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

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Day 285 [ Twilight / The Day The Earth Stood Still ] - Monday, December 29, 2008

Day 285 [ Twilight / The Day The Earth Stood Still ]

Today I watched 2 movies. Both of them was a waste of my time.

I watched Twilight which is more like a girl teenage movie and guys should only watch this movie if they want to attempt to please their girlfriends. It was kind of boring to me.

Then there was Keanu Reeves' movie, the day the earth stood still. Oh my....I had very very high expectations of this movie when I saw the preview, but alas, to my dismay, the movie was a grand waste of my time. I even fell asleep in the while watching it. Then worst I heard that Keanu Reeves got married to a guy (not sure if its a rumour or its the truth), it made me resent the movie even more.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Day 284 [ My Show Begins ] - Sunday, December 28, 2008

Day 284 [ My Show Begins ]

So my Show starts today on the local cable network in Niimi, Okayama. The name again is Dave no eigo de yute minsee. Yute Minsee is a local dialect which means to speak or to say...I think. If you go anywhere else in Japan and say it, they will be wondering what on earth are you talking about.

I went to church today and told them that today my show starts. But not many of them have cable (not even me have cable byt the way), so we probably won't get to see it unless we go by somebody's house who has cable.

Day 283 [ Slum Dog Millionaire ] - Saturday, December 27, 2008

Day 283 [ Slum Dog Millionaire ]

Stayed in for most of the day but I watched a movie name Slum dog millionaire. Its about some kids from a poverty stricken area in India and one of the guys came on who wants to be a millionaire (Indian version) and ended up winning. It was somewahat interesting but also somewhat predictable. It showed some ugly sides to India though which reminded me of the ugly sides of innercity Jamaica.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Day 282 [ Greeted by Snow ] - Friday, December 26, 2008

Day 282 [ Greeted by Snow ]

Today is my Dad's birthday so HAPPY Birthday Dad. I can't even tell the last time I see that guy. Maybe it was about 2006 there about. Today is boxing day in many western countries, so my dad was born on boxing day and I think him really need a box (only Jamaicans would get this I think).

I should have gone to take the licence exam today again but firstly, I was running a little late for the train...I thought the train time was 7:33 when really it was 7:23.....My watch was saying 7:19 when I was running to my car, only to be greeted by a snow covered car. There was no way I was going to rush to the train station with snow on the road... So I had to call my independent contractor and told her to re-schedule my appointment for January 5, 2009. This date was actually my original plan. So maybe I could blame it on myself for my always rushing behaviour. Or it could be that, I just shouldn't have gone today. I prefer to choose the latter :) this is the video of the snow on my car.... http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=dbjZ-xHguhI

I asked the producer guy who did the directing and what not for my TV show, if I could put a clip of it on youtube, so I could show my friends. He said it would be a little difficult but he will ask a few persons...When he called me back, he said that he and his boss thought it would be a good idea, but the Board of Education and my company said NOOO WAYYY!!! So sorry guys, you won't get to see it properly until either my mom show it to you in Jamaica on a DVD or you come and watch it in Niimi or I stop working for this company.

Happy holidays my friends

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Day 281 [ A very Quiet Christmas Day ] - Thursday, December 25, 2008

Day 281 [ A very Quiet Christmas Day ]

Merry Christmas Everybody!!!

This is the day we Christians use to "celebrate" the birth of Christ. Even though history shows that the act actually has pagan origins, we Christians somewhat changed the original meaning :) Surely today was a normal working day in Japan.

Today was the first time in my life I can recall spending Christmas away from family and also in another country. I spent almost the entire day in my apartment. I didn't have any big dinner :( nor did I have people around me :( So what better to do than to read my bible, pray and watch anime :) ... I watched 2 anime movies by Miyazaki, a famous anime director guy. They were:

My Neighbour Totoro (Tonari no totoro) [ This cartoon is almost like a Japanese symbol, every kid and adult knows it. Even though its from 1988]

Howl's moving castle ( Hauru no Ugoku Shiro )

I then went to the Board of Education and collected 2 DVDs of my show which should start airing in my community this coming Sunday. I am going to ask for permission to see if I can put a clip of it on youtube. I am anticipating a big "NO" but I will still ask.

