A day-to-day, true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 130 - Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 130

Yes... So today I went to church and guess what I did? I sang 2 songs in church in front of the people dem...

I sang:
  • As the deer panteth for the water
  • Power of your love

The pastor`s daughter played the guitar while I was singing and she is so good at it. She then sang both songs in Japanese afterwards...

We then ate, chatted and went home... When I got to my apartment, I completed the packing process...The English speaking man who take us to the English conversations on Wednesdays then took me to the bus stop for me to head for Osaka. The plan was to go to Osaka, take a bus known as the "airport Lemozine" to the airport... then just rest a little in the airport until my flight was ready....

However, when I got to Osaka, I realised that the airport buses run on a time schedule and by the time I got there, I missed the last bus by 5- 7 minutes....Darn it!!!
So I was there in Osaka, walking up and down with these suit cases and people staring mi down as usual. Hey, I actually spotted another black man though... Anyway after making several calls, I finally figured out a plan. I walked back towards the place where the airport buses would wait on people and I actually saw a bus... The bus began to unload people's luggage and I queried if this bus was going to the airport... Di man seh di bus dem stop run and if mi nuh si wah time now ... luckily there was a guy there who spoke English, and he told me to put my luggage in this locker thingy which was very state of the art...but yuh haffi pay fi use it. Thank God him help mi out... After dat now I had some food at Mcdonalds because I was starving, then I wandered around trying to find a 24 hour internet cafe... I saw a lady and I asked her where could I find one... She then walked with me for about 3 minutes and showed me where to find it. So thats where I am now, updating this blog when I should be sleeping....This internet cafe is a very viable option to a hotel...in these cafe you can sleep, get free drink and use internet for a relatively low cost... although is a couch a sleep pon yuh still get your own private quarters ... sugoii ne (Amazing isnt it?) ...

Anyways again, not sure when will be the next update suh likkle more...

Day 129 - Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 129

All I did today was complete my packing for Germany, read my bible, spoke to my Jamaican friend who lives in Nagoya and watched Naruto, Bleach and Soul eater... and that was my day... I am not sure when you will see my next posting just yet... But lets see...

Until then... mi a cut till likkle more :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day 128 - Friday, July 25, 2008

Day 128

Went to the bank to get my 200 euros then to the convenient store to fax my claims form. Oh when I go to doctors to do medical check ups like what I did on Wednesday at the ENT Specialist, my insurance wants us to pay for the check ups upfront, then we claim back for the money we spent... Remember its a claim so you are not guaranteed to get it back... however if you do get it back, the amount will be added to your credit card.... If you need cash, then you have to spend over US$85 on a doctor's visit, in order to "CLAIM" for your money... I have never seen nor heard of a more crappy insurance plan than this. And this was what our company practically insisted that we do.. Hiss teet.. But yet we have to pay insurance dirctly out of our bank account, amounting to 6100 yen per month... This is madness..


Today I also faxed off my worsheet and paysheet so I can get paid at the end of August. I also purchased a couch/bed and a kotatsu (a small heated electric table used mosly for the winter) from a JET ALT who will be leaving soon. I paid only 5000 yen for both, which is a great deal... So now if my sister is serious about visiting me in Japan, she will have somewhere to sleep. But I know my sister ooh so well already, that she not coming anywhere... It would be a miracle...




I went to English conversation in the night and my friend lent me 3 PS2 games. I plan to buy a PS3 in Osaka when I am back in Japan...
Later


Day 127 - Thursday, July 24, 2008


Day 127
I finally got back my money from HIS travel, Praise the Lord... I was suffering... I went to the bank to convert the money into Euro but they told me that they only do this on Fridays and I can only get the euro dollars into sets of 200s like 200 then 400 etc...So right now I have to go with the 200 set but I also have to wait until tomorrow.

I went to dinner with my land lord again and he introduced me to some more people around town. There was also this Japanese girl serving there who would not stop staring me down.. This didn't look like a bad stare though like what some of the other people give me... She kept looking on me in amazement and smiling every time I spoke... She also kept licking her lips which was quite distracting... BUT... the song writer says "In her presence there is" sorry I mean "In God's presence there is fullness of joy" :) lol so I tried to gaze away as much as she was standing directly in front of me around the counter... totemo mutzukashi (Very difficult)... Any way, me and the land lord eventually went to a karaoke bar to meet more people again... I tried to sing the "bleach anime" song as well as one of the old Natuto theme songs by asian kung fu generation in Japanese... of course I dont know a word what dem saying but I know the rhythm and I sang what I thought I heard. My voice was going away slowly though... It was FUN!!! doing it though as the Japanese were there cheering me on... Aahhh these Japanese love karaoke...

Hey Patrice the "Irashai masayyy" thing is equivalent to welcome but it literally means "Please be here".. almost anywhere you enter they will say it... even the banks, as you enter, you will hear at least 5 people shout it out...

