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

Check it out

Translate / 翻訳する

Flag Counter

free counters

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day 317 { No Skiing Today :( } - Friday, January 30, 2009

Day 317 { No Skiing Today :( }

I should have gone skiing today instead of going to teach but a teacher told me that because the whether forecast said it will rain, they will have to put it off. I really want to try it out though but I guess it will have to be next month. So, because they had already planned to go skiing, we had to take our own lunch to work... At least I didnt have to be wondering what is going to be served for lunch, and whether I like it or not. So I bought spaghetti and some salami stuff along with fried chicken cartilage I think... All this with a big box of Orange juice... before eating, a couple a teachers asked me if I liked spaghetti and if I can drink off the box of orange juice... I also noticed that the kids were kinda staring on while I was eating.... I found out afterward when I got home that the teachers would prefer me drinking, milk, tea or water than orange juice at lunch time... And not necessarily eating spaghetti stuff..... Welll Thats just too bad for them...

Day 316 { I need a New Car Pt 1 } - Thursday, January 29, 2009

Day 316 { I need a New Car Pt 1 }

The kids at my Thursday school honestly thinks that I look like Obama. A grade 4 kid even made a drawing of what they think I look like..As well as a drawing of what they think Obama looks like.

Later in the evening I went to soccer with the Zimbabwaian guy and the other girl that usually come with me. Again my groin area started acting up and I was advised to take a 2 week break.

I had to pour more coolant in my car because it seemed as if it was overheating again. I am starting to wonder if something is really wrong with the car or those gas station guys are messing with it... I may have to visit them soon....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Day 315 { Soon Get Jerk Chicken } - Wednesday, February 28, 2009

Day 315 { Soon Get Jerk Chicken }

Today my car took a while to start and the muffler was smoking up the place. I then had to rush to work. The people there know that my car giving problems, especially when the time is really cold, so all is well. While going back to my apartment, this old man who was driving towards me on the opposite side of the road, did a sudden turn infront of me... I cant tell you the words that were in my mind to say to him. There are too many old drivers here trust mi.
I later went to the gas station and got the coolant and also bought 1 liter for myself just incase my car start to act up again.

The nutrition told me today that they will prepare a Jamaican menu about February 20... She said she will prepare Jerk chicken and rice and peas... I wish they could do this more often... Seriously

Day 314 { Running From the Foreigner } - Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day 314 { Running From the Foreigner }

Today I went to the English conversation class thing at the Niimi College and one of the American girls was doing a presentation about the native Americans. She gave us this thing that the native americans made from flour called fry bread and this other thing called Wild rice. After the presentation, one of the Japanese students who loves to draw, gave me a drawing that she did of Kurosaki Ichigo and Byakuya from the Bleach Anime.

When everything was over, me and the Indonesian guy followed the white Zimbabwaian dude to his new apartment. The guy is paying less than me for a much better looking apartment...The only thing is that it has a big and somewhat deep gutter/gully infront of it... So if you are walking carelessly, you can fall in. He proceeded to tell us a story about what happened to him yesterday. He said he was in his apartment then he opened the door and saw three Japanese girls. He said they looked like high school or somewhere in that age group......When the girls saw him, the three of them had the exact response. They screamed and ran in three different directions in fear...He said that one of the girls even jumped over the wide gutter/gully, almost fell in it (possibly even injuring herself), then galloped across a field, then climbed over a wall, running for her life ?????????????????????????? Now Now seriously.... I almost died with laughter when he told me.......He said he almost died with laughter when he saw the incident..... Thats how backward SOME of the people are in this area, when it comes to foreigners...I am sure that almost everywhere in the world there is a community similar to this right???

Richard - Yes I still read xenlogic's blog and even make comments on it from time to time...I commented on his most recent post about Obama. Also remember that I am somewhat new to the car thing as well as this extreme cold thing...So I am just finding out about stuff now... Tomorrow I will get the coolant.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day 313 { Checking Cell Phone in Class } - Monday, January 26, 2009

Day 313 { Checking Cell Phone in Class }

Everyday at my schools, I have to be very careful while walking... When the snow melts then turn into ice. Oh boy its dangerous when walking....I am glad though that even if I somehow slip and fall, there are no Jamaicans around me to see...Or else that would not be fun...well not fun for me...

So the head teaher in my area called me to evaluate a video that my company took of me one day in November... She highlighted 3 things that I should not do. I will place them in order of severity:

3) She said she noticed that occationally, I was sort of blocking the cards on the chalkboard, from the view of the children. So next time I should try to get out of their way.

2) While the Japanese teacher was speaking to the children, I was either looking at the ceiling or looking at the clock. She said next time, even if I don`t understand what the Japanese teacher is saying, I should still even pretend that I do understand.

1) And this is ofcourse the most severe of the 3...and the worst thing is that I don`t recall doing it... She said she noticed that I took my cell phone out of my pocket, peeked at it, then put it back in my pocket... I was like "REALLY!!!!" ... I honestly don't remember doing this, but it was on video so what can I say?... and now thinking back, I cant even believe that I did that...I dont even normally take my cell phone to class.

She said though, a part from those 3 things, my lesson was very very good and she likes my energy. And she likes how the children respond to me, even though they are in grade 6. Grade 6 kids are not so energetic like the younger ones and they tend to be very quiet.

Later in the evening, I went to bible study, then I met my Landlord and a couple of his friends... Including the same guy who I saw at the 100 yen store on Day 303 and he was pretending that he didn`t know me. His other friends then said maybe he was afraid to try to hold a conversation because his English is a little off. But still, I remembered the guy paused and was staring at me like "who in the world is this guy"....

At this short meeting with my Landlords' friends, I drove there myself and the men were offering me alcohol...So I told them no, I drove... Can you believe that the men were still forcing me to drink??? I however, learn the constant NO NO NO to their demands... and even after I said know, they were still persisting....What is wrong with these guys??????

