Dirty water in Kusanagi

Today in class two of my students were talking about the dirty tap water in Kusanagi (in English of course).

They said that sometimes the hot water is ‘white and cloudy’, and that the dirty water can cause the skin to feel very itchy.

I don’t live near Kusanagi, but I must admit that sometimes I also get cloudy water, and sometimes the drinking water tastes a little strange.

Does anybody have any problems with their tap water?

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Spurs’ bye

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My favourite football team Tottenham (nickname Spurs) should play against Feyenoord (Holland) in the next round of the UEFA Cup.

But there is a problem: UEFA decided that Feyenoord cannot play in the UEFA Cup this season. The reason is that Feyenoord supporters started fighting and damaging the stadium when Feyenoord played against Nancy (France) last month.

So Spurs have no opposition and UEFA decided that Spurs can have a ‘bye’ (they can progress to the next round without playing). Feyenoord have appealed to UEFA to change their decision, we’ll see what happens.

If Spurs progress to the next round, the last 16, they will play against Braga or Parma, two very strong teams.

Doctors are human

A few days ago I went to a local clinic to visit a doctor. You can read  more information in my blog post below.

The doctor was very good, and he told me that I only had a small injury, but he seemed to be disappointed that my problem wasn’t serious. Why?

I’m not sure but I think it’s because of money. In Japan, and many other countries, the doctors get more money from very sick and injured people. If everyone were healthy then the doctors would get no money. So the doctors are happy if we are sick. And if we are seriously sick they can get even more money.

If I had a serious injury then I would probably need to visit the doctor’s clinic once or twice a week for rehabilitation, maybe for 3 or 4 months, or more. Then he would make a lot money from me.

Of course I am sure most doctors are honest people (I hope so), but doctors are human, and not all humans are good and honest, so some of them may tell us we are sick when we are not.

Visit to the doctor

You probably haven’t noticed that I have had a pain in my arm for a few weeks. It doesn’t seem to be getting better, so today I went to see the doctor.

The doctor’s clinic was very busy, but I waited only about 30 minutes before I could see him. The doctor was very good, listening patiently to my poor Japanese explanation, and then he started to touch, feel, hit, twist and press my arm as he searched for the exact position of the pain. He quickly found it. It is in the muscle. I think he is a really good doctor.

He told me to rub something on it twice a day and said I could go. He seemed a little disappointed that my injury wasn’t serious.

No umbrella

Oh dear I forgot my umbrella.

Oh dear I left my umbrella at home.

Which sentence is correct? Answer: both! This morning, by mistake, I didn’t take my umbrella when I walked to the station.

If you look carefully at the top sentences you can see we use the verb ‘to leave’ when we forget something and we mention the place. We use the verb ‘to forget’ when we don’t mention the place. So we cannot say, ‘I forgot my umbrella at home,’ and we cannot say, ‘I left my umbrella.’

But today I was very lucky, there was no rain, so actually I said, “Great, I left my umbrella at home.”

Final class

Our course has nearly finished.

I guess there were some things you liked in the course, some things that were OK, and some things you didn’t like, or even hated.

Please let me have your comments on the things you liked and disliked. These comments are very important to me, and can help improve my teaching.

There is a chance that some of you will have another course with me next year, but for most of you we will soon have our final class together.

Please continue to read this blog, and don’t forget to leave your comments; it’s a good way to keep in touch.

Cheers

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New telephone

I’m thinking about buying a new mobile phone. I’m very happy with my old phone, but it is almost three years old and the battery doesn’t last very long, so I need a new one.

I don’t need any special functions like internet connection, or text mail, or even a camera. I don’t often use my mobile phone, just 30 or 40 minutes each month. All I want is the cheapest one!

Can anyone advise me? I think there are three major companies now, Docomo, AU, and Softbank. Which one is the cheapest? Or is there another company which I don’t know?

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This punctuation mark is a period (American English) and a full stop (British English).

It comes at the end of a sentence, immediately after the last word, with no space. After the period there is one space before the next sentence begins with a capital letter.

However if the period comes at the end of a paragraph, then the next sentence will start on the next line.

A period mark is also found in some other situations:

a) In internet and e-mail addresses, where it is called a dot, for example lojol_2p@yahoo.com.ph (my private e-mail address which you can use at any time).

b) In numbers, where it is called a decimal point, for example 3.7, which is “three point seven.”

c) In money it has a similar use, for example $6.25, which is “six dollars and twenty-five cents,” or “six twenty-five.”

If you know of any other situations please let me know.

Coming of age day, why in January?

If you are 20 years old then you will be having your coming of age ceremony tomorrow. In some places it has already happened, but the official day this year is January 8th, and it is a national holiday.

Many congratulations to all of you who are celebrating your 20th birthday; I think it is a wonderful thing to celebrate it all over Japan at the same time, and it seems very nice to have a formal ceremony as you enter adulthood.

But I have two questions, please help me.

Why is this ceremony in January? Why is it a national holiday?

It’s the middle of winter and many places in Japan are covered in snow and freezing cold, it doesn’t seem a good time to enjoy wearing beautiful kimono and hakama.

And many people who celebrate their 20th birthday are 19 years old. Everyone whose birthday is between January 9th and March 31st will be 19 on coming of age day. Can they drink alcohol at the party? Since they are not yet 20 years old drinking alcohol is illegal. So what happens at the party? Do many of those who are 20 get drunk, while those who are 19 sit and drink orange juice and oolong tea?

And why is it a national holiday? I guess it’s good that the whole of Japan has a holiday for the small number who are 20 years old, but I feel that it is probably less trouble to have it on Sunday rather than Monday, in fact I saw many people celebrating today, Sunday.

My own suggestion is to have this celebration on the first Sunday in April. Then everyone will be 20. Then the weather will be warmer. Then most 20 year olds who are still students will be in their hometown. And then you can drink alcohol under the cherry blossom.