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Sunday, 20 August 2006

Home sweet home

Well, I’m now back at home after my break in Nagano. Over the last two days, I went canoeing on the lake, cycling around the town, and I had one final soak in a hot spring. I will really miss the cool evenings, the breathtaking scenery, and our wonderful hosts, Sakiko and Troy, at the backpacker's lodge in Hakuba. This picture was taken on Mt. Shirouma, at the bottom of the glacier which I mentioned in my previous blog post..

Mt Shirouma

Traditionally, in the UK, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding, which is the opposite of the Chinese tradition. In China, the groom’s parents pay, don’t they? However, these days, I believe that very few weddings are paid for solely by one side of the family in the UK. Most weddings are paid for by both parents and, in many cases, by the couple themselves. I suppose this is because the age at which people marry is higher than it used to be. My parents tied the knot at 18 and 21, but I didn’t get married until I was 29 and my wife was 27.

Japanese weddings are slightly different. Traditionally, at a Japanese wedding the guests bring gifts of money with them to the wedding reception. This money goes towards the cost of the wedding, which can cost the earth. The amount the guests give usually depends on the relationship between the couple and the guest. However, this means that being invited to a Japanese wedding can be rather pricey. How about in other countries? Who usually pays?

Regarding divorce, the number of couples breaking up is rather high in the UK, but there is evidence to suggest that the divorce rate is decreasing. In Japan, I’ve heard that the divorce rate is high for couples after retirement. Can any readers guess the reason why?

You make an interesting observation about the children’s pictures. In the toddler’s pictures their heads are big, but their bodies are small. Even the adults’ bodies’ proportions are the same as the children’s. I drew in a similar way when I was a child, too. However, when children get older and become teenagers the difference in drawing style is dramatic, as you say.

I hope you have had a great weekend.


Today’s useful English

(to) have a (nice, long) soak (in a bath/hot spring)

breathtaking scenery

(to) tie the knot

(to) get married/divorced

(to) cost the earth

(to be) pricey

(to) break up (with someone) OR (to) split up (with someone)

the marriage/divorce/birth/death/unemployment rate

(to) make an observation (about something)


I am happy you have been home, Lewis. The scenery is beautiful. I hope you will have a good rest!

We also send gifts of money! But the reason of divorce is difficult to guess. The children have grown up, so they don’t need to tolerant each other. right?

Well i suppose that husbands and wives they used to work separately. But after retirement, they have to face each other whole the day. And this might be too stressful for wives to take, isn't it??

I think Terry's got it! Because so many Japanese couples spend such little time together due to work commitments and so on, after retirement they realise that they have actually grown apart. This then leads to tension at home, and ultimately in divorce.

What a landscape!I never thought such an unbelievable fog could exist elsewhere than in a java-animation e-card!

Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.

August 2006

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