Saturday, 29 April 2017

Current Magazine - Nujeen Mustafa

Inspired by reading a snippet of Nujeen Mustafas's 'Nujeen: One Girl's Incredible Journey from War-Torn Syria in a Wheelchair' in Mary Glasgow's Current magazine, some students wrote about the toughest journeys they've experienced in their lives.

When I was a university student, I sometimes had a part-time job. The university was in Kyoto, so there were some special part-time jobs.

One day, I found the notice of the job with my friend at the student affairs office. It was an extra of a period play. It looked fun and payment was not so bad. We were willing to apply that job. On the day, it was really heavy rain early in the morning. I wonder whether I go there or not. I decided to go there.

The bus was waiting for us at school. After leaving there, it stopped raining. Because of the heavy rain, my friend hadn't come. I went to Uzumasa film studio to wear a peasant costume. I was unhappy.

Everyone got on a bus again for an hour, and arrive at Ado river ibn Shiga prefecture. Around the river was lonely place. There were just only a field and a river. It was a good place to shoot peasants riot. Some professional extras involved in our group. s making a sign, everyone began to run. We did it again and again. Lunch box was served on the bus.

Then we ran in the different field. In the evening another scene was shot. This time we ran with torches. There is no place to go to the restroom. So I gave up to go there. After shooting, they gave dinner box. When I got to my sharehouse, it was nine. It was a unique experience, but I didn;t want to do it again. It was the toughest day trip.

Posted for Hiroko

Friday, 28 April 2017

Current Magazine - Nujeen Mustafa

Inspired by reading a snippet of Nujeen Mustafas's 'Nujeen: One Girl's Incredible Journey from War-Torn Syria in a Wheelchair' in Mary Glasgow's Current magazine, some students wrote about the toughest journeys they've experienced in their lives.

As a matter of fact, I've never had so tough journey in my life. I was born in a peaceful country and
raised up with a nice family in a middle class, and had never desired to have a tough journey.

When I go travel, it was always well planned getting rid of risks. but in 2004, when I went to Europe alone was an exception. My daughter was already in Rome, so I had to go to Rome by myself. It was the first time for me to go to Europe. I couldn't understand Italian at all, so I learned Italian a little.

In the airplane I chose the seat near the aisle. Next to me were two big young Korean guys. They drank alcohol so often, so they went to the toilet frequently. It bothered me. The cabin attendant recognized the situation. At the end of the flight, she gave me a small present of JAL with an apology.

From the airport to Telmine station, I took a train. It was already night, the train was crowded. I could see many kinds of people, looked like from Africa, the Middle East, Asia or America, talking their own language.

At Telmine station, I didn;t know the direction when I saw the policemen. I wanted to ask them the way to my hotel, but they were so big I just hesitated to do it. I checked the name of the road, and began to walk/ But the area where my hotel looked very dangerous. On the dirty road, people were sitting with blank looks.

Finally, I got to the hotel. When I was checking in, there was a phone call from my daughter. She sad she wanted to be with her friend one more day. So, I had to be at the hotel alone. I couldn't sleep all night because of the noise and the neon light from outside.

Posted for Yasumi

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Current Magazine - Nujeen Mustafa

Inspired by reading a snippet of Nujeen Mustafas's 'Nujeen: One Girl's Incredible Journey from War-Torn Syria in a Wheelchair' in Mary Glasgow's Current magazine, some students wrote about the toughest journeys they've experienced in their lives.

It was the first time I had been to Hawaii. I was sixteen years old. I went to Hawaii with my brother
and my high-school friends. That journey was hard before leaving Japan.

Before summer vacation, we made a plan to go to Hawaii. I decided saving money to go to Hawaii. I worked in my uncle's factory from Monday to Friday at the beginning of the summer vacation. First my job was very easy. But some old women complained about it. They thought it wasn;t fair so my uncle changed my job. My job was getting harder and harder. Every weekend I worked at swimming school. I liked teaching swimming. I was very tired but finally I saved enough money to go to Hawaii.

We arrived at Hawaii early morning. We wanted to go to Hanauma Bay. It was a fine day. We decided to go there by bicycle. Hanauma bay wasn't so far from Waikiki  but our bicycles were gear-less, so it was very hard to pedal. The road wasn;t flat, it was a slope. If you slipped and fell into the car road you'd have been killed by cars. Finally we arrived at Hanauma Bay. We were all very tired but we were very excited.

Next day we borrowed an open car. It was a nice BMW. We were very excited. It was the first time I had ridden in an open car. In these days there wasn't navigation. We lost our way and wandered into a strange place. It was a beautiful residential area. There were many beautiful houses. When my brother (Lui) was driving slowly, suddenly one big dog appeared. The dog attacked us. Unfortunately our car was an open car! When I screamed, Lui drove at full speed. We were all safe.