Stewart Panton, you are truly a harsh critic... Even harsher than the four (4) Japanese persons who helped me put the radio program together. They said my pronounciations were pretty fine. And what you don't realise is that this is JAPAN its not an English speaking country, so speaking slowly is the best thing... It has nothing to do with being retard bro, not many people here know English properly. And even though I speak slowly, some persons still won't have a clue what I said. You can't and won't understand unless you come here bro. You have been speaking English all your life so it will sound strange to you and other English speakers. Ask your brother Stephen about it. And even if you come here with your knowledge of the Japanese language, there are still going to be people who don't understand what you are saying, even though you are speaking Japanese...Its strange son.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day 280 { Traitor / Candle Light Service } - Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day 280 { Traitor / Candle Light Service }

Ahh its Christmas eve and I am feeling for some ham, sorreal, fruit cake and smoked chicken.. But where can I get that in my area of Japan??? Only the good Lord in heaven knows.

Today I spent most of the day inside my apartment. I read my bible, watched a movie called traitor which was pretty intersting. And I also exercised, something that I haven't done in a while.
The movie traitor had me interested for a a good 2 hours or so. If you like those movies with major twists, near to the end, and keep you in a little suspense, then you can watch this.

I went to a candle light service, organised by the church that I now attend. It started at about 7 pm and ended at about 9pm. I then went to a karaoke bar in the night with my friend.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 279 { Christmas Choraling in Japanese } - Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 279 { Christmas Choraling in Japanese }

My barber, invited me to a Christmas choral thing about 2 weeks ago, which should be held in Tojo, which is about 40 minutes from my home town. I invited one of my friends.... plus the other ALT that live on my apartment complex, asked for a lift with us. So we all went together to meet up with my other Japanese friend from the Wednesday English conversation classes. We went into the building where the choral thing was being held a little after it already started. The place was packed so the 4 of us had to sit at the front. Of course you know, everybody was staring at us walking in a bit late, in addition to being foreigners... About 10 minutes after we sat down, kayoko from the English conversation started to nod into sleep. then shortly after, Ayumi who dropped us there started to nod off as well. I was like "aah, I guess they are really tired and/or really bored".... I didn't bother to ask them which was it...

After the choral concert thing, Kayoko took us to an ice cream shop which was wayyy deeper in the country side of Tojo. Maybe like 15-20 minutes of winding country road... We saw the signs directing us to the ice cream place, but there was no ice cream place to be seen after a long time... When we reached, the place had a bunch of cows (supporting my argument from Day 203 that Japan is full of bullshiteru?? - Shiteru means "to know" or "do you know" or something to that effect).As well as a playground for kids..
The icecream there was very delicious...thanks Kayoko :) I know you are reading this...But why were you making the cows lick my camera? and know that I would put it on my blog? LOL ..Ok no problem at all ;). After this we went back to our homes...

Day 278 { Licence Exam #2 / Main School Nomikai } - Monday, December 22, 2008

Day 278 { Licence Exam #2 / Main School Nomikai }

Today I woke up at about 5:30 am and hurried to the train station. I parked my car and was about to buy a ticket to get on the train. But there was no one in the station for me to purchase the train ticket from nor to leave my car key with. So I ran on the train and got to Okayama city at a 7:33 am without a ticket. So I purchased the ticket when I got to Okayama city and told the people where I took the train... I started to wonder to myself if I couldnt tell them that I got on the train somewhere nearby, and pay less money....hmmmm .. But naah im a good guy ;) But I see where its possible that it can be done.

So I met my Independent Contractor and we went to the licence centre again. When we got there, she said we will be doing course #2... The one that I know and the one which is the harder of the 2. My IC said that most times when she come there, its course #2 they give the foreigners to do...WHY???? Why does so many things have to be so difficult for foreigners here??? Anyway, I walked around the course twice, to make certain that I have it correctly in my head...
I think I do...and in my head, there was nothing that could prevent me from passing today, except if the people don't want me to pass... Well I get the feeling that they don't want us to pass. Because I remember my friend told me that when she was going for her licence, some men there were talking to eachother and asking stuff like, "Why do all these foreigners need licence for?" ... She further said that a foreign lady who was nearby, understood what they were saying and spoke back to them in Japanese.... The men of course were shocked that she could speak the language...Anyway, so after walking around the course, and full of confidence that this time I must pass, it was time to take the exam again. So the examiner came in and explained what we should do... She then asked if everyone was ok with what she said...So, 2 of us there asked her a question... And the lady did not answer us properly... I was number 4 out of 5 people.... All foreigners...

