Saturday, 15 January 2011
Niseko is a strange place. It is in Japan but it is not like Japan. I don't need to use Japanese most of the time unless I talk to my two Japanese colleagues. Many of our neighbours are non-Japanese. Even if they are, they are mostly from out side of Hokkaido. So, I feel we fit in to this community very well. We are far from unique for sure.
As for my work, for the first time in my life, I am commuting by car. More over, I am driving in the snow. Scraping the snow off my car every morning, every lunch time, every evening - basically almost every time before I drive. I have started to get used to it.
Although Niseko has more snow than Sapporo, I found day to day life here is easier than Sapporo because we drive everywhere we go. Down side is, because of it, we are more exposed to car accidents. Oh yes, I had my first car accident the other day. Well, it was not really a crash. I rubbed another car while reversing. The paint of my back bumper and the front bumper of the other car is scratched off a little. Now I am in a dilemma whether I should use my insurance to pay for the damage.
My company kindly provides a lift pass which can be shared among staff. This is a great benefit for me since I don't really want to pay for an expensive lift pass to go to the mountains due to the fact I am not a keen snowboarder.
Apart from those changes, we are still living in a little Britain at home, watching BBC on iplayer.
Internet is great! Can't live without it.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
I think it is a perfect place to live for my family; surrounded by the nature and has an international community. We'll find out soon!!
Thursday, 2 September 2010
…not at a festival, but with Masaki. A couple of weeks ago, he suddenly started to refuse a bottle-feed. We’ve been using a bottle every now and again. However literally the day after we had a conversation with the Isle of Wight party gangs about the bottle-feed refusal he started rejecting it. Masaki must have heard the conversation and decided to go on a strike?! Funny thing is that he does not refuse it completely. The other day, I gave him some expressed milk from a bottle throughout the day. He was not totally happy but he accepted it. The following morning, he cried like hell even it gets close to him. Has he already got a mood swing? Some web sites suggest to use some apple juice to attract a bottle but I am not sure about the idea. I don’t want him to have a sweet tooth right from start. Having said that, when I tasted my breast milk – just in case it does not have funny acidic taste or anything like that – it was very sweet. If you use it for coffee you won't need any sugar, I will tell you!!
Bottle fight, to be continued….
Monday, 23 August 2010
Recently we visited Makomanai Park where winter Olympics was held in 1972, the year I was born!! It is one of the biggest park in Sapporo, including 3 km of jogging route, some nature reserve areas, a few view spots for returning salmons to the river in autumn and many more.
Our summer holiday is over yet the highest temperature is hovering around 27/28 degrees during the day and quite humid in the evening. I can't imagine right how it was like four months ago when Shane visited us at the end of April. I was still wearing a full winter jacket then.
Nevertheless, pears and grapes start appearing in our local supermarket now. It's a sign of autumn. I am sure temperature will drop before too long and soon will be the snow world again.
Monday, 16 August 2010
Arriving slightly early in the morning, only few dogs were there at the time. Two Black Labradors were among those and were playing ball games and tumbling each other. My initial impression of them was they were active and love rough games.
That day, Woody - as usual - tried to get an attention from one of the Black Lab. They were running around together chasing the ball at first, and looked as though they were enjoying each other's company. However, once Woody mounted one of them from behind, the situation suddenly changed. The Lab started to attack Woody and did not stop. Yes, dogs usually tell off each other's unwanted behaviours but normally chase them off and stop - no harm done. They might use teeth as a warning but they don't bite unless they feel being attacked and need to protect themselves.
Woody tried his best to run away from the dog but the Lab was so persistent and looked as if he was going to kill Woody. Such an unexpected behaviour from Labrador. I was stunned and could not move. Woody (human) throw a ball at the Lab to detract but no effect. In the end, the Lab's owner grabbed her dog from behind and the attack was finally over - phew!
What was wrong with that dog??
I know Woody, in a way, caused it but many dogs mount to each other as a dominant behaviour or simply trying to get an attention. And Woody tried just once and the Lab snapped off!
Whilst the Lab owner intervene her dog's attack on Woody, one of the dogs' teeth seemed to have caught her arm and made her bleed. Intervene a dog-fight is so dangerous, but what can you do in that situation? I don't want to imagine what could have happened to Woody if the dog owner did not stop her dog, considering the Lab was a lot bigger/heavier than Woody.
" My dog cannot stop..." said the owner afterwards.
Did she know her dog could be like that?
Woody have been attacked by neighbourhood dogs a couple of times in London but those dogs were famously dangerous in the area and had a history of attacking other dogs so there was no surprise then. But this time, I cannot believe Lab could be like that.
We visited our vet straight after and gave him a jab and got one week worth of antibiotics. So he has to take it easy for a week or so. Cost us about £70. Ouch!
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Since I came back to Japan, I have noticed most people leave video cameras and expensive SatNav systems very visibly in a car - though some of SatNavs are built-in so can't be removed. This is unbelievable in a very good way.
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Well, despite we would love a SatNav in our car, to buy or not to buy that is the question.