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January 2006

+ Happy New Year! +

Happy New Year everyone,
I uploaded my New Year's cards.

At the beginning of this year, I write what I will do and won't do this year.

  1. I will try the French test "TEF",
 2. I won't give up reading English books until the end,
 3. and I will re-study Japanese language as a Japanese teacher.

Oops, these are all about languages. Maybe, this year is "The Language Year" for me.

I hope this year will be the happiest and best for you!

+ The Ice Skates +

I heard some good news on January 7th. Finally, the world's largest skating rink was opened! In Ottawa, the frozen Rideau Canal is opened as a natural skating rink. It is a 7.8 km long skate way and it was registered in the Guinness world records last summer. I had been looking forward to skating on the Rideau Canal. This news that opening the skating rink made me excited!

I went to a sports shop to buy a pair of ice skates with my friends. It was obvious that the rental skates wouldn't satisft me because I love skating very much! One of my friends also wanted to buy a pair of new skates but our sizes are different and the shop was a little bit crowded, so, we decided to look for the skates by ourselves. I think that I looked like a hunter at that time. And I found a pair of cool skates at the shop. They were functional, had a good design, and were not so expensive. The best part was the comfortable soft padding.

The Ice Skates

When we met again in the shop with the best skates, we were surprised each other. My friend also chose the same skates! Of course we talked about the good points of the skates.

Yeah! My skates are "Canadian Recommended!"

+ The World's Largest Skating Rink, The Rideau Canal +

Yeeeaaaahhhhh! I tried skating on the Rideau Canal. I was so excited when I stepped on the ice but my first impression was "rough!" The surface had been cleaned on the whole; however, it was a little bit hard to skate smoothly. My friend told me that the beginning of the season was like that and it will be better at the end of January or February. I thought that such a condition might be usual as it is a natural skate rink.

Anyways, I skated from one end to the other. It took around 30 minutes at my own pace. I think that I am faster than average. There were a lot of people but it wasn't crowded because the skate rink is big enough. Yeah, it was good.

Rideau Canal

While I was skating, I saw a lot of people who were skating with while pushing their baby buggy(1) or pulling the sled with their baby on it.(2) Wow wow! I also saw some people who were walking or jogging(3) and even more, some people that were cycling!!!(4) I couldn't believe it. If the Rideau Canal were in Japan, I wouldn't see such sights but just would see a sign written that prohibits behaviours on it and would hear the repeated announcements.

The people who were pushing their baby buggy(1)  The person who was pulling the sledge(2)  The people who were jogging(3)
The person who was cycling(4: I missed the chance to take a good photo but this is really the person who was cycling on the ice!)

The Rideau Canal is not only for skaters but also for babies, walkers, runners, and cyclists!

This is the Canadian style! (Really?)

+ Memoirs of a GEISHA (Japanese title is "Sayuri") +

I watched the movie "Memoirs of a GEISHA (Japanese title is "Sayuri")" at my nearest movie theatre. A lot of Canadian who are interested in Japan already watched this movie and sometimes I am asked if I have ever watched this movie. I think that they are also interested in my impressions as a Japanese. I thought that I should watch this movie as a Japanese. But there is a big problem for me, you know, this movie is in English! And of course there were no subtitles... I had thought the title was "Memories of GEISHA" and I also didn't know the meaning of memoirs and, oh, I have to write an "a" before GEISHA.... Oh boy... Can I understand the movie's English?

Well, well, well... I decided to watch this movie alone because if I couldn't understand the English, I would pretend that I never watched this movie... While watching this movie, however, I could understand the English! Of course it was not 100% but very well. Why? Haven't I realized my English had improved? Wow!

No! It was because there was a lot of Japanese accented English. This English were easy to understand for me :P

I won't write the details on this page but I'll tell my three impressions without ruining the story.

  1: A movie is only a movie,
  2: It was really impressive, the beauty of the cherry blossoms and the Japanese gardens,
  3: and woman's jealousy is so scary!

+ TV Commercials +

I went to the movie theatre to watch "The Cannes International Advertising Festival 2005" with my friends. This is not for movies but for TV commercials only! In this case, it took 95 minutes with 150 prize winners. The commercials were from 10 seconds to 180 seconds each. These commercials were stupid, funny and some of them had good stories but all of them were very high quality. It was a wonderful time for me who loves TV commercials.

My best three were these.
  1. Essence of Chicken, Scotch (Thailand)
  2. Vios, Toyota (Malaysia)
  3. CLK-Class, Mercedes-Benz (Germany)

You might be able to find these commercials' data by searching these product names on this site http://www.sostav.ru/eng/ . Please reverse the colour on the lines below by dragging your mouse while pushing the left button, if you want to read the summaries.

1. Essence of Chicken, Scotch (Thailand)

A couple are in a café. The girl asks him to spend more time with a sad voice. He put his hand on her hand. It is a lovely atmosphere. BUT! Suddenly, he double clicks on her hand and moves her hand around as if it were a computer mouse with no face expressions! And the message appears. "Antidote For Workaholics"

The scene that he dusts off and bangs her hand was so funny! We should rest before being a workaholic.

2. Vios, Toyota (Malaysia)

A young guy is jogging and he finds the cool car Vios by the lake. When he touches the car, it falls down. It was a picture panel! A squid monster reveals itself from the lake and takes him into the lake. And the monster puts the picture panel back again.

I thought that the creator intended the beginning of this commercial looks like a Nike commercial. I could understand that a lot of people were trapped because the monster put it back. I thought that this commercial succeeded to appeal the car attractions.

3. CLK-Class, Mercedes-Benz (Germany)

An innocent boy goes to the garden and digs in the morning. He plants his toy can car Clk-Class and waters it. When he looks at the garage, there is his parents' real Clk-Class.

Anyways, it is so cute! That's it! Actually, it is the easy way to advertise using children, but this commercial was so cute that I could accept it.

Now, I am spending my happy Canadian life watching Canadian TV commercials!

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