I then actually dropped my Landlord to his house...BUT not before misunderstanding what he mean't...I thought he wanted me to hangout with his family at 11:30 in the night but that was not the case...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Day 312 { Frozen Water in Car } - Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day 312 { Frozen Water in Car }

Got up in the morning to go to church, but my car couldn't start. I tried turning the key several times but it still could't start. Then shortly after, I saw smoke coming from the bonnet. I thought this was it for my car... But I waited a while then opened the bonnet, pulled off the radiator cap and the cap of the coolant reservoir...only to realize that there was ice inside the radiator cap which means some of the water in it was frozen...
I stopped using coolant for a while now because of the leak in my radiator...And I forgot to stop pouring water in the coolant reservoir when I realized the radiator is ok...so some of the water in the reservoir was also frozen... I had to wait a while again, then finally the car started to respond... I am going to have to get some coolant pretty soon.

Later in the day I started playing pokemon diamond on my nintendo DS (Emulator)...why did that guy bother to tell me about this...Any RPG games like pokemon and final Fantasy can cause me to lock away from the world for hours...I can't allow this to continue at all.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day 311 { Japanese Theatres / 007 Quantum of Solace } - Saturday, January 24, 2009

Day 311 { Japanese Theatres / 007 Quantum of Solace }

Went to Kurashiki (a nearby city) today with my female Japanese friend. Oh boy and the stares and quiet laughters multiplied by 16. In these cities in Okayama, a black man is either never ever seen or maybe once every 5 years I am guessing...And a blackman in Okayama is probably worst never seen with a Japanese girl.
We watched Quantum of Solace which I think was quite exciting, even though James Bond is more and more reminding me of Stephen Segal with his invincibility. I really enjoyed the action scenes...The scene with the plane made me upset though, because I don`t see how he goy out of that one.

Now, Japanese theatres are absolutely quiet in comparison to the ones in Jamaica and the USA. As a matter of fact, outside of the noise from the movie, you can hear a pin drop in the theatre. Not even laughter you will hear...Even if you wanted this to happen in a Jamaican theatre, it won`t.Well based on my experience that is...Maybe somebody else experienced something different.

I later bought 2 sneakers and a skipping rope, because I am really going to start back my skipping in the evenings now, before I get too unfit and don`t want to exercise anymore...

Day 310 { Eating with the Parents / No Fatty Foods } - Friday, January 23, 2009

Day 310 { Eating with the Parents / No Fatty Foods}

Went to my closest and possibly my most dangerous school (when it snows) today, to be viewed by some parents as well as to have lunch with them. Surprisingly, the parents of the kids at this school, weren`t staring me into the future and a couple of them actually tried to talk to me. While I was teaching the grade 1 class, a couple of the parents came to view me and they seemed thoroughly interested.

Before the class, a nutritionist lady gave a presentation about food and what to eat and what not to eat... I now see why many Japanese people grow up with the idea that if you eat chocolate and potato chips, you should be fat...Well, clearly if you eat them in abundance but not once in a while. The nutritionist tailored the presentation in such a way as to make it look like the biggest sin if you eat potato chips and chocolate. I also heard that if a teacher should take any of these fatty foods to work, they will be stared at with disgust.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day 309 { Calm Down Please / Do I even look like Obama? } - Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day 309 { Calm Down Please / Do I even look like Obama? }

So today, some members of the Board of Education in my city as well as some members of another Board of Education in a bigger, nicer city name Kurashiki (about 1 hr away) came to my Thursday school. All the teachers were running up and down like mad ants and making sure that everything is ok. If I was hinted of this, I would have probably worn my jacket and tie...But instead I had on my "keep me warm" wear... The Jacket and tie not enough at all... While the teachers were there running all over the place, I simply sat there very cool and watching them go crazy.

The kids at ever single one of my schools keep saying Obama when I enter their classes...All these thing are just so strange to me...Then I saw on my friend's facebook profile, that they keep calling him Obama as well... So guess what?? If you are a black male teacher in Japan, no matter what country you are from, chances are the kids are going to call you Obama it seem.

Later on in the day, I went to play soccer, the first time since December 11 and it was so much fun BUT unfortunately I am sooooo unfit that I was in pain after about 1 hour... My legs were sore and I was tired beyond what I ever imagined. I got about 10 goals to score and only managed to score 1. The worst thing is that we were playing against some guys who look very nerdy and effeminate... The nerdiest looking guy who seemed as if he could hardly see out of the thick lens of his glasses, had the hardest kick in the gym. Plus you cant imagine how cold inside the gym was. It was fun though after so long, even though my body aches right now and I was extremely tired afterward... I also think I re-injured somewhere in my groin area...and its no fun at all.

Day 308 { Obama Day ??? } - Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 308 { Obama Day ???}

Sorry about that blank post previously...I accidentally pressed enter before writing the blog...This is going to be a long post posibly with many errors so prepare yourselves..

Today was one of the American girl Alts around here birthday... So a couple of us met up and had dinner together. I will continue this after I write this small prelude to the rest of todays story...

Culture Shock
So all my life I was never really self-concious about my race until I went to Virginia at a Christian camp in July of 2005. Then coming to Japan made it even worst....(So much so that I get scared occationally just to walk inside a supermarket)....Thats because in Jamaica, even though the predominant race is black, we are a nation of mixed-races...Chinese, Labanese, white and all sort of mixes can be found in Jamaica. you name it and we got them here... Additionally, if you go to the beach resorts on the north coast and even sometimes inside of the airport in Montego Bay, it is very possible to see more white people than blacks...However, on the outside world, some people that don't really know about Jamaica, automatically assume that all Jamaican are of dark complection...Better yet, BLACK... Case in point, my Canadian friend here thought that Sean Paul was faking his accent and that he hates Sean Paul because he is trying to act like a Jamaican!!!! ...Hmmm And I am sure there are tonnes of people who think the same thing as well.

So to the best of my knowledge, most Jamaicans should have a fair understanding of different skin tones (maybe with the exception of those who live deep deep in the innercity and only know the way of life there). And also to the best of my knowledge, most Jamaicans probably never have experienced racism in any way or form within Jamaica...Maybe class prejidice but thats it...
Apparently some Americans seem to think that as long as you are black..you are of a certain mindset...and they probably think we are exactly like the African-Americans in the USA... hmmm totally different cultures....

