15 April 2006

What is Karintou?

Yummy, yummy, yummy! Does that look delicious or what?

You're right, it doesn't look remotely delicious. It looks like a big bowl full of dog-doo, but I'll tell you: Don't judge a karintou by its cover! These little guys are a super sweet crunchy snack made of deep-fried dough coated in brown sugar. They are amazingly delicious, especially the double-dipped kind! (As you can tell, for some reason I'm on a huge karintou kick lately, I don't really know why, but as Jeffrey Jones would say: "There it is!)

So umm, yeah, karintou...

Goog Niter!


13 April 2006

Bibliophilia (or is it really Bibliomania?)

Last May I started a book journal; no real reason for it, I just thought it would be fun to record my impressions and see how many books I actually get through per week, per month etc. Well, it's almost a year later and I'm now on book #96. Hopefully I'll be able to hit 100 before the end of April.

So my new project, starting tonight is to blog a short (probably extremely short) review along with a rating for each of the 100 books!

P.S. This will be done on a separate blog, the link for which you can find at the top of the links list on the right!

Goog Eveninger!


12 April 2006

O-hanami (お花見)

Today after my volunteering I decided that since I was in Shukugawa I would do some hanami (cherry-blosson viewing). Shukugawa is a famous o-hanami spot and for good reason, both sides of the river are lined with hundreds of gorgeous cherry-trees of several different varieties.

I was afraid I wouldn't really get to see them at their peak since it's been so rainy lately, but it looks like I picked the perfect day. Some of the flowers had begun to fall, but most were still on the trees and the swirling clouds of pink and white petals drifting down from the trees really added to the atmosphere.

While I was there I noticed that there were lots of other beautiful flowers around as well and I took pictures of some of the ones I liked. Enjoy! (All pictures by me except the first one)


10 April 2006

Yellow Sand (黄砂)

So, the other day during the start of a lesson l was asking the students the usual 'How are you?' 'What's going on?'-type questions and one of them said: "Today is very yellow san." I thought they were trying to say it was sunny out, so I was like "Oh, yes, it's very sunnY today, the weather is very nice." But she was insistent. "No, not sunny, SAN. Today is yellow SAN,"

Finally we managed to work out that she was talking about the 'yellow sand'. For anyone who doesn't know (and this included me up to 2 days ago) the 'yellow sand' is a strange phenomenon wherein sand from China (some people say from the desert, and others from the Huang Ho or 'Yellow River' ) is whipped up and borne over the ocean on strong winds to land in Japan (and in Korea too apparently). You can find out the whole story about it by clicking the link.

  • An article about the dangers of 'yellow sand'

  • Anyway, it didn't seem all that bad to me, and I hadn't noticed anything that day other than it was a trifle hazy, but apparently it was the work of the dreaded 'yellow sand'. It has reportedly grounded flights by causing poor visibility and people closer to the source, in China have suffered from 'yellow sand' triggered lung problems.

    Beware the 'yellow sand'. You've been warned!

    Goog morninger!