Peace mi frens

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 126 - Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day 126

Today my friend Darren followed me to the ear doctor. A whole bunch of old people were waiting for the doctor's office to be opened, so we had to put down our names on the list after them. We couldn't bother waiting so I dropped him at his apartment then we went back to the doctor a little later. When we got back, you know we were celebrities, because the crowd of old Japanese simply were amazed by the 2 foreigners. More me than my friend because him is half Asian (Phillipino) and half white. It really get to me sometime when I see the kids just staring at me in horror. I remember seeing this little kid looking as if she wanted to walk pass me to use the bathroom, but every time she took like 2-3 steps, she would turned back and go to her mom. Eventually her mom had to walk with her. How can I live somewhere when I feel like a blasted monster ?? Sometimes I think I would prefer the city BUT there is too expensive suh mi betta jus easy mi self.

I then went into the doctor's office and of course I could not understand a word the doctor was saying so my friend had to be translating for me. The doctor looked into my left ear and he basically said that he wasn't sure if I had an infection because there was some sort of build up. So He had to do the syringe business. It feel nice when the warm water is going in my ears but then mi start to get dizzy. Eventually he did it to both ears then do this suction thing. After all this I was hearing very well :) :) BUT now my right ear is hurting me like crazy. The ringing stopped and I can hear properly but mi ears a hurt mi wicked wicked. The doctor said this was supposed to happen though.

Any way, I watched the movie "Wanted" today and it was pretty awesome. Sorta reminded me of a couple a movies that I enjoyed like:

Shooter
Matrix
Equilibrium
V for vendetta

It wasn't as good as any of them but it just reminded me of them. I also paid my gas bill today, which is running competition with my phone bill for the top spot.

I then went with the other ALTS in the night to our English conversation thingy. We had a whole bunch of food there so we all ate and chatted. There is not much fun things to do in our country area, so we have to meet and create our fun, the cities are too far away.

Ohh and If you heard about the earthquake (http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-07-23-voa64.cfm) , no I didn't feel it, some of my friends felt it though. My friend who I did the presentation with in Narita said it was the most horrible 40 seconds of his entire life, as his apartment is on the 4th floor.

Any way likkle more

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day 125 - Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day 125

Today I paid my water bill as well as faxed my bank information to HIS travel, who suppose to give mi back mi money. They were telling me that I wouldn't get it back until Monday but I had to step in and say "NOOO NOO BOSS THAT CANNOT WORK, I need it by Thursday". Suh dem seh all right den...

So today my left ear started ringing and behaving as if a TV was playing in it. Now I going to have to go doctor :( ... and mi done bruk already. As a matter of fact the whole left side of my head feel messed up, including my eye. My friend Darren said he will follow me to the doctor tomorrow morning. Boy thank God because I dont know how I would communicate with the doctor people. Today I ended up going to bed around 9 pm because I was feeling really messed up.

One of my other Jamaican friends in my prefecture left today for California then to Jamaica... Mi waaaah guh home tooo :( ...

Kesha, I am going to Germany for a Baptist Conference and yes I watch the animes online on these sites : ....
www.zomganime.com or at
www.surfthechannel.com

Almost every anime if not every is on them. And Bjourn yes I watch movies occasionally .. Like I watched Kungfu Panda, hulk and this other marvel character movie since im here. I think Im going to watch "wanted" tomorrow.

Later peeps

Monday, July 21, 2008

Day 124 - Monday, July 21, 2008

Day 124

First day of my summer holidays which also happend to be a national holiday known as "Marine Day". Why do they have a special day for the marines? I could not tell you... Any way, today being a double holiday guess what I did a part from read my bible?? .... Absolutely NOTHING :) well except couch surfing and watching anime and chatting online...

Well take care for now..

Day 123 - Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 123 { 4 MONTHS}

Went to church then ate and chatted with the congregates afterwards. I was imitating what the Japanese people do in the restaurants and the people at church were dying with laughter. The pastor's daughter almost fell off her chair lol... All I did was say "Irashai masayyy" using the exact tone of voice that the Japanese use and they could not stop laughing.

After church, I went back to my apartment and watched more Japanese animation including this new one I started to watch. So I watched Bleach, Soul Eater and Naruto Shippuden.

Day 122 - Saturday, July 19, 2008

Day 122

Woke up at about 7am and met up with Hiroshi (the man that normally take us to the English conversation on Wednesdays). We met up with Alex (JET ALT Canadian/Japanese) and Kayoko who also comes to the Wednesday English conversation. We took a 3 hour journey to a 400 year old castle in MATSUE, which is in the Shimane Prefecture. On our way we stopped and took pictures of the Daisen mountain which is a verrrry tall mountain on the way to the castle..

I had to pay for Alex because he forgot to take his money with him. I felt bad for him because I know he didn't really want to ask me to help him out. I was more than willing because this guy is really cool and he gave some of his moving out stuff like, an oven (so now I can do barbeue), a heater fan and the catan game we always playing as well as a bunch of clothes hangers. Plus we trash his apartment every Thursday and he is the one to do the clean up most time... So I don't feel bad paying for him as much as I'm kinda low for my Germany trip in terms of "Just in case" money...
We visited a couple historical places where the Japanese Samari would hang out back in the olden days. Most of the artifacts and stuff in these places are 400 years old and more. Is a lucky ting seh all the places we visited, we got discounted for being foreigners. At one point after we paid for a ticket. This lady called us back and told us that foreigners get discounts... Now could somebody guess how this lady knew that that there were foreigners in our 4 man group???? Suppose I was a Japanese citizen??? Why is it that she assumed I was a foreigner???? Well its obvious I guess. But I am sure there are a couple black, Japanese citizens here.