Diversity of cultures
So I like diversity and different cultures and the meeting of different people from different places. However, in my area of Niimi now, the Americans are the dominant group...There are 2 Canadians but Canada and America is like the same country to people looking on from the outside. Then there is me...and now the new white Zimbabwe guy....If I could choose the people to come in the area, I would choose a more diversified set of people from all over the planet, just like when I went to Brazil...I like that kind of feeling to hear from many different cultures...
When all the Americans meet up with me as the loan Jamaican... I feel a little outnumbered in the conversations especially when they start to talk about all this American stuff. However to be totally fair...I guess anywhere you go, the dominant group of people in any setting will tend to talk more about things familiar to them...

Continuing story 1
So continuing from up top...A couple of us were there in the restaurant talking and eating.. And then the arguments started to spin off in the America America direction... My friend from Zimbabwe is very very familiar with the american culture and these topics so he joined in seemlessly... I was there just staring and listening... This new guy can hold a conversation with any group of people, because he seem to watch every movie, Tv show, trailer and even anime there is, plus he knows the actors and the directors names of all of them.. Me on the other hand...if the actor is not popular, I may not know his name at all... Don't even ask me about a director outside of Stephen Speilberg (is he a director by the way lol)...Anyway so I was quiet for a good 30 mins while they were all talking away on their topics of interest...They then started to talk about some race stuff that happens in America and apparently a couple of them seem to know of white people in the states that just dont like BLACK people... I told this to my Japanese friend and she was in denial and saying that those days are gone.... Well she can live in her denial.... So the American guys started to talk about some redneck people I guess who just dont like black people...And the birthday girl said unfortunately she knoow of a couple a persons like that as well...I am just wondering though..Even if the black person isnt from the USA these "Red necks" people just dont like them/us???? And is it only the Black race that they dont like???? But why really though??? Well honestly again, being very general because every single race on the planet has many good and many bad people.... Its unfortunate that the predominantly black communities/countries in this world are full of poverty, violence and curroption...And these communities/countries are in most cases, yet to prove themselves to the world that they can unite as a people...So again, many many black people who live in these sometimes very dangerous areas, are still trapped in their minds...And need to break free from the stupid, get rich quick and, having babies everywhere and killing eachother mentality. There is a similar trend in these places like someparts of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens (New York), Matthews Lane, Southside, waterhouse (Jamaica) ... parts of Somalia, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe (African Continent)....Only God himself can speak to these predominantly black people it seem to get them to stop the foolishness.

America, African-Americans and Obama
So in a sense its good to know from the Americans what is really going on in their country and their view of other cultures... I wonder how farfetched it is to say that America is one of the most racist countries on the planet against black people??? A mean they fought a civil war where slavery was possibly the top item on the Agenda, while Abraham Lincoln was president... I must say its wayyy different now than even say 40-50 years ago...But they still have a long way to go...People would probably now say that "ooooh but the president now is black" ... a mean look what that guy had to go through in his campaign thing...And its nothing more than because of skin colour... Why does it have to be like this??? Then the worst thing is that they put this guy almost on the level of a god... some people are yet to realise that this guy is no magician..he is just an ordinary man and a very wise, intelligent and skilled politician with nice words... I saw in the news that Antigua is going to name its highest mountain off Obama..... Seriously though why??? What has he done for Antigua?? He is probably unaware that there is country by that name.... I must admit that it does feel good to know though that somebody who is black could rise out of the dirt of slavery and eventually become the leader of the most powerful nation in the world currently....

Remembering my trip to Virginia in 2005
Again I remember from the camp I went to Virginia in 2005 when I was one of the only 2 black guys, lost in a crowd of over 500 white people.. I became friend with many many of them to this day... One of them outrightly told me that if she should marry a black guy, her gran mother would have nothing to do with her again....Why??? Seriously??? Is it the same if she got married to a Chinese or someone fromsome other race...or is it just this thing only against Blacks.. whereever on eart they are??? Another guy mentioned to me that his grandfather was a member of the KKK ...hmmmm and based on history, those people especially hate Nig#@rs... speaking of that N word...How did the rap guys come by this thing to call eachother by that name and its a racial word with bad connotations??? How and Why??? So much so that I remember when one of the girls around here said something about "Just like how BLACK PEOPLE are reclaiming the N word" ...... Well you wont hear me using that term or any sort of racial words whether by fun or otherwise... I am a firm believer in accepting someone for who they are...No matter where they come from or how they look...

Continuing story 2
So again continuing what happened today before going off on that tangent, one of the girls asked me if I was going to another get together tomorrow...She said it will be a celebration dubbed "Obama night"...so I said, "nope won't be there"... so she asked me why...and I simply said "Because I am not an American!!" .... the girl was like "Are you even a citizen in the world, something something???" then another girl jumped up "and hey remember Obama is BLACK!!!" .... I was like"What the hell???" And there was another girl yet who was jokingly hushing her up.... Ohh bwoyyy.....
So what if some Brits were keeping a "Gordon Brown" night...would she attend because "Gordon Brown" is White???

I long for that day when race will never be an issue in determining whatever....And by whatever I mean anything at all... I long for that day when the world can live peacefully in love and unity... Unfortunately history has proven otherwise and I guess as human beings we are all just innately wicked, and its up to us to eventualy kill that innate wickedness within us. Maybe only in heaven we will find this peace that I am looking for..

Peace and love everyone

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 307 { Presentation on Jamaica 2 / Radio show Program 2 } 10 MONTHS - Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 307 { Radio show Program 2 /Presentation on Jamaica 2 } 10 MONTHS

10 months in Japan my friends and it seem like I am going to stay another year... The second program of my radio show started today, you can listen to it at CAMNET.JP/RADIO again it is Crazy ok!!! ... and I talk very slowly to aid the none English speakers. On this show, I interviewed my very good friend from University, Andrew Dennis.

After work today I went to pay my water rate then I did a presentation at the Tuesday English conversation that I normally attend. My presentation was about myself and about Jamaica. None of the usual ALTs showed up at all. However, the new ALT from Zimbabwe came, as well as this other guy from Indonesia who I invited. Did anyone know that Indonesia has the largest muslim population in the world???

Anyway my presentation about me, included some of my baby pictures as well as some of the pictures of a couple of my friends. My presentation about Jamaica was pretty much the same thing I did on day 255. They seemed to have enjoyed it a lot, and a couple of questions were fired my way... inclusive of several questions totally unrelated to what I spoke about :) but thats no problem. Some of the persons were there figiting, twisting and turning before they asked me a question, and I had to force it out of them.

