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

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 403 { Naruto Manga } Sunday, April 26, 2009


Day 403 { Naruto Manga }
Hello Mr/Miss Anonymous, thanks for your comment yesterday...Wasn't trying to read anything into question on day 399.... I was only wondering why he chose to ask me only when he certainly saw that all of us (including me and you) were eating, even though I was the last one to enter on the scene..... But, you could be right, perhaps he didn't see me eating, and he wanted to know... Which would educate me as to why he asked me alone... You see, there are many things that I wonder about, and don't have an answer to....

Today I went to church, it was only a small gathering of about 7 of us but at least someone was there to translate for me..... After church, I sat in my apartment and read a whole bunch of Naruto manga...I wish the anime series now, was as interesting as where the manga is... Based on the look of things, the manga is probably about 4 years ahead of the anime series...I still can't believe that I spent about 3 hours or more just reading this madness.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 402 { Another Reggae Concert In Niimi } Saturday, April 25, 2009



Day 402 { Another Reggae Concert In Niimi }

Richard( based on your comment on Day399 ), di ting is dat, 11 people did deh a di restaurant a eat... Him si dat all a wi did a eat and we were all about to pay for our food... He then suddenly decided to ask "Only me" if I ate (dont know if he thought that I ate and wasn't going to pay)...He asked no one else...I am wondering why he singled out me..............

So the guy who has the bar that likes reggae music, decided to keep another reggae concert in Niimi...When I visited his bar on Day 398 (This past Tuesday) to help him select his music, I asked him to sell me a pre-paid ticket.... This would cost ¥2000 as against ¥2500 at the gate. He then told me to wait a minute and he would get back to me.....He did not, so I ended up having to pay the ¥2500 at the gate... 4 of the other ALTs decided to come along with me to the reggae party, one of whom especially likes old school reggae music.

So we were at the reggae thing, and this one had wayyyy more people (maybe 2X more) than the last one that they asked me to perform at in last year on Day 276. The one today actually had some apparently famous Japanese promoter guys and selectors. I met briefly with two of these guys and 1 of them said they visited Jamaica twice (The guy in the Glasses)....This guy is a promoter and he showed me some pictures that he took along side several old school Jamaican reggae/rock steady singers like Ken Boothe and Alton Ellis (before he died)...He even showed me pictures of him at Hellshire eating fish and festival ... I was shocked.... The other guy was a selector (the guy in the black hat in the last photo) who said he visited Jamaica 3 times and he even met up with some famous reggae artists like bounty killer and beenie man. This selector guy was at the last reggae party thingy.....And he said a Jamaican singer by the name of warrior king was his favourite artist.....He had dub plates (records and/or Cds with the artists giving personal greetings or saying something with his name and/or organisation).

My friends got a little drunk at the party...And so did many of the Japanese persons that were there....I don't really drink and more so because I drive everywhere that I go...1 of the girls got reallllly drunk and I was quite shocked... The boyfriend of one of the girls who came with us, had to take her home....because she started to vomit on the road outside of the party....There were about 3 different apparently popular Japanese reggae bands that performed there... Actually one of them was a Japanese Rock band and the other 2 were reggae bands...They both sang to rocksteady rhythms in Japanese.........Apparently one of these Japanese band member guys did not like me. That was either probably because I was making too much noise :) or because I told them that the items that they had for sale were too expensive, so I refused to buy any... All in all, it seem that he didn't like me very much although he seemed to be afraid of me... I did not give a darn.... 2 members of one of the bands came up to me and I was talking to them about dub poetry stuff and they were quite interested...

One of them, who was the drummer for one of the bands (te long hair guy that is smiling) wanted to hear me, so he started to beat the drum and I was doing a little dub in Japanese.....His face lit up but because they were packing up, the other guy who was giving me a bad eye from I got there, told the drummer guy to basically stop it and hurry to help pack up the stuff. So he did, then afterwards we exchanged contact information... He said he wanted me to do a little performance at one of their events :) :) :) ... And ooh how much I like this stuff... these guys are crazy busy as they said they will have a performance tomorrow in Okinawa (The most southern part of Japan , and is akin to a caribbean island)..... then they will have another one the day after that in Nagoya (where I went last summer at the zoo)...

