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

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day 165 (Chinese or Japanese/Hurricane Gustav) - Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day 165 -Chinese or Japanese Hurricane Gustav

Ok first ting.. Patrice you were wrong in day 158 (Sowing Gospel Times) (http://davecollyjap.blogspot.com/2008/08/day-158-sowing-gospel-times-sunday.html) about who were the Chinese.. There are 4 Chinese in that photo and the persons at the back left who you thought were Chinese, are actually Japanese.... guess again who are the 4 Chinese... Hint.. its 1 male and 3 females...

Look at the pic I have up... Who can tell which is Japanese, Chinese or Korean....

Stewart yes I bought the Japanese play station but its cool as you said... It has multiple language selection... The game cd has Japanese writing but I played it in English...

So yes today I went to Church, ate food with them as usual and chat and laugh wid dem... I was telling them about my licence experience as well as about my trip to Germany. When I got back to my apartment, I spoke to a couple of my Jamaican friends and made sure to call my mom and sis to check if they were ok.. I called them Friday, Saturday and Sunday...Dem seh everyting ok inna Waterford, Portmore... Well the part of Waterford where I live... for some strange reason, when these hurricanes come, never yet get flooded, Thank God. I heard that a few places got flooded though and that 10 people died :( ... I hope all of unnu ok in Jamaica... Thank the good Lord that we were spared the worst...

Day 164 (Japanese GFs) - Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day 164 -Japanese GFs

Only thing I did today was read my bible and pay my elictricity and phone bills. My phone bill was high because of the calls I made before and while in Germany... But I have recieved higher phone bills than this one before... I spoke to a friend from my training who told me that his Japanese girlfriend was giving him a whole heap of problems. He said she saw him talking to another girl and got upset.. He wasnt even showing any interest in the other girl, just talking to her and His Japanese girl friend just lost it.. He said she took away his car keys and drove off...leaving him to beg a ride home...bwoyy mi nuh know... I heard that many of these Japanese girls are very very very simple minded... and every thing for them is Kawaii (cute)... even though most of them are unbelivably cute themselves...

I also opened my PS 3 and did some stuff online with it as well as started playing Devil May Cry 4... SUGOII ...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day 163 (Licence Test / PS3 / Acrobats / Jamaican Restaurant) - Friday, August 29, 2008

Day 163 - Licence Test / PS3 / Acrobats / Jamaican Restaurant

Yes so today was quite an eventful day as you can see based on my heading... again I woke up at Terri's apartment then we headed off to Okayama city. She was following me to meet up with an IC (Independent Contractor) from my company, who would carry me to take the written driving test. So me and Terri got to Okayama at about 10:30 am and we were supposed to meet up with the IC at 12:00 noon. It was raining heavily in Okayama, and we heard that some flooding may take place... We eventually went to Mcdonalds of course then headed over to a store where I took some passport size photos in this automated machine thing. We then headed back to where we were supposed to meet the IC. We saw a lady there in front of Mcdonalds, which was our meeting point, and she was there looking at her watch. We figured it was her but we decided that we weren't going to say a word and see if this Japanese lady would come over to us... Well yes she did come over to us and we went to the licence center while Terri went back to her city.

This IC lady was new working for my company but she was very very nice. She formerly worked for a travelling company but she said because she had 2 children now, she quit that job and started to work for my company since this month....(Bad Idea) ... She has travelled to many countries in the world being a tour guide (darn I would love a job like that) ... this lady is 38 and she looks like 25... Whats up with these Japanese ladies?? .. So yes, she took me to the licence center where I was thoroughly interrogated by 2 Japanese men... 1 in Japanese, that my IC had to be translating for me, and the other in English. The questions include :

~ When did I get my licence (which was already on my Jamaican drivers licence)
~ When did I took my driving lessons (which was from 2003)
~ The dates when I took the lessons in 2003????
~ How many lessons did I take???
~ How much the lessons cost in Jamaican dollars and Japanese yen????

~ How many questions were on the written test in Jamaica ???

~ If I still have my learners licence from 2002 ????????????????

~ Whats the process of getting the learners licence in Jamaica

~ What type of car I did the driving exam on in Jamaica in 2003????

