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

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 102 - Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 102

Met my friend Tomomi in the rain and we went to church together. She and her boyfriend said that the people at church miss me because I give them peer joke and make them laugh all the time (I only missed church last week) . I was shocked to see one of my ALT friends popped up at the church and I was like darn I feel bad because I never once invited one of these guys to church :( :( ... My translator didn't come because her son is in the hospital :( I did pray for them though... So because my translator wasn't in church, I couldn't understand a word the pastor was saying. I was just looking on with a blank stare and nodding as if I know what she was saying. I think I heard about 3 Japanese words that I understood. My ALT friend did tell me after church what the pastor was saying though. We then ate after church as per normal (hey is not only the food I come church for ok)... and chatted then went home...

When I got home guess what I did????? I watched more Naruto !!! :) I found out that Naruto is actually a city in Japan where there is this massive world pool thing in the sea. So ships cant actually sale there. Any way... Later

Day 101 - Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 101

Stayed in all day like my average Saturday and watched guess what?? More NARUTO :) Also spoke to a couple of my Jamaican friends in Japan and also called my mother using skype.

Thats all for today still suh later....

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 100 - June 27, 2008 (2008年6月27日)

Day 100 (100日目)

Yes my 100th day in Nihon and yes I am having this overwhelming urge to stay another year

:( :)... There are far more positives than negatives here (when compared to Jamaica), if I am looking at things from an economic point of view that is. Plus I really do enjoy my job. But it really boils down to whatever is the Lord`s will. I will keep praying about this very tough decision.

So finally after almost 3 months of going to this school every other Friday, I didnt make a wrong turn :) :) Normally I would go here from 10 am - 5pm but today was 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. My friend from England who was my team teacher at our training in Narita (Day 9) text me today and said that in the schools, the first 3 months is our honey moon period. Thereafter, it might get a little different and difficult. If this is the honey moon period for some people, I dont want to imagine what it will be like later on. For me, I hope it just get better and better.

I then had yakiniku (barbeque meat) with my main school teachers. Yakiniku is wonderful (subarashi) 素晴らしい ... I decided not to drink tonight because, I would be driving to Karaoke later on, and if the police ever should stop you and you have even 0.0001% of alchol in your system, you can go to jail and possibly get deported. It is an interesting sight to see some of my fellow senseis drunk or close to it though. At yakiniku we chatted and had a good time. They told me that I am the most sociable ALT they have ever met :):):) and they love my classes :):):) After yakiniku, I went to karaoke with my ALT friends and it was fun.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 99 - Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 99

Today, the grade 3 kids taught me some more Japanese. They were teaching me the Kanji symbols for the different days of the week. These classes are interesting. They even had a short welcoming party for me where they made this contraption in which, when I pull a string, some coloured paper would fly out. They also made some tiny books and a pencil case with my name written in Romanji (Deibu) on it. How is it that these Japanese grade 3 students are so super intellegent when compared to an average Jamaican Kid??? Is it their genetics? Or is it the environment?? Or a combination of both plus some other factors... I know you do have some brilliant Jamaican kids, but these Japanese kids are like close to geniuses from early. And its not just a few of them, its most of them.

After teaching a couple more classes, I played basket ball with the grade 5 and 6 kids, then track and field with the grade 2 and 3 kids. Boy this job is tiring but farrr from stressful. A senior guy with our company did say that a major aim of our job is having fun while making the kids have fun as well (even if they dont learn a thing). Before I was ready to leave and go home, I noticed this little kid started hitting the other female kids in her path, and hitting them really hard too. This was because 1 kid ran half of the distance that she did. I simply walked away and left them fighting because I plan not to part any fights in Japan, whether petty or not. As I cant forget what my friend told me about the Jamaican guy who decided to part a fight and ended up going to jail with the guys who were actually fighting. The guys who were actually fighting, possibly ended up coming out of jail before him...

I drove home then went to soccer with the kids then to our usual ALT Thursday link up. Today we had curry and Spaghetti night. As usual we played games and chatted. My Canadian/Japanese friend gave me his heater, because he will be leaving in August. He is also giving me his Catan board game. I hope when I am ready to leave (if I leave........................ Just kidding) I will be able to some how get rid of most of the unnecessary stuff that I have here.

I read my friend's blog which I find funny... This is a piece of what she wrote:

Here's this weeks update:

I momentarily mentioned about the kids of riot class 2-2, a class of bad kids, that are both a nightmare and a riot. A riot as in hilarious, any teachers' headache and heart. I had them twice this week. I know, how awesome! I don't want to go into descriptions of these special case kids but their usual teacher was out. Ms. Oblivious. Yes she too suffers from a similar issue. She shows up to the wrong classes on an occasion, finds herself on the wrong floor entirely. So, Ms Head teacher was in charge (the english head teacher but I actually don't think thats her title, anyway). So she is strict. lol. That won't work with this class, ha ha.

They talk back in English during class actually, not much japanese. She tried to tell the leader kid off. Who is quite the cutest kid ever (this is the junior high school 8th grade but some kids look so small, cute and childlike). He shouts back, in English:

Kid: "I don't speak Japanese, this is English class!"

Teacher: "Be quiet, now repeat after me"

Kid: "No, you repeat after me! This is english class."

(ps I am not the teacher so discipline has nothing to do with me I just try to be sympathetic and not laugh)

Lol! I tell you I never believed the Japanese are good quiet kids script. These kids are kids like any other. They drip of teenage awkwardness and rebelion. Like for instance I see some of the high school kids with baggy pants and shirts. Boys with their hair all kinds a strange ways. Girls, oh the girls! Them skirts be way too short, I tell you. If I see anymore up thigh, and the thing is that they ride bikes to school. Underwear galore!

Well my friends, later zeen!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 98 - Wednesday, June 25, 2008

DAY 98

Got my final observation (for now) today by about 15 people, I heard that the next time will be about November or December. After the observation, this Japanese lady came up to me and said "Very good lesson" then she started talking some more Japanese that I didnt understand. All I could do was nod my head and give her a broad smile :) ... My observations were for grades 4 where I did "what sports do you like" and grade 6 I did "May I help you? What would you like?" They both went well in my estimate...
I told the office administrator that I was possibly heading for Hiroshima this weekend and she instantly got a bus schedule for me. These people can be wonderful sometimes, well the people at this school are nice all the time actually, the principal here is the best. I am glad that this is my main school. The grade one teacher then told me that they are planning to have yaki niku (Barbeque) on Friday at the same place that I went on day 46. They then invited me... I'm sorry, it is expensive but I cant resist this offer. Im not going to drink this time though because I cannot forget what happened on day 46. So I'm going to have to put off my planned visit to Hiroshima until next weekend, and go Yaki niku this Friday :) :) :)

I then went home and later on drove 2 of my ALT friends in the area to our usual Wednesday English conversation. The lady that gave me the hair cut, brought a map of Hiroshima for me, because I plan to visit my Jamaican friends who are down that side. The map is a back up plan, just in case I decide to drive the way... It would take about 4 hours from where I am...(Possibly the same distance from Portmore to Mobay in Jamaica) to get there. At our English conversation thing, all we did this time was played the apples game... The man who normally drive us to this place, said he watched a program on the TV about Jamaica and our wonderful beaches. He said almost all the guys on the TV resembled me... Boy these people of different race. Most of my white and asian friends say that I resemble one or more of the following persons:
Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, Chris Tucker or Dave Chappelle
Some body please answer me truthfully.... Do I resemble any of these persons??????

