Archive for February, 2010

TRAVEL BLOG: Recycling in Japan!

22 Feb

Hello again, readers. As promised this blog will talk about how the Japanese handle recycling. Fortunately, for those of you who either can’t stand me or have very short attention spans, this blog happens to be fairly short. I chose to write this because Japan, like UVM, takes recycling pretty seriously. I remember back at UVM getting dirty looks for chucking takeout boxes in the trash and, of course, getting a bit annoyed when “Don’t-buy-plastic-bottles Day” came around (is it bad that I bought bottle water anyway merely to spite the day)? Anyway, Here’s how recycling/trash works in Japan: First, trash is divided into two bins: one for burnable garbage (燃えるゴミ) and one for non-burnable (燃えないゴミ). What constitutes burnable and non-burnable garbage, for the most part, remains pretty straightforward, but asking for help never hurts either. Now for recycling; I’m attaching a photo of a recycling section outside of a convenience store. Most stores, class buildings and other establishments have three containers for recyclables (instead of our usual two or one): one for paper and plastics, one for plastic bottles and one for glass bottles and cans. In Japan, plastic bottles are called “PET Bottles” (I still have no idea what that means), “Kan” for can and “Bin” for glass bottles. I have actually been lectured by a passer-by for putting certain items in the wrong place (purely by accident, no malice intended to the environment). Recently, I have been feeling a little homesick and looking at the recycling here makes me feel a little more like I’m back home. I hope you liked today’s blog and check-in again for a surprise topic! (My way of saying that I have had to change my blog topics around a bit and that next Sunday’s topic isn’t ready yet). Thanks for reading and Jaa, ne!

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TRAVEL BLOG: Osaka and Food

18 Feb

皆様今日は(Hello everyone)! Allow me to apologize in advance for not posting this past Sunday. Last week, a large group of IES students, including myself, took a trip to Osaka. During this trip, I had very little access to a computer and I wanted to devote my time and energy to being in this fantastic city. Osaka is one of the three largest cities in Japan, along with Kyoto and Tokyo, the largest one and also the capital. While Kyoto and Tokyo are known for historical shrines and overwhelming nightlife respectively, Osaka is known around the world for its famous cuisine. Often called “The Nation’s Kitchin,” Osaka has a term called “Kuidaore” (食い倒れ), meaning to bankrupt oneself with food. The term appears to be used for any type of overindulgence in food or drink, even getting sick from eating or drinking too much. Believe me when I say that a couple more weeks in Osaka would have done just that to me. The two most famous foods that you might know from Osaka are Takoyaki (たこ焼き) and Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き). Takoyaki refers to octopus grilled in batter with scallions and topped with sweet sauce and Japanese mayonnaise. These tend to be sold in stands all over the city for a cheap price. Next, and my personal favorite: Okonomiyaki. The name literally means “Whatever you like grilled.” This dish resembles a pancake, but works much like our pizza, in terms of toppings. The main part is made from flour, yam, water, eggs and diced cabbage. From there, you can order a large variety of toppings, including bacon, octopus, shrimp, egg, cheese, vegetables and more. I loved the bacon, egg and cheese okonomiyaki myself, as seen in the picture provided. Fortunately in Osaka, good food is very easy to find. I found my favorites in Osaka’s Dotombori street. This street is filled with a variety of restaurants, shops and arcades. But one things sets it apart from anything else in the world: display. Never in my life have so many lights, sirens and shouting chefs whirled together to produce such an incredible symphony of sound and visuals. From flashing multi-color displays, to the sound of sizzling takoyaki to chefs yelling out food orders, the atmosphere remains unparallel by any other city that I have visited to date. I wish I were still there, but alas, I am back in Nagoya preparing for classes tomorrow. I hope you all enjoyed this installment of my blog and check in next week for my blog on recycling. Jaa, ne!

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01 Feb

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 1st is a BUSY week in the Global Village!

Monday, February 1, 2010

4 p.m. — “A MOUNTAIN OF CRUMBS”: ELENA GOROKHOVA reading from her memoir about growing up in the Soviet Union. 4:00 p.m. Memorial Lounge, Waterman Bldg.
Tuesday February 2, 2010
Noon to 1:15 p.m. — RLC EVENT: “Consumption for the Common Good? Balancing Conservation and Poverty Alleviation.” Saleem Ali, associate professor of environmental studies. Sugar Maple Ballroom, Davis Center. 12-1:15 p.m.
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. — GLOBAL VILLAGE COMMON HOUR: THE CONSEQUENCES OF DEMOCRATIZATION FOR GENDER EQUALITY IN MEXICO: Common Hour with Caroline Beer, Assoc. Prof. of Political Science; 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., L/L Room 315 Commons.
7 p.m. to 8 p.m. — TAVOLA ITALIANA: Please join us for informal Italian conversation. Bring your friends!! Informal Italian conversation table with Prof. Paolo Pucci. Meet at the tables in the small dining area between the Marche and Alice’s Cafe, on the ground floor of the L/L Commons Building.

Wednesday February 3, 2010

8 p.m. to 9 p.m. — WEDNESDAY NIGHT GATHERING – OPEN B LOW AND MID SUITES: Wednesday Night Gatherings are informal social gatherings designed to bring together the L/L community and Global Village community, as well as to learn more about that individual House. Open suites start at 8 p.m., feel free to visit open suites at your own pace. Reception in B180 Lounge.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
5:00 p.m. — FILM: THE NEO AFRICAN AMERICANS: How rapid, voluntary immigration from Africa and the Caribbean is transforming the “African-American” narrative. This film and discussion with the filmmaker Kobina Aldoo will be a night of invigorating conversation. To find out more about this film and presenter go to: Admission free. 5:00 p.m., Billings North Lounge.

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