But you basically get the idea... they even took my passport and asked me what was the landed stamp for????? and what was the Brazilian visa... I think they were surprised to see so many visas in my passport.

Now, the question that got me really curious was the one about If I have my learners licence from 2002 with me here in Japan..... What the heck would I be doing with that??? 2002 I was still in first year at University!!! ... I should have asked him if he still have his.... Any way, after that 45 minutes interrogation, they took my passport and other papers maybe to further investigate my cause... So I sat with the IC and we were talking... She said she had no idea why they were asking me so many weird questions and what purpose they served..... After 1 hour of waiting, they called my name, gave me my passport and other documents then gave me the written test which was in English and Japanese.... The test only had 10 extremely easy (Thank God) true and false questions.... Questions like:

You must stop at a red light (true or false)....

So of course I got everything right...then they took me to a little machine to check my eye sight... Yuh done know my eyes are big already so I got all those correct as well... they then took me to this place and gave a me a paper with the course for the driving test... I will have to take that test on September 22 when I get a day off from work....If I had just 1 more week of holiday, I would have taken the driving test next week, but suh life guh.... while the English speaking interrogation Japanese man was walking with me, he asked me if I know Husayne Bolt.. so I said well "We went to the same University, but I spoke to Asafa Powell before"... He was like "RREALLY!!!!", I said "Yes, he also went to my University"... He was like "wow, Sugoii(amazing) " .... I should have asked him, if that could by-pass me doing the driving test :D , that every single foreigner fail on their first try... Some fail as many as 7 times.. the good thing is that you can take it today and tomorrow and the next day if you wish, thats if you have 2400 yen to spare each day...

After the man showed me the optional 2 courses that they will choose for you on the day of my driving lesson... The IC dropped me off in Okayama city... It was right here I heard about the Storm in Jamaica from a Jamaican friend and instantly I started to worry about my mother and sister... My mother told me that the storm was heading there but she didnt tell me that it reached...
I then walked to the Jamaican store and bought some stuff like Jamaican Jerk seasoning and dem things deh...The owner then gave me directions to the Jamaican restaurant which was also in Okayama city... I was also supposed to meet another Jamaican friend in Okayama city, for us to go to a Chinese Acrobat show thing, so I was going to look for the Jamaican restaurant but ended up turning of into the store, Bic Camera because my phone wanted to charge.... I charged my phone then a PS3 caught my eyes.. I was like nooo I will buy it next month, but it was too hard to resist.. Soooo I now own a PS3 !!!! And for the other game heads who read my blog, I bought the games Ninja Gaiden and Devil may cry 4, unfortunately, they didn't have Grand Theft Auto 4 ... I want that game so badly... So yes I bought the PS 3 for equivalent to US$ 300 yen and the 2 games for equvalent to US$ 20 each... Is that a deal or what??? Ohh Its a 40 GB PS 3 thats the only thing... Another thing I am realizing about myself is that I dont really play games too much anymore, I guess becuase I much prefer the good out doors.... Yes so I bought the PS3 then rushed to meet Janiel who just came back from Jamaica like 2 days ago... We then took a tram to go see the Chinese Acrobat thingy... It was AMAZING!!!! Some of those things I saw, seemed impossible as you can see from the pictures... I remember while taking the pictures, this Japanese lady was fanning my down and gesticulating that I should stop taking the photos... But I noticed that a Japanese man was up at the top taking pictures and his flash was on and mine wasnt... Why didnt she tell him to stop??? When I noticed that they weren't going to tell him to stop, I took out back my camera and snapped several more pictures...