It was now my time to take the exam... I did everything that I was told at the driving lesson then started the course. In my head, I did everything smoothly and was waiting to hear that I need to sign up the papers to get my licence....ha ha ha...The following were the reasons why the examiner said I failed:

1) I need to turn around my head more than once when changing lines

2) I should only turn my neck and not my shoulder and neck when changing lanes

3) I need to slow down "just a little bit more" before approaching a blind corner

So these were the reasons why I failed my friends...I cannot tell you how shocked I was ... Shocked firstly because I actually failed and secondly because of the reasons why they said I failed... Even now I am still in dis-belief at these people at the licence centre....Its strange how most Japanese persons that take this driving exam, pass on their first or second attempt but MOST (certainly not all) foreigners have to take the test 5, 6 and 7 times...Sorry its just too much of a coincidence not to talk about this. Yes so this was the first half of my bad day...

The second half was that I was again suckered into going to a Nomekai (drinking Party) that I somehow didn't know that I was to pay for. So this is how it happened. Some persons at my main school invited me to this thing about 3 weeks ago...And I said "SURE, I will come" ... Not one mention was made of cost, because I thought this was them inviting me to just have a good time with them...I remember when they invited me, I heard a teacher mentioned TOFU... So I said, "TOFU??? You know I don't eat that right"... And they said, "Soka soka (oooh yes yes)" ... So at that time I said "Well i guess i should not come then?" ... and they were like..."NO NO. PLEASE COME ON COME ON" so I said, "ok I will"... again, totally oblivious of the cost involved...

When they said come on, I thought they would take me into consideration that I DO NOT LIKE TOFU...OR they would change the venue... ha ha ha... When the teachers picked me up at my apartment today and we went to the place, it was very much the "TOFU" Restaurant. And when I got there, my food was already pre-ordered and placed on a table ready for me.... ahhh, I must admit that this style is very unlike the west and I personally don't like it... I much prefer to have some sort of idea what I am going to eat OR order what I want to eat myself. Not to come and see a bunch of stuff that I have no idea what it is, placed in front of me.... Then the worst thing about it was that... I had to pay 5000 yen for it.... What can be worst than paying 5000 yen to get some food that you dont want to eat??? The Nomikai on Day 272, (last tuesday), with my tuesday ekaiwa friends was different because the organiser told us from early what the cost was. And this place had some western style food that we could get like pizza and fries.

So yes...I felt a little bad at this nomekai today because most of the food was tofu based, and or raw fish (Sashimi)... that I don't really like either.... and I had to pay 5000 yen for it.... I come from a country where every single thing is cooked... If its not cooked, then chances are I am not going to like it very much... and some of the persons there STILL cant get it that "I DONT LIKE TOFU"... some one was even still trying to force me to eat it and telling me that its delicious...and I had to tell him "noooo"... Somebody else said "try it" .. I said "I tried it a long time ago and I JUST DONT LIKE IT".... The taste is not going to change...

I must admit though that it was fun hanging out and talking and laughing with them... So in my head, I paid the 5000 yen for the fun and laughter but not the food...I went to karaoke afterwards with a few of them... then went home...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day 277 { Church in Japanese Only / Cleaning } - Sunday, December 21, 2008

Day 277 { Church in Japanese Only / Cleaning }

Went to church this morning but there were no English speakers. Hmmmm... I wonder if it makes any sense to still go there when there is no one to translate? When my translator friends are there then fine, but, if they are not what do I do?? Ohhhh we all eat after church :) .... The pastor's wife is so predictable... I could see her concern when her husband started to preach and I had no clue what he was saying. I saw she got up and in my mind I was saying "I bet she is trying to find some way to help me out but don't know what to do"... Yup and I was correct... she was walking around the entire house..looking for I don't know what...then finally she found an English to Japanese dictionary... now I was saying to myself... "what is she going to do what that???, I can bet you she is going to give it to me" ... So she and one of her daughters were there talking and touching up buttons on the dictionary... And I was there watching them all the time while the pastor was there preaching in Japanese, and I was amusing myself watching the pastor's wife and his daughter, trying to figure out some way to help me out... Well I give them credit for that...but what could they really do if they can't commnicate to me in English???... So I saw the pastor's wife with the dictonary in her hand...then after she sat there with it for about 2 minutes...as I predicted, she gave the dictionary to me...
Now, this dictionalry was in only Japanese ... Absolutely no instructions in English... I however figured out how to use it. But, this was of absolutely no help to me at all, except to randomly type English and Japanese words in it, to find their meanings, while the pastor was preaching...

