My Trip To Australia In May 5月のオーストラリアへのホリデイ

Last month, in May I took my wife and 2 kids to visit my family in Australia.

This was the first time to visit my country since 2011, right after the big earthquake and nuclear catastrophe. So as you can imagine, my family was very pleased to see us again as see that we’re happy and healthy.

We stayed a total of 3 weeks in Brisbane Australia, my hometown, and it was actually rather colder than I expected. I was hoping for hot summer-like weather but it was actually closer to what we left behind in Japan.

Some of the highlights of our trip were:

  • Lone Pine Koala sanctuary

Koala

  • Sunshine Coast Holiday Apartment
    enjoying a beer
  • Shopping at SEVERAL shopping centers and outlets

Gold coast

One thing that actually surprised me a lot was the price of everything in Australia nowadays.

Everything looks like it has doubled in price. Drinks especially are way over-priced.

A bottle of coke from the vending machine is about $3! A typical lunch from a small restuarant is at least $16 (e.g. a roast lunch).

It’s easy to spend around $50 in one afternoon, on lunch for 4 people (2 adults and 2 kids) and drinks or a snack at a coffee shop.

Even though things were expensive, I had a nice time spending it with my family and friends. Even though I hadn’t seen them for 2 years or more, it felt as though it was just a few days ago that I saw them last. Time flies but it’s amazing how some things stay the same.

Stuart

Japenglish?

Japans-ageing-population-007

This week i found an article about a man who thought that modern Japanese is using too many English words. He represented a group of people and tried to sue NHK for “not speaking Japanese”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/27/japan-broadcaster-sued-english-words

As a person learning Japanese it often seemed a bit strange that words such as

kea (care),toraburu (trouble), risuku (risk) and shisutemu (system) didn’t seem to have native Japanese words. I wondered how people expressed these ideas before these words were created.

Of course there were native Japanese words! However,  now a days it seems that using these half English words have become more popular. I don’t agree with replacing Japanese with English, i think it causes many problems for people who are trying to learn real English, and it also causes problems for older Japanese people who have no idea what others are saying. If we have two people speaking the same language that can’t understand each other, it might be a problem.

As strange as this seems i can say that we have similar issues in Canada as well. Recently, French speaking parts of Canada have tightened language laws to the point where there are now real language police, and people can get into trouble for using the wrong language!

Indoor flood

IMGP0579For the past month the local gakushu center had been flooded due to a problem with the sprinkler system.

Because of this, all classes held at that place, could not use their classrooms. The “Sparkle” women”s english club (intermediate level) had been studying at English house and its been comfortable.

I’ve been brewing my freshest coffee for each member, cup by cup. The temperature has been cool so far without even using the air conditioner. It seems the Gakushu center will be up and running next week so this is the last week of meeting at English House for “Sparkle”.

IMGP0582

If you have nothing to hide….

This week an American NSA analyst left America to Hong Kong in order to expose the US government’s seemingly unlimited access to citizen’s phone calls, emails, and other communications.

A student commented that if we are not terrorists and are not doing anything bad, then what do we have to hide?

Perhaps it is unavoidable that the government will have access to everything and we will have no privacy. Is privacy important? Why? What would be so bad if we lost privacy?

i know why privacy is important and i assumed that everyone felt the same, but i guess, not everyone does.

If you had to choose between security and privacy, which would you choose? How much of one would you sacrifice for how much of the other?

A weekend in Sakata

highway

This weekend i attended the 44th Yamagata Aikido demonstration.

I went to Sakata city which is in the north of Yamagata. The travel took about 3 hours but i drove by some of the most beautiful mountain scenery.

I saw many small lakes and rivers, and even mount Gassan.

I was really moved by how beautiful the country is and was very glad that i spend my time traveling all around Tohoku to appreciate it.

chainsaw

The demonstration showed some of the best Aikido in Yamagata and i was again very impressed. There was a small but good number of young people studying seriously and a fair number of middle aged people with great experience.

I find it rare these days to see people commit to life long disciplines such as Aikido since most people quit right before entering high school, or university, or  before starting their careers. Many traditional japanese arts require a lifetime of study but today’s busy lifestyles seem to prioritize working more than anything, sometimes even over making money! Do you know what i mean?