For me I cant see it. The closest one I would probably say is Chris Tucker because his eyes look as big as mine.

Well later people...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 97 - Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 97

Went to the school that seem to only give me lesson plans minutes before the class begins (with the exception of the English coordinator), but I left there early to go to the bank.
At lunch time in the schools, what I do sometime is to hide the wrapped up food that I dont like. I would take it up from my tray, look around if anybody looking, put it in my pocket then dispose of it afterward. So I was trying to do the samething today with the dried seaweed (nori) because it taste bad. So I took it up and hid it in my pocket. Apparently a kid noticed that none was in my tray and it wasnt too long that another kid placed a brand new one in my plate... Not only that, I saw a teacher approaching me with another one as well, I had to quickly tell him that I was already given one... So much for hiding. I ended up having to eat it with the kids staring in my morning.

I went to the bank today to lodge some money in order to pay for my plane ticket to Germany... I then went home and sleep for a little while then go on the internet. A few of my female ALT friends were going to zazen (The temple meditation business) but I was half asleep so I didnt bother to go anywhere. Plus I dont too too trust that temple business.
Thats all for today....

Day 96 - Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 96

Today I was observed by about 17 persons and this was inclusive of the man who is the head of the Board of Education (BOE) in my area. The Board of Education is the people who give the contracts to our company. The schools can do nothing without their approval. I was observed at 2 of my classes. Again they had all type of video camera business and digital cameras all over the place, while they were writing down, only God knows what. My fellow ALT friend also with my company was among the persons observing me as well. I made sure to ask him at the end, what the heck are they writing down... He said it has nothing to do with any evaluation thing but has more to do with the teachers, Vice principals and principals getting ideas for their schools and lessons... I was observed at a grade 1 class, which didn't go to well in my estimate, because the kids were loud and hard to manage sometime. In addition to that, this is one of the teachers that love to come to me with the lesson plan 2 - 5 minutes before the class begins. Only the grade 1 and 2 teachers at this school, gwaan wid that business. I taught colours and shapes at this class. The other grade that I was observed at was grade 3, and this one went pretty well. This is the class of the English Coordinator and he is prepared most of the time. At this class I taught, "How do you feel? " ... "I am hungry, happy, sad, angry etc" I hope to get a video clip of this lesson soon to show you guys ;) it was pretty interesting.

Went to bible study tonight and the persons there said they liked my new hair cut. So why is it no one tell me that I need to get a hair cut when my hair is growing out of hand??? Is it that they think I will be offended? Any way one of the Japanese ladies at the bible study, touched my hair and she gave the same exact reaction like the other Japanese who were brave enough to ask and touch my hair. They do this, "Woooooooooooh!!!!!" with an astonished look on their faces (The principal at my school today did the same thing to me earlier as well). My friends at the bible study also seem to notice that I am losing weight as well. It look like I need to go on a weight game program now then, but try to keep the fat away from my belly. ;)

I went to bed about 2:15 am on Tuesday morning because my computer crashed briefly and I decided that I would stay up all night to get it fixed.

Day 95 - Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 95

Woke up at about 8 am in order to catch the first train back to my town. So all of us at the place got up and cleaned up the place then left for the train station. It was so interesting to see the facial expressions of many of the Japanese people that saw us on the train. Maybe it was the first time they were seeing so many foreigners, all in one place... This felt good, even though, I was the only black person on the train. I remember looking at this one Japanese old lady, she was staring at each and every one of us in the train, maybe about 30 of us in all. And when her eye caught me, its like her mouth opened even wider and she stared for a little longer. This again wasn't uncomfortable at all because there was just so many of us. We then got of this first train and separated in all different directions to go all over Okayama. Only 3 of us were heading for Niimi. I was willing to take the slow train because it was cheaper. But the other guys decided that they wanted to take the faster train. So because I cant deal with the stares all by myself, I paid the extra money to go on the train with the other guys. The JET guy's Japanese girlfriend then dropped me at the hotel, where I took my car and drove home.

When I got home, all I did was chat online and on the phone then went to bed.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day 94 - Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day 94

So Today was one of the most, if not the most eventful Saturdays for me in Japan thus far, it was absolutely great (sugoi) :)...

So today I drove to my Thursday school to meet this Japanese lady name Teruyo that come to our Wednesday English conversation thing... She owns a family salon and she wanted to trim my hair (remember from Day 84 ?) . So I drove behind her for about 15 minutes from my Thursday school to get to her house (which is a salon) in a place name Tojo which is in Hiroshima... I was supposed to meet her at 2:00 pm but I was running a little late and met her at about 2:20 pm... But I was in so much of a hurry because I was going to the city at a JET AlT get together. Me and my friend from near me, were supposed to meet at 4:40 pm for the train... So the story continues... I got to her house at about 2:40 pm and I wanted to leave by 3:45 pm to drive back home and then to the train station to catch the 4:50 pm train... Teruyo made sure to tell me from early that nobody in her house except her speaks English... When I got there, her husband, her mom and her father were all trimming someone. She then asked me to sit in the salon chair... After examining my hair for a while, which they found quite interesting, they started attempting to trim my hair... WOYYYY , the shear could not even budge. So eventually, 3 of them had to be in my hair all at once, trying all manner of things to get my hair cut how I would like it... Her husband, her mom and herself had to be combing, brushing, shearing and them tings to make an attempt at trimming my hair. OOh boy and remember seh that me need fi catch the train... So as soon as they completed their attempt, I asked her how much is the cost. She in return asked me how much I paid in Jamaica to trim. So I told her about 1000 yen which is actually more than in Jamaica. I was still not fully satisfied with my hair cut though...As a matter of fact, I dont really like how it look, but I give them props for their first attempt at trimming a black man's hair. The trimming process ended at about 4:00 pm and I was like "darn", the train leaves at 4:50 pm and I have to stop at home first... I started feeling stupid because what I should have done, was to carry my "going out" clothes and everything else that I would need, with me to the Barber. Then I could just stop at the station and jump on the train..

Teruyo then drove in front of me to a point where I remembered, but she was driving a bit too slow so I had to overtake her and do some serious speeding to my apartment, woooy if any police did ever see mi, it would not be pretty at all. I actually got to my apartment at 4:43 pm there about and the guy was already at the station. So I grabbed my camera and dashed off again in the car and sped to the hotel to park my car there and ran to the station. Guess what??? Yes I missed the train :( :( :( and the next train would be at 6:38 pm... I was again very dissappointed in myself because I could have tried to get to Teruyo by 2:00 pm instead of 2:20 pm and/or as I said earlier; just carry everything with me... I was saying to myself that I am not going to bother go to this JET ALT link up because, I didnt want to be alone on the train again. So Iwalked out of the sation very sad, but then I said "NOOOO MAN mi still ago" because I love them get together tings here.... Any way, I went back home and as soon as mi turn on the computer and started chatting to my friend Stephanie, both online and on the phone, it was pretty much 6:20 pm ... Stephanie seh mi hair cut nuh look too bad still :) ... you guys can make your own judgement calls...