After this amazing show, me and Janiel went to search for the Jamaican restaurant... But remember I was coming from Terri's apartment plus I bought the PS3, plus I had my laptop with me, So these thigs were pretty heavy.... I went to a locker place by the station but apparently we need a special card to close it... So guess what I did... I left my brand new PS3 and my little pulley in an empty locker but didnt lock it, then headed off to the Jamaican restaurant which was a good 15 minutes walk from the lockers... Mi mad dont??? Any way we found the Jamaican restaurant quite easily.. even though it was partially hidden in a lane.. looking like one of those lanes somewhere in Downtown, Kingston... This time we knew that no one will hold us up or try to pick our pockets though... Even though thank God, in all my years going and passing through Down town, Kingston, I have never once got held up, picked or anything like that... Many of my friends weren't so fortunate though... Some avoid Downtown, Kingston all together... So any wayy, (mi chat too much innuh) .... we found the Jamaican restaurant where Janiel had, Jerk pork.... Or should I say, the Japanese version of Jerk pork... While I had stew chicken with rice and peas ... Oiishi (Delicious) ... Janiel Jerk pork wid fried rice wasn't suh oiiishi though... Her rice had too much black pepper on it and it never tasted so good at all... After we ate, I had to rush to the locker and guess what??? My things were right there still in tact :) ... Dont try this stunt anywhere else in the world my friends :D... Actually we should pay for this service, but I guess because it was securely locked and we didn't have a card, it was free of cost, but extremely risky as anyone could have stolen my stuff... But, this is Japan for yah.... So I took the train home and Janiel went on her merry way...

This was a fun and interesting day wasn't it ???

Peace and love people

Friday, August 29, 2008

Day 162 (Visit Fukuyama) - Thursday, August 28, 2008

Day 162 - Visit Fukuyama

Yes so I woke up again at another persons apartment (Yes I know I love people yard) and me and Terri talk about all manner of things... It so happened that I actually got Terri's information from some people at Linstead Baptist, while I was back in Jamaica. But dont ask me what I did with the information that I got... Any way she cooked festival and saltfish and some other mix up mix up in the morning for breakfast... Wow normal, Jamican cooked BREAKFAST!!! havent seen that in a while, I normally just grab a buscuit or something in the morning and thats it... Maybe one day a couple of us Jamaicans from this prefecture can just link up at her apartment and mek up peer noise and eat some food... Because we Jamaicans around this side of Japan love company.... Sooo after breakfast we got on a train and headed for a place in Hiroshima known as Fukuyama (mine unnu cuss bad wud, is not suh it pronounce ok!!! its fu as in food) ... which is like 20 minutes from where we were... Rain was falling a little but we still walked around the place and I bought a few clothing articles which were on sale because summer is coming to an end, and already the nights are feeling chilly... woyyyyy, I dont want to know what winter is going to be like... we also went to this European looking wedding chapel place as well as did some window shopping around the area. One of the stores we went to was owned by an African man who is married to a Japanese lady. They have 2 kids together, a boy and a girl... The boy is dark skinned (maybe like me), his hair is curly but his eyes are Japanese. The little girl has Japanese eyes also, has lighter skin than me but is still a little dark and her hair is long, thick and curly... some intersting looking kids come out of interracial marriages, the kids were cute though... I am pretty sure that they are stared at every single day, especially when they walk with their black dad and their Japanese mom... that must be a sight to behold for these mostly closed minded, set in their ways, Japanese people. Thankfully, most Japanese that I have met thus far, especially at my schools and in my area seem to be quite open minded and make me and the other foreigners here feel welcome. Most foreigners who come to Niimi, and meet up with us, always want to come back...

We then went to Mcdonalds to buy food then headed back to Terri's area because she had an evening class to teach some kids... While on the train, I noticed this Japanese man, looking at us with a crazy stare.... Well thats a side from every other Japanese person who was looking at us, with that shocked, "I can't believe I see 2 black persons" look. This man had an insane look in his eyes, but I didn't pay him much mind... I sat beside this Japanese girl and Terri sat in front of her... this crazy looking Japanese man then went and stand beside Terri and was just blatantly looking at her... We started to get uncomfortable and Terri said in a loud tone "Dave, why the hell is this man beside me staring at me like this" and she looked back at him with a nasty stare... I was there wondering what the heck is going on with this guy... Hey then said something like "bapo" ... we interpreted it to say "Baka" which means Idiot or stupid, but we didnt really hear properly what he actually said... He then walked off ... The girl beside me then got up and sat somewhere else, I guess she also was very uncomfortable... Or was thinking that we foreigners are gathering too much attention or drawing crazy people to us... We don't really trust these Japanese men because when they go crazy, they go insanely crazy and will probably start stabbing up people in a rage or push off people into a train or something.... And guess what?? As a foreigner you are already in the wrong, so if you hit them, chances are you will be in big trouble with the law... and they may not be interested in your side of the story, all they need to know is that you have inflicted harm and thats it... The man eventually got off the train and I we felt a little more comfortable...
I then followed Terri to her 45 minutes lesson with some kids.... Terri is lucky as she works with the Board of Education which means she get much more money than most of us PLUS BONUS, PLUS TEACH EXTRA LESSONS... The only difference is that we get more holidays and spend less time bored at work... She have to be at work everyday whether kids are there to teach or not...When she dont have kids to teach, then she sit at work doing absolutely nothing for 8 whole hours... I still am going to try and get a job with them if I manage to stay here another year God's willing :)
After her classes, we had dinner at a little restaurant place.