Every day I swam in the sea without blocking sun, because in those days a tanned face and body were very attractive for me. So I wanted to get a suntan. But the place was Hawaii, ultraviolet rays were very strong. I got a terrible sunburn. My face grew bigger and I couldn't open my eye. I felt a stinging pain in my body. I was childish and immature, but sometimes I remember those sparkling young days.

Posted for Olga

Monday, 24 April 2017

Postcard from...Pingxi District, Taipei, Taiwan

I traveled in Taiwan for three days last week. I and my daughter went to old towns of Shifen & Jiufen. Shifen & Jiufen were small towns where gold was found.

In Shifen lanterns are blown into the sky, during festivals once a year. Tourists can fly lanterns even if it is not a festival day. We wrote a wish on a white lantern & it flew up into the sky.

Next I went to Jiufen which became a model for the story of "Spirited Away" (Ghibli's animation). A lot of red lanterns lit the sky. It was a really fantastic scene.

We went to the National Palace Museum on the second day. The Chinese Cabbage, which has green & white beads, was a very delicate & beautiful piece. It is made of precious stone & crystal. We found a dumpling restaurant. It was very delicious.

On the last day, we went to a skyscraper called Taipei 101. I could see all the places I went on this trip from the observatory at the top of the tower.

Posted for Kaoru

Friday, 14 April 2017

Postcard from...Fuji Speedway, Shizuoka

Hi everybody!

Last Sunday I took my brother & youngest Aussie nephew, as well as Ceilidh to see some classic Japanese cars whizzing around this racing circuit.

Uncle Mike & damp Ceilidh
It was a nice idea, but the fog and rain defeated everybody - we only saw two laps being raced in anger! Nevertheless, we could enjoy having a good look at a number of cool old cars such as Skylines & Fairladys; there were a few Porsches and a Ferrari and a Ford GT40, but the star car for us was a friend's Mustang, which sounded tremendous 'fanging it' down the hill.

I think we'd all like to come back when the weather is nicer!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Whitechapel - review of Episode One

The TV series is about an ambitious police officer investigating a murder case. It is set in Whitechapel in 2008.

The story starts with a murder scene. A man with a funny hat brutally killed a lady. A young police officer, who wants to be promoted, is in charge of this crime. However, he has never worked in the field, so he clashed with the cops who usually do. Back to the incident, the victim's name is Cathy and she is married to Bob, a butcher, who is suspected by the cops. However, he had a cast-iron alibi that he had already been arrested at the time of the murder. He couldn't be the killer. Moreover, the incident is extremely similar to the crime which Jack the Ripper committed exactly 120 years before.

What's similar? Of course the gender, the way of killing, the place, and even the date & time! In the last scene, the cops knew the crime was a copycat criminal.

I only watched the first part, so I don't know what the story be like, but I'm really curious about it. If I have an opportunity I'd like to watch the next episode.

Posted for Yuya

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

A music inspired postcard

Dear everyone,

It has been a month since I visited Chicago in U.S.A. I have great time here.

I watch the sunset over the sea from my room. The view is amazing and nice. It looks and feels different. I feel comforted. I began to listen to the music when I watch the sunset. The song makes me miss you all and Japan.

I'll be back to Japan soon.

See you soon!

Love Yukako

A postcard inspired from DJ Okawari - Kaleidoscope

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Music inspired postcard

Dead everyone in Luna,

I'm traveling in the south coast in France by car. Today I drove beachside of Cannes, which is famous for the film festivals.

The song I was listening during the drive made me excited and happy.

The driving in the beautiful sunshine cool wind from the blue sea was fantastic! I enjoyed very much.

The song that inspired this postcard is DJ Okawari - Kaleidoscope

Posted for Teruki

Sunday, 2 April 2017

postcard from...Chicago, Illinois

Hi Jim-sensei,

I'm in Chicago & saw a TRUMP Tower.
I'm now eating a snow crab (picture).


I spent a week in the States, and had a glass of freshly brewed beer, good meeting with lots of homework.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Postcard from...Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

I'm watching you...
Nikko is one of my very favourite places in Japan - it's historic, but not overrun with tourists & their selfie sticks. There are a lot of international visitors taking their time to stroll around on their own & explore the place slowly, which is different!

It is also just a little bit eerie - tucked away in the forest, still a bit chilly at this time of year. Amazing architecture & woodwork panelling, gold detail everywhere, and heavy eyebrows following you around!

This was a flying visit with Damian-sensei; we had driven over very early in the morning to give Cambridge YLE speaking tests to one of our venues in Tochigi (the children were very good and the staff extremely helpful & cheerful)...but we felt we had earned a bit of tourism time after such a long drive & took a little detour 'on the way home'!

We really recommend making the effort to visit this incredible place - one of Japan's better kept & unspoilt secrets.