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

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Day 224 { Too Many Stop Lights / Heated Patch} - Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Day 224 { Too Many Stop Lights / Heated Patch}

Sometimes rushing to work can be a bit difficult because there is a stop light about every 2 seconds in my area SERIOUSLY!! And they are SERIOUSLY annoying... I accidentally broke one the other day and realized when I saw a vehicle heading straight for my car and I was thinking that this man was the crazy one.... I don't know what they need so many stop lights for. But then again there are so many roads here in Japan it can confuse the heck out of you.

A grade 1 kid came to me and asked me in Japanese about what anime I like... I surprised myself by understanding him...And I spoke back to him and he understood..Wow, I can communicate with a grade 1 kid...I made the grade two students almost died with laughter when I imitated a kid in the class who accidentally hit himself in the head with a fly swatter... I said BANKAI (which is something said in the Bleach Anime) and then hit myself in the head and the class as well as the teacher erupted in laughter... So you see, Anime does have some benefits outside of entertainment :D and our job for grades 1-4 mostly, is to make the kids laugh and have fun... Hey and trust me, anime is the best way to communicate with these kids, especially the ones who don't really dig English...

Went to the English conversation thingy today but only 5 people attended today, the smallest amount of people I have seen since I started attending. They were telling me about horrible snow stories and boy am I worried. The temperature has been averaging about 12 degrees C now a days and go as far up as 16 but only when the sun is going down which is at about 4:30 pm... by 7pm the temperature will drop to about 9 degrees... My friend in China and another one in Switzerland said it already started to snow there...AAAH BOY!!! I am worried especially because I drive and I hear horrible skidding stories about driving in the snow... I am probably going to have to start waking up at about 5 am in the morning soon... Trust me, I am not a morning person at all... 2 Persons gave me this hot patch thing that you can shake and put in your clothes to make it warm up. They told me that if you put it on your skin, you will burn up yourself. This strange device can keep you warm for up to 12 hours they said.

Melody an Onsen is like a heated therapeutic public bath thingy ... you even commented on one of my earlier posts about it..well your comment wasnt about the onsen though...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Day 223 { Misbehaving Grade 6 Kids /Onsen in December} - Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day 223 { Misbehaving Grade 6 Kids /Onsen in December }

I need to formulate a strategy to get the grade 6 guys at this school to participate in my class, but I don't know yet what to do. Luckily, this is the only class in all of my 5 schools that actually give me any problem at all. I decided to play a game with them where it would be inevitable for the boys and girls to be on a team together. The topic for this class today was "How do you feel?" and the response should be like "I am hot/cold", "I am fine", "I am sick" etc etc...When it was game time, the teacher made the girls on one team go first, followed by the boys...After a while, the boys just sat around the back chatting and doing their own thing, and the teacher didn't give one rats... I found out that a good majority of these guys are on a junior baseball team which is one of the top teams in all Japan. This might explain their misbehaviour. However, I was told in our company meeting that it aint our job to discipline them, so if they don't want to listen then thats their problem.

My friend Hiroshi who normally take us to the English conversation thing on Wednesdays came to visit me at my apartment today.. We are making plans to visit an onsen in the Tottori prefecture with a couple more Jamaicans. This would be for a weekend in December. I made sure to tell him that I am not a fan of the raw fish business, so they need to take that out of my menu when the time comes.

My Chinese friend who I met on the train keep sending me good morning, good night and how are you messages via the cell phone. These are the only words it seem she knows in English.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day 222 { Strange Dreams } - Monday, October 27, 2008

Day 222 { Strange Dreams }

So now a days in Japan, by the time it reaches 5:15 - 5:30 pm, its already pitch dark.

Had to speed to work again this morning because I filled my gas tank before heading off. Did 4 classes today and again I must tell you that this job is like a big 1 year vacation. The most difficult things for me are :

1) Waking up early to go to work
2) Living in Japan in a general sense
3) The boredom at times after teaching for the day.
4) Missing everyone back in Jamaica

Ever since I came to Japan, I have been having some very weird dreams. Most of them either strange or bad :( There are only a few good ones... I am dreaming about my aquaintances from as far back as primary school and as recent as the ones in Japan as well as those in between. I am also dreaming about video games, movies, church stuff and all manner of things. Also I have dreamt quite a few times about me walking through some volatile areas in Jamaica. I wish all of them were good nice dreams but most of them are just strange...

Went to bible study in the night but before that, the bible study leader gave me dinner.....

Thats all

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day 221 { Christmas time song / Tortured } - Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day 221 { Christmas time song / Tortured }

Went to church early this morning and afterward we ate and chatted. I made them listen to the Christmas time song that I had written for them. This song I should perform at their Christmas time concert on November 30. They seemed to like it very much as it is very simple and very easy to catch. It also has a good misture of easy English words along with Japanese words.The pastor's wife gave me flyers fro the event to pass out to the other ALTs and my co-workers.

Later in the evening, I watched a movie name tortured. It was interesting to watch but a little drawn out. I am left a little confused at the end though... I can't believe my friend Sheldon thinks that this movie is better than taken overall....

Day 220 { Happy Birthday Mom / Spirited Away } - Saturday, October 25, 2008

Day 220 { Happy Birthday Mom / Spirited Away }

Hey Happy Birthday Mom.