After church, one of the daughter's came to me..and all I heard was "Dave San" followed by "Japanese, Japanese, Japanese, and more Japanese"... I only understood the Dave San part...But, I ate with them..tried to converse a little, then I went home.

After church, I cleaned my apartment thouroughly...It took about 2 hours...Thanks to a friend who lent me a vacuum cleaner.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Day 276 { Internet Radio Show Start / Driving Lesson } - December 20, 2008 <** 9 MONTHS ** >

Day 276 { Internet Radio Show Start / Driving Lesson / Special Guest } - <** 9 MONTHS ** >

Internet Radio show start

Yes friends, my Internet radio show starts today, 9 months after I got to Japan.. If you listen to it, please don't laugh at how I speak. I have to speak very slowly if Iwant the none English speaking, Japanese audience to understand. If you are from Jamaica, then the little Japanese I speak in it, you might not understand. Please also try not to laugh at the stupid antics that I go on with.... Its Entertainment ok??? Stewart, now you get a better chance to hear my Japanese pronounciations... Its not as good as yours but hey, I'm trying. So again, the program maybe found at the following:

CAMNET.JP/RADIO - This is for internet listeners (about 25 minutes)

CAMNET. JP - This is for listeners via cell phone (10 minutes)

Driving Lesson
Woke up at about 6 this morning to catch a train in the 7:00 am bells. I started going to this other train station now which is only about 5-7 minutes away from me and has less stop lights to deal with before getting there. The only thing is that they told me I have to pay 200 yen to park my car... but thats no problem at all. So I got to Okayama City and met an Independent contractor (IC), the same one who went with me to the licence centre on Day 187 - September 22.... When I did this horrible scheme set up by the Japanese government to frustrate foreigners who drive and want a driver's licence, known as the "JAPANESE DRIVER'S LICENCE - (DRIVING) EXAMINATION"... As I mentioned before also, the written exam is very easy, but the practical is a pain.... I was told by many that its next to impossible to pass this exam without lessons...So I sacrificed train fare ( 2560 yen ) plus 5000 yen (for the lesson) to drive around the actual course that I am going to take another attempt at the licence on. I will be making another attempt this coming Monday, December 22, God's willing...

There are 2 courses, and on the morning of the exam, they tell you which one everybody will be attempting. When I paid my 5000 yen, the guy told my IC that I can only practise on 1 and not both courses for the driving lesson...Because I would get confused... I was like, 5000 yen to practise on only 1 course????? Oh Lord, thats just ridiculous....I chose course 2 because it is the more difficult of the 2 courses plus I did course 1 on the last exam...Anyway the driving instructor was really cool and he drove around course #2 first and told me what to do and what not to do... I then drove around it twice to get a good hang of it... It wasn't too bad... then he actually asked me if I want to try course # 1 and I of course said YES!!!! So I drove around course #1 as well... The instructor then told me all the best in the driving exam on Monday... He then told me he watched the movie cool runnings... Aaah if only this guy could be the examiner on Monday....

I then went to BIC Camera to exchange my sonic the Hedgehog game to a game name resistance 2..Because the reviews about sonic were terrible but resistance 2 had some good ratings. I also almost mistakingly cashed Far cry 2 for the XBOX 360 instead of the PS3... I only saw Far Cry 2 and ran to pick it up then when I was about to cash it, I noticed the XBOX logo on the game and had to run and take it back quickly. I played far cry 1 for the PC about 2 years ago I think, and to me, it was easily one of the best games I have ever played in my life time...Part 2 has some good reviews, so I surely will be getting it...When will I get the time to actually play these games.....thats another story....

Guest Artist
About 3 weeks ago, this guy invited me to sing some songs at a concert thingy that should be held today... So I said no problem. So the guy's brother picked me up today and showed me a flyer that had my name on it as GUEST ARTIST!!!!... Ahh bwoy.... The concert thingy was pretty interesting to say the least.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Day 275 { No Body Odor / Please Don't Cry :( } - Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 275 { No Body Odor / Please Don't Cry :( }

At the Friday English conversations that I go to, the lady told me that as far as she knows, Japanese don't carry a body odor...Well she would know because her husband is Japanese... Neither does Japanese dogs like one called "Shiba kens" have a bad smell...Wow thats interesting...Maybe I will try to smell one of the girls from yesterday to see if its true :) ......... Ok don't pay me any mind....