Anyway, on our way back, we stopped at this ghost town place with this popular one eyed ghost cartoon character.

We eventually got home at about 8:30 pm there about.

Day 121 - Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 121

I took a shorter route to my furthest school today and it took about 30 mins instead of 45 mins. Did my final 3 classes before September and they all went well. After class as usual I had nothing to do and was falling asleep. So I went in the pool again but didnt do much swimming because the water was getting in my ear and it seem as if I am getting an ear infection :( ...

After the pool, I left and went home then to a Friday English conversation thing at the lady's house that does the bible study on Mondays. We played an interesting "learn English" game that I cant remember the name of. I was tired afterwards so I went home and started to watch a new anime name soul eater, then went straight to bed.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 120 - Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 120

Drove to work today on low gas but I made it :) Im trying every way to save money. I feel very tired at and after work these last few days before holiday. My body is crying for rest, and going to bed late not helping the situation at all. I am so happy that tomorrow will be the last day of work until September. Today after eating some food and taking my vitamin tablets, I felt absolutely horrible... This feeling lasted for about 5 minutes then it slowly faded. I am still wondering what caused it.

After this, I went to soccer with the kids and inside the gym is so hot and humid, it makes everyone miserable. The heat and humidity here now is disgusting. It makes all of us sticky, sweaty and uncomfortable. I realized today while I was playing soccer that I am getting more and more out of shape. What should I do??? I cant continue like this at all.

After soccer I had yaki niku (the beef on the grill business) on the roof of the building where the JET ALTs live. We then ran in the Canadian/Japanese guy's apartment because rain started to fall. I then bothered a couple of the guys for some new Japanese words then went home...

Day 119 - Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 119

Took some more pics at my main school today with all my classes.

Got ticket information for Germany today via email, and they are supposed to refund me back over 30,000 yen :) :) ... Bwoy God yuh good, just when I thought I was going over my budget because of my gas bill etc...

I spoke to one of my Jamaican friends on the phone for over 2 hours.. She was just chatting about everything .... I then went to joyful to buy pizza and fries, I haven't been here in a while. Anywhere I go like this by my self, you can hear the little giggles and chuckles in the different seating groups... I dont know if I will ever get used to this.

Later

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 118 - Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 118

I got observed today from a staff member at my company. I wonder why they chose this school???. The teacher for the class I got observed at today, is one of them that don't look like him know whats going on. Its not like my main school teachers who give a proper lesson plan, nor like the other schools that just allow me to do my thing. I came with my plan ready, and then this man come to me bout 5 mins before the class started and give me something different ....aaah bwoy... I dont know... I need to address this matter trust mi....

The lady said the observation went well though then she started to question me about Japan and why mi come there and the usual Japanese questions. I realize that the Japanese are very dark and shy and some fool fool and very anti social, but as soon as they get to know you and see that you are cool... The throw a barrage of questions at you. They also cannot understand why I dont eat egg but yet I eat cake... They cannot comprehend it at all .... I dont know, but I think an egg and a cake has 2 totally different taste... Next time I will make sure to tell them that.

I left work early to meet the head of the board of education in my area. He drove in front of me to another elementary school where I observed my friend teaching a lesson. Its my first time seeing what another ALT does. Of course I was not spared the constant stares from both staff and students, especially the students.... There was this special needs kid in one of the classes who made it so obvious that its his first time seeing someone black... The little guy stared at me for a good 3 minutes none stop with his eyes and his mouth wide open.... Can you imagine how uncomfortable I was??? ... When this was over, the special needs kid was signaling to me that I should follow him. When he realized that I wasn't paying him any mind, he came for me bodily and was saying in Japanese, "Hey everyone look at this guy, look look everyone!!!!" ????? I had to break myself free and drove away... Another of my ALT friends was there observing as well. I notice this Japanese teacher came over to us and introduced himself to my ALT friend. But he totally ignored me. Why????? I will not make any assumptions....

After this, I went home and slept. Then I went to look at some golden fire flies (kin hotaru) with my friend. These things are amazing to look at ... Its a good thing it was dark so no body got to see that I was a black man. Else the fascination would no longer be about the fire flies but about me instead.. These people are so touchy about viewing the fire flies that you cant turn on any lights in the area, else them going to get cross han hangry. The lights would chase away the fire flies. I turned on my cell phone for like a second and as the light come on suh, mi hear one Japanese man in the crowd basically saying in Japanese "Boss man lack off yuh phone nuh" ... Suh mi jus turn it off cause mi nuh want fi guh fi some man from Jungle fi him lol...

Anyway peace and love

Day 117 - Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 117

Took a bunch a pictures with my grade 1, 3 and 5 classes today at my main school, because I wont be teaching them again until September. If for some reason you see me take down the current pic.... its because either my school or my company told me to do so (I guess I am testing the waters).....

One of my Jamaican friends called me and we spoke for a while. She was having some difficulty coping with a situation she is in at her area.

Went bible study in the night where we looked at St. Luke 18:15 - 17, which was speaking about Jesus and the children.