Peace and love mi frens

Day 161 (New Jamaican Friend ) - Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 161 - New Jamaican Friend

Today I stayed in for most of the day then I thought that the apartment was a little too boring. So I called my new Jamaican friend, Terri and told her I will link har later and stay until Friday when I would have my written test for the Japanese licence. So she said no problem. I decided to take the 7:33 pm train which would let me get at our meeting point at about 8:50 pm ... Again I made a wrong estimate of the train time, so I had to speed out of my house to go and park my car at the hotel. But alas, on approaching the hotel, there was no parking spot there. So I had to speed to the free teacher's parking area, which was a little away from the train station. After parking there I took out my little pulley and laptop bag, then rushed like crazy to the train station. All in my mind was "how am I going to make it, I cant possibly make it"... But I was running like crazy with the pulley and the bag...Because the next train wouldnt be until 1 hour later or longer... Unlike Tokyo where every 3 - 5 minutes there is another train, and there the people behave like angry Jamaicans rushing in a bus down town... Well in Jamaica you dont know when another bus will arrive but in Tokyo, you are assured of a train every 3 to 5 minutes, but they still push and fight... Sooo when I got to the station, I had to quickly buy my ticket then rush to the train and sat down... It was only 30 seconds after I sat, the train drove off.....I still can't believe that I caught it. What is wrong with me and this constant rushing?? Is it that I love the excitement too much??? That adrenaline rush from catching things at the last moment???... I think I got this from my father, who would not cross a main road until a car was speeding down, then he would rush in front to beat it... the problem with my dad is that he would hold our hands while he was doing this little game of his....Hey Im not that crazy though....

I eventually got to the meeting point which is a popular town in my prefecture known as Kurashki. As you see on the picture, there is even a TIVOLI in Kurashki... A Tivoli park.. Nothing like the infamous Tivoli Gardens in Jamaica though. Hey to think of it, there was even a Tivoli in Grenada when I went there... Anyway, when I got to Kurashki, I saw some fire works (Hanabi) thing going on. I then saw 2 of my JET friends, followed by Terri, the Jamaican who I am meeting for the first time. Its almost as if we have known each other from a long time though, she has that type of personality and sort of remind me of my big sister at home in Jamaica. We then left there and went to her place in an area known as Kawogata...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 160 (MUMMY) - Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 160 -MUMMY

Yes yes so another boring day. Went to fax of some information to my company then watched "MUMMY - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" , which was a little below my expectation. I think part 1 and 2 and even Scorpion King was better than it, in my estimate, but it neva too bad. I also watched a couple Bleach anime of course. A part from these stuff, all I did was exist in the apartment. Tomorrow I plan to visit another Jamaican though, and Friday I will do my written, Japanese licence exam I think.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Day 159 (Staff Meeting #2) - Monday, August 25, 2008

Day 159 - Staff Meeting #2

I am supposed to have my second staff meeting today in our main city. For some strange reason, I some times make an incorrect estimate of the train times and how long it will get me to the station, so guess what? I ended up missing the 10:08am cheap train which my other 4 co worker Alts were on. I ended up having to take the 10:33am expensive train even though it was faster. I prefer the company ( even though sometimes their conversations exclude me) because then the Japanese will stare at all of us instead of me only. Even though the stares at me are a little more intense. So yes I missed the train and had to take the expensive one and as soon as I got to the station, I saw my Jamaican friend Courtney getting off the train with some other AlTs from our company. We headed to Mcdonalds then to the meeting. We had to ask for directions because we weren't sure of the exact location of the building where the meeting would be. A Japanese lady was kind enough to assist us within 1 minute of where the building was located.

