カテゴリ：English diary( 15 )
We took a day trip to Bremen by train. Although it was raining whole day, we could enjoy the Christmas atmosphere and we were so impressed to see many
magnificent and historical buildings.
We left home in the early morning and arrived at Bremen approximately five hours later. Although it was a long trip, we enjoyed a train trip such as reading, chatting, drinking and sleeping.
Bremen, which listed as World Heritage Site, is a nice historical city.
また 『ブレーメンの音楽隊』 でも知られていています。市庁舎前にある、この像のロバの足を触れば、願いがかなうようです（もちろん触りましたよ）。
Bremen is well known for a story " Town musicians of Bremen". They say if you
touch a donkey's leg of this statue in front of the city hall, it will be a dream
come true (Of course, we touched it).
You can see a lot of their characters when you stroll in the town.
First of all, We ate a sausage and a steak with bread. That's a German style.
すごいボリュームです。 What a big portion!
The Roland, which stands at the marketplace, is a symbol of the peace and the
right. They say as far as this statue stands here, Bremen is continued for as The
During my wife and daughters went shopping at a department store, I was
waiting alone at the Christmas market with having a gluhwein (Hot wine).
こっちの方がいいや。It's better than shopping.
They say this city hall, which was built in 1405, is one of the most important buildings
in north Germany.
After dinner, as there was the enough waiting time until getting on the train,
we idled the time away strolling the Christmas market.
As I drank four cups of hot wine in order to get Christmas mugs as a souvenir
, I slept well in the train on the way home.
We returned home at midnight. Although it was busy trip, we really enjoyed a
I wrote this article especially in English for my Dutch friends.
We went to Leiden city in order to buy some food and also to take some pictures
of autumn colours. Leiden, which is called the ancient city, is one of my favourite
cities in the Netherlands. When I see the fallen leaves on the ground, I feel
like the end of autumn.
There are a lot of trees that Siebold brought from Japan ; such as Ginkgo trees,
maple trees at botanical garden in Leiden. You can taste the autumn mood
which like we feel in Japan.
When I see this picture, it looks like real Japan.
I have never seen such a Japanese maple in the Netherlands.
What a beutiful vivid red!
I found the Haiku of the poet Basho Matsuo on the wall of a building. You can
see a lot of Japanese cultures in Leiden
After that we went to a market to buy some food.
We bought a lot of strange mushrooms, vegetables, fruit and meat as we usually do. The market is cheaper than supermarket, besides it's fun just looking around
and it is lively at the market.
The Netherlands is a famous flower country. There are several flower shops at
the market and the flower was cheap. And it's fun to have make a flower bouquet and meanwhile having a talk with the vender. We bought a flower bouquet as
After shopping, we had lunch at our favourite cafe along the canal as usual.
The name of the cafe is "Einstein cafe". Maybe, it's named after Einstein who
studied in Leiden University in the past.
We enjoyed shopping and tasting the atmosphere of autumn in Leiden.
We have an acquaintanted family which comes from Zimbabwe.
They live near-by. I saw a sign with "TE KOOP" in front of their house.
I thought they were going to move to somewhere else or they were going to get back to Zimbabwe.
One day I ran into him near his house. I asked him " Are you going to move
to somewhere?" He said " I bought a new house in Aalsmeer. I'm florist. That's why it's convenient for us to live in Aalsmeer." " That's sounds great.
Congratulations." I said.
But he said with a pale face,"I'm not happy. There is a big problem. The price of the houses is going down drastically becase of the global financial crisis.
That's why I can't sell this house for the moment." "Have you already bought a new house?" "Yes I have to pay the mortgage of two fouses."
"Oh! That's a big problem. I understand how your feel. There is nothing that can be done but wait till this crisis is over."
After saying good-bye to him, I thought he should have sold his house first
before buying another one. There is also a storong influence of the global
financial crisis in the real economy. They say there are also a lot of people
in the Netherlands who have similar problems. I really hope that this crisis will soon be over.
I have been thinking about studing Dutch. Although I have lived in
the Netherlands for around three years, it hasn't been necessary to
study Dutch so far, because I was busy studying English, we are supposed to
speak English in our company. Many Dutch people can speak English,
that's why it was not necessary.
But I haven't been satisfied with not speaking Dutch. For examplw, I can't
understand many advertisement, I can't understand an announcement in
a train or a bus, I can't communicate with Dutch people naturally, and it is
boring to watch the Dutch TV and to listening to the Dutch radio.
That situation is not normal. I have a lot of stress not understanding
such things. I'm sure if I want to improve my quality of life in the
Netherlands, I need to study Dutch. I know it is difficult to study Dutch from now on. My memory is always leaking these days. But I'm going to study it
little by little.
I went alone to Sao Paulo,Brazil, on a business trip from 16th of September to 20th of September. There is an office and a factory of our company in Sao Paulo. I had never been to the South America Continent before, so I looked forward to going Brazil. But according to the website of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was a dengerous country, so I was a little bit concerned.