When people are leaving Japan, its a good opportunity for us to get cheap stuff as well as free stuff. My friend from the bible study gave me a couple of his winter clothes as well as some Lord of the rings DVDs. I watched them all but, I guess I can help him dispose of some stuff he doesn't need. I also got this heater thing from another guy who is leaving in August...

Peace and love everyone.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 116 - Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 116

On my way to church this morning, I smelled some smoke. I then saw the smoke at the front of my car bonnet. My eyes then caught the hot and cold metre thing and the needle was on HOT!!! I had to go on the soft shoulder for a while and turn on the hazard light. After parking for about 5 minutes, I drove to church very cautiously while watching the needle. After church was over, I asked the bible study lady`s husband to look at my car. He called for help and got the pastor as well as this other member of the church to come along. They discovered that my radiator was in dire need of water and that it was also faulty. So the radiator on both my cars are faulty... Bwoy I need to change from Mitsubishi. Shortly after all of this, I ate then drove to a hotel and parked my car there.

I then bought a train ticket to Okayama wich cost ¥2600. I was supposed to meet up with some other Jamaicans there for us to go to a "Jamaican Reggae Concert" that was organised by some Japanese in my prefecture (more on this later). So after getting to Okayama, I am now to take another train to get to this area name Bizen-Tai. The ticket to here cost only¥560 yen BUT it also took a hour to get there... This train was sort of empty but before I got in there, the never ending stares had already started. When I saw some people looking at me, I just wave to them and smile. some waved back, while others turned away their heads. I remember waving to a bunch of girls and they had this very excited look on their faces, they then waved back frantically with a wide smile.

After arriving at Bizen-Tai, I called my friend and he said to wait on a taxi. The taxi cost ¥1900 and it took about 15 minuets to get to the area... As you see, taxi prices here are just ridiculous. The taxi dropped me to an area known as Desaki Beach where the "Jamaican Reggae concert" thing was keeping. On entering the premises, there was this big figure of a rasta man and a ton of cars parked there. So I was excited and expecting to see a whole bunch of Jamaicans... (HISS TEET!!!) I got there about 4:30 pm and my two Jamaican friends who I met in Hiroshima last week Saturday, had to go back home because they needed to catch the last bus going to their city. So the taxi that I took there, they took it back to where I was coming from, hence we only met for 3 minutes. They were lucky to catch their last bus going back to Hiroshima... If they missed that bus bwoyyyy it wudda rough pon dem. So, my other Jamaican friend who told us about this concert thing (Husayne, in the pic) and myself were on the beach and looking what was going on. He then introduced me to this Japanese guy whose wife is from Kenya. I then walked around the beach and even though this was a Jamaican Reggae concert.... while I was there, me and Husayne were the only Jamaicans and black persons in sight. And to top it off, every one was still looking at me strange, as if to say, "what is this guy doing here??" As much as I was in my Big Jamaica T-Shirt, everybody still staring mi down when mi walking. These people have up all kinda drawings of black people on their stalls and some even trying to look and act like black people, but when they actually see one, they stare and are in shock.

Well I decided that I was going to be troublesome today. So I walked along the beach side and told a couple a persons hello/konnichiwa. the ones who smiled, I stopped and talked to them and asked them if they understood English (eigo wakarimashita ka?).. I promised about 3 of them that I would teach them English. Most of the people who I went to, were open to knowing an actual Jamaican, a few others were just scared it seem or extremely anti-social. But yet they really loved Reggae music. The music playing in the background was some ska old hits business that the Japanese were attempting to dance to.... I met a couple a persons who were fascinated by Jamaican music but were meeting a Jamaican for the very first time. There is this 1 group of people though of which, 1 of the guys got married to a Jamaican girl and he currently lives in steer town, St. Ann. I was shocked out of my wits when I heard him talking Patois. He said he just came back from Jamaica yesterday, and will be going back in September. He also said that he owns a store in Okayama and he sells old Jamaican music to people all over the world. He said his wife died recently though (February this year) from Cancer :( :( .... there was also this married couple who said they spent their honey moon in Jamaica, also this past February. A video is at the end of this blog showing the people talking (or attempting to talk) Patois.

After the whole meeting people thing, I then headed home and ended up seeing one of my ALT friends at the Okayama station. We took the train together back to Niimi, where this drunk lady sat in front of us. She was teling us some stuff that she has 3 children and her grand mother is Canadian etc etc... I could not believe that this lady is 31, with 3 children and she is still absolutely beautiful without anything to show that she has 3 children...(She is in this pic) Me and my ALT friend started to have some conversations about South Africa, Jamaica and about different races etc etc...

I got home at about 12:00 midnight. and went to bed.... Yow likkle more....

Day 115 - Saturday, July 12, 2008

Day 115

Stayed in all day, read my bible and watched Kungfu Panda, Naruto and Bleach. I saw some strange looking stuff appearing on my suitcases and my travelling bags today. I had to clean them off.

Thats all I did on this quietish Saturday suh likkle more...

Day 114 - Friday, July 11, 2008

Day 114

This is my last class at this school until September ... I really like this school, actually I like all of them. All classes went good today as usual and I made sure to gather some new Japanese words. I am now writing down the pronounciation of the words then later translate them :).... then after that I will try to dive into the realm of the KANJI !!!!