We got to the building and met up with the other persons from our company who work in the Okayama area (maybe 70 of us ). There were supposed to be 2 more Jamaican females but I didn't see them. Anyway, I was supposed to do a performance at this meeting and my company confirmed this with me about 3 weeks ago I think. I noticed our boss wasn't calling me up so I said to myself "knowing this company, they forgot about it" .... So after the 1st segment of the meeting, I went to ask them whats up, then they were like "oooooh yes, you can do it before the next presentation" ... My friend Arniel who was also from my training group was supposed to do a brief presentation, so we spoke and then I went up to do my dub poem entitled "Into Japan" which I asked my friend to video :) It can be found on youtube at this link


I think this was my 216th performance.

I was running a little stupid experiment today with the other guys from my area Niimi who were at the meeting. I decided that I wasn't going to say a word to any of them and see what would happen. To my surprise or I guess not really a surprise, they all exited the building after the meeting without saying a word to me, not even "Hey Dave, we are leaving now...absolutely nothing " .. I dont know what to think, as with me, when my friends are some where and I am leaving out, its almost maditory that I say, "hey im gone now" or something to that effect ... But anyway I think too much .... Its a little different with most of my JET friends from my area though, I think they are a little more friendly.... But as I said before, maybe I think too much.... Anyway, I went with 4 of the guys who were at the meeting ( of which 2 were from my training group in March) to Macdonalds then to an Irish bar place. The 5 of us were there chatting and drinking then about 10 other Alts from the meeting came along, inclusive of 2 who were from my area. Again I wanted to see if they would say a word to me. The guy who live on my apartment compex came up and sat next to us, and not a word... A girl who was also from my area came and practically sat next to me and not a word either ... Eventually she moved away and our eyes made contact and thats when she said "hi Dave" and I told her hi also... So me and my friends from my training group were again chatting away, and one of the guys was telling me what he went through while in America. He is half Phillipino and half Irish, so I was telling him that most of the Phillipino girls I met, they were extremely beautiful. He agreed with me then he started to tell me a story. He said he has a son with a Phillipino girl and as soon as the son was born, she basically ditched him. She didn't even want him to see his child. Then suddenly after 2 years she filed a lawsuit against him that he should be paying child support etc etc. He tried to explain in court that she wouldn't allow him to see his child and what not but they didn't listen to him. So now he has to be paying a whole bunch of money for a child that this girl won't allow him to see.. I was like darn!!! When you think you are going through a rough time, then you listen to another man's story, you have to just shut up and give thanks... He also told me to be careful in Okayama city as there are many racist Japanese around, who even go as far as to give out flyers with racist stuff on it against foreigners. He said its so bad that recently when he was with his girlfriend (who is Japanese), a Japanese man came up to her and gave her a flyer, right in front of his face. The flyer had a whole bunch of racist comments and stories about foreigners. I had noo clue that this kinda thing was going on here...

Day 158 (Sowing Gospel times) - Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day 158 - Sowing Gospel times

Went to church today and luckily my translator was there or else I wouldnt have known a thing that the Japanese pastor was saying. There were a couple Chinese people there today as well, can you recognize them??? Anyone want to guess ??

We took pictures and ate food after church, then headed towards this place where they were going to have a mini concert thingy that they call "Sowing Gospel times". They sang a couple a songs in Japanese, did a skit, introduced the church, then the pastor did a short sermon and that was it.
After this, I went home and on I was again watching Naruto Shippuden episodes :)

Day 157 - Saturday, August 23, 2008

Day 157

Another boring day. Spoke to several friends from Jamaica via skype. If I didnt call you, it means that we are already in contact via email or otherwise. Today, I watched Hancock as well as a bunch of Naruto Shippuden and Bleach anime, and that was basically it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Day 156 - Friday, August 22, 2008

Day 156

Didn't do much in the day today except go to the supermarket and bought some stuff. I planned only to buy about 3 things and ended up buying a whole bunch a stuff, spending over 3000 yen. I then went to English conversation at the lady who keep bible study on Mondays. About 8 Japanese persons attend this English conversation thing. Today the main topic was sports and the olympics. Again, another set of congratulations came my way. My land lord was calling me I guess for dinner but I ended up hanging out with the JET ALTs instead. I went home shortly afterwards which was about 1 am..