Called my mom twice today because of the time difference, to wish her happy birthday. I stayed in my apartment for the major portion of today. Its getting a little boring in the apartment, and only God knows when the TV people are going to call me to start recording. Later in the day I watched an anime by Miyazaki called "Spirited Away"... Then I went to the conbini to purchase some stuff.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Day 219 { Reggae CD } - Friday, October 24, 2008

Day 219 { Reggae CD }

The English coordinator at this school wanted to hear what reggae music sounded like so I gave him a CD with some reggae music. Then, he proceeded to dance in the teacher's room, I guess trying to imitate Jamaican dancing...ooh boy, trust me, you cannot imagine it.

I was going to the Friday English conversation thingy tonight and could not locate my car key.. I searched frantically for about 10 minutes then found it in my Jacket pocket...

The lady at the English Conversation thingy gave me some food there as well as some food to take home... It so happend that her son is into the Bleach series as well... So we sat and chatted about bleach for a good portion of the time there...

Day 218 { No work to do} - Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day 218 { No work to do}

Today I went to my main school and not my Thursday school because thats what they scheduled for me today. However, I stayed there doing absolutely nothing....

Could some one help me out and tell me what to do in an office for 6 hours a part from studying Japanese, reading my bible as well as other books and typing away on the computer!!!!

Any idea is welcomed.

I went to play football later on but I was still feeling sick so I was a bit lazy on the court. I managed to score 2 goals though :)
Hey Richard mi have 3 pile and 2 salad a wait pon yuh suh any time yuh ready....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day 217 { I want a Dog } - Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day 217 { I want a Dog }

Still feeling a little down and sickish today, darn I can't take this and I refuse to go to a doctor when I have a couple a tablets here. Plus more than likely the Japanese doctor going to tell me that everything is fine...Even if you go to them looking as if you are half dead, they are still going to tell you that everything is fine???? I hope these vitamin tablets, panadols and a little football playing do the trick...

I went to the usual Wedneday English conversation thingy this evening. There is this lady that comes occationally and her son is half Turkish and half Japanese. This kid is totally out of control and is high on sugar it seem. I don't know if thats because he is a kid, because his parents let him do as he feel or because there is a genetic imbalance between the Turkish and the Japanese race... But this kid is out of control...

So I wanted to purchase a dog from my friend Andrew because I love dogs. I proposed this idea to my mom about a special breed dog in my house at Jamaica ... My mother laughed me to scorn and said she would rather a mixed breed (Mogrel) dog that is much easier to handle. She said we would have to pay too much money to maintain the dog I wanted and plus it would mess up the place way too much. She said she would rather the mongrel because it would roam freely over the open lot/playing field (there are many empty playing fields in my area of Jamaica) with the other dogs and we would not have to care too much for it. Plus that dog would rather leave its mess at other people's gate instead of ours.... Now what type of reasoning is that ???? LOL!!!

Any way later...

Day 216 { Feeling Sick / Remembering Panama } - Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 216 { Feeling Sick / Remembering Panama }

Today the English coordinator at this school forgot to stamp my paper, so I had to hunt her down when work was over. Another teacher went to call her for me fromoff the playfield and she was apologising profusely like what most Japanese do...

Recently, I am starting to feel sick again :( :( I guess the change of climate is taking effect... I am coughing and sneezing and all that jazz aah bwoy....So I went to bed at about 7pm and woke up back at about 12 midnight.

I remember yesterday when we were talking after bible study, and I was telling them a little about my visit to Panama last year. Panama borders Costa Rica at one end and Colombia at the other....What I heard seperates Panama from Costa Rica is a bridge. While there is 200 miles of jungle and swamp that separates Panama from Columbia known as the Darien Gap. I heard that this area is full of different tribes as well as Columbian drug Lords. I also heard that there is a boulder used to determine the Panamanian side different from the Columbian side... But it is said that ever so often the boulder moves more and more over to the Panama side, which would mean that Panama is getting smaller and smaller... lol ... Who is moving this boulder, nobody knows for sure, as there is no evidence of who is doing such...As much as many assume, and it is a plausible guess that it is the Columbian drug Lord's doing, nobody is willing to investigate the matter....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 215 { Divorce in Japan Increase } - Monday, October 20, 2008 \\[ 7 Months] \\

Day 215 { Divorce Increase in Japan } [ 7 Months]

My seventh (7th) month in Japan, I have about 6 months and a couple a days to go. I dont know yet if thats good or bad.

Went to pay my water bill today at the city office and while trying to maintain my politeness, I told 2 seated Ojisan (Old men) "Konnichiwa" ... The 2 men looked at me as if I was speaking Hebrew or Bulgarian, then I saw one of them whispered something to the other, while maintaining a constant stare. I simply turned around as if nothing happened.

I went to bible study later in the night and afterwards we were just talking a whole lot of stuff. One of the topics that came up was the recent high divorce rate in Japan. They told me it was on the increase especially in the SEVENTIES (70s) age range ??????? and its the women who are getting fed up.... So basically after 50 years of marriage, the women finally decide that its not working out... HUH??? ... I often wonder how some of these men got married in the first place. Especially when a good couple of them live at the bar day in day out and/or live at work. My teacher friends also told me that the reason why most of the women endure the torture is because of the children and because they don't want to let go. But now, the grannies see it necessary.... And I guess its because the kids are all grown up now. But, in a general sense, the divorce rate here is wayyy lower than in the western world.