I went home after work then washed then went to the house of the lady who keep bible study on Mondays. This time it was for more English conversation with Japanese people. I am trying very hard to find every possible mean of learning more Japanese because there are no schools here for learning Japanese. At the English conversation thing, there were Japanese as well as 2 persons from Cambodia. All of them were supposed to ask me a question in English, and I would ask them back a question. It was very interesting. Of course afterwards I had to quiz the family about some Japanese words :) .... I want to do this Japanese test thing in December...

So some of the Japanese have some terrible teeth, I mean not only terrible in the formation, but some have some seriously discoloured teeth. They come in a variety of colours like brown, half gray (cause is not half white that), green mix with purple and the variety continues... What could have caused this??? And they do emphasise brushing in the elementary schools, even though when they are brushing its without toothpaste ??????

Well later...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Day 113 - Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day 113

Wasn't feeling too well at work today at all. For the first time in about a year maybe, (possibly longer) I was having a headache (atama itai). So I was looking a bit dull in the office. Maybe I am running up and down too much and need to calm down... so because of my headache today, I decided to stay in and not go soccer with the kids nor barbecue with the other ALTs. I cant believe I actually turned down barbecue.

I spoke to a couple of my Jamaican ALT friends today, and I found out that I am going to have to take the Japanese driving test if I want to continue driving after March 5, 2009 :( :( :( .... The dreaded Japanese driving test that almost every foreigner fail on several attempts. My friend who knows Japanese pretty well, said he failed a whopping 7 times. And its not like Jamaica where yuh can grease a man palm :) .... They can fail you for any foolishness they feel like, just like in Jamaica ...

After talking to my friends, I went straight to bed, but not before taking a panadol...

Peace and blessings!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day 112 - Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day 112

Helped some teachers at my main school today with some computer stuff. Dem guh find out seh mi know bout computer.... ahhh bwoy.. I was helping them with some school magazine business, but because the Japanese business mi nuh really understand, the principal had to be there helping me with the translation.

After work, I rushed to my apartment to meet the guy on my apartment complex (in black in the pic) as well as another girl who work for our company (partially hidden white girl around he back) to go to a short meetin. The meeting was only among the 5 of us in the area who work for our company. After the meeting we went to the place shown in the pic, known as a happy party. My outfit is actually called HAPPY !!! All we really did was dress up, eat food and chat.. Nothing extravagant. But when it was over, I was told that had to pay 1000 yen that I had noo clue about. They also did this thing name tanabata where they would write wishes on a strip of paper and tie it to a tree. I didnt do a thing... I think everyone else did though. After this we all went back home... We staye there for about 2 - 3 hours...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Day 111 - Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Day 111

At my Tuesday school, they told me that next week, I will be observed by my company. Why is it that they chose this school??? I have no clue ... I am wondering if they are reading my blog ??? hmmmm.

Starting today I actually plan to really study some Japanese in the best way I think I can learn it. So I sat down and wrote down and categorise several words that I want to know the meaning of, as well as how to use them in sentences.

My friend Hiroshi who carry us to the English conversation thing on Wednesdays, lent me his Japanese apparel for our next get together this Wednesday. I think the thing is called a yukata. I went to bed at about 7pm tonight because I am getting a little tired after work now.... Laterz

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l73/fikfik21/news500lw.jpg

Day 110 - Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 110

A little girl in my grade 3 class today started crying because she was afraid to say "Lets start English class". Her other friends were there trying to help her but the teacher and I was just there waiting. The Japanese teacher was actually standing right infront of her, looking at her and waiting. The days in Japan are getting sooooo hot now that I cannot even go to bed without the AC on.

After work, I drove home, slept a little then went to bible study. Today was our bible study leader`s birthday. I had no clue until I saw one of the bible study members brought a cake. The bible study presenter told us after bible study that we should not stand on the ditch covers, because snakes are sometimes down there. So yes my area is snake prone. Not just normal snakes either..... POISONOUS SNAKES :( :( :( ... And I am just recalling that I actually drove over a snake the other day... I cant bother wid this snake infestation business innuh....

Anyway pray fi mi... Laterz

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Day 109 - Sunday, July 6, 2008

Day 109

Drove to church (kiyoki) today all by myself. I am beginning to notice this very sad thing about myself in that, if I know I should meet someone to pick me up or for me to pick them up.... I will be there relatively early.... however, if I am all by myself, I might be a little late. So I got to church about 5-10 mins late :( :( ... If some one was meeting me or vice versa, I would be there 5 - 10 mins early. Plus I sort of made a wrong turn heading there this morning. At church, my translator was there so I got the basic understanding of what the pastor was saying.... After church though, all the native English speakers left ... I wasn't about to leave with them when mi nuh eat the food yet... yuh madd???? Even though the persons there either spoke Chinese, Japanese or Korean. Nothing that can help me out right yah now. The Chinese ones are the hardest to communicate with kind of, because they speak little Japanese and little English. They still however fight with a few of the English words and they were trying really hard to communicate with me...

Anyway, after church I drove home thennnnnnnn .... drum roll .... Watched some Naruto!!!!! :) I also washed, had devotion, eat dinner then watched more Naruto lol... for the Naruto fans out there, I am finally over the fillers and now at Naruto shippuden :) :) very exciting !!! Any way laters!!!