After the presentation, I invited the Alts in the area to a little bar place where they could meet the new ALT guy. A couple of the Alts showed up but a few didnt. I must admit that it feels a little better that there is another ALT here outside of Canada and the USA. I am not sure how long he will be staying though.

Day 306 { Free Ski Goggles } - Monday, January 19, 2009

Day 306 { Free Ski Goggles }

One of the teachers from one of my Friday schools, decided to pla his lesson with me over the phone at my main school. He said he did this because everyone is too busy these days. He is one of the better English speakers at any of my schools but for some strange reason he decided to speak over the phone to me in Japanese... I just kept saying yes yes, even though I only understood about 20% of what he was saying....All the lesson plans are pretty much the same, just different areas of study...

Later in the evening I met up with the Japanese high school guy who really like reggae music and the Jamaican dance culture stuff. I had it in my phone to remind me to meet him at about 5:00 pm but he called while I was driving home at about 4:25 ... I eventually collected the ski goggles from him and he said he is giving me for free because he has many. Well thats one expense cut from my prepare to ski list...He also showed me a copy of the Jamaican dialect (Patois) to Japanese translation book that he bought in another prefecture...Later on I went to bible study.

Day 305 { 2008 Year in Review } - Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day 305 { My Year in Review of 2008 }

So today all I did was took the new Alt to the place where I used to check internet back in the earlier months. He had to pay to print some flash cards for his classes tomorrow. Any way so January has started a while now but I chose today to blog some of my most memorable days in 2008.

Jan 9 - Got my car in Jamaica

Jan 20 - Preached at my church

Jan 22 - Taxi broke down with me and some people ( Somewhere between downtown, Kingston and cross roads in Jamaica) because he ran out of gas...And the taxi man had to push the car with us inside it to a gas station... luckily it was nearby.

Jan 31 - Almost hit a bike man off his bike then he rode up beside me and called me a Sodomite.

Feb 8 - Police stopped me twice, once because I had on my fog light and second time because my car light bulb was giving trouble as well as my car was leaking oil...My car eventually brokedown and I had to sort it out.

Feb 11- Handed in my resignation letter from my last job.

March 2 - Did my final performance in Jamaica (Dub poem) before coming to Japan...This was my 210th performance

March 6 - Got my Japanese visa

March 11 - Last day of my last job

March 20 - Day 1 arrived in Japan

March 27 - Broke up with my girlfriend for about the 4th and final time after 2 yrs and 8mnths

April 5 - Got my car in Japan

May 30 - Got paid for the first time since the month of February

June 6 - Got my German visa

July 3 - Kids forced me to dance

July 13 - Went to Reggae concert in Okayamacity and even though it was a reggae concert, the Japanese people there were still staring at me and my other Jamaican friend very weird.

July 28 - Arrived in South Korea and Germany

August 3 - Did my biggest performance to date in front of 6000 people in Leipzig, Germany

August 9 - Went to a very fun Japanese festival in my Japanese attire

August 15 - Met up with some Jamaican friends in Nagoya and we went to a zoo

August 29 - Finally bought myself a Ps3, also watched some Chinese acrobats

September 5 - First date with a Japanese girl also went to Jamaican restarant

September 19 - My birthday

September 22 - First failure of Japanese licence driving exam

September 25 - first time seeing 2 Japanese in a loud argument

Septemeber 27 - My friend got chased out of a girl's apartment

October 8 - started watching the new season of Dexter on the internet

October 12 - Preached in Okayama City

October 30 - Got my shipment of food from Jamaica

November 9 - Went on a yacht for the very first time

November 15 - First videoshoot for my TV show

November 19 - First time seeing snow

November 21 - My car skid on the road

November 29 - Did presentation about Jamaica

December 13 - First time at an Onsen

December 18 - Invitation to Lions club dinner but now one told me how to dress

December 20 - My internet radio show starts

December 28 - My TV show begins

December 31 - Went to Fukuoka for New Years eve

So thats my year in review...many ups and many downs. Ofcourse you can click on the links for the details if you have not been up to date with my blog.

Yes Richard, maybe Japan change mi sense of humour fi real..and for your information sir, I have never been to a Mango tree dentist...In all my years I have never heard the term dental hygenist until I came to Japan though...sorry for the misinformation people...

Thanks anonymous authour for the message (which I assume is Michelle)...I am not complaining about the bombardment, I am just wondering why so many people all at once...Just because of a 2 videos??? I had no clue that reggae music in Japan would have this effect.

Peace mi frens

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day 304 { New ALT From Zimbabwe / Yes Man} - Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 304 {Yes Man / New ALT From Zimbabwe }

Today I completed watching Yes Man with Jim Carey...It wasnt too bad at all but Jim Carey was tamer than normal. I got a few laughs out of it though. I give it about a 6/10 ... Later today, the IC that brought me to Niimi and helped me to get my car, called me out of the blue and told me to meet her at the restaurant near to me. when I got there she introduced me to this new ALT guy who will be sitting in for another ALT who is sick. He is from Zimbabwe but going against what your mind is probably already thinking, he is white. He said that every where he goes people are shocked that a white man is from Zimbabwe...Well he was born in eastern Europe though but most of his time was spent in Zimbabwe. In the short time we met this guy, he told us a couple a interesting stories. Like how elephants are more dangerous than lions. He said the most dangerous is the hippo, seconded by crocodiles and snakes then the elephants coming in fourth. He said lions don't really chase people, well thats unless you actually start to run from it and chances are if you stand up, face them and tap your foot, it might run away... Just don't turn your back or that might be the end of you right there..... But the elephants will chase you, whether you choose to stand up, run, walk, hop or skip and even flip your vehicle and stomp the heck out of it while you are inside.