Overall it was an interesting little reggae event, though a little expensive...People came from as far as Osaka (3 hours away) to come to attend......

After the party thing I stopped at a convenient store and saw the same glasses guy in the last photo (the promoter guy who visited Hellshire)..... and this guy looked at me as if I was a ghost.... The same guy who was showing me the pictures.... In my mind I was like "wasn't it this guy who gave me his business card, why the heck is he now looking at me like this?????" .... Then I recalled that probably because I took the hat from off my head, it may had threw him off totally, and he was apparently wondering who on earth was I ......... So while he was leaving, 2 girls that were at the party was sitting in the front seat of the vehicle that he was in... Of course one being the driver.... I made eye contact with these 2 girls that obviously saw me at the party and they too were looking at me as if they saw a ghost....and while revearsing the vehicle, they both were talking to each other and looking at me in shock and disbelief...... I really can never understand these people, trust me...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day 401 { Let Me Wait A While Longer } Friday, April 24, 2009


Day 401 { Let Me Wait A While Longer }

Hey Mr. Burrows,
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S ! ! ! on your wedding!!! 

Not sure when I am going to make that bold step just yet.... For now I will savour in the freedom of single life, until I think I am ready to make that bold step. Hopefully it will not be too late. I have too many personality traits that I think I need to get rid of before I make a decision like that... One major major one is my roving eyes looking at every single beautiful woman that is in my sight... This would frustrate the heck out of my ex-girlfriends .... I don't know how I am going to get rid of this "problem" of mine. And its almost as if I don't really want it to go... But it would have to go when I get married...Or if I am getting close to that...

Today was just one of those normal days where I went to work and go back home... I however stopped at the super market and the ¥100 store to get some stuff to re-stock my apartment... These Japanese people amaze me every single time I put my foot in a super market or any public area...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 400 { Maybe I Need More Rest From Soccer } Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 400 { Maybe I Need More Rest From Soccer }


Warmed up a whole lot today before I started playing football. But it didnt make a difference. My groin area started acting up again for reasons beyond my understanding. I think I may need to take a 2 week or 3 week break again soon.

Day 399 { Kids Following Me Everywhere } Wednesday, April 22, 2009



Day 399 { Kids Following Me Everywhere }

The first time the grade 1 kids saw me at this school, they were all scared and very quiet when I was about to teach them... I even heard a kid said "Kowaii" (I am scared / this teacher is scary) when I was about to teach them...Now, after that first class....It seem as if they can't get enough of me... I get a little break and they follow me everywhere I go... If I run, they will run after me...And then all approx. 15 of them want me to watch them and they all want me to play 15 different games all at once... The worst thing is that, the Head English organiser for my schools told me that the board of education is now in negotiations with a kindergarten and my company, for me to teach them..... This means more tired days if this thing works out...

I later went to another ALT get together at a restaurant in my area that I have never been to. About 11 of us met up inclusive of 1 Japanese lady who can speak English very well. Then the inevitable topic of race stuff came up... They started discussing racial stuff about Japanese people, and the names that Americans gave to the Japanese and Germans etc...... Its only certain persons in this group that keep bringing up these topics that are not too much to my liking.... I now will even further minimize my contact with this group when a combination of certain persons are there....On a one to one basis with these persons its ok...But when a combination of them meet... It gets me a little uncomfortable.... But again I know it has to do with group dynamics... And I will surely take away myself...One of the guys even singled me out when we were about to pay for the food... He asked only me... "Dave did you eat?" ....Why tha heck did he do this???

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 398 { Obama's Victory Speech / Screening Reggae songs } Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 398 { Obama's Victory Speech / Screening Reggae songs }

Went to the Tuesday English conversation thing...and they showed Obama's victory speech...The leader basically translated the speech in Japanese and explained it. I also asked the leader and my Indonesian friend to give a message to Garmex in their native language...

