Monthly Archives: November 2006

Show 211 Thursday 30 November

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
Someone sent me a message asking about tatami and I’ve also read a few comments asking asking about tatami … so I thought I’d talk about it today.
As it says in wikipedia: Tatami mats are a traditional Japanese flooring. Made of woven straw, and traditionally packed with straw (though nowadays sometimes with styrofoam).
It also says: Most modern Japanese homes still have at least one tatami room, the washitsu.
I really like tatami but not everybody does. One of my students built a house this year – and he said that they decided not to have any tatami rooms and I asked him why not and he said that he likes tatami but it’s kind of hard to look after so they decided against it.
And one of the things I think is interesting about Japan is that the measuring system for rooms is different. So, in NZ people talk about the size of a room in square meters but in Japan it’s by tatami-size.
For example my old room in Tokyo was a six mat room or roku jyou. It didn’t have tatami – it had a wooden floor – but you still talk about the size like that.


Kia ora in Stick News today while Americans celebrated Thanksgiving Day on another part of the globe thanks were also being given for the internet.

Thanksgiving Day was celebrated by millions of people in North America today. In Japan major celebrations were also underway after a package arrived at tdes studio.
The Daily English Show staff weren’t expecting to be able to connect to the internet until the 5th of December.
But a few moments after tearing into this box these magic lights signaled that tdes staff were back amongst civilization.
The Daily English Show’s producer especially enjoys the opportunity for intellectual stimulation the internet offers and rushed to catch up on the latest world news.

The Daily English Show is now scheduled for regular daily uploads. However the production team announced today that due to circumstances such as exceptional snow conditions throughout winter there may be occasional delays in the production of the show.
And that was Stick News for Thursday the 30th of November.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

Today it snowed quite a lot. We cleared the snow in the afternoon. I wrote tdes in the snow. The t was easy but the rest of the letters didn’t come out so well.
And this is my other great piece of art. I hope it’s not illegal to trample in the snow on someone else’s property.
I think the mountain is going to open tomorrow. Excellent!

conversations with sarah
#125 Do you have any rooms with tatami in your place?

Step 1: Repeat Luke’s lines.
Step 2: Read Luke’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Luke Do you have any rooms with tatami in your place?

Sarah Yeah, there are three. I’ll show you if you like.

Luke OK, thanks.

Sarah This room has 6 mats so it’s called roku jyo in Japanese.

Luke The tatami looks a bit old.

Sarah Yeah, it is. It’s not too bad though. There was one really bad one that the landlord replaced before we moved in.

Luke Wow, I wouldn’t want to sleep on that.

Sarah Yeah. Come upstairs. I’ll show you the rooms up there. We haven’t done any cleaning upstairs so it’s still pretty dirty. This room has 6 mats, so it’s the same size as the room downstairs, 6 jyo.

Luke Oh, OK.

Sarah And this one has 8 mats.


Show 210 Wednesday 29 November

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
When we went to Sapporo we bought a couple of heaters and I also bought this … this is Totoro. Totoro is a character from the movie Miyazaki Hayao movie Tonari no Totoro. Which I think is called My Neighbour Totoro in English.
It’s one of my favourite Miyazaki movies. I also liked Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi which is called Sprited Away in English. And also Mimi o Sumaseba … which I can’t remember the English name of … and no internet to check.
Today’s questionanswer features Totoro.


Kia ora in Stick News today we bring you a special investigation into the real reason behind the relocation of The Daily English Show headquarters from Tokyo to Hokkaido.
Some fans have suggested the move was made to escape constant harassment from the paparazzi. However the truth may surprise you.

When The Daily English Show started the producer dreamed of scaling the dizzying heights of internet fame. Later the daydreams turned to world domination and untold wealth.
Scraping together pennies from English teaching, the producer hired a team of consultants to help realize her dreams.
After receiving well-researched but ridiculous advice the consultants were fired and it was time for plan B.
Due to budget constraints the billboard campaign was also scrapped and plan B ended up being walking around Shibuya wearing a hand-made cardboard sign.
The producer got this fantastic idea after seeing old men in Ikebukuro standing on street corners wearing sandwich boards.
Finding someone to film the promotional event proved to be a major obstacle. There seems to be a significant stigma attached to walking the streets wearing a sandwich board. Finally a cameraperson was found and the event was filmed without hitch.
The results of the promotion weren’t quite as expected.
And The Daily English Show producer decided to pack up her belongings and escape to the north of Japan where people still live in straw huts and don’t have TV or the internet.