A little girl in the grade 3-4 class today at this school, told the classroom teacher to translate to me that, she won't be coming back to this school for the new year. So I asked why...And she said because her parents moved to a new location so they are going to start a new elementary school. So I decided to pretend as if I was crying. Only to see the little girl broke down in tears and crying very loudly... The other students had to be calming her down and I was there telling her "dont mind, dont mind" ... But her loud sobs suddenly started to make my eyes burn so I had to run away quickly before I embarass myself. Because big men like me, DEAR not even show a hint of emotion..... I was shocked that the little girl was crying like this...I guess maybe because I am taking this job so lightly, I was totally unaware of the impact that I am actually making.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 274 { Lions Club Invitation } - Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day 274 { Lions Club Invitation }

Took some photos with the grade 6 class at my Thursday school today. A teacher at my main school told me that these kids are going to link up with my main school kids at Jr. High school next year. She further said that the main school kids are afraid to be in class with my Thursday school kids because the main school kids are mostly shy and withdrawn while the Thursday school kids are very talkative, playful and way more socialable. I think that would be good for my main school kids though....

Anyway, the lions club in my area, invited all of the ALTs around here to a gathering of somesort... I got the email from my company about 2 weeks ago... All it said was to indicate whether I would like to go or not... So because I want to get the most out of this place, I said, ok let me go.... I however thought that this was an invitation from The Board of Education and not necessarily the Lions club... So in my mind it was just another social gathering of sorts. One of my ALT friends then asked me if I could drop him to the lions club thing... I told him that I don't know because I should be attending a "Board of Education thing" ... It turned out that it was the samething so I told him that I would give him a lift. Plus it would work out better for me, as I don't know where the place was... It so happend that later in the day, my friend decided to go with his girlfriend, so now I don't know how to find this place...He then told me that I could follow behind them... Now I had no idea what to wear at this thing, so because, in my mind it was a party, and nobody saw the need to further inform me about this thing, I decided to wear my usual sweater and other "Try to be as warm as possible" clothes... Low and behold, while I was driving to go follow my ALT friend and his girlfriend, a good bunch of the other ALTs who were well dressed up in Jacket, tie and very elegantly looking clothes stopped me in the heavy traffic... Now I was surprised that they were all dressed up like this... So I wanted to go back home and wear my jacket and stuff. However, the traffic was a bit too much to turn back, plus we were already running a little late, like good foreigners living up to our status ....

So I went right ahead in my "I want to be warm" clothes ...... The other Alts that came with me were supposed to go with a taxi...this was so funny... Apparently, the taxi was across from us waiting, but they weren't sure so they were all in my car... They eventually jumped out of my car and as soon as they approached the taxi, it drove off...So they ran back in my car... Then the taxi pulled up behind me ... So they ran out again and approached the taxi...only to see the taxi drove off and stopped infront of my car this time....So the Alts ran back in my car...When they saw that the taxi was not moving from infront of my car, they ran out again towards the taxi...and again it drove off.... Ohh it was like a game of cat and mouse and I found it crazy funny .... What I want to know is why the taxi kept coming close to us and driving off...

All the Alts sat at a table and outside of being the only black guy in the building, I was the only person in the entire room of about 100 persons, who was wearing sweater and jeans...Every single man was wearing a Jacket and a tie.... Every single female was well dressed...But guess what? I really didn't care nor did I feel bad in the least. Why?? because as I said earlier, not a single person told me the dress occation...Not my company, not anybody from the lions club, not any of the ALTS... So I went there looking very, outstandingly ghetto... I am almost 100% sure that there were some negative whispers... But anyway I am not in the least concerned... So

We introduced ourselves and ate a bunch of stuff. There was also a raffle afterwards and my friend from Canada thought his ticket won and mistakingly went up..Only to realise that it wasn't his number... They however gave him a cake... Another ALT, also thought she won and mistakingly went up..But oops, she didn't win either, and the worst thing is that, she speaks the best Japanese out of all the other ALTS... After the event, we took some pictures, then I dropped my Canadian friend to his place and I went to play soccer... And I complain everyday about me being tired... Well tomorrow is the last day of work until January 8, 2009 so Hooorayyyyy!!!!

