Japanese banking issues & winter fashion

Joan sent me this: “Following the problems in the financial sector in the US, uncertainty has now hit Japan. In the last 7 days the Origami Bank has folded, the Sumo Bank has gone belly up and the Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches. Yesterday, it was announced that the Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today’s shares in the Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived. While Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cuts, the Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black. Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at the Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.”

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Planet Oktoberfest

masskrugOnce a year this city goes totally nuts. I know enough people who can‘t stand the madness that is the Wiesn, as the Oktoberfest (www.oktoberfest.de) is known here.  A Wiese is a meadow, and that’s what the Theresienwiese, as the fairgrounds are called, once were, years ago, when King Ludwig and Queen Therese decided to celebrate their wedding here in 1810. In the first years the Oktoberfest was modeled on the ancient Olympics and was actually a sporting event. Today the only sports involved are raising a liter of beer in a glass mug (that‘s just over three pounds) and keeping your balance while you dance on the table (which is not allowed, but everybody does). Oh, and there’s finger wrestling, or Fingerhakln, of course, and running hurdles to get to the restrooms. So the disciplines aren’t too challenging. Continue reading Planet Oktoberfest

Fashion week

Watch a wonderful slide show overview of fashion weeks all around the world, from the New York Times – link here. What a diversity of looks! I love the culture and imagination that goes into these creations. When I was a girl, I used to sit in my mother’s boutique and read Vogue Magazine cover to cover and dream of the fabrics and the colors and the way the clothes must look when the models moved in them. Sometimes my mother would take me downtown to the G Street Remnant Shop to buy fabrics and patterns for dresses and gowns her customers had ordered – or for a dress for her or for me. Now the Remnant Shop has moved out into the suburbs to Rockville, Maryland, and is part of a mall. Dressmakers still wear measuring tapes around their necks and pins on their sleeves – the uniform of the people behind fashion.

If you want to practice fashion and clothing vocabulary, visit esl-lab.com.