Later on I went to the bar place where the guy likes reggae music...He wanted me to help him with the selection of songs that weren't talking about weed. He asked one of his Japanese friends to come by as well to translate English to Japanese.... He was doing all this stuff because they are keeping a reggae party on Saturday, April 25...

Day 397 { My Last Job Still Wants Work From Me / Easter Radio Show } Monday, April 20, 2009 [ 1 YEAR 1 MONTH ]

Day 397 { My Last Job Still Wants Work From Me / Easter Radio Show }

Hey today makes 1 year and 1 month since I am here in Japan.... and the 20th of every month also coincides with the day when my radio show is on.... The radio show today is about Easter.... again...I am just putting very little effort in this venture because I am upset with the way they do things...Here is the link to the show....
http://camnet.jp/radio/#channel-h

I got an email Friday night from the senior job placement officer / guidance counsellor at my last job at Garmex Heart academy...She wants me to get video clips of different persons sending greetings to Garmex..... because they are having a teacher's day thing on May 6....She want me to organise some people from South East Asia to be at some sort of event in their Asian clothes eating food or doing whatever.... In addition to videoing the kids I teach saying something about Garmex....

I told her I like the idea very much but all of that together...is a little too much work for me just now... But I want to take on the project because it sounds exciting... However, getting the kids involved as well as getting many people in their native clothes eating or whatever, may be next to impossible.... But I started recording some people today just giving greetings to Garmex...I hope what I plan to do will suffice...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 396 { Heading Back To Okayama From Kobe / New Printer } Sunday, April 19, 2009


Day 396 { Heading Back To Okayama From Kobe / New Printer }

I got a long enough sleep at Ovando and Memry....Then I left out at about 2:30 pm in order to catch the 3:30 pm bus to Okayama.... The problem is that, I wasn't really sure where to find the bus stop...The ticket office in Okayama-city gave me a map... But any one who know me well enough...know that maps are useless to me... Anyway, I got to Sannomia at about 3:00 pm then started my questioning...I ended up asking about 4 different persons but found the bus park well enough.....I kind of like these big cities... But I guess they all come at a staggering price...Especially for the apartments..... I got in the bus at about 3:20 pm and the bus took over 3 hours to get to Okayama city because there was a whole lot of traffic on the road...

So I got to Okayama city at about 7pm then went to the Bic Camera store to let them checkout the webcam that I bought there as well as to buy a printer.... I told the guys that my webcam is not working with windows vista.... a guy then printed out something and showed me that it does infact work with vista.... So I took out my laptop...attached the camera and showed them that it aint working....Another guy then took out another webcam exactly like mine...then tried to make it work... he didnt know how to operate it then he looked catefully at the box that the camera was in and saw that the driver CD was actually hidden in this part of the box... I checked mine and walla....one was there also.... So I made sure to install the webcam using the CD, right there in front of them... And it finally worked.... I then thanked them and purchased a hp printer/scanner/copier.... the cost was ¥9800 (US$98) ....I bought a printer exactly like this from the USA in 2006 for US $70...

I then took the train back to Niimi and I sat beside this rockstar looking, full of piercings Japanese girl... I started up a conversation with her and she said she was an anime nerd and she loves taking pictures...She showed me several of her photos where she and her friends dress up like anime characters and take pictures..... she is actually going to an academy that deals with art and stuff..... Her pictures were amazing... her blog is http://3932dwda.jugem.jp/?month=200812



Stewart and Richard... Trus mi nuh watch di spelling and di grammar cause mi nuh fraid fi admit seh mi English is terrible as much as a it mi a teach...... Is das why dem giv mi di pikney dem fi teach...... Tanks fi di correksion still...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 395 { Jamaican Party In Gakuentoshi, Kobe } Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 395 { Jamaican Party In Gakuentoshi, Kobe }

Woke up at 6:30am this morning in order to catch the 7:23am train... needless to say I almost missed it..... While I was driving to the train station.. I managed to give the ticket lady ¥200 for parking and she said in Japanese "please hurry the train is coming!!!" .... As soon as I paid the money and exitied...it was the train I was looking at about to stop... I had to run up and down 2 flight of stairs, then luckily caught the train... Its about the 3rd time....this close call thing happening to me...