The flying time from A'dam to Sao Paulo was 12 hours. It was longer flight than I expected. Although it was the end of winter in Sao Paulo, the temperature was almost the same as in Holland. What struck me first was that there are so many different nationalities, such as Japanese, Africans and of course Brazillians. They say there are 1.6 million Japanese living in Brazil. That's why you can find Japanese shops, restaurants and other special Japanese things.
I was also struck by the fact that many fouses and shops were protected by walls and gates to prevent burglary. It looked like a zoo. There is a lot of burglary. Therefore, I couldn't go out alone from hotel, especially in the evening. and I couldn't open a window of the car during driving due to this security problem. There are some Japanese resident officers, who live in Sao Paulo, but I think Holland is a better country to live in, because it is safer. A security problem is first priority, especially when you live abroad.
However Brazil is rich in food. I ate all kinds of meet and fishes, fruit,beans and so on. Anyway, I did a good job in Brazil and I had a good relationship with some Brazillians. I'm sure Brazil is good country without this security problem.
We travelled to Malta on 23rd of July. Till now I have visited 9 European
countries. Malta is small country which consist of three islands. It was real
summer in Malta. The temperature was around 32 degrees. It was confortable weather for us because we love the heat.
We stayed at a five-star hotel at the ocean. I think Mediterranean Sea is the
most beautiful sea I have ever seen. We did some sightseeing. We visited for
example a historical place which is a World Heritage Site, we relaxed at the
pool-side, went shopping, swam in the sea, and we ate a lot of sea food.
We had a very good time in Malta.
By the way, we talked English with people from many different countries.
I think English is a most important world language. It gave me an incentive to
carry on with studying English.
We went to the Anne Frank House last Sunday. My daughter is of the same age as Anne. I have wanted to talk about the war which was misery and failure with my daughter for a long time.
It was very busy and we queued for 20 minutes. It seems it has become a
symbol of any racial discrimination these days. In my youth I read “The Diary of Anne Frank” I remember that I was deeply impressed and shocked then.
She was an ordinary girl and had a dream to become a journalist or an author.
I can’t understand why so many Jewish were killed during that war.
Of course Japan also participated in World War Ⅱ. I know the history of the
war in Asia.
Now that we live in Europe I want to know more about the World War Ⅱ in
Europe. According to the brochure, “The Diary of Anne Frank” has been
translated into 60 languages. We bought “The Diary of Anne Frank”,
the Japanese version, at the Anne Frank House and my daughter is reading it
between her school and doing homework. I’m going to read it again.
It was good opportunity for us to talk about it.
We are enjoying the Christmas season in Europe.
We bought a big Christmas tree and my wife and daughters decorated it with a lot of ornaments.
Nowadays they are busy writing Christmas cards for many friends.
The Christmas holiday will be from 22nd of December up to 1st January.
We are going to Koln on the 22nd of December and the 23rd of December.
Though I think it will be freezing, we are looking forward to tasting the Christmas atmosphere in Germany.
I have to buy a Christmas present for my family. This is important!
After that we are going to shop, to skate, to visit a museum, and so on.
In Japan it is most important to spend a time with our family and relatives from End Year to New Year.
Though it is lonely not to get back to Japan to spend time with our family, we
would like to make the most of this opportunity to live in the Netherlands.
We are going to taste a lot of Christmas atmosphere.
The children's kendo match was held in Dusseldolf on Sunday. My eldest
daughter learned Kendo in Japan in former days. She wanted to make friends
in the netherlands, so she went to Kendo in the netherlands as well.
She practices Kendo at the gym twice a week. We thought it was impossible to play kendo in the Netherlands, but she plays it with many other Dutch people.
I played Kendo long time ago and I brought the armor from Japan. I want to play Kendo as well, but she didn't allow me to play kendo in the same club.
What a pity!
We left at 6 o'clock and we arrived at the gym in Dusseldorf at 8:30 o'clock.
It took 2 and a half hours the distance is 240km.
There were many participators from Germany, the netherlands and Belgium.
I think there were around a 100 people, of whom around 60%were Japanese,
40%were European people.
I don't know that so many children in Europe play kendo which is a Japanese
traditional sports. Though my daughter was beaten by a narrow margin by a
German boy, I think it was a good opportunity for her to get to meet wit foreign people by playing Kendo.
During my business trip I also went to China. I have been to China twice before.
That was twenty years and fifteen years ago. I would like to describe the
difference China which underwent so many changes during the last decades.
My first impression was that China had changed a lot. I knew from the papers
that China had a drastic economical development but what I saw was far
beyond my expectations. There are a lot of mordern buildings, skyscrapers,
motorways, restaurants , and so on. People's fashion changed as well. they
are dressed in colorful clothes now. It looks good.
I certainly think that the Chinese people has become rich. On the other hand,
there are many poor people in old parts of the town. I saw many people who
wore dirty clothes. They live in old and dirty houses.I am worrying about the
big gap between the rich and the poor and I am afraid this gap will even expand in future.
In addition, there is the environment issue, the population issuue, and so on.
The Chinese government should think about these issues.
『Ｇｏｅｄｅ ｍｉｄｄａｇ!』 （フディ ミダ）とはオランダ語で 『こんにちは!』 と言う意味です。初めての海外赴任先のオランダで体験した事、感じた事を、徒然なるままに記していきます
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