So again I rushed off to the station and parked at the hotel and ran to the train... This train was very slow and sometimes it even had to go slower because of some tree limbs in the path of the train. Every now and then the train would also rock from left to right, which was quite an uncomfortable feeling, because when I look through the window, it would be a very far fall... The good thing however is that this train was empty, so I didnt get any stares. I eventually had to get off this train then get on to another one. This one now had more people, but them never stare pon mi too much. When I got off the train, someone from the link up drove up the same time as I got off the train. She was from Canada and when she dropped me to the place, the others who were at the entrance (except for one of my friend's who live near to me) seemed quite shocked to see me. Needless to say again that I was the lone black person out of about 30 - 40 persons. It felt a little bit uncomfortable at first, but then I simply started to chat with everybody and then it slowly turned into fun :) :)... I met quite a few of the JET ALTS and we were eating, chatting, playing video games and just making a whole lot of noise in the middle of no where :) There were only 3 ALTs from my company though, inclusive of me... I was chatting for a good while with the other ALT from my company, and she said this year will be her final one, then she will go back to England... It seem like everybody from our company has the very same experience in that we love the job, but dislike the company to a point because of their dis-organisation...

After all the eating and chatting, I was watching football (Holland vs Russia) with some of the guys, until about 4am in the morning, then I went to sleep. It was a pretty good experience over all...

Day 93 - Friday, June 20, 2008

Day 93 {3 MONTHS}

Can you even believe that its already 3 months???... Boy the time period between the 2nd and the 3rd months came a little fast though.

Today I got some gas in the morning before going off to work...And I almost got there late...After all the classes were finished I was so falling asleep. I had to start walking up and around the school and make it look as if I am reading the Japanese posters that are inside the building. Shortly after that, I saw the kids running to the gym, so I went in there as well.

I am trying to get myself to start studying the 2nd set of Japanese alphabet (Katakana) but there is just no motivaton. :( I must admit though that I have been seriously contemplating staying here for another year, as much as I was so adamant about the 1 year thing. So I am now keeping my options open and praying about it.

After work today, I just went straight home. Mi cant badda wid the football ting again for now...

Thats all for today...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Day 92 - Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 92

Ok, I mentioned this earlier but just to say it again because I am not fully yet used to this Japanese system... For most of these schools, it is recommended that you have at least 3 shoes....
1) For outside walking
2) for inside walking
3) the third for the gym if you care to go in.

Today some parents came to view my classes. Do you think this information was passed on to me?? Of course not... So now I am realizing that its only one school warn me of these things... and thats my main school. At the other schools, they tell you either when you arrive the day at work or while the class is going on and the people walk in, then the teacher will come and say "ooh, so and so will view you today and there they are" Japanese, Japanese I tell yuh. I wonder if thats how they deal with other Japanese or is just us foreigners?? Or a chuu mi black?? A joke :) a cant dat, but then again hmmmm...

The way how the kids at this school on Thursday love the pool, even in the rain they are going in same way... Although the water is freezing... No starrr..
Today the grade 3 kids dragged me out of the staff room to teach me Japanese. They started teaching me the hiragana vowels that I already knew, as well as how to form words in Hiragana and what the words mean in English... These grade 3 students are exceptionally brilliant...

I went home then to soccer with the kids then to ALT link up. We played games, chatted and ate as usual. I am planning to go to the city on Saturday, to this Sayonara party thing that the JET Alts having... I wanted to drive down, but the other Alts say them taking the train... So it look like is train for me... And if them go away leave me, which is highly possible, then simply, mi jus stay inna mi yard...

Well later people...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 91 - Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day 91

Today I had my first set of observations and to say it was intimidating would be too light. This observation involved principals and teachers from all over the area... All of them staring at me intently and writing down Japanese on a piece of paper... Suh even if I was to peek at one of the papers, I wouldnt have a clue what it was saying... There were about 20 people watching me, and they were taking pictures and taping it... My my my, it was something else I tell you... The thing is that, I wasnt the only one nervous; The Japanese teacher was there dying as well... Ohh its funny to see how these teachers react when they are nervous... I have 2 more days of this nerve racking experience... Oh Lord of my salvation be with me...

I am still wondering if this was a serious thing though, or they are doing it intentionally to mess up people nerves... Because one a di time dem, mi si one of the observers standing and sleeping... and nearly buck and drop.... Not many people saw but I spotted him... I nearly buss out a laugh in the middle of the observation...

In my grade 6 class, I made a blunder. I am teaching about different types of food in English like Hamburger, french fries, pudding and those stuff. So near to the end of the lesson, I was supposed to read out a recipe for pudding to the class but they should guess what the recipe was... So at the top of the page was, "Recipe for Pudding" and of course that was the first thing I read out aloud... Then the teacher quickly stopped me and said no no, while laughing and the kids laughing at me as well... Then she explained it to me properly... Is because she didnt explain it to mi properly das why that happen :) .... Luckily this class was not one of the observation classes mi a tell yuh cause woyyyyy.... it would not look pretty... Well there were 2 recipes so I did the second one properly...

After work, I went home then to our usual Wednesday English Conversation thingy... We sat and chatted about all manner of good and evil. I learn many stuff about Japan as well as the culture of other countries at this
sitting. I had no clue that the Japanese use lime stone in their toothpaste as well as their pastry stuff like cakes and cookies... And I now confirm it today that most Japanese seem to be enthused about bugs and dem ting there that I dont like at all... Look at these stag beetles that they are holding... The man who drive us to this thing said he is going to invite us to a castle on July 19...

2 of mi Jamaican friends from a prefecture name Kobe (after which the basket ball player Kobe Bryant was named, because his dad lived in that city I was told) called me and we chatted for a little while. They are JET ALTs in Kobe, my new friends Memry Mattis - Bandoo and Ovando Bandoo...

Any way laters..

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 90 - Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 90

The teachers today who don`t normally follow the schedule, suddenly started giving me lesson plans. WOW I wonder what happened??? Could it be that the kocho sensei at my main school spoke to them about my little problem??? Even though one of the teachers decided to meet with me and talk about our lesson, on our way to the class.... its still better than teaching something totally different from what is on the schedule... One of the other teachers now just decided to change my class time today without telling me...Whats up with some of these Japanese??? Well its good that I dont have many major plans within work time because they just pop and change my class times when they feel like it. And I better be flexible about it.... At least he apologised about it... The one on Friday didnt apologise at all, he simply said changey changey...

They had pool time today at this school and I was sooo tempted to jump in. But unfortunately I was in my work clothes; the other teachers in the pool were however having a whale of a time... . I just sat by the pool side and watched them having fun... The English coordinator said I can go in there when I have the necessary stuff.

So after work I went to the plaza and bought a towel and a swimming cap.