Day 214 { Christmas Concert Meeting / Diamond dust Rebellion } - Sunday, October 19, 2008

Day 214 { Christmas Concert Meeting / Diamond Dust Rebellion }

Went to church today and some way some how I was drawn into a meeting where everyone was speaking Japanese and I had no clue what they were saying. Luckily the English speaking lady was there and she told me that they wanted me to do some sort of catchy poem thing at their Christmas Concert. This should be on November 30 which is sometime before Christmas, but because they wanted a special band to come there, they have to settle for that date. While they were there blabbering away, I sat and wrote a little catchy song thing for the event.

After this meetng thing I went home and watched more anime. I watched the "Bleach" movie - Diamond dust rebellion. Its very exciting if you are a fan of the bleach series and/or if you are an anime nerd (like what I seem to be becoming).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Day 213 { International Expo } - Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day 213 { International Expo }

Today I was invited to an international expo in Okayama City by the lady who translated for me on Sunday. The translator lady was in charge of the Costa Rica area.... Now, this expo I thought was going to involve many many different people from many many different countries. No no....It was mostly Japanese persons who travelled to these different countries were there and doing the presentations. Even though there were a few foreigners present from places like Egypt, Ghana, Nepal and Brazil, the majority were Japanese. This further encouraged the Japanese who I spoke to, to think that I am from Africa...I was thinking recently about how strange it is for different people all over the world to know the different states of the USA which is a country. But they cannot name seven countries on the African continent. Africa is seen as this massive country with a bunch of black people.... So its almost like there is no Nigeria, no Ghana, no Cameroon but just Africa....

The translator lady explained to me that they really and honestly cannot recognise the difference between black people. So automatically, their first assumption will be that if you are black, then you are from Africa. So if you are white, where do they think you are from??? I dont know.... Well, many of us cannot tell the asians/mongoloids apart no matter how hard we try or how well we think we know them differently....Just like how many of my Jamaican friends think all asians are Chinese... No matter how many times I tell a couple of my Jamaican friends that I am in Japan, they some how think that I am in China. They even come with the kong tong pong chung business which is very Chinese and far from Japanese. Almost all Japanese that I come across don't have a clue that Jamaica is an English speaking country and they are shocked when you tell them that yes we speak English. A little Japanese girl asked me how do I say Ju yun (14) in Jamaican language. so I said "fourteen" and she said, but that is English .. and I said "YES IT IS, THATS WHAT WE SPEAK" ...

I did meet 2 other black persons at the expo though, one from The Republic of Congo who said he recently completed his doctorate in agriculture. As well as this other guy from Haiti who said he is completing his doctoral studies on oral surgery. They both spoke French, Japanese and some English... The guy from Congo said he works at a University in Okayama but they do not encourage you to do your own research???? They want you to do everything they tell you to do.... So if you make a brand new discovery, well!!! they didn't tell you to do that so forget it.... More Japanese Bull.

Anyway, after the expo, I met a couple Japanese girls who were oh so interested in meeting a dark skinned guy it seem. I sat and chatted with them along with others from the expo for a little while. Then me and the translator lady along with four others who were at the expo, went on a night tour of Okayama city then to a restaurant... The food there was wonderful!!! but it was too little to even begin fulling my stomach... Well they all treated me and I didn't have to pay a cent so I am not complaining at all :) ... After the restaurant, we went to eat Ice cream at sati wan (31) yes thats what the Japanese call Baskin and Robbins because it has the number 31 as a part of the logo. To Japanese people ... 'th' is pronoused as 'sa'... So at baskin and robbins, the stares were coming from all angles. I saw where a group of persons paused and stopped eating their ice cream to stare at me.... So guess what I did??? I stared back at them and walked over to them and said "Hello!!!". One of the girls there almost jumped through the window I sware. But then they all started to laugh and I said "konnichiwa" and they answered and laughed. After the ice cream eating, the translator lady dropped me to the train station and I took the last available train home.

Day 212 { Katakana / Meeting 1 for TV Show } - Friday, October 17, 2008

Day 212 { Meeting 1 for TV Show }

Visited my furthest school today and I took the supposedly longer route, but got there quicker than when I take the supposedly shorter route. I think thats maybe because the shorter route involves too much winding roads so I can't get to drive as fast as I would like to ;) but the longer route is an express way so if there is no police in sight, then its only natural to ahm um try to get to work as early as possible :)

I didn't realise that Katakana, which is the set of alphabeth that the Japanese use to call foreign words, especially English words, was so remarkebly close to English in its pronounciation. I was reading a book to the Grade 1-2 kids at this school, and the book had katakana characters to go with the English words. So I asked this kid to read it. I could not believe that he was saying the exact things that were written in the book in almost perfect English. But, even though they can say the stuff, they don't have a clue what it means. Like my name "Dave Collymore" would sound like "Deibu Kodimora"

After work, I had to rush to the meeting with the TV Show persons. So I am supposed to be the host of this TV program thats going to be entitled...Drum roll......