Despite the dismal results of the sandwich board campaign The Daily English Show producer has kept the sign and is rumoured to be location scouting for second attempt.
And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 29th of November.
Kia ora.

the snow report

This morning it rained. Then it started to snow at around half past ten.
The snowflakes got bigger and bigger. They were about 2 centermeters in diameter.
By the evening there was a nice layer of snow on the footpath.

conversations with sarah
# 124 What on earth made you do that?

Step 1: Repeat Natalie’s lines.
Step 2: Read Natalie’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Natalie I can’t believe you walked around Shibuya wearing a cardboard sign. What on earth made you do that?

Sarah I just thought it would be kind of fun … and it would make a good story.

Natalie Did people stare at you?

Sarah Maybe. I don’t know I was trying really hard to keep a straight face so I just looked upward and tried to think of boring things.

Natalie Did anyone ask what you were doing?

Sarah No.

Natalie How long did you do it for?

Sarah Only about 10 minutes.

Show 209 Tuesday 28 November

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show. I have a copy of the Niseko Trail Map for this season.
The mountain is called Niseko An’nupuri and it’s 1308 meters high and there are four areas: An’nupuri, Higashiyama, Hirafu and Hanazono. You can buy passes for all the areas or just one area. I’ve never been to An’nupuri or Higashiyama because last year when we came we just bought passes just for the Grand Hirafu area which is Hirafu and Hanazono.
Today’s questionanswer is about Niseko.


Kia ora in Stick News today desperate times for The Daily English Show – the lack of the internet has forced the staff to work in the streets.

The Daily English Show has just moved into one of the most stylish buildings in Kutchan.
Newly refurbished, the studio now boasts flawless paintwork and a breathtaking instillation piece.
The furniture even features artwork by local up and coming artists.
Just moments after moving in, there was free-flowing gas, electricity and even water … the only element missing was the internet.
In the following days tdes staff desperately searched Kutchan for a place to use the internet… finally finding what seemed like the perfect place to upload.
But staff were shocked when they returned the following day with laptops to find the bar had taken an inexplicable off day.
In a sterling show of dedication, the show’s producer then sat in freezing temperatures in the street to upload.

And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 28th of November.
Kia ora.

the snow report

Sadly, it didn’t snow today. It started raining at night time. This is the view from my bedroom window.

conversations with sarah
# 123 Where’ve you been uploading the show?

Step 1: Repeat Megan’s lines.
Step 2: Read Megan’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Megan So, where’ve you been uploading the show?

Sarah Mmm, various places. A hotel let us use the net in their restaurant one day even though we weren’t customers. That was nice.

Megan And you used it in the street yesterday?

Sarah Yeah, I found this bar that has wireless LAN so we went to use the internet – but it was closed for some reason.

Megan So you just used it in the street …

Sarah Yeah.

Megan Was the connection OK?

Sarah Yeah, it was really fast.

Show 208 Monday 27 November

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show. So, this is the first regular show in this new place. It’s been almost a month since I’ve talked to the camera … so it feels kind of strange.
It’s really cool having this great space after living in a tiny room in Tokyo for 4 years. And the place is looking pretty good I think. Thanks to the great second hand shop and also thanks to the landlord’s daughter … I don’t know what her name is but she lent us some stuff like tables and shelves …
I had a really good time on the trip here from Tokyo so thanks for watching the videos and thanks for your comments. And thank you for the happy birthday comments. And thank you so much Cristina for the video … it’s awesome. I love it.
So The Daily English Show is going to continue in pretty much the same style as before … with one addition: The Snow Report. When the mountain opens that’ll be the conditions on the ski field… but for now it’s just the conditions outside my window.
And we still don’t have the net … so don’t expect any exciting international news this week. It’ll probably be just random news from the neighbourhood or my imagination.


Kia ora in Stick News today The Daily English Show has started broadcasting from its new premises in Hokkaido.