I paid my gas bill today and it came up to 8500 yen which is for 2 months... I can't believe my gas bill is more expensive than my electricity and water bills combined. And its only used for cooking and for hot water in the shower and kitchen... I also got back my bank card today and I won't forget the number this time ;) I hope...

Day 89 - Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 89

When I got to work today, they told me that I have THREE (3) consecutive observations!!! Well thats why I rate this school (my main school), even though them not very flexible, them warn me of the impending observations from people all over the place. Even one of the ALTS that I link up with going to come observe me teach to blow wow... I will be observed on Wednesday, June 18th, Monday June 23rd and Wednesday, June 25th. Hey, how comes me nuh get to observe anybody ??? Hey a peer foolishness a gwaan innuh....

The principal called me in his office today and asked me if I had a problem with any teacher or with any of the schools. Mi tell him seh noo sah, of fear is a trap dem setting for mi... Then afterward I decided to be a little more honest and tell him that my Tuesday school not going according to the schedule I have... and one of my Friday schools give me a pop up observation. He is the coolest principal out of all the others so far. He also said if I have any problems at all, I should tell him..

After school I went home then bible study, which is always good...

Ok so for those who didn't get the video in their emails, on msn chat, or on facebook ... here is it on my blog...


So thats what one of my typical classes look like.. I also do:

Where is the station?
What colour do you like?
January, Februay, March
1 - 10
What are you doing? ... I am cooking, sleeping, clapping, dancing etc etc

And hey hey, all who laughing at mi video, especially in Jamaica because there is no way I could do this in a Jamaican school....Here are a few facts:

1) Chances are I am having more fun than you

2) I have no stress at all

3) I have no supervisor, and report to no one

4) I do no overtime

5) and last but not least, chances are I am making wayyy more money than you :) :) :)

What better job than to do a bunch of madniss, enjoy it and get paid for it? I am not sure yet... The only problem I might have is stagnation. Because this job is almost like relaxing when compared to my last job...This job poses no real challenge.. but hey, I'm not really complaining at all :)

Tek care mi tomodachi(es)

Day 88 - Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day 88

Went church today and as usual, ate and chatted afterward. Ahh, good Fellowship with Food is always Fun. When I got back home, I of course watched more Naruto.

I had little doubt that my mother was going to call today. Because I knew that as shi hear the word Japan on TV, shi going to call mi and then play it off like is just a normal call shi giving mi. Mommy know seh im sure dat its because she hear about the earthquake thats why she called. Suh as I saw her number on my phone, I just said " Mommy, I am ok, the earthquake was far away from me".. Shi nearly dead wid laugh...

I called my dad today for Father's day, and spoke to him for a little while. I wonder how many of his other kids called him?? He said he knew I would call though. My father is something else I tell yuh.
That Picture is me and me dad in December 2004.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 87 - Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 87

Left my friend's apartment with the other ALTs about 6:45 am then I went to the conbini (Convenient store) to get some breakfast... I went to sleep at about 7:15 am after eating my breakfast then got up back at about 3:30 pm... Wow the life, go to bed anytime, wake up anytime... In Jamaica, Im almost 100% sure that I would have some meeting or performance or something else to attend. That has been happening to me since January 2003 where almost every Saturday in Jamaica, I had a meeting or something. I am finally getting some time for myself now, which I am enjoying for the most part, as much as I miss my family and friends back at home... I am guessing that this is God's way of saying, "Bredrin, you need to rest yuh self sometime"

So after I got up at 3:30 pm, then my usual Saturday routine begins... Read my bible, and watch one whole heap of Naruto, Japanese Animation Cartoons... And K, I cannot believe that you spent 1 weekend watching Naruto and Bleach... :) After I watch about 7 of them, I will start to fall asleep.

Today when I checked my facebook messages, I saw where my friend was sending out prayer for me, because there was a BIG earthquake in Northern Japan, and they not hearing anything from me... I had no clue about this until I saw the message on facebook. I am in south western Japan and where I am doesnt experience earthquake frequently Thank God.... I hoping that I dont feel any at all.

Here is a link to the earthquake story...

Some of my friends are so clueless to the whole Japan/China difference... I remember when there was the Big China Earthquake last month or so, and my friend asking me if I am ok...

My mother bad and not so bad; when she heard the news about the stabbing in Tokyo, she called me same time and ask me if I'm alright... People!!! I live about 12 hours away from Tokyo in the country part of a prefecture that is not even popular... The closest BIG city to me is Osaka, which is about 3 hours away by bus... Many of my other friends think that the Japanese language has the Chung, yung, ching chang sounds... Those sounds are very Chinese... The Japanese Language has no such sounds, but instead has a whole lot of Mashta, deshta, ka, wa and mas sounds.... The spellings wrong but thats how they are pronounced... Like mashta is really spelled Mashita and Mas is spelled Masu, The "I" and the "U" are silent respectively. Right Stewart???

Any way later... And again, yes everybody, I am ok... The earthquake was far away from me...

Day 86 - Friday, June 13, 2008

Day 86

Went to the school that I have my favourite class at, which is the same school that I always make a wrong turn at. I found yet a shorter way to get their though... And yes yes I made a wrong turn again. Today as I got to the school, the Kyoto Sensei or Vice principal said to me that I will be reviewed/observed TODAY IN THE VERY FIRST LESSON!!!! She said that the observation will be carried out by all the teachers of this school along with the principal.... "So why didnt they inform me of this earlier"??, I thought to myself... At least at my last job in Jamaica, they would tell us at least a week or 2 in advance. So this class that they would observe me teaching at was to be the grade 1/2 class... Yes at this school they group the grades together, 1 with 2, 3 with 4 (my single favourite class out of all my five schools...Thats their picture up top, I know u cant see me too well but I am in the picture too) and 5 with 6 ... So about 10 minutes before the first class began, the grade 1 and 2 teachers rush me to go into the teaching room to review the lesson I would be teaching... We practiced the things I would say etc etc.. Then came the students followed by the kocho sensei (Principal), the kyoto sensei and the other members of the full time teaching staff. To be honest I was a little intimidated and nervous, especially because I wasn't informed before about this sudden observation that I am supposedly going to be graded on...

I think it went well though because I saw a lot of smiles on their faces, but I dont know for sure because this is Japan we are talking about... Then today they also decided to switch my schedule on me without informing me. I was there getting ready to go to my grade 3/4 class and when I got to the room, it was the grade 5/6 students I saw in there... I had to run back to the staff room and get the grade 5/6 material... ahhh bwoyyy....my other ALT friends would say "Welcome to Japan"

After work, I went home, skull football practice then went by my ALT friend's apartment to eat, play some video games and board games... We played this video game name guitar hero and this board strategy game name Catan... We played Catan until about 6:30 am Saturday morning. So We all left there at around 6:45 am Saturday morning...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Day 85 - Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 85

After my final class today, I saw the teacher and the students rushing away. They were heading for the pool. All I could do is just stand and watch :( and wish I could dive in the pool myself because the days are getting extremely HOT!!! now...Im going to start carrying some swim wear... Only the days alone hot though...But my friends told me that this is only the beginning, because when it touch August, its going to be toasting. Today is the first time I had to turn on the cold AC in my car.

