Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Orange People

A new school year is upon us and that means many things...

 More fun times...

Teaching more English...

And new AETs!

The other night we had a welcome dinner for the new AETs at Orange People. It is a pirate-themed restaurant famous for delicious hamburgers, foul-mouthed wenches and a great salad bar (two truths and a lie).  

The English writing, ‘Orange People’s The Pirate’s Tresure’

After dinner, a few of us went to karaoke.  Heather and Staci ordered this drink, a gigantic melon soda float, but I drank most of it. That’s what happens when you sing every Disney song ever written.

Monday, April 25, 2011

30 + 1 = Ice Cream!

As a self-admitted nerd I have told my fair share of math jokes...

Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 ate 9.

I thought I had heard them all until my second 4th grade class of the day. We had learned numbers 1-30 last class and were starting addition. I had some students choose numbers and the class would read the sentences together (e.g. 4 plus 3 is 7).

Then one student used 30 and 1. The other students roared with laughter as we tried to read the sentence. Did you get the joke? Don't feel bad if you didn't. I would not have understood a year ago.

You see '31' is a very popular food establishment in Japan that serves ice cream. Sound familiar? You might know it by its actual name, Baskin Robbins.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Last week we were fortunate enough to see the beautiful sakura (cherry blossom trees).

They come and go so quickly. 

Aren't they gorgeous? 

This is our 100th post! Yay us!

Danish For A Day

My school decided to whip up this little number from the country of Denmark. First, we have rye bread and meatballs in white sauce (not sure what's in the sauce). The salad-type item is cabbage with sour pickles and in the bowl there is potato soup. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pesto, A Sign of the End Times

This summer Staci and I had to bring our own lunches to school for a few weeks because there was no kyuushoku. We figured our homemade meals might be a little different than a traditional Japanese bento lunch...

One of our lunches was chicken with pasta and pesto. It attracted some strange looks and several teachers asked what I was eating.

Assuming that it was in Katakana, I formed the word ペスト (pe-su-to). Fortunately, I have a habit of checking words before I just blurt them out. Here's what I found...

ペスト, my initial word, actually means black plague
ペースト, slightly more drawn out 'pe' sound, means paste

I was getting closer...

Finally, with some help from friends, I was able to tell them the next day that I had eaten 
バジルソース (basil sauce).

Holy Mackerel!

First, we have a bowl of cooked rice with vegetables. On the plate there are two mackerel fritters, komatsuna (leafy vegetable) and sprouts with a peanut taste. For dessert, a `france jelly` which is basically a pear-flavored jell-o. Voila!

Hi there! There are many things about this meal I like, the salad/sprout thing is not one of them. The sad part about that is the fact that I LOVE salad! Let me rephrase that, I love American salads. A huge bowl full of a variety of lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, red onions, peppers, cheese, croutons, and a huge helping of ranch dressing (this might be part of what is wrong with America today). I am tired of cabbage and sprouts masquerading as salad ingredients. So I say to you bean sprouts, know your role.. I will rate this at a 2/5 turkey legs.  

Sorry to throw such large turkey legs at you, I guess this is how it is going to be now... 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Freaky Friday

Friday did not start well and before my first class we were driving Staci to the doctor's office because she was feeling sick. They took great care of her and she even got her own IV.

She is expected to make a full recovery.

While she was receiving medical attention I was patiently sitting in the waiting room. Another foreigner walked in and sat down next to me and we began talking. He was from California and was about to begin teaching English in a junior high school.

During our conversation a nurse came to ask me something that I could not understand. Then five minutes later, the office manager came to me and said this...

                 Office Manager: Um...Excuse me Mr. Daniel. We need you...your wife is a patient.
                               Daniel: Yes. 
                 Office Manager: We need some...uh...with the cup.