Day 108 - Saturday, July 5, 2008

Day 108

I woke up this morning at 5:50 am knowing that it was going to be a long day. I got ready then drove for about 30 mins (because the road was empty, normally it would by 1 hour) to get to a place in the Hiroshima prefecture known as Tojo. There I met the lady that trimmed my hair at about 7:30 am and she followed me to the bus station. I got into the bus at about 8:05 am and it took 2 hours to get to Hiroshima city. Now, this is the very first place that I have been to so far (outside of the airport and the hotels) where no one was giving me the strange stares. I went there with that expectation of the weird stares because its the regular, but to my surprise there was none. I met up with my Jamaican friend Stephanie who is from my training group. This is the first time since April 25, I am having a face to face conversation with a fellow Jamaican. Stephanie followed me to buy some Japanese clothes and then we went to a deli place to eat.

We then went to the bombing site and took some pictures of the dome that the bomb was heading towards. I had no clue that the bomb didnt even touch the ground but apparently exploded maybe 600 m in the air, directly above this dome shown. The destruction was catostrophic. These guide people (a man and a lady) came up to me and Stephanie while we were walking. I must admit that I initially thought that they were going to charge us some fee or ask us for money but nothing like that. The man said he is one of the survivors of the bomb and he bagan to tell us a couple of interesting stories about the bombing and the radiation thing. He said he and his mom were getting really really sick but maybe it was luck it seem, they got healthy and he is now 62 and his mom maybe 90 something I think. He also said that there were about 70,000 unidentified persons who were buried. He said the government issued this type of certificate thing to people who were victims of the bomb, but many didnt want to take it at the time. They didnt want it because persons would scorn them if they knew that they were in the vicinity of the bomb. But now many of them want it because it can allow them to pay only a fraction of the cost for medical expenses. Unfortunately, many of the persons who can prove that these people were actually victims of the bombing, died. The damage done by the bomb was so extensive because after the bomb blast, there was this thing called blackrain that fell from the sky. This blackrain thing contained huge amounts of radioactive dust and ray ray. Also there were fires all over the place.

Stephanie and myself then walked through this park known as "Peace Park", in order to get to the Hiroshima museum. This museum contains many many photos and information about the bombing and all kind of things from people who were victims... Just to even imagine what happened give me the creeps. It was good though to see people from all over, forigners galore. I saw Indians, Jewish, whites, blacks (to a less extent but they were still there), Latin American looking and all sort of people. I like this city, and its really beautiful. Its amazing how the Japanese people worked together to make Hiroshima how it is now. Hiroshima is now the 11th largest city in Japan in terms of population. It has an estimated population of 1.2 million people. In the city, there are many many people, oh boy I guess I can`t have it all. Nice city with many friends around. This city is just wonderful and has a nice international population hence people wont look at you strange. At the major city in my prefecture (Okayama city) is a different business, is one whole heap of stares and second looks, and its not buzzing with people.

Me and Stephanie then met up with our other Jamaican friend, Dwight who was also a part of our training group. Dwight was giving me all type of stories about how many numbers him get and ray ray. So they are jealous of me because I have many friends around and I am jealous of them because they live in a very nice international city. Dwight came along with this Doctor guy who is from Indonesia and we all went to this game shop and played air hockey and some other fun stuff. This city is so much fun.

After all this, I had to rush to get the 5:00 pm bus, I cannot believe how quickly the time went by. Meeting 2 Jamaicans in 1 day is a bonus. I had to take the 5 pm bus because I was rushing back to Church where they were having a guess what??? BARBECUE!!! I thought for a while that I missed my stop but that didnt happen. I got back in Tojo at about 7:30... I put down some speeding back to my area because I wanted to catch the Barbecue... When I got there, they were saying the closing prayer, but heyyyy nuff food did lef back :) :) :) so I ate to my heart`s content .... Hey, I never ever had a "just for fun" barbecue with us doing our own thing, anywhere in Jamaica. Is always some fund raising thing weh certain people alone allowed to be around the grill. Here, everbody just do their own thing out in the open. Might be if I decided to call over a few friends in my Waterford community in Portmore, Jamaica.... after wi put up the fire and start the barbecue, 2 gun man might run through the area and fire 2 shot; yuh know seh barbecue haffi done same time... Any way, I eventually got back to my apartment at about 10:30 pm and jumped straight into bed.

Day 107 - Friday, July 4, 2008

Day 107

This morning I drove pass my furthest school, maybe too much was on my mind. It took me 7 mins to notice that the landscape was looking a bit strange. Its the very first time I was driving pass this particular school. I got there early though and all the classes went well :) ... I heard that a little girl in my grade 3-4 class at this school, her father got killed tragically. Its alleged that he drove off a cliff into a river or something like that. No body knows if he was drunk or it was intentional or he fell asleep or what. :( :( it was very sad to hear though and tears came to my eyes. I prayed for the little girl and her family.