Day 155 - Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day 155

This morning I woke up on the floor in a hotel room with 3 new JET friends :), one of them from Jamaica.... They had some training session thing in the morning so I left out early, told them bye and headed for Mcdonalds. I bought a couple chicken Mcnuggets then headed for the train station to my area Niimi. I saw a couple of the new JETS that I met. The darn Japanese people in the restaurant just would not stop staring, smiling and whispering while we were there talking. It is extremely annoying if you decide to pay them any mind... Maybe its unusual for them to see a black man talking to so may white people, I dont know .... Anyway, I bought my train ticket and saw a train that I thought was the one going to my area. So because I wasn't sure, I asked a Japanese lady on the train if it was going to Niimi. She had this fearful look in her eyes and she nodded yes. I again asked "Niimi??" And again that fearful look and she nodded yes.. So I sat down. I eventually started to notice some signs in the train saying Mihara, which is in Hiroshima. Luckily I also heard the train announcement thing saying Kurashki, which is on the way to my area... The lady then seem to sum up some courage and came over to me and said "Japanese Japanese ... Kurashki" ... In which I interpreted as saying "You can come off at Kurashki to go to Niimi" ... to which I nodded then told her thank you...

I made certain to run off the train quickly, then jumped on the train that I was supposed to get on in the first place, which was about 2-3 minutes behind the one I mistakenly took. I eventually fell asleep on the train then got off at Niimi. I saw this guy from the USA on the train, struggling with 2 big bags, so I offered to help him out. He also had a little fearful look in his eyes. What is it? Do I look scary or something? Am I intimidating?? Somebody tell me please!!! Anyway, I then drove home to my apartment and stayed in for the remaining portion of the day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day 154 - Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Day 154 - 5 Months
Yes 5 long months my friends.

Took the 5:33 pm train to Okayama city to go to the JET Alt welcome part thing. When I got to Okayama city, I went to Mcdonalds where I met up with a couple of the new JET ALTs inclusive of this Jamaican girl. My new JET ALT friends from my area, were telling me about this Jamaican ALT girl for a little while now, by the name of Melissa (Yes Stewart, yuh fren, how yuh neva tell mi bout har???). While in Mcdonalds, she spotted my shirt and said "blow wow, dah yute deh a wear a Jamaica shirt" then she ran over to me and asked me me if I was Jamaican. She eventually started to put 1 and 1 together and said "wait a minute, are you Dave?" then the chatting started. She told me that Stewart was telling her that I am here in Japan. Stewart told me nothing of this. About 30 other ALTs met up with us and we headed towards the central meeting area. 2 girls were asking me some stuff about Jamaica and Rastafarianism, to which I attempted to explain. Many people thought our flag had in red, so I showed them what our flag actually looked like.

So we all went to the general meeting area where I met some more JETs along with the JETS from my area. It was very interesting. I was about to rush back to the train station but this half Japanese, Half Mexican girl said I should try to stay in someones hotel room like what many others were doing. So she even went around and asked a couple persons, then finally when I was about to leave, some persons said I could stay with them. After leaving this area, a couple of us went to a dart bar, after which I bunked on the floor of some new friends hotel room :)

My mom and other Jamaican friends were trying to call me to tell me about the Usaine Bolt race as well as the one with Melanie Walker where she won the 400m hurdles and the silver medal from Shericka Williams. My friends gave me this site where most of our important races are uploaded to http://www.hostyah.com/ .. you can pause the music (which I found annoying).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Day 153 - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 153

Left out about 10:45 am to go to this place name Katsuyama Bunka center, in Maniwa, but one problem....I have no clue where it is, outside of the Japanese map I got from my company, and the directions from my friends. So, I was told to drive on the express way/toll road and when I got there, I didnt know what to do (Actually I almost drove pass the area where the toll is located). So the toll people gave me a ticket and basically gesticulated that I shouldnt pay now but pay at the exit of the toll. So I entered the toll road (ooh boy), and as soon as I was about to go further on it, 2 massive trucks flew pass me blowing their horns. Instantly I wanted was to disappear and was shaking in fear, but I summed up some courage and drove on in the rain. So I drove for about an hour on the toll road which wasnt too bad then I made it to the exit that I was told to go on, called Ochiai...I eventually got to the place after making only 1 wrong turn and asking a couple of questions....