Kiyoshi Sensei, its fine to give my blog to your students... mondainai

Richard, thats exactly what I am going to do concerning the random invitations where no costs are mentioned.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day 273 { Wednesday English Conversations, Becoming a Pain } - Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 273 { Wednesday English Conversations, Becoming a Pain }

I have to drag myself to work these last few mornings before holiday. I am even sometimes sleepy while driving to work in the mornings...Ahh the holidays can't come any sooner now, trust me... Well at least I get holidays, but that means no pay for the days that I am going to get... But I will sacrifice the money for rest, relaxation and peace of mind...

I took some pictures with the grades 2, 4 and 6 and my main school today. The teachers at this school seem to have no problem at all with picture taking...However, one of my other schools is another story.

Anyway, yesterday, the lady that trim my hair, told me to buy some drinks for a get together that we are going to have today... So I got some at the supermarket. I went to the English conversation thing with the drinks and then we started to do a thing called NABE... where we just toss some vegetables, meat and all manner of food in a pot of boiling water. I didn't really like most of the stuff there except for the chicken which was very delicious. Now this is the part that I don't like... At the end of the thing, we were asked to contribute 1000 yen... Now for some strange reason, these things anger me... I am accustomed to knowing that I should pay for something, long before I actually pay for it....Not to be surprised at the end of something that seem free, then told that we have to pay......It just principle, if we should pay, let us know before we participate... In this way, I can know if I should attend these gatherings or not, especially if I am trying to SAVE MONEY..... The other Alts who used to come to this thing, all stopped coming, except for me and this other girl. Apparently we are the only ones who need a knock in our heads... We are ALTs and we SHOULD be paid for these services to teach English and stuff, but we are volunteering to do this and more often than not, we have to pay for these occational parties.... They should treat us I think.... I am probably going to be skipping out for a while from these Wednesday English thing....And I am going to be ever so curious now when people invite me out and don't tell me that there is a fee attached... If I know from before then fine....Hey, plus I am wayy too tired everyday to be sacrificing time, money and rest for this... I was so tired after this thing, that even while I was being driven back to my car, I was sleeping.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 272 { Nomikai } - Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 272 { Nomikai }

The office lady at my Tuesday school, gave me a small 2009 Japanese calendar today. This lady is one of the nicest Japanese ladies I have met to date... There are many others who seem to be nice but she somewhat stands out.

After work today I went to a dinner thing that is known in Japan as NOMIKAI...or Drinking party... Really its just like when a bunch of us go to a restaurant, sit around a table of food and drinks...Then we eat, drink and chat about anything at all. This one was planned by the Tuesday English conversation people. Six of us there were ALTs... It was a great time... One of the girls gave me a pack of udon noodles.
The main organiser who is the English professor at the college in Niimi, brought his little son who seem to be high on sugar... He is always running around and doing all manner of things.. He is only 3 and looks like a little dot, but his running around and throwing stuff has no end...He can hardly be controlled at such a tender age it seem, and is like a mini tornedo lol. The English professor has no time for him, so we all have to be watching out.
We then left the place at somewhere between 10:30 and 11 pm... And again, we had a GREAT TIME!!!

Day 271 { New Heater } - Monday, December 15, 2008

Day 271 { New Heater }

Today was about 5 of my friends birthday...Deneise, you are the only 1 of them I know that know about the blog suh Happy Birthday...

The principal at my main school today, told me not to give away or use the photos that he gave me the other day, because of copyright stuff. I just told him yes yes yes... Anyway, yesterday I bought a new heater because the AC is making my electricity bill go up higher and higher. My friend told me that the heater works like magic, and it heats up the entire apartment and doesn't send up the electricity bill too much.... Only thing I need is to buy oil for it... So I bought one and bought the oil today and a bucket to put the oil in...I then washed and tried the new heater...and yes it worked wonders...I love it...
I then went to bible study shortly after...

Day 270 { Matsue Jo Part 2/ Running Late } - Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day 270 { Matsue Jo Part 2 / Running Late }

Woke up at the onsen place and we had breakfast there in the morning. Finally in this part of Japan I get buffet style food. I can actually choose what I want without anyone throwing down food infront of me that I don't want. We then went to Matsue Jo or Matsue castle, which I visited before on Day 122 - July 19th ... Which was also in Shimane Prefecture... Sorry I didnt call you Kisha :( .... My friend from Hiroshima had a tight schedule and she wanted to get back to a place near to Hiroshima city name TOJO by 2:36 pm... It would then take her about 2 hours and 30 mins from TOJO to Hiroshima City...then about 45 mins from Hiroshima City to a rural part of Hiroshima name Kumano.... Oh boy...