Dave no eigo de yuute minsee ..... which means

Dave says it in English

So they are planning that, I go to different parts of my area, like to a college, a grocery store etc and say the English words for certain things... I was giving them a whole lot of ideas and they seemed to enjoy my vibe and my ideas. But as I mentioned before, this is just basically community service and I won't get a dollar. They gave me a script, that they will revisit and they will tell me when the actual production begins...I am kinda excited about it because I love these things... Whenever I start it, you will know, and I will try to upload bits and pieces of the videos on youtube...

Later for now..

Friday, October 17, 2008

Day 211 { 3 on 2 Football / Where are the other ALTS?} - Thursday, October 16, 2008

Day 211 { 3 on 2 Football / Where are the other ALTS?}

Only 5 of us showed up to play football today after football with the kids... So The Japanese guys decided to let it be a 3 on 2 thing. Unfortunately they placed me on the 2 person team. However, they gave us the edge by allowing us to take corners but not give corners, as well as our goals worth 2 points but theirs worth only 1 point... This was very difficult as I had to be running all over the place with my unfit self. We managed to score a number of goals though and it was a good workout, even though my feet are aching terribly. And Richard, not even if mi a sleep walk yuh kudda bus my salad.

Lately, I have not been seeing the other ALTs around here very often. That is with the exception of one I see on some Wedesdays for the English conversation, and another one on some Thursdays to play football. And one sometimes at church on Sundays. I don't know if everyone is busy or they are meeting without me or what... Well I am sometimes busy too but lately I haven't been hearing much at all.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Day 210 { Tickling } - Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day 210 { Tickling }

The grade 3 teacher kept the class today in the gym... So at game time, the kids got loose and they ran and screamed at will. In this particular class, the kids tend to gang up on me and start tickling me to death. While the teacher either watch and dies with laughter or just go about his business, while the kids are having a whale of a time, torturing me. In this case, I either have to try and run away from them or gently shove them off. The latter don't work very well, because as soon as you push them off they are back in a jiffy.

Went to the English conversation class thingy today and I burned some classical music for the lady who trim my hair... My friend from my training sent me a text today saying that he is having a little difficulty with his Japanese Ex because she keep doing some weird stuff. But he said its a bit difficult to move on now because too many coffin dodgers (very old women) are in his area... I almsot died with laughter because my area is also loaded with them also.

Well thats all for today..Likkle more

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day 209 { TV Show / Going Home } - Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day 209 { TV Show / Going Home }

Got a call today from the company I work for, telling me that I have a meeting with the Board of Education this Friday. This meeting is pertaining to me being the host of a local English lessonTV show. The only thing is that, this is totally voluntary which means I won't even get 1 yen. But thats no problem, I think this might be some good exposure and may allow the people in my community be more aware of my presence. I still know that they would stare, but they will have at least a better idea of who I am. I am sooo hoping that at least one of the persons at the meeting will speak even a small amount of English...

I changed my car oil today at the gas station as well as ask the people there to do some general checks on my car. When I got to my apartment, I watched episode 3 of Dexter then went to bed. As I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, its like I have started back from day 1 in Japan, where I feel like I want to go home now. If this is a cycle, then later on I will feel like I want to spend another year. I prefer to know that its a cycle and fight myself to leave here, even though there is a 95% possibility that when I go back to Jamaica, I may ask myself "what the heck did I do?". If this is not a cycle, and I am going to feel this way until the end of my contract, then this will be a very sad story....And it wil be joy never ending when I leave here. I am also trying my utmost best to keep away from potential attachments in Japan ;-) because that can further cloud my decision to leave as well as complicate matters more seriously... Even more seriously than what happend to me in Brazil back in 2006 ;) ;( at least then I had to leave....

Well, at least most of my family and friends are back at home and no one will stare at me constantly because I am black.

Day 208 { Taken } - Monday, October 13, 2008

Day 208 { Sports Day Holiday / Taken }

Today was another holiday in Japan hoorayyy!!! A Sports Day holiday... Why don't Jamaica consider this as well ;-) I don't know if I mentioned it before but at these elementary schools in Japan, they have almost every single thing for every single sports that they do here. The starting gun for racing as well as the things you start off at when they say on your marks. I have no clue what the name of it is. In the gym, you find a ball for every sport, I kid you not and the school gyms are humongous... Plus they don't hire any helper at these schools. So the kids and the teachers all come together and clean the school everyday after lunch time.

Today I watched a show called "Taken" recommended by my friend Richard. And you were totally rightRichard, it was bad ass. Even though you, Sheldon and Andrew kept blabbering away about it, the show had me hooked from start till finish. Some parts of it were predictable but it was still a good watch..

Thats all for today.. Peace and love

Day 207 { Preach / New friends }- Sunday, October 12, 2008

Day 207 { Preach / New friends }


Caught train to Okayama City to meet some persons where I should preach at their church. So they met me at the station and then dropped me to the location where I was supposed to do the preaching. When I got there, I assisted with the setting up of the equipment etc. Then my translator came. I met with her briefly where she told me that she actually travelled to Jamaica before and spent some time in Spanish Town. I was like “SPANISH TOWN!!!” ABUNAI (Dangerous)…(and unnu know dat to Pantons) We were there chatting about all sort of things that were totally unrelated to the message that I was to deliver, only to hear the pastor call us in because they were ready to begin.