I glance down to see a small basket and a cup with ダニエル様 (Mr. Daniel) printed on the side. So putting things together I figure out they want a urine sample. This seemed odd to me since I was not a patient, but I complied anyway.
As I come out of the bathroom the office manager is standing there apologizing...
                 Office Manager: Oh. Mr. Daniel. I'm sorry...uh...mistake.
                                Daniel: What?  
                 Office Manager: You are a partner...um...wife of patient.
                                Daniel: Husband?
                 Office Manager: Ah yes. We don't need...you finished?
                                Daniel: Hai, dozo (Yes, here you are). 
                 Office Manager: Ok. Thank you. Sorry.  Wrong Mr. Daniel...

He then points to the other foreigner.

It could have happened to anyone. We were both white, wore ties and speak English. With that many things in common it's hard to believe we were complete strangers. Especially since we share such a unique name.


Lost in Nutrition

This meal seems confused and not sure where it is from. First, there is a hamburger patty and a 'coleslaw' salad. All of my students combined the two inside of the bread which opened like a sandwich. And to polish it all off you have a roasted seaweed and egg soup.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hello 3X

Remembering and repeating names in Japan has been difficult for me, but every so often a name is slightly easier to say...

Daniel: Hello
Student: Hello
Daniel: My name is Daniel. Nice to meet you.
Student: My name is Mai. Nice to meet you too.

'Mai' is pronounced exactly the same way as 'my'.

Student: This is my friend Ai.

'Ai' is pronounced the same as I. 

Student: Hello. My name is Yu.
Daniel: Nice to meet you...Yu.

And my personal favorite from yesterday...

Me: Hello. My name is Daniel. Nice to meet you.
Student: Hello. My name is Taro. Nice to meet you three. 

I suppose I cannot be too disappointed. How many native English speakers have you seen misuse the word (too, two, to)?

No Spoon, No Meat, No Problems

This meal features rice, milk and salad with a plethora of vegetables. The brown pile adjacent to the salad is deep-fried tofu and mushrooms in an ankake sauce (sweet and tangy). Finally, there is Satsuma soup which is miso soup with fall vegetables. The broth may look like dish water, but it is quite delicious. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Leggo my Eigo

This is the greeting I received from a 5th grader today:

Hello baby! Chocolate kudasai!

'Kudasai' means 'please', but it is typically used to give commands. 

This only proves that the length of a school vacation is irrelevant. Students will always forget the material.

My reply...

Good morning! Eigo please!

'Eigo' means 'English', but sounds like something you might command someone to leggo of.

Southern Cooking

This meal is in the style of Fukuoka prefecture which is on the southern most island of Japan. In the bowl we have tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen with a variety of vegetables. There is also a boiled egg and a Chinese salad. If you look closely you can see the cold Chinese-style noodles. 

I generally enjoyed this meal. I like noodles.. a lot. Also, boiled eggs are pretty much the best thing ever. I will be giving this 3/5 turkey legs. Bam! I have spoken. 
New blogger made extra large tukey legs.Yummy...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Child Caught Chewing!

Today we start the new school year, although it is the second day of classes….

Everything is fairly normal at school.

I am ready for our blog to be normal again too.

So, here is a brand new story from last year!

Get excited... 

One day, I walked in the teacher’s room and the head teachers were all yelling at a student.

I had no idea what they were saying, but figured he was in pretty big trouble to get all 3 of them in on this.

The yelling continued for about 10 minutes and then the student was sent back to class crying.
I finally decided to ask one of the teachers what was said—
Staci: What was that about?
Teacher: He was caught chewing.
Staci: Wow. Really? That’s pretty bad.
Teacher: Yea, he knows he isn’t supposed to do that at school.
Staci: Well, he probably shouldn’t be doing it anytime since he is in 6th grade.
Teacher: Most 6th graders chew gum.
Staci: O! I thought he was chewing tobacco.
Apparently having gum on school grounds is a huge deal. 

Probably has something to do with the fact that the kids clean the school.
I use the word clean loosely...

They mostly push the dirt to the middle of the floor and then pour water on it.