$220 Mangos in Kagoshima, Japan

I love free travel, and presenting at conferences is a nice way to get some work done in my field, and see a bit of the country while I’m at it. This time was Kagoshima on Kyushu Island in the south of Japan. There was a visit to a Canadian Frigate, the conference, and a brief introduction to a place that I definitely plan to visit again!

In June, the ACTJ (Association of Canadian Teachers in Japan) had their annual conference in Kagoshima, Kyushu. While the weather in Tokyo was rainy and unstable, it was warm and tropical down in Kagoshima. And with fewer foreign residents than any other major city in Japan, it really felt, well, like Japan. It was a very short trip, so I only have a couple of pics. First, a map so you can see where Kagoshima is (I assume you know how to find your way to Kyushu).

On the morning after I arrived, the day of the conference, we were invited to a tour of the HMCS Ottawa — a Canadian frigate. The sailors aboard were all great guys — playing ice hockey even when they stop over in Manila. In spite of the high-tech weaponry, we were all drawn to the old fashioned machine guns.

The presentation went well, although the highlight of the conference was listening to presentations on ethnography by Andrew Reimann, blogs by Adam Murray and a keynote address about Margaret Atwood by Gregory Strong. It was all worth the trip. Proof that I was actually there at work and not just drinking Kagoshima Potato Sake:

And if anybody is interested in reading the published version of my presentation on Canadian slang and on the issue of language use in ELT materials, you can download the pdf file here:

After the conference, we met with loads of students, and of course I tried to pimp my book to anybody who walked by.

And, of course, no blog entry would be complete without one of those “holy crap is Japan expensive” moments. These mangoes were on “sale” at the airport in Kagoshima. For those too busy to see how much 21,000 yen is — it’s about USD200. Ouch. Needless to say, none of my friends got any mangoes as souvenirs.