In the staff office at this school they now have a rabbit. In all my life, I have never seen a rabbit in a school staff room until today. The Japanese kids are also very friendly with bugs and some weird Japanese insects and lizards that I've never seen before. This little kid in the picture decided to catch a very strange looking Japanese lizard and show me. The teacher holding it up said they are harmless, but mi still nuh like how dem look. Hey these Japanese kids can also draw incredibly well... You would be amazed by even the kids at grade 2 drawing skills. My JET ALT bredrin also said they are very good with making some really cool costumes from scratch.

My company called me today telling me that the gas people trying to get in touch with me, for me to pay my gas bill....For some strange reason, these people want to come to our apartments at 1 pm and 2 pm when everybody gone work, and some how expect us to be home. I tell you these Japanese are something else.

After work, I went home, then to soccer practice with the kids. This time, the kids decided to put me in the goal....What a mistake; from I know myself, I cannot keep goal, and chances are if a ball come towards me, it might go straight in there. So my little side got 2-0 off 2 very simple goals....ARRGGGG... Hey its still fun....

After soccer I went to another ALT link up, and this night was known as Octopus balls night... No no no its not what you are thinking so don't bother wid it... Its actually octopus that they cut up in tiny pieces then put them in flour and some other stuff and roll it into a ball, then fry it....At the link up I was chatting with this JET ALT yute that I dont see that often, as well as his Japanese girlfriend. He too join the band wagon and said I should write a book about my life, and he wasn't speaking about the Japan experience either. I told him a little about me going through high school to University and he thought it was quite interesting. He also said that he is considering to take up writing and that kind of thing and would be more than willing to do a biography on my life... He said further more, "Not many people know about Jamaica".... As much as we created Reggae, have the fastest runners, have a famous coffee etc etc... He said yup, not many people know that Jamaica exists... I started noticing this fact in 2005 when I went to Virginia in the USA to a world camp. I was shocked that some of the people were asking me where was Jamaica located and if we speak English etc...This girl I met from CzechRepublic even thought that Jamaica was some sort of tribe in Africa to blow wow...Others however knew very well about Jamaicans. Like this Italian yute that I also met at the world camp in Virginia, who could hardly speak English but was showing me a weed symbol on his shirt that wrote a big JAMAICA on it... Then showing me thumbs up... This German guy who I met in Brazil said his impression of Jamaica was a bunch of black people killing off each other (No comments).

I have been getting a couple of the "where is Jamaica??? and do they speak English??" questions here in Japan.... But a few of them do know about Jamaica, because about 5 teachers come to me already and told me about Bolt breaking the world record... This girl from the English conversation went on further to say that I resemble Bolt?????? Obviously shi lick har head some weh... But then again, Japanese thinks that all black people as well as all white people, look the same....

Hey Stewart, is not mi Japanese pronunciation mi have problems with, is only the spelling.

Hey Keisha, I'm supposed to be going to Germany to attend a conference for Baptist youths and youth workers from all over the world. It is known as the Baptist World Alliance Youth Congress (15th). It is held every 5 years in a different country. Last time it was in Hong Kong. I have been waiting for this opportunity for some time now....

Blessings people...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 84 - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 84

Some old people came to observe me teaching my grade 4 class today. I think a teacher told me about this some time ago but I didnt remember, so it actually was a surprise to me...Its a good thing this topic was one that I love teaching... "What sports, do you like?" "I like Soccer".. The old people were observing me and they were laughing their socks off...Afterward, I had to introduce myself to them in Japanese, which is a breeze for me now :) .. Even though this is my main school and I really appreciate them giving me my lesson plans and stuff; they get on my nerves sometimes...Well some of the teachers that is... Because many of them speak a little English, they do most of the class and want me to stay there like a puppet... The other schools, I pretty much do what I want... I simply asked the grade 4 teacher today, "Hey can I do a warm up exercise before we begin classes today?" (I do this before my classes at all the other schools)... The man going to ask mi WHY??? This thing not even take 2 minutes.

I left this school earlier than usual today to go to the bank and attempt to wire transfer some money to one of my Jamaican accounts. Luckily there was a lady there that I met at our English conversation thing on Wednesdays, and she assisted me a bit... Her English is not all that good, but I can understand her and her English is wayyyyyyy better than my Japanese. Now, because the last time I went to this bank was in April when I opened an account, it seemed as if I forgot my pin # for my card... I dont remember if I used the same pin # for my postal account and my bank account... So after 2 wrong attempts, the Japanese lady who was helping me basically said that I should choose a new pin # and wait next week to get a new card ....So I had to choose another way to wire transfer the money, which was writing up this Japanese paper. I only hope that the money gone to the Jamaican account..

After this I went home then to our English Conversation thing and I met this new Japanese lady who said she visited many places in Europe...She said she wants to try trimming my hair as she is a hair dresser... She said she really wants to try as its the very first time she was feeling a hair texture like mine... She kept touching it and saying "Omoshidoi" meaning "Interesting"...
I was there making them laugh, by showing them a combination of Japanese and Jamaican dance moves... They could not stop laughing... especially when I attempt to dance like a Japanese with their slow movements...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 83 - Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day 83

Ok so some teachers at this particular school just simply refuse to follow the English schedule that I have...Is it that they dont have one ?? They couldn't possibly have one and decide to stray from the topic that they should teach. It really is getting on my nerves. I am going to start showing them the schedule I have before I teach their class, because clearly the English coordinator not meeting wid dem... I dont think they have English class as a priority at all. But hey I'm getting paid...and they are the ones mixing up the classes, not me... But then again I am a foreigner, they might find some way to point it back and say I am the one at fault, thats what I am running from now...

Anyway, I went to this temple thing for some meditation business, where a couple of us just sat down and stare at the floor with our legs crossed for 20 minutes... It has something to do with disciplining the mind???? First thing, my mind not very easy to discipline and second thing, mi foot dem did a cramp mi.... I decided to try this to see what it was like... Pretty interesting it was, until mi see the guy leading it, started hitting the others in the back with a board... I tell them that no no Im not into that at all... We did this 20 minute thing, twice, then afterwards we just sat and chatted for the next hour or two.... While I was there chatting, my friend in Hiroshima prefecture called me and said she leaving for Jamaica next Wednesday... I was like darn, I should be you right now... Except that the moving out of Japan process is a little difficult... You have to find some way some how to either sell all your stuff, give them away or something ... Because your apartment must be spic and span when you are leaving..

After all this we stopped and look at a bunch of green fire flies in the night then went home..

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day 82 - Monday, June 9, 2008

Day 82

To all you people who telling mi I getting slim, from I know myself is suh mi look. I have never seen myself look fatter nor slimmer than how mi look now. But then again, many of the Japanese food really sucks so I dont eat that much here to tell you the truth :( Sorry to my Japanese friends who read my blog, if I offend any of you, but I am not used to many of your food and I dont like many of it. Gommenasi.... So far I only like the following, in this order:

Yaki soba
Yaki Niku
Well the sausages taste good
this chicken tender business taste good too
Joyful pizza
Cicken always ok
Squid not too bad

and pretty much thats it.... almost everything else I dont like... Dumplin taste bad...di fish mi nuh like how dem prepare it.. Tofu is just terrible... I dont eat egg... I dont really like Sushi and dem kill yuh wid coffee, but coffee is ok... Japanese Green tea is also ok and healthy.