He also mentioned that Zimbabwe is full of diamonds and that Robert Mugabe (their president) used to pay his army and police with diamonds...So they would support him to the end. Mugabe, he said is almost untouchable and is seen almost as a demi-god in Zimbabwe to many. He mentioned that even though Mugabe is kind of like an evil mad man, he said that the guys who own the diamond companies, make Mugabe look like an angel... They profit and make millions of dollars from these poverty stricken people killing off eachother...If you have never watched the movie blood diamond... Then I suggest that you take a look at it... This guy said that the stuff in the movie is still happening today... He said that many of these multimillion dollar big wig diamond guys, purposely assist and aid instability in these diamond areas on the African continent, ultimately killing hundreds of thousands. The guy even said that 90% of the diamonds worn in the world are probably blood diamond. Hmmm makes you think how messed up this world is...Africa is so rich with all these natural resources but has the poorest set of people on the planet...It makes me wonder if anything at all can be done to make this continent better in any way.

So the following 9 countries in Africa, has diamond mines:






Sierra Leone

South Africa



I wonder if any of the companies that mine these diamonds are owned by a black man... hmmmm...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 303 [ Facebook Bombardment/Pretend as If you dont know me ] - Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 303 [ Facebook Bombardment/Pretend as If you dont know me ]

So today I went to the dangerous snowy school.. I had to be driving slow because there was snow everywhere and the place was very white. But strangely enough, I remember a driver speeding pass me on the snow road...
A teacher gave me a snow boot to go outside where the kids were skiing... I went out there and I sank in the snow a coupe a times...The height of the snow as about 50 cm ... They told me that it sometimes get as high as 1m... Ohh boy, maaybe I am going to have to beg them to change this school next year... The teachers said they will take me skiing on January 30... So I am kinda looking forward to that...just for the experience... They said though that I am going to have to rent ski stuff plus I need to buy a skiing goggles thing...

So later on I went to the 100 yen store :) to see if they sold skii goggles there... I saw this guy that my landlord introduced me to on 2 different occations... when I saw him in the 100 yen store, I told him hello and was about to ask him how is everything... This man looked at me like " who in the world is this guy???" and he was there just staring.... I simply turned away and went about my business... Now I met this man twice and as much as I know that many Japanese have similar features and almost always resemble each other.....I have been here long enough to recognise who is who and memorise their faces....On the other hand, I am the only black man around so if you see me once, there is no mistake in who I am... So I am not sure what was up with this guy at all.... Anyway, luckily I saw this high school guy who is in love with reggae music and the Jamaican culture, along with his other friends... I didnt see them initially but then I heard a voice said "I love Reggae" of course you know, this had to catch my attention...S I went over to them and we were talking...I told him I was looking for the ski goggles thing...He said he have a whole bunch of them and he can give me one of them... So we agreed on when we should meet.

So since I added these 2 "Japanese people doing Jamaican dances" videos to my facebook profile



... To date I have recieved approximately 200 or more friend requests...But why??? I don't get it.... only because of 2 videos??? Each day I see like 25- 45 people requesting to be my friend... How can I capitalise from this??? hmmm since I saw this I started to think about possible business ideas :)

Day 302 { Car Overheating AGAIN / Cleaning Teeth } - Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 302 { Car Overheating AGAIN / Cleaning Teeth }

Heading to work this morning and my car started to overheat AGAIN...I stopped at the gas station and the guy was basically saying that maybe its because of the snow business. He then assured me that the car is fine... But these guys love to say everything is fine, especially when they not sure whats wrong or when they cant be bothered. Then shortly after you will hear them say tabun daijyobu... (Maybe its fine)... Anyway, the teachers at this school told me that my friday school is really really dangerous to drive to and I should contemplate taking the train there...But hear the problem now:

1) Train more expensive than driving
2) I have to wake up at about 6am to catch the train as against 7am when driving
3) I have to walk for 15 minutes to my school then wait about 1hr and 30 mins before my frist class begins...

I told them that I would rather drive first just to see how it goes...

After work I went to the dentist. One of the ladies there knew me but the receptionist girl gave me the usual suprising "Wow a black guy in Niimi!!!??" stare... the cleaning was a little more expensive than normal because I didnt have the health insurance thing from Japan. Get this though, its not actually a dentist who does all the cleaning and stuff, its someone known as a dental hygienist... The dentist deals with the more complicated matters like the massive amounts of rotting teeth that people in this area tend to have... In Jamaica, its the dentist that does almost everything.

Day 301 { Snow at school only } - Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day 301 { Snow at school only }

So today there wasnt any snow falling that much except when I got to my main school....when I got there, there was snow and ice everwhere on the school compound. The ice is so darn slippery that I have to be very careful when I am walking. plus I am walking with a bag in each hand, not assissting me with balancing properly at all. A couple of the students and the teachers told me that they saw me on the Television doing the show... I started watching the Jim carrey show yes man but I keep falling asleep.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 300 { Frozen Roads 1 / Israel's Bombing of the Gaza} - Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 300 { Frozen Roads 1 / Israel's Bombing of the Gaza Area}

So all this while I have been driving, it was actually my very first time experiencing the very thick snow and the frozen solid roads. When they told me about ice on the roads I thought they meant like when the snow falls and then sortly after becomes chunks of ice... no no no... Its more like Niimi is a giant freezer and the roads are frozen...yes FROZEN solid, very thick ice along with snow. Everyone had to be driving slow and I was very very nervous... even when I was walking to my car this morning I almost slipped (no comments Richard) on the ice. So its different when snow is on my car as against ice is on the car, as against snow and ice on the car.. Today luckily it was only snow, so it was somewhat easy to brush off... The ice thing is another story... But I bought a ice off spray thing in can now so hopefully it works, the next time my windshield is frozen.

In the night I went to English conversation at the college in my area and my friend did a presentation...I should be doing one next week about myself and Jamaica.

So changing the subject a bit....Israel is bombing the heck out of the Palestinians for about 19 days now...Claiming that they are defending their territory from the hamas militants... Well I can understand them defending themselves from a couple a stray rockets but I don't understand how they are pushing more and more in Palestinian territories and firing rockets at all and sundry, killing babies and helpless people but yet still searching for Hamas militants... Also the casualties in Israel are farrrrr less than that in the Palestinian territories. These are the latest figures I have... "Palestinian hospital officials say more than 940 Palestinians, half of them civilians, have been killed in the fighting. A total of 13 Israelis, 10 of them soldiers, have died." So 13 Israelis dead but 900 Palestinians .. hmmmmm Hey and guess what...The Mighty U.S.A who are normally sticking their nose in these stuff don't seem to give a rats.... Many of the US senators are saying stuff like "Hey if your neighbour was firing rockets, wouldnt you want to defend yourself" .... There need to be some sort of balance to this thing... Its grossly unfair, as much as I know the hamas guys arent really saints and probably are not the best to negotiate with...There still need to be some balance...