Today again because of my boredom and the heat....(OOhh Japan is getting very very hot now and not only hot but also humid)... I asked the vice principal if I could go in the pool. I was expecting the bag a questions and phone calls but to my surprise, the vice principal said, "yes go in", without hesitation. This time I didnt get any weird stares from the teachers, as a matter of fact, the teachers were smiling and saying sugoi sugoi (amazing) ... They were also teaching me to swim a little better than my present state. So I now can swim half way the length of the pool :)

I planned that I wasn`t going to go anywhere tonight because I should wake up early on Saturday morning to go to Hiroshima. But my JET ALT friend called and said, "hey Dave, let have a barbeque on top of the roof" ... Barbeques are difficult for me to resist, so I went. It was great even though there was only about 5 of us. I left there at 12 midnight then drove home and straight to bed.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Day 106 - Thursday, July 3, 2008

Day 106

At work today, the grade 3 kids dragged me in their classroom with their teacher and decided to show me the dances they did for their sports day. They did about 3 different display of dances that looked soooo neat. The teacher said she taught them one of the dances but they made up the other 2. Can you believe grade 3 children choreographing their own dance routine???? They then told me "hey, Deibu Sensei, its your time to dance for us !!!". Woe be unto them who make this request... So I pretended as if my right leg was in pain and was hopping towards the door, because I am not a dancer at all. None of the members in my family are gifted in that regard. You have jokers, comedians, actors, lazy people and a few brilliant scholars in my family (both mom and dad's side) but no dancers, well except for my cousin Renee who try a ting. But one time too often when she dances, a "Spirit " takes over. So I dont know if is she dancing sometime or is the "Spirit". Anyway, they figured that nat a thing was wrong wid mi leg and I did entertain them and the teacher wid some foolishness; and if yuh eva see the kids following me do the foolishness, you would never stop laughing for the entire day. The thing is that they think its fun and the teacher was like "WOOOOW, You are a great dancer, SUGOII"????? If I were ever to do these things in Jamaica and mek all my fren dem si mi ..... That would be the end of me showing my face anywhere again in Jamaica. Some people cant even imagine seeing me dance, its unthinkable. The only persons I think ever saw me try a ting was my sister, my mom and probably 1 or 2 of my exes...

I then went home after work, then to soccer with the kids. This guy at the soccer practice told me he was shocked when he saw me in the Niimi newspaper. Several persons at my school today also told me that they saw me.

After soccer, I went to meet with most of the Niimi ALTs at a little restaurant, the same restaurant I went to on Days 12 and 41. Only 2 female ALTs weren't there;I don't think since I am here, there was ever a time when every single ALT met up together. This I think is the closest to it, because 5 of them which are all from JET will be leaving in August :( :( :( ... 2 of which has become very good friends to me. Darn, saying good bye in any way or form can be very difficult. We did have fun at the restaurant/bar place and just chatted and ate for most of the time. The thing is that, too many of these guys smoke, which make my clothes smell like smoke afterwards. Another thing that happened last night was one of the JET ALTs who is leaving in August got drunk and he was talking a whole lot of rubbish in a very loud tone.

Later people....

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Day 105 - Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 105

So I am now in the Niimi newspaper as a new Assistant Language Teacher in the area. The title of that section is appropriately entitled "Across Boarders" I guess the Niimi people should have at least a better idea of who I am now. They put it in the paper that I am from Waterfordo, Jamaica ;) ... But now living in Shoden, Niimi, Okayama, Japan.

Anyway, after work I went to our English Conversation thing and was telling the guys there some more stuff about Jamaica. I was telling them about tamarind, june plum, guinep and them things deh. When I was describing guinep to one of the Japanese guys he said "oooh lichie"... To which I told him that it looks like lichie but a little different. I was also telling them that I am supposed to visit my Jamaican friends in Hiroshima on Saturday, to which my friend warned me about the deer population there. He said he went there sometime last year and a stray deer came up to his friend's bag and ate the map that they were using to navigate ... LOL

My Canadian/Japanese ALT friend said he was on cable doing an English programme and he thinks I would be a good replacement for him because he leaves in August. I think this would be a very good opportunity.

Hey Royalty, is not even 6 months now mi a drive suh mi nuh know nutten bout car except how fi drive it.

Laterz

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day 104 - Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day 104

After my classes today when boredom was kicking in high gear along with the temperature being 32 degrees C, I summed up all my courage and asked the English coordinator if I could go swim in the pool. This same English coordinator who gave me the go ahead 2 weeks ago, now decided to ask the principal. Now this principal is a tiny, short lady and she is very fiesty and sorta miserable, thankfully not with me though. Sooo yes the English coordinator asked the principal, who intern started to discuss the matter with the vice principal, who intern made probably 12 phone calls??? I know he called the Board of education and several other places, I was hoping not my company. I started to wonder if they were going to call my mom and dad and my pastor as well. Because the process probably took like 45 mins, and it seem as if they were going to have a staff meeting about it afterwards???? Of course I was saying in my mind "Why did I ask??" I was also wondering if I can simply tell them "OK Don't bother". But after that lengthy process they finally said YES you can go in the pool, with smiles on their faces....

So now at the pool, there were three (3) different facial expressions that I noticed. I draw my own conclusions from what is going on in their minds... and this is what I think, which could be wrong...