So after we were walking around Matsue castle and looking at some old stuff while it was cold and the rain was falling, the time was running very fast... Its like 2 hours and 30 mins to get to Tojo from Matsue and thats not taking traffic into consideration... It was about 12:15 when we decided to make a move from Matsue, then we all wanted to used the bathroom... ultimately adding another 10 mins or so to the time... Then another 5 minutes to walk to Hiroshi's van. I was trying to tell Hiroshi to lets hurry and go as we did't have much time... But Hiroshi for some strange reason unknown to me, insisted that we stop in this gift shop place... I was boiling inside and wanted to explode in anger, but only a few people have seen that side of me and I didn't want to offend anyone... My friend from Hiroshima was being a little miserable, understandably, but she was also being very modest at the same time... Why in the world did he want us to stop when we were running late??? ... I think because he is so used to going to this gift store after the castle, he could not resist... After about 5 or 7 mins inside the gift store, he finally realised that, "Hey we are running late", so he told us to come on".... Hiroshi was now faced with the challenge of trying to get to Tojo for my friend to catch the Hiroshima bus... While he was driving he kept saying stuff like "aaah this seems impossible to get to Tojo by 2:36 .... He drove as fast as he could, and took every short cut he knew... But still didn't make it, because traffic was on the road..... When we got to Niimi which was about 30 mins from Tojo, it was about 2:15 .... Hiroshi started saying stuff like... "If only I had 5 minutes" ... I personally don't think 5 minutes would make a difference but if it did, then that was the 5 minutes we took inside the gift store, which I think was totally unnecessary.

My friend from Hiroshima eventually had to follow us to Niimi and she was going to take the train from Niimi to Okayama city then a bus from Okayama City to Hiroshima city... So she was asking Hiro to ask a Japanese lady about some information for buses... because my Hiroshima friend wanted as much information as possible and she was a bit edgy and miserable, again understandably so, she had to be asking Hiroshi constantly to go back to the Japanese lady with the information... Each time he went to the lady, he had to be apologising, as if its not a part of her job to help us with information... But I guess thats just the culture here...
Eventually my friend got on the train and she ended up having to take the very expensive but very fast shinkansen from Okayama city to Hiroshima city, in order to catch her bus to Kumano... I felt very bad that she had to go through all this trouble and pay all this money just to see a castle, and a shrine... But I guess everything worked out and she got home safely..

Monday, December 15, 2008

Day 269 { Onsen For the First Time } - Saturday, December 13, 2008

Day 269 { Onsen For the First Time }

Picked up my friend at the Niimi Station this morning and we were joined by another friend from Hiroshima. So three Jamaicans along with my Japanese friend from the Wendesday, English Conversation went to another prefecture called Shimane, to go to a historical site that I had visited before on day 60, May 18.... A place by the name of Izumo Taisha.... There is nothing really extremely impressive about this place to me except that they don't open a place inside it, every 60 years...
After Izumo Taisha, we went to the musium and then to a villa place where the onsen was..The area where we went to the onsen is known as Kaike Onsen....This area has many many different onsens and hot spring stuff. The villa that we went to within Kaike onsen was Kanpo No Yado. So we had dinner then I decided to chance the onsen for the first time in my life. I made sure to go when it was late so I didn't have to see any naked Japanese men walking around. When I went, there were 3 onsen pools... 2 on the inside and 1 on the outside... There was an old man in the pool outside... Of the 2 pools inside, 1 was really hot and the other one was hot but ok. The one outside where the old man was sitting in...was EXTREMELY HOTTT... I still don't know how the Japanese people sit in it. Occationally, there were some guys walking in and out...and it amazes me how easy and effortless it is for these guys to just strip and head for the EXTREMELY HOTTT onsen... All I have to say though is that I thank God for certain gifts that I was blessed with, I will not elabourate on this any further. The onsen wasn't so exciting as people made it sound to me... It was relaxing though and its good to know that this thing is actually good for your health.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day 268 { Observed by Head of B.O.E. } - Friday, December 12, 2008