So they started off singing some songs both in Japanese and English and they asked me to play the drum and help out with the English songs. Then about 10 minutes after this, it was time for me to give the message…Now I am the type of person that doesn’t force my personal Christian beliefs on anyone. So anytime I’m asked to preach, I try my best to keep it as simple as possible. I also surround my preaching on love, as my personal belief is that God is simply trying to tell us all to love Him and Love each other. I also don’t subscribe to the belief that because I grew up in the church and my parents were Christians, I should follow suit. I still question many many things. Unlike many Christians who believe that the bible is a set of perfect, error free books, I am one who don’t think that way. That’s because no matter how inspired these men were who wrote the books of the bible, they were still MEN. Not only that, but if you should do a detailed study on the bible we use today, you will see that it’s a couple of MEN came together at meetings and decided and deliberated about what books should be in the bible (Canon). It wasn’t one meeting but several meetings ordered by several councils over several years. So believe it or not, the bible as we have it today was put together by some guys under the authority of a Bishop. http://www.catholicapologetics.org/ap031100.htm

Ask any logical thinking pastor or theologian, but not the dogmatic, “I am always right” and “listen to me and no one else” ones please. There are many of those in Jamaica. Or you can sinpy research it yourself...

Any way, my topic was – Living a life of Purpose for God

With the following sub- topics:

Be Prepared – Pray etc

Don’t be Scared – don’t worry God is in control

Your life will be Spared – If God send you on any dangerous mission, he will protect you. This ties in with the second topic about not worrying.

I spoke for 15 minutes in total and the other 15 minutes was translation. I also did a dub poem afterward … I wanted to speak some more to the lady who translated for me, but after the pastor captured me to play the drum, I could not move. Unfortunately she had to go before everything was over. I helped them packed and they dropped me off at the train station.

New Friends

In the train, I saw 2 ladies walking around aimlessly then they suddenly sat beside me. It is scarcely often in my area that a Japanese person will come and sit beside me even if there is no where else to sit. So I found it strange that 2 of them came and sat right beside me. I noticed that one of them looked a little different from the average Japanese though. I then heard a phone ring and the not so Japanese looking one answered. I know my Japanese ain't that good but that was no Japanese she was speaking and she was talking very loud in the train. Then the other girl's phone rang as well and she too was on the top of her voice in a strange language….So not only was the language different, but you will hardly ever find a Japanese on a train speaking on top of their voice. So when they came off the phone, I asked them where they were from… 1 of them was from China and the other from Thailand… Hear the problem now, their English is terrible, worst than most of the Japanese people I know. So our middle ground language was, JAPANESE because they could speak it well. They wanted to take pictures with me and they even offered me some of their food on the train…They were both going to a city which was about 2 hours from my city and they had to change trains in my city. However, their train wouldn’t be coming until the next 2 hours…So I offered to drive them around my area for a while…Yes, Mr. Good Samaritan … So I took them to my favourite restaurant Joyful. And guess what? They actually paid for my food. :) I eventually let them chill out at my apartment then I took them back to the train station and they both sent me a text informing me they got home…Yes thats my clothes drying in the background.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Day 206 { Brazil Reminder / Scorpion King 2 } - Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day 206 { Brazil Reminder / Scorpion King 2 }

A day to rest. I did absolutely nothing today except stayed on the internet. I didn't even open my apartment door. My friend from Jordon who I met in Brazil in 2006, ruined my day by reminding me of the events in Brazil. He sent a slide show to all the persons from across the world who went to Brazil for the event. Its not that it was bad, but totally the opposite. This was one of the single most memorable experiences I've ever had in my entire life. The slide show brought back the fond memories as if it was only yesterday. I remember after that event in Brazil and the participants were to go back to their different countries, it was very sad. And almost everyone there was weeping non-stop... I am like a wall so I don't cry that easily ;) But it was interesting to see over one hundred people from across the world, both males and females just weeping away like there will be no tomorrow. And its all because we were going to miss each other and not know when we will meet again. To date, I've met only one of these stewards again. And that was when I went to Trinidad, which was 5 months after Brazil. Not even my other Jamaican friend who went with me I've seen since. A detailed outline of this Brazilian experience may be found here http://davecolly.blogspot.com/2007/12/trip-to-brazil-world-council-of.html
I don't care waht anyone else thinks or want to say, but Brazilian girls are the hottest on the planet :-D

Today I wasted about 1 hour of my time watching this movie called Scorpion King 2 - Rise of a Warrior. Which should probably be called Scorpion King 2 - Rise of a dumb movie with terrible actors. I watched part 1 some years ago and I think it was ok. But part 2...oooh boy, I don't know if this or Cloverfield was worst to me. What a tragic waste of 1 hour!!!, even though the movie took 1 hour and about 40 mins. Some parts I just could not watch... The acting was terrible, the plot was foolish and the animation was a disaster...I don't know why I took so long watching it to tell you the truth.

I ended up spending the rest of the day watching bleach and Naruto Shippuden. I finally caught up to where Naruto Shippuden is presently on the TV broadcast. I am about half way to catching up with Bleach.