I then met up with the English coordinator for the Board of Education in that area. Shortly after that, I met up with 2 other persons who work with my company. A male and a female who were both married to a Japanese and both have 2 children. Their children know more Japanese than they do though. The lady is now living in Japan for 8 years and the guy for 5 years. We then met and sorted out exactly what we were going to teach the Japanese teachers. After our short meeting, they placed us in 3 groups to facilitate 11-13 Japanese teachers each. I gave a brief introduction and mentioned that I was from Jamaica and they were like "woooooooh". Of course they started to talk about the olympics and then they told me congratulations, darn I felt so proud of my country :)....
Any way, I taught them 4 things:

  • How to ask for different stationeries in English

  • How to read the clock in English

  • Some words and phrases used by us as ALTs when relating to them as well as the children

  • How to ask for directions

They seemed to have enjoyed the 1 hour lesson and clapped me afterwards, but as I said before, I will probably never know the truth... The guy ALT and a representative from my company, gave me directions back to my city via another road. They also assured me that it was pretty easy to get back because there are many signs to direct me. So I tried my luck and to my surprise, It took about 1 hour to get back and I made no wrong turns, wow dont you think I am improving ??:-) clap mi nuh

I stopped at joyful and had a pizza and some vegetable salad. I then went to watch the Dark Knight which was pretty decent. I was also invited by the JET Alts to go to Okayama city tomorrow to a welcome party for the New Okayama JET ALTs. Hey this beats staying home all day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 152 - Monday, August 18, 2008

Day 152

Today I thought I was just going to sit in the apartment and idle the day away. But noooo bills had to get in the way. So I went to the bank, lodged some money (trying my best to start saving now after Germany trip), then withdrew some from the post office ATM. I then went to the 100 yen store to purchase some stuff then paid my water rate. I think I should just forget about these Japanese getting used to seeing me in the area because my friends who are here for years (who are white, said they get stares all the time. So now me being possibly the first black man ever to enter this area (or so the Japanese here make it seem), should not expect any less stares.

I went back to my apartment and fell asleep while trying to watch a movie. When I woke up, I hurried to bible study.

I forgot to mention that yesterday I watched the female 100 m finals and is peer noise I was here making in the apartment. Mine sharp dem run mi out a di area lol ... At bible study, they started questioning me more about Jamaica and saying congratulating me and my countrymen/women :) ... they are amazed by us... My bible study leader then asked jokingly, "Are there many things to RUN from in Jamaica?" and everyone erupted in laughter including myself. Is a pity she dont know the half. I then said to her, "Yes, thats exactly why I am here"

Tomorrow I have an assignment from my workplace, which is to boldly go somewhere that I have never gone before. So I am sure, tomorrow will be another epic adventure in the life of Dave... If you think your life is full of adventures and surprises, try mine for 1 day... Tomorrow, I should go to this place name Maniwa to teach some Japanese teachers, basic English phrases. I have to do it because I made a deal with my boss so as to get him to change my vacation dates, which allowed me to go to Germany. However, I have no clue where this place is. My company emailed me a map in wonderful Japanese and some information about what to teach, along with a message saying "Make sure you get there on time, if you get lost, call us"... And thats all the help I got... What a wonderful company I work for, dont you think???

Hey Stewart, I was speaking to both Pantons yesterday. You notice I distinctly said HIGH SCHOOL girls. so again, dont badda wid di foolishness.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Day 151 - Sunday, August 17, 2008

Day 151

Left Nisshin, Nagoya (where chris-ann lives) at about 3:30 pm. Chris-ann followed me to Nagoya city where I took the Shinkansen train to shin-osaka. I then took another train to Umeda Osaka... which is the city part of Osaka with tonnes of sky scraper buildings. Shin -Osaka is where we take shinkansen trains to go to other parts of Japan.