Had my normal classes today and there were 3 new students in each of them, all brothers and sisters. Before it was time for me to leave, they started a little staff meeting in my presence and all the teachers were giving their report in Japanese. I heard my name being called several times but it seem as if its good stuff they are saying about me because they say daijobu which means good ;)

I filled my tank for $4700 yen this time.. The gas is getting more and more expensive ... last time I paid 4500 yen.... time before that was about 4200 yen... Mine dem a rob mi innuh????

Went bible study tonight and I told the lady who helped me last week (Tomoko) to get to the bus stop from Osaka, a BIG THANK YOU (Arigato Gozimas) for her help...

Called my friend in Jamaica today using my skype account. This thing is wayyy wayy cheaper and more convenient than using my cell phone... why didn't I know about this all along??? Instead of running up my phone bill to how much money...

Well thats all for today...likkle more

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Day 81 - Sunday, June 8, 2008

Day 81

Went church today and for a while my translator herself could not understand what the pastor was saying in Japanese.
Well it was ok still and afterwards we had food and then took some pictures after church. The lady in the red in the group pic is the one who keep bible study on Mondays and also translate stuff for me...
The guy in the black shirt is from cambodia, the girl in the red and white beside me in the pic up top as well as in the group pic is from China... Shi is 19, shi look nice nuh true? weh unnu seh try a ting??? LOL joking... No seriously I`m joking ok !!! :)
The guy in the red cap, the guy on the left stooping in the green & white shirt and the girl beside the bible study lady are all from China....The pastor is the man around the back and his wife is also at the back... The girl in front the pastor is a Japanese nursing student and the gril beside her is the Pastor`s daughter. The other lady beside the pastor`s daughter, I think is a member of the church... The other guy stooping in front is a Japanese high school guy...And yes, this is how we dress to go to church...Please dont complain about my hair, I already explain the situation......

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day 80 - Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day 80
You can pretty much predict my Saturdays by now. Stay home, read mi bible, sleep and watch stuff on the internet. So again I watched a bunch of Naruto cartoons.

Hey and please dont think I am a kid ok?? I love video games, cartoons, computer stuff, poetry, church activities, meeting people, traveling obviously and the list goes on and on...

Well take care now and blessing...

Day 79 - Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 79

Almost got to work late again, I wont even bother to mention why....

Had my regular amount of classes today and then after lunch, sleep was taking me over. I had to take a walk around the school. I think they should have spread the classes out some more to avoid the boredom after lunch. At least on Thursdays I have 1 class after lunch time...

Hey guess WHAT????? MI GET THE VISA to go to Germany Hooorayyyyyyy!!!!!! I got it delivered to my apartment about 1 hour after I got home today... Boyy God is good mi a tell yuh. After all that trouble going to Okayama city and Osaka on the train, and the German embassy lock and them give mi a bly... And the Japanese people looking at me weird...... I got the visa....Praises be to the Almighty.... And as my good friend Richard rightly said, its time now to pay for the ticket... one hundred and add thousand yen...And another good news... The normal thing would be for me to take some vacation days to go off to Germany, but the Managing Consultant for my branch of the company, said he will just push my summer holidays up earlier and switch some days to accommodate me going to Germany... Wow, there is now a very bright light at the end of this curvy tunnel. However, in exchange for my holidays being pushed up, I am going to have to attend some English seminar business on August 19 in another city close by, name Maniwa (some of my friends in Jamaica would say it should be Womaniwa) that I have no clue where to find.

So today this old Japanese man wid many of his teeth missing in action, came up to my apartment door. It seem as if the Japanese they look young up until age 49. And as soon as they touch 50, apparently all the wrinkles hit at once. And the older the Japanese, the less teeth you will see in their mouth. Many many of them have some serious teeth issues... Both young and old. Any way so this man come to my apartment and saying television, television and speaking a whole lot of Japanese. I think there is some sort of system here where you have to pay to have a TV in your apartment. I just tell him that I dont understand what him saying. Then after about 5 minutes he gave up and went away. I dont even watch the TV, why mi going to pay a TV bill... Nooo star... come back one next time with some one who speak English....and maybe someone with more teeth.. Because understanding Japanese is difficult enough already... Understanding and old man with no teeth Japanese, is even more excruciating.

I then went to football training. I always go to this a little late. This time I noticed that they were playing and they werent giving me any game. I was wondering to myself if they think that I am that terrible at playing... But then when there was about 15 minutes left for the place to be closed, they made me go on... As I run for 10 minutes, I was very very tired. They then called me off and made another guy come on for the remaining 5 minutes... After that, one of the main players who knew some amount of English, told me that they have a big match on Sunday, so thats why they didnt make me stay on for too long... This is when I noticed that I was actually training with a professional Japanese soccer club, and I had no idea. No wonder these guys are so good.

Anyway thats all for today...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 78 - Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 78

Ok im not going to mention anything more about turning on the computer in the mornings because clearly something wrong wid mi.

I taught 3 classes instead of the normal 4 at this school today. What they did though was to combine the grades 5 and 6 together to give a grand total of about 24 students. This was the biggest class had to teach ever, except when I thought 25 students at a school and the 25 was the entire school. This lesson for the combined class was about different food like Spaghetti, tea and chocolate cake etc. The reason why they combined the classes was because the students here had to clean their pool as well. And Richard I dont think the stuff in the picture yesterday was any form of solid or liquid from the body...but then again who knows... Well they scrubbed it out still.

I went to soccer training after I went home and changed off. There was this new Japanese yute and the kids were trying to tell him about me being there every week etc. But he said he already knew about me being there and what not... How him know?? Your guess is as good as mine... Boyyy the popularity I tell yuh.... Any way mi ask him what him did study in college and di man seh baby sitting????? So he is a trained baby sitter??? Where in the world do you find a male BABY SITTER??? Ohh I know somewhere....JAPAN!!! If there was any such thing in Jamaica, the first ting dem going to do is think that its effeminate, then there after them going to beat it out of him...Then one of the DJs dem going to sing bout it.

Went to our usual ALT link up after the soccer practice. This time they actually left food for me, and nobody was rushing to prepare something because they forgot about the black guy... wow I feel better now. We ate and watched this long time show name "Revenge of the ninja" ... It long time but it wasn't too bad... Plus the comments of my other foreign friends made it even more funny and entertaining. Maybe if I was watching it alone it wouldn't be as much fun..

Well laterz

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 77 - Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Day 77
Almost got to work late again....No no this computer in the morning ting going to cut out seriously now...Mi naah joke dis time :)...