Day 205 { My Schools / Tax } - Friday, October 10, 2008

Day 205 { My Schools / Tax}

Went to my nearest and one of my overall better school today. My best would probably be a tie between this, my main school and my Thursday one. And let me explain just in case one of the teachers at any of my others schools happen to visit my blog :) and start to show me bad face... I know that about 2 of the teachers at my main school visit my blog occationally... How did I know?? I remember when I mentioned something in my blog about a class misbehaving. Then this school invited me to barbecue. While at the barbecue a teacher said to me...."You really thought my class was misbehaving" ... I was shocked out of my witts and I started to stutter. But then she said its because the parents were viewing the class thats the reason for that behaviour. I do not show any favouritism though but this is just my personal feelings towards all the schools...And I do thoroughly enjoy all of them, just some more than the others...

Main school - Because I visit them twice a week, I think the kids are somewhat used to seeing me around. This is good for the most part. But some kids are just too quiet in the classes. Many times, my feeling in the classes are totally based on the responsiveness of the kids. Hey, but they give me a laptop here, and what more could I ask for than that :) Plus most of the teachers speak English... So in terms of communication with the Japanese teachers, this school is definitely number 1 by farrr. They are so used to seeing me around at this school that when visitors come and look at me strange and possibly starting to ask "hey, who is that black guy?"... The people here would possibly say, "where??" Then when they realise its me they will say, "ooh thats just Dave Sensei the English teacher".

Tuesday school - Those guys in the 6th grade class need to be controlled even though the teacher is a cool guy. A few in the grade 5 class are also rotten. The teachers here hardly speak English but they are nice.

Thursday school - The kids here teach me Japanese, they draw me away to play basket ball and run around and they always want to show me new stuff...So this is why I really like this school. Some of the teachers here speak English but some don't. Most of them don't speak to me that much though.

Friday school 1 - The kids are always happy to see me and this in turn makes me glad to see them too. I also think this is because they dont see me that often. They all have this incredible vibe and they all want to learn...Most of the teachers here also seem very happy when I am around.
Friday school 2 - They are just normal, but this very rotten kid from the grade 1-2 class get on my nerves, and the teacher does very little to try to stop him. This kid march out the class at will and not even the vice principal seem to can control him... The teachers here are very cool though even though most of them speak very little English.

So in general, I enjoy all of them and most of the kids enjoy my classes it seem.

There is this tax thing I heard that we have to pay either before or after leaving Japan... I call it the "Foreigner living in Japan tax"... And its about 150,000 yen... I heard that if you dont pay it... Then where ever in the world you are, they will draw it out of your bank account... If you don't have a bank account then I dont know what they will do. I thought it was strange, but the head ALT around here said its the same thing in Canada and its probably 3 times the cost.... What I dont know is if its as long as you live in Japan as a foreigner or as long as you are working here..

After work I went to Friday English conversation where the leader reminded me that I am preaching this Sunday in the main city.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Day 204 {Crying Japanese Kid / Fish Tanks / Butt Up Game } - Thursday, October 9, 2008

Day 204 {Crying Japanese Kid / Fish Tanks Butt Up Game }

Ok so today we were playing this numbers game for my 3rd grade class, where the kids should call some numbers but not call others. This girl kid was supposed to say the number twelve (12) and she suddenly burst into tears because God alone knows why... At my other schools, the teacher would probably ignore this and move on, but ooh no, not at my main school. So the 3rd grade teacher (who happends to be the English coordinator for this school) held up the class for a good 7-10 minutes until this little girl said twelve (12). I mean this child was crying as if she was in some excruciating pain that know one else knew about. This is while the teacher was stooping down, staring at her and kept saying Gambarte, Gambarte (do your best) until she finally said it. When she finally said twelve (12) and everybody can continue with their lives, it got around to her again, but this time she said her number easily.... What was this crying for??? Only the mighty father knows. During that 7 - 10 minutes of the teacher trying to get the girl to speak, the room was in total silence, and the other kids were looking at the girl. I had nothing to do but stare in space, occationally scratch my head, and put my hands in my pocket.

In most if not all of these elementary school classrooms, there are some fish tanks in them. I still wonder how these fish survive in a fish tank that looks like it has never been cleaned since the battle of Waterloo where Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by the seventh coalition. You can see the fish in the tank almost crying for help and no one to help them. Each classroom tank water have a different colour. One room will have a partly cloudy tank, another one looking brown, while still another has neon green. Why are these tanks in the classrooms and not being cleaned? I have not the "Foggiest" idea.

Today I went to soccer with my friend Jamie and agin we played until 10 pm. Before the soccer started, Jamie introduced us to this game known as BUTTS UP, that they apparently play in her area of the USA (Missouri) .... Its really about juggling the football amongst a group of people, until someone drops the ball 3 times. When this happens, then the person who drops the ball 3 times will have to stay in the goal, bend over slightly, then every one else involved in the game try to aim a ball at their butt.... Now now now friends, I in no way subscribe to the idea of balls and butts coming together in any way, shape or form. So, when I decided to play, I made certain not to drop the ball 3 times... However, others weren't that lucky, inclusive of Jamie who introduced this game. So Jamie had to go in the goal and all the players lined up and aimed the footballs at her butt... As to whether or not I went into the goal, is not important right now. So yes, we then played soccer until we were drained of energy. My thighs were aching like crazy, but I still managed to score 3 goals :-) Jamie also scored 3 goals, and it was all good fun...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day 203 { Dexter / Wives Stay Home } - Wednsday, October 8, 2008

Day 203 { Dexter / Wives Stay Home }

Had only 2 classes today because my main school forgot that I should also go there tomorrow, which is not usual. I then went home but didn't go to my normal Wednesday English conversation thing because I was too tired. I stayed in and watched one of my favourite TV shows called..... DEXTER ... I started watching this series last year, off recommendation from my friends and now I am hooked. I watched the first 2 seasons and now season 3 started 2 weeks ago I think. If you dont know about it, its about this blood splatter expert, forensic, police guy who is also a serial killer. So I downloaded the first 2 episodes of season 3 because I dont really like the streaming on www.surfthechannel.com (where you can watch literally ANY and EVERY TV show from across the world).