I then went to yodobashi camera to purchase a pair of USB speakers for my laptop. I had to rush to the bus stop afterwards to catch my "country" bus to Niimi.

I met 5 high school girls on the bus that were flooding me with Japanese questions. (Panton dont badda wid di foolishness). They eventually taught me some more words in Japanese and I taught them some words in English. When they got off, I fell asleep and didnt even notice when the bus got to my stop. I then drove home in my tired state.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Day 150 – Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day 150 Saturday, August 16, 2008

My 150th day in Japan and hey its not too bad except for the food (which is causing me to lose weight), the Language barrier, the stares and my sometimes annoying company. Outside of these, its funnnn!!!

Today, I went to a place name yamada to purchase a 640 GB external hard drive for equivalent to US $130 … I then went back to Chris-Ann's apartment and watched the 100 m finals. Of course you know ... noise galore... We were of course a little saddened by Asafa's 5th place finish but happy because Bolt made up for that.

Day 149 – Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 149

Left out about 12:15 in the afternoon with Chris-Ann to meet up with some other Jamaicans in another apartment. Met Mark (who is doing his phd in computing and has been living in Japan for about 4 years now), Jermain (a Seventh Day Adventist pastor stationed in Osaka), Sheree (third yr ALT formely of JET but now works with the Board of Education) and Stanley(who my sister got a cheap ticket for, to come to Japan). We watched the 100 m heats there and made up a whole lot of noise like Jamaicans would. I also met another Jamaican girl who will be getting married to a Japanese guy pretty soon as well as this Japanese lady who spoke Engish very well. The Japanese lady has a daughter and I felt sorry for them when we were making up noises in the apartment while the heats was going on. You could see the look of concern, surprise and confusion on their faces lol.

After the noisy apartment experience, we then visited a zoo in the area to check out the animals. Me and 2 of the other guys took the train, while the Japanese lady drove Chris-Ann and Sheree. Now while me and the 2 other Jamaican guys were on the train, the stares on us quadrupled. I think its because its unimaginable to see more than 1 black guys. I remember while in the apartment, Mark, the Phd guy said when he went to China some years ago, he visited a restaurant. He said before he started eating, it was noticable that the place was getting a little darker. He said, when he looked up, it was a bunch of Chinese people gathering around him. So I guess the Japanese stare and the Chinese will come over and look.

Anyway, while we were at the zoo, sometimes the Japanese were staring at us more than the animals. For the first time in my life I saw the following animals:



Polar Bear,
We also saw a parrot who was speaking Japanese... It constantly said "Ohio" (good morning) and occationally, "SUGOII" (Amazing). After this we went to a Jamaican Restaurant and the food there was good. We then headed to our different places at about 10 pm.

Day 148 – Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 148

Good day, I forgot to tell you that today I should be visiting a Jamaican friend in another part of Japan known as Nagoya, which is about 3-4 hours away from my town depending on your mode of transportation ..... Soooooo

I woke up at 6:15 am , drove and parked my car at a new spot, then ran to catch the 7:30 am bus to go to Osaka. I then went to Yodobashi camera to look around then to Shin-Osaka to take the shinkansen train to Nagoya. I met my friend Chris-Ann Hamilton (We did interview for our job at the same time in December last year) there in Nagoya, then we went to a store name Bic Camera to look around. I then went to her apartment then we went to a supermarket and a clothes store where I bought a couple of stuff. We stayed up and chatted for a while then went to bed.

Day 147 – Wednesday, August 13, 2008

DAY 147

Woke up early in morning to go call the ALTs for us to go to a beach in my prefecture, but when I got there, I saw another ALT who said he doesn’t think that they will wake up in time to get to go to the beach still. So I went back to bed and didn’t really do anything in the day after I woke up (I learnt later in the day that they did in fact go to the beach).

I eventually went to a little Japanese post festival party thing that was held 3 minutes walk from my apartment. Each area in Niimi, had their own party and food thing. 2 of my ALT friends were there at the one that I went to, and we watched some fire works business. After all of this, I went to a restaurant (that I didn’t know existed) which was located 2 minutes walk from my house, with the 2 other ALTs… The food actually tasted good. I forgot to mention that yesterday was one of the new JETs birthday and a couple of us ate, chatted and hungout until about 3:30 am.