Normally I would do 3 classes today but I did 2 instead. I prefer to have 3 classes rather than 2 trust me. Sleep would box yuh left, right and centre after the class dem done and you have nothing else to do. I only had 2 classes today because they were having a pool opening ceremony??? In all my life on earth, I have never heard of such a thing...I wonder why they decide to open the pool in the rainy season and they know that the water going to be cold hmmm!!!

I went to the English conversation thing today along with about 5 other ALTs. The man who I believe started this English conversation thing asked me to drive my car this time around... Normally he would drop us all, but because other ALTs were coming this time, he asked me to drive....So I dropped the guy who live on my apartment complex and the Canadian/Japanese ALT there and back home. Actually to tell you the truth, I feel much much better helping out anyone here than to ask for help; whether it be ALT or Japanese. And if I had a choice, I would rather ask the Japanese people that speak English. I feel like I'm being a burden to the ALTS sometimes, but the Japanese seem to go out of their way to help.. I cant forget when I was in Osaka and was trying to get to the bus stop but had no clue where to go. I called everybody who live in my area, that could speak both Japanese and English, probably about 10 people in all, 7 of which are ALTs. The man who host the English conversation thing didnt know the way and only 2 of ALTs out of the 7 actually called me back, but one called when I already got help, while the other was in a hurry because he was at work. It was working time I called them but, im sure they saw the missed call. The other 3 persons were Japanese and all of them called me back and tried to assist me some how. I cant forget that desperate situation on Monday at all. I was actually heading back to the train station to pay double the amount I paid eventually, when the Japanese lady called me just as I was about to purchase the train ticket, and she helped me out to the end... Bwoyy mi a tell yuh. Well mi getting help and thats key... I cant mek the ALTS look bad still cause 2 of them try to help me out a whole lot, chiefly the guy who come to bible study... I think I hear the annoyance in him voice sometimes though, or that could be my mind again ...

Well tek care fi now..

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 76 - Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 76

No seriously, I`m going to have to stop turning on the computer in the mornings before I go to work, because I`m having too many close calls and reaching to work 5 minutes instead of 10 minutes early. It cannot work. The classes that I had today were totally different from what is on my schedule. I have no clue how to address this situation... At each school that I teach, there is a head English coordinator (that dont mean they speak English, they only coordinate the English classes) and they set out your schedule for you. I got the schedule from the English coordinator at this school, but the grade teachers decided to come with their own thing.... I am not even going to make them wiser, becasue there should be some sort of communication between the English coordinator and the class teachers.

After work, I drove to the post office to deposit about 270,000 yen, in order to make my account look big enough for the German Embassy`s requirements. So in all there is about 317,000 in there now. I really want to hear what they are going to tell me this time. Any way, I then photo copied the post office book at the convenient store then went back to the post office and withdrew 80,000 yen. I paid an installment on my car so now I owe 51,000 yen on my car. I also paid rent of 48,000... All now my company dont take out any money yet for the loan I took from them, but if them waiting on me to tell them, mi sorry... The land Lord then said he will buy me dinner today. I ate ika (squid) and also This thing name yakisoba which I really enjoy. He told me that, if by any chance I come to this restaurant, I can charge it to his bill. It look like him dont know him cant tell a Jamaican that....lol.. but no mi a good yute still... Only if mi broke mi wi guh... So yes I found a way how to get free food now :) ... The guy that live on my apartment complex did tell me about this little trick, but I wasnt paying him much mind... apparently, most of the old people in my little area, love treating foreigners to food... All when yuh belly full them still offering more...If you can make them laugh that even better for you. And making them laugh is not too difficult for me at all :)

My Land Lord then introduced me to the guy who own the apartment complex that most of the JET ALTs stay on. He was a cool guy, and when Japanese people shaking your hand or telling you good bye, it going to take about 5 minutes. So after this, the land lord then took me to another restaurant/bar place and introduced me to about 5 older women and the people that own the restaurant/bar. They were extremely excited to see me and they asked me if I know the song about "Deh, mi seh deh yo, daylight come and mi want go home"... So I told them "den nuh muss". Why mi guh seh dat??? They now want me to sing it... So I was there singing it and they were clapping me on. Then they found it on the karaoke thing and made me sing it for them again... They were very excited, ooh Japanese people love karaoke, all when them dont have a clue what yuh saying... One of the lady`s that the Land Lord introduced me to was the wife of the man that own the apartment complex where most of the JET ALTs are. Her English not too bad, and she was singing the deh yo song with me on the karaoke. She said she want me to teach her English better and also said she is an acupuncture technician. Boy I could use some of that acupuncture ting... After all this, then the lady that owned the bar dropped me back to my apartment. Not a bad day at all...Ususally today would be soccer but I think I going to stop the Tuesday one and go Fridays instead.
Any way laters...

Day 75 - Monday, June 2, 2008 - A visit to Okayama city and the German Embassy in Osaka

Day 75

Ok so today was a very long day for me trust me. The only day off I am getting for now, and I have to use it to go to the Japanese Immigration office in Okayama city for a re - entry permit, and to Osaka to the German Embassy...

So the day started and from last night I have been calling friends to find out the best route to take and what to say to people and what not, because I would be doing this mission all alone. And my Japanese sucks. Right so first thing is to figure out where to park my car in the morning then get on the 7:23 am train.... I rushed out my apartment about 7:00 am and thought I was pretty early, ooh boy, it seem like all the stop lights between my apartment and the train station decided to stop me this morning. I was anxious and decided that I have to catch this train because Osaka is far away and every where lock by 4pm... In my anxiety, I drove pass the train station and when I realized, it was a little too late... I basically just used the time and tried to figure out where to park my car. I eventually parked at the hotel that I stayed in when I first got to Niimi. I sat in the car very upset with myself because if only I had left out earlier, I would not have missed this train :( . The next train that I could get would be at 8:39 am. So I waited in my car until about 8:15 am then headed for the train station. Only to realize that I locked my car key in my car and left it in the ignition... Boy I guess its a combination of stress and anxiety. I could do nothing but just head straight to the train station and try to forget about what just happened.

So my brain began to work overtime to see how I can get back my car keys when I arrive from Osaka in the evening, as I have work the next morning. First thing I did was called the guy who lived on my apartment complex and before I completed telling him, he said I should tell our head ALT in the area. This girl is kinda cool sometime but honestly, she don't help me that much, or maybe I am expecting too much of her. I called her and she told me to go to the nearest gas station and they should be able to assist me. Remember I speak very little Japanese and I have no clue what I would tell the guys at the station, plus chances are, when I get back, the gas stations would be already closed. So I said to myself, "forget she" cause she not helping mi. So I called the IC (Independent Contractor) which is the person who helped us to move in our apartment as well as get the car etc. She eventually called the car company for me and got them to take out the key... (how difficult was that)...