Firstly the male kids.... WOW!!! Dave Sensei, come on in, its going to be fun :)

The female kids ... WOW!!! Dave sensei is not in a work shirt or a jacket and tie (giggle giggle), is he really heading for our pool?? he doesn't look like our other teachers at all :o

The teachers both males and females (with an uncomfortable, piercing stare at me) .... This guy cannot be serious!!! I wonder if he is coming to watch or is he actually planning on coming into our pool??? I don't feel totally comfortable with this :00

I didnt really care what they thought, because I already got permission from the bigger heads.. ... so I took off my mariner and a male kid came up and told me to go and wash off before jumping into the water. Then the male kids were all like, come on Dave Sensei lets go lets go, this was still while the teachers and the other kids were in their "shock and awe" mode. So I jumped in the water, then one of the teacher's told me to take off my chain, bracelet and ring. Now, one time, I made the mistake of holding up my hands in the air, and under my arms were not shaved....OOH BOYY.... The kids almost caught a fit when they saw the hairs under my arms; as it looked remarkably different from that of their teachers', whose arms weren't shaved either... The guys were then trying so hard to get me to lift up my hands again but noooooo way..... Darn Crazy Japanese kids ... There is this thing that Japanese do when they win a match or some thing, they would lift up both hands and say "BANZAI, BANZAI"... So a kid came up to me and was saying "Banzai, Banzai" and wanted me to follow, but I figured him out early...

A kid wanted me to race him to the end of the pool. So I consented... The first thing, I cannot swim for more than half of the length of the pool. But I still tried to race him. O boy!!. Half way to the end, I was out of breath, so I lifted up my head and was asking "Hey where is that kid??" I looked up and he was already at the other end of the pool. I have absolutely no clue how this kid swam so fast. Anyway, by the time I squinted, it was time for me to leave work. So I washed off and hurried out of the pool.

I then drove home and my land lord came to pick me up for us to have dinner. So we had yaki soba, pork and yaki tori (grilled chicken with onions, pon one piece a stick). Then the land lord told me that he wanted to take my picture and use my face on one of his advertisements in the newspaper, along with this girl that goes to a nursing college in our area. He then called the girl to meet with us and of course without a doubt she was shocked to see me. I was introducing myself to her in Japanese and then she just said to me plainly in English... "Whats your name??" So I was like, "good you speak English"... We chatted a little, then she ordered her food. I was already full and she said, "Hey, do you want some of my beef??".. Before I could tell her that I am full, she already placed 2 pieces of her medium rear beef in my plate. So I ate 1 of them and could not manage the other one. Plus medium rear????? This is a traditional behaviour of the Japanese I met so far...... They ask you if you want something, and before you answer, its already there... or they give you something without asking if you want it and say "DOZO" (Please have it...).... Sometimes all they need to do is hear you mention a word that they recognise, then they are already going to get it for you... Like on Sunday at church, I mentioned the word milk in a conversation, and the pastor's daughter was like "You want milk?" Just as I was about to answer, she was already in the kitchen getting the milk... Almost like "It doesnt really matter what you say, we are going to get it for you, and you better have it !!!"... This is the main reason why I make sure to tell everyone of them "I DONT EAT EGG, I DONT LIKE TOFU and I DONT LIKE this taste bad ting name NATO...And Japanese oh so loooove these things... As long as its healthy, whether it taste bad or not, the Japanese will eat it.

After this restaurant, the land lord who was half drunk took us to this karaoke place; where he gave us red wine, peanuts and more food. I tried to sing a Japanese song at karaoke and the land lord sang as well. The girl said she dont like karaoke too much so she didn't sing. The land lord accidentally spilled some of the red wine on the girl's dress and the lady working around the bar table at the karaoke was laughing away. I kinda found it a bit funny too but I was fighting the laughter... apparently when Japanese men are drunk or close to it, they want the people who they take out to get drunk, or close to it as welll. The man kept buying more red wine for us, even after I told him that, hey Im full... They just wont listen to you when you tell them this....

any how... inna di laters, ooh Richard, is not me change di oil yuh mad?? Is the gas station people dem deal wid it...My yute, afta mi nuh know nutten bout coolant and dem tings deh!!!

Day 103 - Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 103

I had a sudden urge (which is not unfamiliar to me) to turn on the computer this morning. I got a long sleep because I went to bed about 10:30 pm Sunday night. Thats a change from the usual 1:00 am business. When I checked my email in the morning, my travel agent emailed me in Japanese saying that fuel price will go up in a day time and what do I plan to do. I made sure to email them back same time and let them know that I will be paying for the ticket today today today!!!

So after having 3 fun classes in the morning, I left work to go to the post office to check if my pay was there. And hooraaay my second pay was there. So I rushed to the bank and transfered some money from my account to the the HIS travel account where the ticket would be paid for... So yes I paid for my ticket to Germany :) :) :) I of course called them to verify and they said they received the payment and I should be receiving the electronic ticket by email soon... I then paid my light and phone bills, bought some stuff at the supermarket, changed my car oil as well as fix the car air conditioner.

At 7:45 pm I picked my ALT friend up and we went to bible study. The lady that keep the bible study, her son is very sick, so help us pray for him as he recently came out of the hospital. He was telling us that when he was in the hospital, the old Japanese people that were in there, were very noisy. Even though the bed is equipped with a little button thing for them to push, which will eventually call the nurses, they prefer to shout and call them. He said one nurse got fed up and said to this old man "why dont you press the button and stop calling us like that???" And the old man basically said " Mi nuh business bout nuh button, jus come yah when mi call yuh" LOL.