I then got to Okayama city, and based on the information I received from the people last night, I found the ticket office in no time... The bus stop was right infront of the ticket office.... I then took the 2 hr 30 mins trip from Okayama City to Sannomiya, Kobe.... Which is like the main part of Kobe I believe....I then had to call my friend Ovando (whose wife was having the birthday)...For him to give me directions as to how to get to their apartment....I then took another train for about 25 minutes, which took me to Gakuentoshi which was the area that they lived in... I then met up with him and got to their apartment.... Now, this married couple I knew them only through phone calls and from people asking me if I knew them....We have Several mutual friends.... And this was the first time I was actually meeting them in person... We were even at a banquet together in 2005 where Ovando gave a speech....But then I didn't really know him...So I saw him before in 2005...But we never officially met... So after about an hour or two of talking with Ovando and Memry.....Me and Ovando hit the road, back to Sannomia to get some more stuff for the birthday party...I remember seeing at least 3 Jamaican restaurants in Sannomia.... One of the restaurant owners actually lived in Jamaica for 2 years he said... The name of his restaurant is JAMDUNG.... I think one of the 3 restaurants that I saw, is actually owned by a Jamaican (and I think thats the one stephen is refering to from yesterdays blog)..... We then went back to the apartment where a few persons were already there, ready for the party which should have started 5:00pm (Jamaican time)... So everything started maybe at about 7:00 gurai (about 7pm). I think in all, there was maybe about 20-25 of us there... some came from Osaka, and some was living nearby...This one guy came from a place in the prefecture name HIMEJI.... I cannot believe so many Jamaicans were living in one little area in Kobe.... and where I live, the entire prefecture have only about 12 - 15 Jamaicans, of which I know only about 9 or 10....

We all had a good time ... and it was really fun to see so many Jamaicans......Finally after a long time, I got to eat some GOOD JAMAICAN FOOD..... like Jerk chicken, fritters, fried chicken and all other sort of NICE TASTING FOOD!!!

At the party, there was a guy and a girl from South Africa.... And 3 girls for the USA. This setting made me realise that I should stop commenting about when the many Americans I know, meet up with us and talk about their stuff.... Because I realised that when we Jamaicans met up, we were there talking in our Patois dialect and many of the times not realising that the Americans and South Africans don't have a clue what we are saying.....But we would be there telling our stories and laughing, while the other persons are there staring and trying to understand....A couple of times I had to ask the persons if they understood what we were saying when we were telling our stories.......I guess its really about group dynamics..... The dominant group in any setting will tend to talk about stuff common among themselves.....Its only natural....so if there is a minority in that setting, then that person or those persons are going to be at a slight or a major disadvantage.... But what I do if im in the minority and the topic really is not to my taste...... Then I stay for a little while, then eventually make an exit...
Anyway...eventually persons started to go when it was getting late.....and it all ended at about 12:00 midnight or 1am there about.... I am starting to wonder if I should apply for the JET programme, because they have it wayyyyy easier...except that they have to work in the summer and winter...Even though there is nothing to do at work...

There is an almost inevitable topic that makes me cringe when people of different nationalities meet up... And thats the whole matter of race and/or racism....... some people can handle this topic, but some people just can't. Especially when it has anything to do with slavery and stuff like apartheid... I am sure there are sooo many other topics that we can all sit and enjoy without bringing up these stuff.

I think we all enjoyed ourselves though.... and I did enjoy myself emmencely... It was really a good time...And the hosts of the party are suuper nice persons...