So waiting in the train station now and of course, you know I hate the crowd of Japanese people because they stare at me and chat all the time. I eventually headed into the 8:39am train, sat by myself and of course prepare myself for the never ending stares that I know would come. Every time the train stopped, I either hold down my head or just try to go to sleep because I just cant bother with the people who coming on. I eventually got to Okayama city at 10:10 am so I passed phase 1 of my journey which is to get into Okayama city by myself. Phase 2 now is to find the immigration office. As I exited the train , I began asking questions. When I walked around a bit, the place started to look familiar, so I went to the information desk and of course the ladies were staring at me in shock (No surprise to me) ... they eventually gave me a map of the area and showed me where the immigration office was. Now if you know me, by know you should realize that maps and them ting deh makes no sense to me. So even though I had the map, I still asked persons where the place was... I was told about a week ago that the process of getting the re entry permit will take up to 2 hours...

The first man I asked where the place was, I simply followed where his finger pointed then tell him thanks, and look behind me if he is trying to tell me wrong direction..The second person I asked where the place is, before I completed the question the man said, wakarimasen, wakarimasen (I dont understan, I dont understand)... I am sure I asked the question clearly in Japanese and asked it the same way I did with the information desk persons and the first guy.... but then I remembered that someone once told me that some Japanese men in particular, as long as you are a foreigner, no matter how good your Japanese is, they just dont want to talk to you and will give you that same answer.

Eventually this other man on a bicycle pointed to the building and showed me the entrance. so yes I found the building and now to go to the 11th floor. Went there with my form already filled out and they sent me to buy a 6000 yen stamp down one floor then back up again. As I got up there, the re entry permit was already in my passport, all of this (not counting the time I took to find the place) took about 10 - 20 minutes instead of the 2 hours I was told... The good thing with Okayama is that even though I didnt see any black persons, I saw more foreigners. In my little town, the ALTs are the only foreigners and thats probably about 14 of us. Any way because I had some time on my hand, I decided to divert a little from my original plan to go to Osaka exactly after I got the permit, and instead went to HIS travel and got my proper flight reservation which should be from:

Osaka, Japan -> Seoul, Korea -> Frankfurt, Germany -> Leipzig, Germany

I got the flight stuff and had to pay about 32000 yen for the Frankfurt -> Leipzig leg of the trip right there, even though I dont get the German visa business yet. Anyway this process that I thought would take about 10 mins, actually took about 1 hour or close.

I quickly rushed to the shinkansen (very very fast train) station and took the train. These now, if you miss one, there will be another one in about 5 minutes tops. I made sure to ask a lady who was dressed like a pilot, if I am at the right place and she said yes, she looked at my ticket then said some Japanese and then three (3) ... So I said ok ok. I dont have a clue what she said I only hear three (3). So I went into the train which was very very comfortable by the way, and jus sat down. Where I was, seemed empty and quiet, so I said to myself nice, no one to stare at me now. Only to see the pilot looking lady come back and basically say "Boss you are in the wrong part of the train, go to number three (3), this section is for those who pay more money "... this wrong part that I was in, was wayyy up number ten (10)... I had to walk about 5 minutes inside the train to get to number 3. I had to now walk past a bunch of Japanese people while the train was bulleting its way ahead, these train drive at over 200 km/ph some of them over 300 km/ph. I dont even look if they were staring at me or not, I just held my head straight and walked past them.

On entering carriage 3, I was greeted with a bunch of smoke. This is the smoking cabin... I walked and walked and looked to see the best part to sit. I eventually jus sit beside dis Japanese man who also was smoking. Is peer smoking go on in this part. The train took about 45 - 50 minutes from Okayama city to get to Osaka. I then had to take another train for 5 minutes to get to the exact place in Osaka where I was going. In Osaka now I actually saw 5 black people, can you believe it??? I saw 2 black men, one black lady walking with 2 black kids that look like them mix with Japanese. The kids have the Japanese eye but bwoyy the hair the hair mi a tell yuh... Neva look suh Japanese at all... And even the black people dem a stare pon mi weird to??? I am guessing they are wondering what mi doing there. Well I still got some minor stares in Osaka but because the city so busy, they look at you once then pass by. The stares are not as intense as the ones in my home town. Plus in Osaka there are wayy wayyy more foreigners, at least now you will see a foreigner in every 30 persons you count..And I can speak English to people who understand it properly..and not have to mix the English and the Japanese. I must admit that the Japanese girls in Osaka are very attractive.

I eventually got to the Umeda sky building, which is where the German embassy is located. This is the 7th tallest building in Osaka and it is a sight to behold with 40 floors. The embassy was on floor 35. I got there at about 1:30 pm and guess what??? The embassy LOCK!!!! I went to the door and attempted to open it, and the German woman ask mi "What yuh want boss? We close at 12:00 noon innuh" So I said to her that "I thought you said you closed at 4" she said the 4:00 thing is for phone calls. She then asked if its the visa I am applying for, I said yes and she let me inside... Bwoy God good mi a tell yuh....So I gave her all my documents and she copied them etc. I then paid about 10,000 yen for processing...She then said my bank account with the 60,000 yen too small. I told her I took out the rest of it for business purposes... she said it still too small and then she asked me if I completed paying for my ticket... Mi ask har how mi fi done pay fi it and mi nuh know if mi a get the visa, yuh tink mi nuh have nuh sense ooman??? She then said ok, she will hear what the Embassy boss have to say about it, and call me if anything. Then she said that it will take about 3 days to process and they will mail back the pasport to my apartment.....Can you believe the lady had to ask me for an envelop to mail back my passport????

While I was going away with my head in front of me, then my mind told me to just glimpse at the lady, when I did, that same familiar stare was piercing in my skin.... I wondered to myself that I thought its only the Japanese that look at me like that, whats up with you??? Boy I tell you, its no fun being black in Japan at all... The stares alone will drive you nuts... but I am unapologetic about my blackness, who nuh like it bwoyyy a jus suh....But then again, maybe just maybe its my mind playing tricks...

Any way all this time, rain was falling like crazy, and now its time to go home. I can either take the train which is very expensive, or the bus which is half the cost of the train. I know where the train station is but i dont know where the bus stop is... I called all my friends who spoke both English and Japanese... But all were at work. eventually one of the Japanese ladies who come to bible study call me back and was on the phone with me for a while, helping me out....God bless your soul Tomoko... I eventually found the bus stop off her directions. I bought my bus ticket that cost like 3500 yen then bought some thing to eat... first thing I am eating from I get up at
6 :20 am... For the first time I am in Japan, I see a Japanese mad man on the road... You have at least 5 on the road that I live on in Jamaica. Not to mention if yuh walk across the next road...any way so I then got into the Bus and sat for a little over 3 hours to get back to Niimi... While I was on the bus, another Japanese who come to bible study said to me that bible study not keeping at the lady tonight and if I want to still host it at joyful today... I tell her seh bwoy the Heart is more than willing but I am extremely tired, and hey remember I dont get back mi car key yet.....

I walked in the rain to my car then called the IC lady and told her I am there...she then told the lady at the car company I am at the car waiting....In like 10 minutes, the lady was there with my car key and I drove home in the rain... I think I got home at about 7:30 pm.....aaaaaaah what a Day... but God is good... this I think is my most event filled day and thus my longest blog.... well now All unnu can do is pray that if its God's will, I will get that visa...

Blessings and peace my friends... And Hey I know my blog might have many many grammar errors and what not, but hey, as long as you can understand what I am saying, yuh criss...