Mara Groner

A cat from the animal shelter (tierheim)

I have a friend who wanted to get a cat, so I went with her to the tierheim. Tierheim literally translates as “animal home,” and it’s what we would call an animal protection center (dobutsu aigo senta) in Japan. In Germany, though, you can’t buy dogs and cats in a pet store like you can in Japan. You either get them from someone whose pet has had babies, or buy them directly from a breeder. Continue reading “A cat from the animal shelter (tierheim)”

The Eastern Alps

The Alps, one of the most famous mountain ranges in the world, traverse 1,200 km east-west across the center of Europe (Slovenia at the eastern end and France at the western end), with Mont Blanc (4,810 m) the highest of its peaks. Continue reading “The Eastern Alps”
Yuriko Mikami

Work vs. personal interests

Those of you who work—how did you end up choosing your job? I was born into a music-loving family, so grew up around musical instruments from a young age. It wasn’t that I had any special talent for music, but I always had the sense that musicians were artists and somehow wonderful—so I just kind of ended up on that path. Maybe that’s why I’ve lived a life where there’s not much distinction between my personal interests and my work. Continue reading “Work vs. personal interests”
Megumi Ota

We have snails today!

During the late spring and early summer, you start to see signs posted at the entrance to cafés or on the counter next to the coffee machines. They’re just regular letter-sized pieces of paper with the phrase “Há Caracois!” written on them. Sometimes they’re accompanied by a drawing of a snail. The signs are saying that the café has snails available. Continue reading “We have snails today!”
Keiko Miki

Bringing you news from Dublin, the capital of Ireland

First off, Japanese people are always mistaking Ireland for some other country. Sometimes I can kind of see how they do it—with countries like Poland, Finland, or maybe the closest-sounding one, Iceland. People often give me these totally over-the-top reactions like, “It’s freezing there, right!?” and I’ll give some bumbling reply like, “the summers are cool, but the winters are… not that cold I guess.” I’ve even had someone mistake it for New Zealand. I mean, it’s not even on the same continent, so I couldn’t even bring myself to launch some smart comeback (of course I busted out laughing). Continue reading “Bringing you news from Dublin, the capital of Ireland”
Susumu Yamada

Obon, Kisei, Oyabuiri – Festival of the Dead, Returning Home, Servants’ Holiday

Terms like these often make an appearance around this time of the year, but if you live overseas, it’s no simple matter to go back to your family home, so if you do go back after being away for some time, you start thinking six months beforehand about who you’re going to meet, when and where, as well as what you’re going to see, buy, and eat, to narrow down your itinerary. Continue reading “Obon, Kisei, Oyabuiri – Festival of the Dead, Returning Home, Servants’ Holiday”
Patrick Sacco

Scottish breeds

Scotland can be classified as one of the most biodiverse regions of the UK and Europe and its enormous variety of landscapes facilitates the life of thousands of species who can enjoy protection from both inhabitants and institutions, all aware of the importance of conservation and its role in the future of this region. Continue reading “Scottish breeds”