Today's lesson was very good, the clients really enjoyed discussing about marriage customs in Africa and and life abroad for Japanese people. We talked about how Japanese enjoy their life while living in foreign countries. we also discussed about payment of dowry in Africa. The clients really enjoyed the discussion.
Today we spent a little bit of time talking about photography. One of my hobbies is photography. Although I'm certainly not a professional, I really enjoy taking pictures of abandoned buildings. The guests who were here today told me about some of the more famous abandoned buildings and abandoned places that they knew of in Japan. One place I really want to go and take pictures of is an old, abandoned hotel on Mt. Maya near Kobe. However, entering areas like this is illegal and I could get in trouble with the police, so maybe I won't try it. In America, it's also illegal to enter some buildings or areas that have been abandoned.
I also blew our guests' minds today with an interesting fact. Do you know the ice cream shop called 31? Do you ever wonder why they chose to be called "31" and serve 31 types of ice cream? The reason is this: The true name of "31" is "Baskin Robins". In the U.S., we usually call this shop "Baskin Robins", not "31". The initials of Baskin Robins is B.R. Next, if you take the right side of the shape of letter "B", it makes a "3" (B = 13) Finally, if you take the left side of the shape of letter "R", you get a "1" (R = 1 2) That's how B.R. became to be called 31 and serve 31 types of ice cream! Can you see it? It's difficult to explain on the blog, but if you would like more of an explanation, please ask in the comments or come into the cafe! Hopefully, I just blew your mind.
Here are some words and phrases covered during our conversation today:
abandoned: This is an adjective describing someone, an animal, or a thing, that has been left behind and is now alone. For example, an abandoned house is a house that no one lives in. An abandoned dog is a dog with no one to care for it.
blow my mind: This is a phrase meaning to surprise or shock with some amazing or interesting fact. For example, today a guest told me that the name Suntory comes from the Japanese word san (meaning 3), and the English word "tree" (San tree, 3 trees). When I heard this, it blew my mind!
student council: The student council is the group of students in a school who help manage student issues. It's kind of like a government for students. Schools in the U.S. often have student councils like the ones in Japanese schools.
Thanks for reading, and as always, we'll see you next time!
Tonight we talked about our summer vacations. Many of the students went back to their hometowns of Hiroshima, Hyogo or other places. They seemed to have a good time, but vacation time in Japan is very short!
Words we learned tonight were dormant, slender, skinny, and active (as in volcano). Aya-sensei talked about her ankle injury, and we discussed how to use the word "trip", as in in "He tripped while walking" and "I tripped over the chair."
We also learned about some topics NOT to discuss when meeting Westerners, such as age, sex, weight, politics and religion. This is something cultural and something students of English should know about. If you are good at speaking English and know about Western culture, that is fine, but you should be careful. And I think that even if a Westerner can speak Japanese and knows something about Japanese culture, he/she should be careful when making a joke. Someone might not understand. Worse, they may get angry.
Today I had a very pleasant conversation with Japanese guests who lived abroad and I grateful for them for sharing their good and less good experiences in living abroad. Some of the new words today was ,,tuition'' , ,,alimony'' and ,,coincidence''. I learned many things about high schools in Japan from one of the today's guest.
So many people came to English Cafe Wa today. All the seats were filled and we had some great conversation! Later in the evening, it wasn't so crowded, but we still talked about some interesting things.
We compared the way children sleep between Japan and the U.S. I learned that in Japan, most families have the children sleep in the bed with their parents for a lot longer than families in the U.S. In the U.S., usually we sleep with our parents until we turn 1-2 years old. After that, we sleep in a crib. We will sleep in the crib in the parents room for a short time, and then as we get older, the crib may be moved to our own room. Once we are big enough to climb around the crib, we will finally get a bed. It's hard to remember, but I think I started sleeping in a bed when I was around 5 or 6 years old. In fact, I don't have much clear memories of sleeping with my parents. The exception is when we have a nightmare...at that time, we might run to our parents bed and sleep there.
So which style is better? Having children sleep in their own area from a young age, or sleeping with the parents for a longer time? There are good and bad points to each. Why not stop in to the cafe and let us know what you think?
Here are some words that came up in today's conversation:
crib: This is known as "baby bed" in Japanese. It's the small bed with high walls that babies sleep in. "Baby bed" is Japanese English that we don't say in America, but we could understand what it means if we hear it.
nightmare: Nightmare means a bad dream. For example, children have nightmares about monsters or ghosts, but adults often have nightmares about stressful or embarrassing situations.
put your hands together for...: This is a phrase often heard at events such as concerts or award shows, in order to introduce someone to the stage. The meaning is the same as "clap your hands".
It was my first time to come to English cafe Wa since I returned from Hawaii! It was great to see many guests and staff again after my trip. One of the things we talked about was punctuality (being on time, not late). In Hawaii, people are very easy-going. In fact, when I waited for the bus, it was 40 minutes late! I had also come to the bus stop 30 minutes early. Altogether, I had to wait 1 hour and 10 minutes. Some people like to call being this late "being on island time". If you are very late to work, you can say to your boss, "sorry, I was on island time." Because I was very used to the Japanese train system, a bus being 40 minutes late was really frustrating for me.
When I came back from Hawaii, I stayed at a temple in Ibaraki and learned about Nichiren Buddhism. Some of the guests today told me some more about Nichiren buddhism and some of the other types of Buddhism in Japan. It seems that most of the guests who attended today weren't very religious. Are you very religious? I'm not religious at all; I'm not Christian, Buddhist, or anything. I believe in some kind of spiritual power, but I don't pray or go to any church. At the temple in Ibaraki, I learned how to chant the sutra "Namu myou hou ren ge kyou". I didn't know the meaning of it at that time, but the guests today told me that it means "We believe in Myou hou ren ge kyou". Even though I don't follow any religion, I really enjoy learning about them. Please feel free to talk to me about it anytime!
Here are some words and phrases covered in today's conversation:
punctual: This is an adjective that describes someone or something who is on time. Ex: "The trains in Japan are very punctual"
religious: This word is a way to describe someone or something that follows a religion (like Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc.). A religious person is someone who regularly goes to a church or participates in the religions activities and customs.
reptile: This is a type of animal that includes snakes, turtles, and lizards.
So,I have return from a short vacation to my country,Romania,and had a wonderful time here talking with the guests.It feels good to be back! I talked a little about Romania's histrory and the differences now there.Lots of things has changed during the years.
Some new words today for the guests was ,,urban'' and ,,feed''-like in the phrase,,Please don't feed the stray cats!'' Today I found out about intresting places to visit around Kyoto,because it is my favourite place to go here in Japan,and I go there very often.
It was happy to talk about Ghost as the beginning. We shared our believes and how much we strong with our mentality. Its nice to hear that, once our mother or father passed away and if the person appears even in the night, Japanese they don't get scared.
Further we talked about politics and how the politicians rule their country by giving things what they promised before the election. Actually, it varies from country to country.
Moreover, about Chemistry, explosion, transportation etc. we shared our thoughts and end the day with nicely.
Starting the day with talking positive thinking as after a long time one of our guest came and explained things with his experience.
And also, it was the 1st time for him at cafe and he is just 19years old. Even though he is very young, the way he studies / improves his English is so good. He searches on Internet and learns by himself. So, he shared a lot of things with us.
We end the day by talking foreign country, horse riding etc.
Further, its good to learn about some Kanji for Sun, Moon, Bright and with its characters...and was so impressed.