Turning Japanese, Tsunami Japanese Restaurant, Perth, Australia

I few weeks ago Travis and I ventured into a little restaurant on the edge of Stirling Hwy called Tsunami.  It was a cold wintery night – we both felt like a sashimi fix and had heard many a good things about this restaurant.  We arrived to find the place quite full, albeit it was a Saturday night. Fairy lights twinkled in the back of the cosy dark wooded restaurant.  We sat at the front of the restaurant and inspected our menus.

Feeling quite hungry we decided to share a sushi and sashimi platter for entree, followed by Patagonian tooth-fish for Travis and a hitori sukiyaki for me.  The tooth-fish was accompanied with enoki mushrooms, bok choy, kayaku gohan (mixed rice and vegetables) and leek.  My sukiyaki was made of wagu beef, vegetables, tofu and udon noodles. We also shared a pot of green tea between us.

The platter was delicious, beautifully presented and satisfied my fishy cravings.  We also enjoyed the mains, although Travis noted that the tooth-fish was somewhat oily (however he did acknowledge the health benefits of oily such fish).  All in all the food was enjoyable, service was friendly and the outing pleasant.  We were quite full and decided not to have dessert.   We finished the night at our friends’ house, playing poker and eating mango pudding.

We are now certified English teachers, Perth, Australia

Over the last 5 days we completed a TESOL certificate through the Australasian Training Academy. TESOL, which stands for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, is a fundamental course which teaches the necessary skills to teach English in foreign countries.

Whilst, the course was crammed into 20 hours, with homework and presentation preparation during after hours, the course was still a lot of fun. Generally, the course was centered around teaching children, with some brief mention of adult students. One of the memorable techniques taught is the Rassias method, invented by Professor John Rassias, which teaches students a foreign language through a form of theoretical learning.

The highlights were group presentations, where we had to create and execute a 15 minute lesson for children. These lessons were in a non-English language, which gave both the student teachers and students an idea of how teaching and learning a foreign language felt.

Sonya’s group taught the class five words in Mandarin, and my group taught the class four words in Spanish. The teaching predominantly consisted of Flash-cards and various children’s games, all which the adult students seemed to enjoy immensely.

More photos from the group presentations can be found here.

Beethoven Restaurant, Perth, Australia

For Sonya’s birthday we decided to invite our friends out for dinner and try the Beethoven restaurant in Applecross. We chose Beethoven due to its German cuisine which we all hadn’t had many experiences eating.

We all didn’t know what to expect, and judging by their website; which needs immense improvement, we thought we would all be for an interesting experience, to say the least.

On arrival we were greeted by Helga (the restaurant owner) and shown to our table which was situated next to the fireplace. The interior was cosy with German flavoured decorations, and an obligatory painting of Beethoven above the fireplace.

The night started with customary very tall glasses of German bear made by the Weihenstephan brewery. For the entrée, we shared a Munich platter of meats and sausages which were all very nice. I ordered the Wiener schnitzel, and Sonya the chicken breast. Our friends ordered various other dishes.

After placing our orders was when things got a little weird. A few minutes later, the waitress informed us that they had run out of rib eye steak which forced a few of our friends to reorder. About an hour or so later, the waitress informed one of our friends that his pork shank had been overcooked, and if he would still like it served.

At around two hours from ordering, our meals finally arrived. The chef somehow managed to leave out the gravy, and included diced mushrooms only in a gravy jug accompanying my schnitzel. Our friend, who decided he would still like his pork shank, found it to be severely burnt on one side, but continued eating from the other. Finally, when we had all finished our meals, they brought out the bowl of fries we ordered, apologising and offering to remove them from the bill.

Overall, it was an interesting experience, and was fun to try something different for a change. The waitress was friendly, the interior nice, but the food a little too dear for the quality.

Discovering Perth, Geocaching, Perth, Australia

A few weeks ago, Travis and I begun geocaching. I had not heard much about geocaching until Travis purchased his GPS and didn’t stop talking about what it could do, how it could do it, how cool it was etc etc. I figured geocaching would be a good way of exercising, whilst not actively thinking of about exercising and went along for the adventure.

The official Wikipedia definition of geocaching:

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”) anywhere in the world.

So far we have searched for five caches, with three successful finds. The first three caches we selected were relatively close to our houses, and required a 2-3km walk to the location. Our most recent cache was slightly further (about 7km) from Travis’ house, so we drove and then walked (I know, we could have walked the whole way, but it was getting dark!).

At this stage, we seem to be sufficiently skilled in locating the general vicinity of the cache, however we have spent some amount of time within the 5m radius from the cache (according to the GPS) searching high and low for the cache. Perhaps this is commonly the most difficult part of geocaching, or maybe we have a bit more learning to do!

After a few searches, we have so far encountered large eight-legged insects, climbed rocks and suffered minor injuries. The injury was inflicted on Travis whilst exploring a cliff face marked “Cliff Risk Area”. Despite all this, our efforts have rewarded us with beautiful views around places we’ve never explored. It’s also fascinating to see what’s inside a cache, who has been there and where in the world particular items have travelled.

My personal tips for geocaching would be: bring insect repellent, a camera and wear comfy, closed shoes.

Anyone for a game of chess?

Careys Find