So Hamas was created in 1987 and their name is an acronym which translated to English as Islamic Resistance Movement.. Ohh bwoy...another set of religious zealots who will go all out so as to reclaim Israel. Their sole aim is to re-occupy / occupy Israel, the Gaza strip and the West Bank and make it into an Islamic nation... BUT hear this, they said their conflict with Israel is not religious but political... I personally think its both...

I actually have a friend who lives in the westbank, and I chatted with her online up to Monday and she said her area is safe, then she added "at least for now"... I also remember sometime ago when Israel was throwing bombs into Lebanon and destroying buildings and people, maybe because a stray bullet or 2 went over there from Lebanon or something of the sort.

Going back in history, I still don't get the REASONING!!! behind how the present day Israeli's even got to Israel in the first place. There was no Israel before 1948... And there was none for over 2000 years...Actually since the Israelites were exiled in 586 BC....They have never returned fully ... yes 586 BC they were conquered by Babylon and several other nations came in to capture and own that area afterward, including:

Maybe all the world powers that ever were, had a chance to rule that area... But why were the recent inhabitants (before the present Israel's took over) chased out????? Why did the league of nations do that??? Any way,

So yes I know the Jews had a rough life coming up it seem but my Lord man, they can have a little mercy on the other guys in the region that the USA (that almost inevitably sways the minds of most of the other nations in the world ) dont seem to care about. In concluding this thesis :) I think that Israel is firing all their bombs now because they don't know if the new USA administration will support their little bombing party...

What do you think??

Day 299 { Seijin No Hi / Okonomiyaki } - Monday, January 12, 2009

Day 299 { Seijin No Hi /Okonomiyaki }
So today was another holiday in Japan and its known as "Coming of Age" (seijin no hi) day. On this day, all young people who turn twenty years old celebrate this day.vThats because twenty is the age considered as the beginning of adulthood. It is also the minimum legal age for smoking, drinking and voting in Japan.

Today I went with my friend to have Okonomiyaki. Its my third favourite food in Japan. My favourite food are, and please pay attention my Japanese friends:

1) Yaki Niku
2) Yaki Soba
3) Okonomiyaki
4) Yaki Tori
5) Curry and Rice

Day 298 { Persecution of a Different Kind, For Christians in Japan / Seven Pounds } - Sunday, January 11, 2009

Day 298 { Persecution of a Different Kind, For Christians in Japan / Seven Pounds}

I went to Church this morning and my translator was telling me firstly that many Japanese Christian tend to hide the fact that they are Christians because they fear being cut off from their family, friends and/or Community. But if you are a foreigner and a Christian, then thats fine...Well as you may have known though, just being a foreigner alone can cut you off. Again, luckily the people in my town are more friendly than not.

So most Japanese follow one of 2 religions and/or both...

1) is the Shinto and this is supposedly found only in Japan
2) is Buddhism and is the prefered of the 2 by most Japanese and constitutes about 85-90% of all Japanese persons.

However again, most Japanese I gather tend to mix the 2 together and visit shrines, Buddhist temples and what not. Even though, some follow these practices to the T, I dont think their is a national religion of Japan. And most Japanese just follow the traditions "Just because" like new years day some visit some sort of shrine to pray or do some sort of cleansing ritual. And there is also this ceremony thing that they do for dead relatives that is kept at intervals at the anniversary of the person's death... So you can imagine the amount of ceremonies a person has to attend if they have a bunch of dead family and relatives. I am not sure if this is where they pray to their dead relatives but that also happens here as well... Yes I know it sounds weird to most westerners but anything else would sound weird in Japan. Some persons will tell you that they belong to no religion or religious group but they still practise the buddhist and shinto stuff. Weddings are mostly shinto related I heard, but funerals are mostly buddhist related...And get this... Many weddings are performed in CHURCH buildingd yes church buildings, but guess what?? Thay are not real churches, they are used ONLY for the weddings, so it has a membership of 0. They simply copy the western style because it looks cool, but they don't actually keep any form of church service or anything like that in them...

So yes, as you may know or not know from reading my blog, most Japanese men love to drink and have a good time and hangout with friends etc etc...Well just like most normal men but drinking alcohol and most times getting drunk is a favourite hobby among Japanese men. Young and old alike. So if a Japanese guy says he is a Christian, his freinds etc don't care, they are expecting him to behave the same way. If he doesn't, then he is seen as unfriendly and he is then silently ostracised from his family and people in the community and friends. Family because the Christian guy is expected to do the dead relative ritual stuff which he will probably not want to do. From the community because some communities have a buddhist temple and they collect money from the neighbours to maintain the temple... and if you don't pay, then you are a bad person... from your friends, because you decide not to get drunk ever so often.

So 2 Christian men in the church that I attend, actually keep it a secret that they are Christians. This is out of fear that their families and friends will reject them.
A foreign lady in the church I attend, has a Japanese Husband who help his Family (as in his sisters, brothers, mother and father etc) out and see to it that everyone is Ok fianancially and otherwise. But they don't like him very much and are still saying that he doesn't help out why?? Because he choose not to do the dead relative business and participate in whatever other ceremony they have... So no matter how much money he spends and help in other ways, he is still seen almost like an enemy of the family... but some other sister who is there not doing a thing but attends the stuff is seen as very faithful to the family... hmm strange... So you grow up in a family, you are expected to follow everything you see and everything you are told to do... yep and thats just how it is here...

Anyway, so later in the day I watched the movie 7 pounds with Will Smith... Well to me, at least it was better than I am Legend as well as Hancock (still wondering why they chose such a name). It was a little sad but it was a good watch.

Day 297 { Madagascar 2 } - Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day 297 { Madagascar 2 - Escape to Africa }

So all I did today was chat with a couple of my old friends on skype then I watched Madagascar 2 - Escape 2 Africa. And just as I thought, it wasn't as good as the first one, but it wasn't too bad either. It made me chuckle a couple a times.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day 296 { Company Meeting Again } - Friday, January 9, 2008

Day 296 { Company Meeting Again }

Went to ATM this morning again to try lodge some money and it was pretty simple based on the instructions my friend gave me yesterday... So yesterday I was there like 10 minutes trying to figure out what to do and today it took only about 2 minutes to make the lodgement. After making the lodgement, I went to the train station with the 4 other ALTs from my company and we went to Okayama city for our kind of quarterly meetings where we discuss the same topics all the time for about 3 - 4 hours. I don't know if you can imagine how boring that can get.