Derrian, I tasted nato once and it wasn't extremely terrible but the smell and the look will turn you off instantly. Its actually spoiled beans mixed up with some stuff. I heard its very healthy. It seem as if its the healthy food in Japan I really hate, like egg, Nato and tofu... I would rather search out other healthy food.

Again Derrian, you encouraged this topic about Wives stay home. You asked why doesn't my landlord invite his wife out with us. Well its simple, Japanese wives stay home at nights. Well thats if they don't have the 18 hour jobs that most Japanese in general has. Its just an understanding in Japanese culture that the husband go out and chill, get drunk and do silly things with the guys, while the wives stay in, look after the kids and house stuff. If they have the 18 hour jobs, then they stay at work all day while the kids and house stuff are left up to the Grand mother. I must also mention that most Japanese, maybe 75% of them, don't depart from their parent's home.... Its either both parties in the marriage agree to stay with the husband's parents or with the parents of the wife. So a normal Japanese house hold consist of husband, wife, kids, plus mother and father of either the husband or the wife. You have a minor few of the wives who go out occationally and as soon as it touches a certain time, they have to rush home. Now it leaves me to wonder, how much time the husband and their wives spend together here????? I am not yet brave enough to ask any of the married Japanese guys here that question... But looking on, most foreigners deduce that, the Japanese wives hardly get any love from their husbands, BUT most are still faithful to the very end. Infidelity is almost and I stress almost unheard of. I am sure it happens but if it does, its viewed possibly the same as how homosexuality is viewed in Jamaica. There is this lady that comes to the bible study I attend on Mondays. And her husband's family has a massive field with crops of all sorts. Now, this lady who is not used to the planting and uprooting business, is stuck every month or so, having to go and look after crops on the field. We asked her if she like to do it. And her response was "I HATE IT" ... But she has to do it... In Japan, the way of doing things is to follow and obey everything. In the western hemisphere its to invent and come up with new ideas. We would ask the question "Why don't you do that another way?" ... In Japan they will ask you "Why do you do it another way? "

The Japanese society is extremely honest and has a high morale... I use the word honest losely. When I say honest, I mean in terms of work ethics and family stuff etc... But most will give you a load of bull when it comes on to other things. Like you will never hear anything bad about you, even if they think you are the worst person on the planet... They will never tell you that they are offended about a given situation... Its always some polite bull... They avoid confrontation at all cost and thats why any complaints about us ALTS are sent to our company, and not directly to us. They will tell you that you are nice and they like you and all manner of things, even if they don't. I am sure sometimes they do mean it, but when they don't, yu will never know. So they will tell you no bounds of bull...

Even the Japanese language is full of bull. For example, here are a few Japanese words loaded with bull:

SHITeimaska - Do you know?
wakarimaSHITa - I understand
aSHITa - Tomorrow

Actually, adding maSHITa (no not mine nor yours) to most of the Japanese verbs, is the polite form of saying stuff in the past tense (soo full of bull shiteimaska)... For example

untenshimaSHITa - Drove
kiimaSHITa - Asked
hanashimaSHITa - Spoke (now you can literally tell someone that they are talking ______, without being offensive)

Continuing, now, the new generation coming up from Jr. High to High school, is getting increasingly more promiscuous.... Case in point, the short skirts that 80% of the females now wear, ultimately blinding the male teachers. Not only that, many of the females here some what enjoy flirting around with foreigners even if they already have a boyfriend. This is hardly true in the country areas but its very very popular in the big cities like Tokyo and Osaka. This actually caused many a heart aches for many a foreigners.

Well take care for now...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 202 { Japanese Classroom Management / More Karaoke } - Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 202 { Japanese Classroom Management / More Karaoke }

I almost got to my Tuesday school late again, because of my seemingly irresistance to the internet in the morning.

The grade 6 class at this school is probably my worst class out of all the 5 schools I teach at. There are especially 2 male kids that continually disturb the class and seem not to care about what is going on. The teacher for this class is so soft that the kids don't even take him seriously. He will be telling them to shhhh and all they do is laugh and sometime make fun of him. I remember at one point when the teacher was trying to get this guy to keep quiet, and all the kid did was attempt to stick the teacher with a pin... hmmm .... This kinda thing angers me but what can I do? Absolutely nothing but either continue teaching or keep quiet myself. This is because the Japanese school system allow the kids to pretty much do what they want, fortunately, most of the kids are very well disciplined. But there are however a few bad eggs, like the ones in the 6 grade class at my Tuesday school. This is the only school I have this type of problem with. There are a couple schools here though where I heard that there are some seriously suicidal kids and some other kids who run around and behave crazy. But the ALTs have to just sit and watch, we can' do anything, and many times, the teachers dont do a thing about it.... Its not our place to do or suggest anything so we have to just stand off. This is just the Japanese way of doing their thing...