Day 268 { Observed by Head of B.O.E. }

They asked me to come in earlier today at this school because either me or 2 teachers or possibly both of us together, were going to be observed by the head of the board of Education in my area. He is, or at least act like a cool guy for the most part. He even invited me and the other ALTs in my area to come to some sort of get together thing on Dec 18th. As per normal, the two teachers that were going to be observed, were panicing and running all over the place in fright. I helped them with a detailed plan of what I thought would be the best way to teach the topics that we were going to do. One class was about Christmas and the other was about opposites. Very simple classes and the teachers were so scared... In my estimate, the classes went very well and the teachers were thanking me constantly...So it look like another part of my job, is to make these teachers look good....

Day 267 { Final Video Shoot For Season 1 } - Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 267 { Final Video Shoot For Season 1 }

There is a new vice principal at my Thursday school now, and she is really tall and slim. I have seen her before at an observation, but its the first time I am meeting her. She just got promoted from being a 4th grade teacher at another school.

After work today, I did my final recording for the first season of my show... It will be shown on our local Niimi station starting around December 23rd or somewhere thereafter. While I was doing the recording, the camera man and the director guy were dying with laughter at my expressions. It was very easy for me and fun. Later on, I went to my apartment, then restarted my soccer schedule, which stopped for about a month.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Day 266 { Christmas Lights in Niimi } - Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day 266 { Christmas Lights in Niimi }

The principal at my main school gave me a DVD today of what he thought were the best pictures he took of me while I was teaching. Its a slide show of a whole bunch of photos running for about 11 minutes. After lunch today again, I was falling asleep.. I can't help it at all... Luckily I had one more class after lunch and that brought me back to life.

I then went home and then ate at joyful with my friend. We drove around a bit and took pictures of some of the Christmas lights in Niimi... Japan is a mostly buddhist country but somehow they manage to recognise Christmas, not as a holiday though but with the decorations and Santa Clause etc...

Day 265 { Plans for Onsen } - Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Day 265 { More Plans for Onsen }

Today the man that is in charge of the Niimi library was asking me for my bank account number on the phone, to pay me for the presentation I did about Jamaica. This guy speaks very very little English so I could not understand exactly what he was asking. So I had to grab my bank book and run to a teacher who could speak English well, for him to speak to the librarian guy...

Later in the evening, Hiroshi from the Wednesday English conversation, came to my apartment and we were discussing further logistics about us going to the Onsen with the other 3 Jamaican girls. 1 of the girls started to if and but, so that sound like she out of the question...In my estimation, if a Jamaican girl start to if and but then there is a good chance that it means no... It was for good reason though as she said she is planning to go to Jamaica in December...I wish I could do that. Me and Hiroshi were also discussing the food and he said most of these places tend to serve raw fish for dinner. I made sure to tell him that the average Jamaican don't like these kind of stuff... He was still subtly trying to tell me to go with the raw fish but I had to tell him plain and straight that we don't want that kind of food. I think he was trying to save himself the trouble of asking the people to change it but I don't know.

After this, I completed my recording for the radio program. I think this is too much of a hard work to be voluntary...Msybe if there was a nearby studio where I could go to do my recording and someone do the editing then it would be much better... But its very hard to record and edit, and im not sure what quality they are loonking for... But who knows what can happen from this... This first program will be about 25 mins and its really introducing myself and talking a little about Jamaica...If you download it, please don't laugh at me...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day 264 [ Relax ] - Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 264 [ Relax ]

Stayed in today because of my supposedly work yesterday. I think I am drained these last few days on approaching my winter holidays on December 19th... So I pretty much relaxed for the entire day... I started the recording for my internet radio show though, using this software that I have for the longest while name COOL EDIT PRO... If you know of any better voice recording and editing software, please do suggest them to me.... Because this thing is taking longer than I anticipated. I will only make my programs be a maximum of about 30 mins because this is a little more difficult than I thought earlier.

I spoke to my old friend Gregory Reid who now resides in New York, for a good while on skype. He was laughing at my famous "What game, do you like video" ... and asking if its that I came all the way to Japan to do... Well of course :) its FUNN!!!! but tiring sometimes.

After doing my recording for a good 2 hours or so, I forgot to save the information OOOH BOY!!!! 2 hours gone down the drain... I have to do it over tomorrow :( ... bwoy mi a tell yuh..

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