When the Daily English Show started it was produced in a tiny one room apartment in Kurihara.
From humble beginnings just seven months ago the show now has a massive international audience, a star-studded cast and has relocated to the booming snow resort of Niseko, Hokkaido. tdes beat out a pack of ruthless Australian developers to secure prime real estate opposite the North Kutchan post office.
With a google buyout imminent investors rushed to back the venture and poured millions of yen into renovating the classic building.
In the last week cleaners, designers and decorators have been working around the clock to prepare the tdes headquarters ready for the grand opening on December 1st.
Classic features like the old-school bath and antique lino still remain while fresh paint and tar removal have added a more hygienic dimension to the building.
Today the show was ready to start broadcasting.
On Friday doors will open to the public and fans will be able to meet the show’s presenter. Limited edition tdes merchandise will also be available later in the month.

Uploading of The Daily English show will continue to be irregular for another week thanks to the slow service of NTT and yahoo. And that was Stick News for Monday the 27th of November. Kia ora.

the snow report

It didn’t snow today. It was cloudy. There’s some ice on the part of the footpath that doesn’t get much sun and behind our house there is some snow because this place is always in the shade.

conversations with sarah
# 122 Have you been snowboarding yet?

Step 1: Repeat Kirk’s lines.
Step 2: Read Kirk’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Kirk Have you been snowboarding yet?

Sarah No, the mountain isn’t open.

Kirk I thought you said the season started on the 23rd of November.

Sarah Yeah, it does … but there’s not enough snow, so the mountain hasn’t opened yet.

Kirk Oh. When do you think it’ll open?

Sarah I don’t know. Depends on when it snows.

Kirk Did it snow today?

Sarah No, it didn’t. And it didn’t snow yesterday either.

Show 207 Sunday 26 November

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

The Road to Hokkaido Tour 2006
Day 26: Kutchan

Last night we went on our second bar crawl to see how pumping Kutchan would be on a Saturday night. In Japanese bar crawl is hashigo. Hashigo also means ladder.

First we went to an izakaya called Samurai. We were the only customers. I liked their noren … but I didn’t think Beatles music really fitted the style of the place.

Then I saw a sign saying foreign drink … which I thought was pretty funny so we went in there. The owner was a nice guy – turns out he’s a friend of our landlords. The bar has been open for more than thirty years. I think the place would be improved a lot if the bar stools were re-covered and the drinks were a bit cheaper.

Next we went to Exceed. Two guys were walking in just as we were and we ended up sitting with them. They were firefighters. Cool. One of them looked like Atsushi from London Boots. Atsushi is one of the first Japanese celebrities I fell for …

The last bar was the most lively of all the bars we went to.
It was called Nozomi two and seemed to have hostesses and hosts. Interesting.

Today I did some more setting up. Thanks to this heater this room is now warm. And we even have a kotatsu … thanks to the landlord’s daughter who lent it to us. A kotatsu is a kind of small table with a heater underneath. Comfy.

Show 206 Saturday 25 November

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

The Road to Hokkaido Tour 2006
Day 25: Kutchan

Today one of our neighbours came over to say hello and she said she was worried that someone might have died because of our window display.
That’s when I learnt something new about Japanese funeral style. When someone dies people hang a kind of straw mat in the window with the dead person’s name on it.

I quickly took the straw mat down and we sorted out some better curtains. We bought a curtain rod and some material at the second-hand shop and some clips at the hardware shop.

I also made some Christmas decorations today.
I made some trees out of a cardboard box and some tinfoil.
I bought some Christmas lights and hung them in the window in the shape of a star.

Show 205 Friday 24 November

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

The Road to Hokkaido Tour 2006
Day 24: Sapporo

Today we went to Sapporo to pick up two heaters we bought on the net.

We drove through Otaru where we saw some people surfing. Surfing in the snow… crazy.

We had lunch at Shojin restaurant Yo. It was really good.

Just as we were leaving papparazi stormed the place with TV cameras. The staff must have tipped them off.

It was snowing heavily in Sapporo. Looks like some cars had been sliding around a bit. We bought this map book at the convenience store and managed to find our way to pick up the heaters.

Then we went to a few shops by Sapporo station and then it was time to come home again.

We had dinner at Pepesale. Pretty much standard Japanese Italian chainstore food … although I’ve never seen cornflakes on salad before.