.

Claire look gorgeous in her red yukata (yay! can't wait to buy mine) and had an Australian-themed room set up with her ESS club. Very impressive! I was also very impressed by the room that was turned into a haunted house complete with screaming and red paint splattered on tatami blinds, and the acoustic live stage room set up like a jazz lounge with black plastic over the walls and windows to make it dark, coloured cellophane over the lights and tables and chairs set up like a cafe. The kids were very talented.

We had okonomiyaki on a stick, fairy floss, chocolate donut balls, popcorn and the dregs of the karaage chicken - they ran out just as we got to the front of the line.

The highlight would have definately been when we saw our own students there and they recognised us. After the screams of "hello! hello! I'm fine thank you, and you?", shouts of "hey CHRIS!!" and giggles died down, it was really fun to chat to them outside of school.

One of my 2nd year boys even broke off a piece of his red bean pancake thing he was eating and offered it to me. So cute. I could hardly recognise some of my girls as they weren't in school uniform. They looked hot and a lot older than their age. But still so cute when in their broken English they were asking why I was there, who I had come with and that they were there with their friends to scout out the boys. hahaha classic.

Yukata-clad Claire on the digeridoo Posted by Hello

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Friday, May 13, 2005

Keeping busy

This week has been pretty busy.

Everyone else I've spoken to seems to be mega busy too. Guess it's just that time of the year again.

Bumped into Claire on the way home from school one evening and since we had both stayed late and couldn't be arsed cooking dinner, we headed to our local family restaurant, Coco's. It was my first time there and we had a pretty decent meal. Twin pasta special with cheesecake and drink bar!

We were also given a stack of discount drink bar vouchers to use next time but ended up giving most of them to a group of Claire's students that had just entered the restaurant as we were leaving. Down the road we also bumped into two other students and asked them if they were going to Coco's, when they said 'yes' we handed them some drink vouchers too and they replied 'Thank you".

It was only till they walked off that Claire said "I thought they were my students, but they weren't" and they were definately not my students. So they must have thought it was pretty random to be approached by two gaijin offering drink bar vouchers. They were probably Cheryl's students.

Also twice this week, Kendo-sensei came to my desk in the morning and after a cheery "Ohayogozaimasu" presented me with a foil wrapped present. The first one was 2 slices of home-made pizza which his wife had made that morning. Lucky me also forgot to bring lunch that day. It was super tasty. Home-made always is. The second time was 3 slices of home-made wholemeal bread which his wife had also made that morning. Yum!

On Friday night I met up with Claire and we headed to a ramen joint that's just opened up near us. We had miso ramen, their 'specialty ramen', kim chee and gyoza. It was so good and really cheap too. I think we've found a new hangout, despite it being quite popular with our students.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Claire's Birthday

Claire celebrated her 27th birthday today at her local drinking spot, SOL.

It was such a funky little place with friendly staff, cosy seats, laid back atmosphere, funky decor and delicious drinks and food (that tomato curry was amazing!). Claire had brought in her own music so having Triple J's hottest 100 in the background really made it feel like home.

The gorgeous birthday girl had a great time surrounded by friends and it was quite funny walking back with Cheryl to the taxi stand.

Also got to catch up with the recently married Sam - Congrats! Good luck in getting your black belt for Judo and being punished by 1st year girls! hehe

Happy Birthday Claire - hope you had a great night!

SOL Posted by Hello

Claire, me, Lisa, Heidi Posted by Hello

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