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For the weekend my hosts took me to what I guess is the biggest tourist attraction in this area. Everybody all around the world knows about Niagara Falls and that’s where we went yesterday. (more…)

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I woke up early to catch a train to Nara, the old imperial city south of Kyoto. As I wrote yesterday it’s very easy to travel by train, so I injstantly got my express train from Kyoto station to Nara and was there after around 40 minutes. (more…)

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Today I didn’t have any guides because my friends have their own lifes and have to make a living by working, which is why I stepped out on my own to discover some areas of this big city which might not all show up in your usual guidebook. (more…)

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I am always fascinated about how music crosses boundaries and how difft styles of music are percieved and transformed in different countries. Of course there are certain styles and genres that just don’t seem to transfer well into another culture. Just think of this horrible German style of pop techno, widely known as “Ballermann Schlager”, a type of music played at the infamous bars and discos all around the Spanish island of Mallorca invaded by German tourists. think of American country music which has some bands in other countries, but that just looks like a very bad rip off, especially over here.

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So this is it, this year’s tournament is finally over and the end of it wasn’t the high class game one would expect for a final of a competition. Well, at least the neutral spectator would expect a slightly closer competiton. But this is high school baseball, things like this happen. I wonder if this was the highest scoring win in the final in Koushien history. (more…)

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So Kölner Haie lost Game 4 of the finals on Sunday in dramatic fashion. The whole series remained at a dealock in almost every single game and these must have been the closest playoffs I have ever experienced in my entire life. Of the eight teams who made it to the post season at least six might have had a legitimate shot at the title. So the final series ended with a 3-1 victory of Eisbären Berlin, who, alongside with Adler Mannheim, dominated German ice hockey over the past few years. (more…)

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While the playoffs in the NHL are just getting started the German DEL is already in the final stages. The past few years haven’t been very interesting in the domestic league with Adler Mannheim and Eisbären Berlin splitting up titles every year. It has been especially frustrating for my local team, Kölner Haie, who enter a season each year as one of the big favourites and then fail miserably in the playoffs. They won their last title (of eight in total) in 2002 and have made some impressive shots at the championship since then, but there weren’t successful at all. (more…)

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