A true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan since March 2008.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 6 - March 25, 2008

Day 6

Had an intense training exercise starting from 9am and ending 6pm. Got into a group with eight (8) of us. It was an even group, in that it had 4 males and 4 females...and at the same time 4 whites and 4 blacks.

We were given an activity to write on a paper some info about the person sitting to the right of us including: their name, drawing their face, and drawing their favourite animal in about 2 minutes.. It was very funny. You dont want to see what the girl beside me drew for my face.. I told her that a dog was my favourite animal and she drew something looking like a cat. Let that be your guide.

We were also told to create a country name, with a national flag along with an animal that represents the country as well as a motto for that country.

Our country was JEBU because the persons in the group were from Jamaica, England, Bahamas and the USA. The animal was a Tipig a cross between a tiger and a pig... because they are both fierce animals and plus 2 persons like the tiger while another like to eat pork (something to that effect). The motto was out of many one people (yeaahhh) moving forward... A combination of Jamaica and Bahamas motto.

We had two main presenters afterward plus an activity.

One presentation focused on safety in Japan

We were warned to always walk with our passport before we get our alien registration card because the police can stop you randomly and if u have no ID...they can take you in for questioning.

Also they warned that there is a zero tolerance approach against drinking and driving and if your friend was driving you home and police stops him and he is drunk while you are not...You are still in trouble. Also if you have a friend that was involved in drugs but you never knew, and your number is in his phone ...then every single person in that phone in problems.

The other presentation focused on the first day at work as well as your first lesson to teach

They told us how we should introduce ourselves to the people in English and that we should speak very slowly. They said we should always keep a smile on our faces no matter what and always jump around like wi nuh have nuh sense and make the kids happy. they also said DO NOT touch the kids on their heads because they thinks it belittles them ??? and also not to point on them with our index fingers but should point with our full hand wide open??? We are not to wipe our nose in public using a hand Kirchief but we should use tissue instead????

We cannot in any way wear the same shoe that we wore outside...into the school building so we must always have an inside shoes and an outside shoes... and if you are caugt wearing ur inside shoes outside or viceversa...you are in big trouble with the school authorities. Our hands should not in any way be in our pockets when teaching as it is a sign of disrespect and also being 10 minutes early for work is considered late. Yes quite a different society and may take a while to get adjust to. OOh and when on the trains...answering your cell phone and talking is very offensive...

They also encouraged us to rap with the staff teachers and join clubs at the schools..however once you have joined a club..then you are in it until you leave the country and if you are asked to clean up something...they will be expecting you to do it all the time...you only need to do it once and thats it. They have clubs like basket ball clubs, baseball, football etc etc But at these club meetings that keep everyday for example the baseball...they maybe there for 3 houys practising their swing, without a ball in sight and thats the club meeting everyday. And for basket ball its warming up for hours and no hoop shooting. I have never heard anything similar to this in my entire life. Also the lawn tennis club, there is no tennis court but they may go on the asfalt and get a ball, bat it away... run back for it when its gone...get it and bat it again FOR HOURS, no one on the recieving end.

Anyway our groups also did a skit about what not to do in Japan or what may seem offensive in a restaurant or in a public place etc...That too was so much fun.

After this I did some jogging around the hotel with 2 guys from the USA then went to the train station and had dinner.


Derri said...

WoW! Japanese culture is very different. The shoes, the pointing, the sneezing, the hands in the pocket! Have to send up some extra prayers for you to remember it all. It’s gonna be one interesting year. Hope you can keep on documenting this.

smartstephen said...

if they every find out about your blog, u r in serious trouble young man.... callin di ppl dem culture strange.

thats what we need though, 10 minutes early still considered late?? gee thats strict

zRö TöLéRàNçE said...

Dave...you better not join any clubs....sound like DEATH trap.

stacey said...

my dearest bravest dave:

i am so happy for you, yet so terrified (lol) thank God you are brave or else all this would not be so exciting. am sitting in school library, catching up with your "activities" and i am in stitches (from laughing)- dem soon run me out!! am so happy to know you are adjusting (or something) and am already anxious to see what day 7 will bring as you let us into your "new" life. of course, am enjoying living vicariously thru you. keep your head up and keep the faith. lots of love, staci

Anonymous said...

this is amazing! I already knew about the shoes thing, but i didnt know you could get in trouble for it!

Japanese culture is strict...and for the most part stranger than i know/knew.