The few grade 6 kids at my Tuesday school are are not extremely terrible, but they are very disruptive. The other thing about this class is that, it seem as if all the girls and all the boys are in some sort of malice. I heard thats what happen most times though as soon as they get to grade 6 and onwards to Jr. High School and high school. Its as if the girls and the boys are arch enemies. I was trying to get this group of grade 6 girls and boys together to play a game; and it was like trying to book a ticket to mars on air Jamaica or like trying to get Bush and Bin Laden to discuss politics over coffee. It just wasn't happening.
So again after I taught the 3 classes, I was bored... So I went to run around with the kids in the gym then read some interesting blogs.

I then went home, after which me and my land lord went to dinner. Athough my landlord is this really cool guy, he can get extremely annoying and stupid when he is drunk. At the first restaurant he brought me to, the lady who owned the restaurant wanted to touch me hair, so I gave her the go ahead. It was the first time she was touching a black man's hair and she is probably about 65. After this, my landlord in his druken state suddenly felt like touching my adam's apple and occationally sticking my arm with this pointed iron knife looking thing???? We then linked up with one of his other friends and we went to a small karaoke bar. I realise that I actually enjoy doing this karaoke thing more than I initially thought. The choice of songs were somewhat limited, so I sang or attempted to sing the following songs:

ルーキーズ オリジナル動画を作ってみた
by Greeeen

Haruka Kanata by Asian Kung fu Generation

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=YvKxJ2E__so by

Boombastic by Shaggy

How you remind me by Nickel back

Banana Boat song by Harry Belafonte

It was fun and the other Japanese there, espcially liked the Banana Boat song and Boombastic. They also hailed my attempt at the first 2 Japanese songs, but laughed when they noticed I was simply trying to pronounce the hiragana and katakana characters that pop up on the screen. When I see one I recognise, I say it very loud ;) and the rest is just mumblings along side some very rich, sophisticated, profound CRAP!!! ..... Apparently because my eyes are humongous (thanks to my Dad), granting me wonderful aliases in the past like "Public eye" and "bulby"; they (my eyes) supposedly bulge during my singing. While I was singing one of the songs, I noticed my landlord and his friend moving towards me, each with a chop stick, and motioning as if they wanted to stick me in the eye... ahhh bwoyyy!!! How did these men get married???? Or is it that the Japanese girls are just as nuts as them lol... ???

Ok later

Day 201 { No Nato / Japanese Women Bicycle Riders } - Monday, October 6, 2008

Day 201 { No Nato / Japanese Women Bicycle Riders }

My regular schedule was changed today and for the remaining portion of October, I will be teaching 4 classes instead of 3 at my main school. I am in no way complaining about this, as its more fun to teach than to sit and stare in space while smiling until my face hurts. At this school though, after I finish teaching, most of the time I am glued to the screen of the laptop they give me to use. I really dont know if this prompted them to add one more class because of my obvious boredom after teaching only 3 classes. Anyway you look at it though, I much prefer 4 classes than 3 even though its more tiring. Wow strange, at my last job, I wanted them to take off teaching time, and at my present job I want them to put on teaching time...

So today at lunch, they warned me early that the kids will be eating this terrible tasting, bad smelling, very nasty looking thing called NATO. To date, I am still wondering how people eat that stuff. Just look at that picture that I posted. It looks like spoiled beans mixed with glue.
So I was at lunch and they gave me something else to replace the terrible Nato. This other thing is known as NORI. NORI is the pressed out sea weed thing that I dont really like either. The nori is packaged in a plasic thingy and was placed beside the other food in my tray for lunch...As I mentioned, I dont like Nori either, but its much better than Nato...My mission now is to put this Nori in my pocket without being noticed by kids or a teachers.... This is difficult as often time, many of them tend to stare endlessly at the foreigner... The last time I tried to pull this stunt, a kid noticed that the Nori dissappeared from my tray and it was replaced instantenously along with another one coming from a sensei......

This is an account of how I hid the nori...

Again I must reiterate that it is difficult to pull of this hiding the food trick because there is over a dozen Japanese kids staring at you while using their index fingers to clean their nose. So, I looked everywhere until the kids kinda stopped looking at me, then now its time to look out for the Japanese teachers who walk around like a surveillance camera and make certain that the kids eat every single rice grain ???? So yes, the coast is clear now and I quickly grabbed the
nori silently and forced it in my pocket...and whew thats a relief... Later after lunch, the office administrator asked me if I enjoyed the nori???? So I told her "Yes of course" ... I am now wondering if that was a trick question and if she saw when I hid the nori in my pocket... I dont know and probably never will.

Switching stories now.... Japan has some of the strangest females in the world I think. They are however extemely good at multitasking. For example, you will see a very nice looking female riding a bicycle in her high heels while holding an umbrella if the rain is falling (which is illegal) and if you are lucky, maybe even see them putting on lipstick and/or combing their hair... SERIOUSLY !! :) ... One of my friends said she would like to accidentally brush against one of them one day and see how well they can maneuver in that situation. Then you also have the school girls and Lord have mercy on those skirts that are probably 50 inches above their knees, and they are still tring to draw them down if a little breeze blow... If these girls were ever in Jamaica, Im sure there would be many a accidents. Both vehicular and otherwise.