The ALTS that I normally spar with, weren't really doing anything after the meeting so we went to Bic Camera. I went to look at the prices of printers and PSPs, but I think I will wait until a little later to purchase both if any at all... Printer prices are ok but PSP cost equivalent to about US $200 ... NO WAY!!!

I found out by the wayside that many people within our company has a different contract and that some of us are being paid way higher than others. Especially those in the city areas get a nicer package and bonus and everything. I could not believe when someone told me this...However though, they work longer hours and get less time offs, so maybe it kindof work out the same.

Thanks for the congrats Latoya :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Day 295 { Dont Understand ATM } - Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day 295 { Dont Understand ATM }

My first day of work today and it was at my Thursday school which is a bit far away. I had the 4 classes like normal then went to the bank to try and lodge some cash. While at the ATM, I was trying to understand it as it does not have English at all. But the Post Office ATMs do... I fought with it for about 10 minutes but I lost the battle. I had to ask my friend to tell me how it worked...and she showed me. So tomorrow I will try again.

Day 294 { Finally / Unfair Treatment } - Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day 294 { Finally / Unfair Treatment }

Woke up at 5:15 am AGAIN this morning, based on my inspiration day before yesterday (while reading my bible), to go to the licence centre before Friday which I planned for. So again I was in Okayama city, and I met up with the other guy who was supposed to do the exam with me. Our IC picked us up and took us to the licence centre and we saw yet another person who work for our company, paying for the exam as well..

This is the amount of money I have spent so far on this thing after 4 attempts:

2900 x 4 = 11,600 Train fare
2400 x 4 = 9,600 Exam
700 x 4 = 2,800 Lunch and breakfast
24,000 (or about US $240)

After the three (3) of us did the driving exam...we were talking about what we did wrong and how we failed and what not... So while I was there, my friend Gregory who is in New York, called along with my cousin Andre in Jamaica... I had to come out of the room with the other foreigners who took the exam as well because those who know me, know that my mouth is very loud... So I was there chatting with both of them and laughing very loud... They were there encouraging me and saying I will get the licence this time and what not... About 28 mins after us talking, the examiner was ready to call us in so I hung up with them.... Then I joined the line of foreigners (about 7 of us) waiting for the judgement...So everyone went before me and failed and now I was about to hear my verdict...Then he asked me why did I turn on my indicator at a corner as well as something about i should have slowed down more at a blind spot... So I was there holding down my head then the man said...something in Japanese and my IC shouted "YOU PASSED !!!" .... and started jumping... I was in shock and disbelief for about 5 minutes... I felt bad for the other guy because it was like 11:30 am and we had to wait until about 3 pm to get the licence... They then made me watch this video about driving carefully in Japan etc etc.. Then they finally gave me the licence. It felt like a mllion dollars... Well not really but I was very very happy to get it. The licence have some sort of chip device inside it so it cannot be duplicated and it can be recognised by a special computer....

I was the only foreigner who passed today, and as such, I was the only foreigner in a sea of Japanese people collecting the licence... While I was in the line, this Japanese man was giving some instructions and talking on this mic.. then I heard him say, "Gykokugin something something" ... Myself as well as my IC was surprised when he said it... Its like he said "you non-Japanese or you foreigner please to come this way" .... I dont know if it was a racial thing, but obviously he didn't care... After a while he then called me in infront of the others to take my picture, which was a good thing...Because they amount of Japanese persons collecting their licence was about 70 BUT only 1 foreigner...... Is this strange or what????I notice one other blatant thing about their supposedly "Give the foreigners a hard time" licencing system. And it is that, the Japanese persons who are taking the exam are allowed to have a passenger in the back seat... I dont know if this passenger is a friend or someone else taking the exam... But the point is, they are allowed to have a passenger... But guess what??? The foreigner CANNOT have a passenger in the back seat. Could someone explain this to me???

Anyway, yes Richard I have been playing Ninja Gaiden since its inception on Nintendo, it and Shinobi...And you are so right, every single Ninja Gaiden is hard.... The only ones I have never actually played are the ones on X-box 360, the game gear and the nintendo DS versions.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day 293 { Divine Inspiration But Lets See} - Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day 293 { Divine Inspiration But Lets See }

So today I stayed in all day. I was a little down because of this constant failure of the Japanese licence Exam thing. I don't handle failure very well, especially if I think I know what I am doing. So yesterday, I was reading my bible and suddenly I felt like calling my IC to change my appointment date. I intially set the date for Friday, January 9 but I had this sudden urge to change the date to today... This all happened while I was reading my bible. So after reading, I called the IC yesterday and asked her if I could take the exam today. She called the licence centre and said today would be full so tomorrow is better. So yeah I'm going to try again tomorrow, Wednesday, January 7, 2009 so wish me luck and those who believe that praying to the Lord works, then pray fi mi....

I later chatted with a couple people online then played ninja gaiden sigma which is proving to be a little difficult, but I like it...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Day 292 { Fail Again } - Monday, January 5, 2009

Day 292 { Fail Again }

Woke up at 5:15 AM This morning going to Okayama city to take the licence test again... I must admit that I went, knowing in the back of my mind that I am just probably going to waste my money. I was saying to myself that no matter how expert I drive today, they will still make up some stories and say I fail. So why am I doing this then? Because also in the back of my mind, I think its a little trick they use for some people who they just target (like me) and make them come over and over until they are satisfied with the amount of times we fail, then eventually give us... I am just of the opinion that if a Japanese person did the same exact thing I did the last time, they would have passed. I am not particularly bitter because my friend's husband, Brad passed it on the second try. However, they are in another prefecture.

Any way, I took the test with a Japanese-American guy.. This was his second go at it... And as predicted, we both failed, and it was the easier of the courses at that. These are the reasons why I failed this time:

1) I turn on the indicator too late, I should have clicked it on only a little before ?????????????????

2) I made a wide left turn once, I should have turned a little more left to the curve ???????

Yes my friends, the examiner guy sighted those 2 reasons and said I only needed 5 more points to pass, and I should do my best next time around...He was like saying all these stuff in Japanese while my IC was translating for me... He was like, "oohh my you came soo close this time" .... I simply had a blank stare on my face while nodding my head when he was talking... then my IC was like,"Yes, you were so close" ... I told her that I was not at all impressed, because a fail is a fail, it doesn't matter if it was by 1 or 10...its just a fail... The only other thing I can recall failing 3 times consecutively is the Caribbean Examination Council's (CXC) English Language Exam. Up to this very day I haven't passed CXC English Language... but the one single time I took the General Certificate of Examination (GCE ) English Language Exam which is based in England and more recognised in the world than CXC....The one time I took it I got an 'A'... So I am terrible at Caribbean English but some how fluent in the Queens English... beats me guys....

So yes I failed the driving exam again, based on the 2 reasons I stated above.... I am not 100% disappointed because as I said, I some how knew they were going to fail me. I then went back home on the train then went to bible study in the night...

Day 291 { In Tsuyama, Okayama with Friends } - Sunday, January 4, 2009

Day 291 { In Tsuyama, Okayama with Friends }

So today I woke up very very tired but I promised my friend Vany that me and another friend would meet up with him, another girl from our training group as well as her friend.. 5 of us in all should meet up in Tsuyama...which is another area in the Okayama prefecture. We went to the Tsuyama castle which I heard is one of the most beautiful places in Spring when the cherry blossoms bloom. We walked around the castle and then Vany drove us to Okayama city, which took about 45 mins. We then had pizza in Vany's van where we kind of witnessed a vechular accident. Well we heard the screech of the tyres and the bang. The police eventually came and marked of the area while we were heading towards Bic camera. So we went Bic camera and then followed the other 2 guys to the station then me and my friend went back to Niimi. It was a short time, but it was fun.

Day 290 { Heading Back Home from Fukuoka } - Saturday, January 3, 2009

Day 290 { Heading Back Home from Fukuoka On a Crowded Train }

Now, your guess is as good as mine as to why these places have strange names like Fukuoka and Kokura right... That some how makes the average English speaker think twice... So don't ask me why the places have these names...

So today my friend Peter followed me from Sam's place to take a train to Kokura. We were there on the train evaluating the Japanese girls... and somewhat giving them a grade of pass or fail and to what degree... Yes its one of my new hobbies I must admit :) and its even worst when I am travelling with someone of like mind. To be blatantly honest with you, it is extremely difficult and bordering impossible, for the regular guy to simply not look on these girls, SERIOUSLY!!! They are everywhere... Well all we can do is look and talk :) ...

While coming off that train and heading for the shinkansen, we heard "Excuse me"... Of course we were both shocked because its only once in a pink moon you will hear a Japanese person speaking English in a loud tone. So we turned around and saw a somewhat oldish Japanese guy with a bunch of books. He stopped us and told us that he was about to dump the books but he thought that we would probably need them for studying... He then started to tell us a story that his father who is 92 is telling him that he should start teaching now even though he has already retired. Peter eventually chipped in and told him that I am in a rush to take the shinkansen. So I took a few of the books from him and ran towards the train.

Now, apparently everyone in Japan is going back home from the holidays today, so the train station was filled to the capacity. There was a long line waiting for the shinkansen at each door of the train... I told myself that I aint missing this train...So when one of the outside train attendant persons signalled that the line should stop and wait on another train for 15 minutes... Mr. Jamaican here with his Jamaican mentality, decided that him cyaaah badda wait. So I squeezed myself into the train and stood up all the way from Fukuoka to Okayama, which is a 1hr 30 min ride. There were several people standing up as well. This is why now I am even considering to buy a PSP or a Nintendo DS, because these long train rides are boring with a bunch of people occasionally staring at me and then turning their heads as soon as I make eye contact with them.
As soon as I got to Okayama, I hurried to buy a burger at Mcdonalds then took a train from Okayama City to Niimi, this time it was the slow train and it also took 1hr 30 min to Niimi. Then I had to drive for about 5 mins to get to my apartment... Yes, I cannot stress enough how deep in the country of Japan I live.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Day 289 { ROUND 1 } - Friday, January 2, 2009

Day 289 { ROUND 1 }

Today was one a those days when I had a full day of fun activities.

I went to this kindof big game shop place with all manner of games you can think of. Not just video games but also sports games like football, tennis, golf, basketball etc... The place is known as ROUND 1- Sports Entertainment. We paid about equvalent to JA$ 800 for 3 hours to play whatever game you want. Me, Peter and Sam, played football against 2 Japanese men and this kid, and even though we had pity on the kid, we had to win the match...I scored 3 of the goals... We then shot some hoops on this basket ball court and I am sure that many persons thought we were professionals as Sam is a tall guy and I am a black guy... However, if someone should come and examine our shooting pattern and what not, they would probably figure out that we are no good.

We also played Table Tennis, Bowling, this boxing game where I had to put on gloves and jump around and punch.... As well as this other football game thing where we should kick the ball in 9 different slots like a football tick tack toe thing. We then raced around this track on some very small bikes, but for some strange reason, even though its 4 persons who should be on the bikes racing... It was only the 3 foreign guys...and ooooh how we had a big crowd watching us. 2 white guys and this 1 black guy racing... A sight like that is extremely rare in the eyes of the Japanese, especially in certain areas. Well to be very honest, a sight like that would even be very strange in Jamaica as well... I will not reveal the results of the race however... After all this, we all went to some massage chairs, this was my first time in one and hmmmm it was a wonderful feeling... I heard that these things cost equivalent to $ US 4000... Before we knew it, 3 hours simply disappeared while we were having fun. After this, we went to eat then played Darts, another game that I have never played before...At the place where we were playing darts, we met up with another 1 of Sam's friends, who is this black guy that was born in England, live in USA and have Jamaican parentage... His dad is from Worthington in Kingston and he said he was there last year as well. He also said he spent 1 year at primary school in Jamaica some many years ago. After we played darts, we went to karaoke then played darts again then it was like 1:00 am in the morning so we just retried from there.