Hey Stephen... Mi did pass the Jamaicana restaurant in sannomia (1st picture up top) but mi neva get fi guh in deh... mi did guh a dis nex one name Jam dung...
Di likkle piece mi read from yuh book was very very interesting...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 394 { Plans For Kobe / Guys Night Out } Friday, April 17, 2009


Day 394 { Plans For Kobe,Hyogo / Guys Night Out }

After work today, I started to make plans to go to a friend's birthday party in a prefecture that is next to the one I am in... The name of the capital city is more popular than the name of the prefecture... The name of the Prefecture is Hyogo... and the name of the capital is Kobe.... And yes, the famous Basket ball player Kobe Bryant got his name from this city...

I got a face book invitation from 2 friends who I have never met but we knew each other... For weeks I was wondering whether I should go or not. But then one of them called me and said I should try... So I told her I would really try to make it.... Her husband then placed the directions on face book... But that still could not help me unless I knew how to get to Kobe itself.... So I started my research.... At the same time... The guys around my area wanted to have a "Guys night out".... This night out thing should have started at 7pm but I was still busy trying to get information about the cheapest and most convenient way to get to Kobe... So I ended up even rushing to the English conversation class to get more information from the Japanese people who were there... And they helped me out wonderfully......

I then rushed to meet the 4 other guys at a local karaoke bar place at about 9:30 pm..We ended up going to 2 bars and then a place to play pool / Billards.... I then got in at about 3 am in the morning....When I got in, I was like...aah I dont think I can make it to Kobe because I would have to wake up at about 6:30 am to catch a 7:23 am train.... And I did't even start packing stuff up... But I was adamant that I am going to go to Kobe to this little party..... So I started packing and ended up going to bed at 4 am.....


Yow Richard...Mi read every single one of the blog entries on from xenlogic.wordpress.com/ and they are truly brilliant.... I make several comments on them...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 393 { Bruised Knee And More Groin Pain From Football/ The History of My Involvement In Football } Thursday, April 16, 2009


Day 393 { Bruised Knee And More Groin Pain From Football/ The History of My Involvement In Football }






I was supposed to meet one of my friends in Okayama city today, but alas, she said she was down with the fever.... A serious flu thing is going around in this prefecture and I hope it stay clear of me..... Last month at one of my schools, the entire grade 3 class had to stop coming to school because of the flu... One of my friends can hardly speak now, because she is getting some strange flu like symptoms...

In the night I invited the new guys around here to football... So 4 of us came...then another joined after.... In all, 5 foreigners were at soccer tonight :) :) :)... Its the first so many gykojins (foreigners) are coming to this thing that I no doubt inspired :) :) :) ... What we didn't know was that we were going to play against those same girlish looking, never stop running, very fit other Japanese guys....The ones that every time I play against them, I get some form of injury... and this time was no exception.....




They benched me in the first 5 minutes then I went on... In about 2 minutes after I went on, I scored a shocking goal, that I myself was surprised about.... I was tackled harshly, then while running towards the right post of the goal, I slid on my left knee because of the tackle, then shot the ball, and it went right pass the defender and the goal keeper... I felt like the best player on the field after that goal....I wonder how those millionaire football players feel when they score a goal...


After about 20 mins of that goal... I noticed that the knee I slid on was burning me a bit...When I looked at it, there was a big hole in my sweat bottom pants and the long tights that I had under it.... along with a bruise on my knee... I haven't had one of these bruises in like 15 years of playing soccer....My groin area started acting up as well... this time it was the left side instead of the right side.... I don't know how this pain shifted...OOOH boy...Old age!!!!!





For some strange reason... Many of my friends find it hard to believe that I play football ... And I have been playing since I was like 12 years old... So let me give you all a little history about me and my involvement with football... From grade 6 in primary school I started playing and I loved playing it... Its just that I have never taken it up seriously... I first trained for an under 14 team name Rodwood ...... we used to train at a playfield located at the back of my house.... Then in grade 7, I played for my inter-form football team... And we won that year.... I was on both the inter-form football and the inter-form quiz team and we won both those events... I still have my inter-form quiz trophey at home in jamaica.... I went up to collect it with a bandaged hand, because I got injured in the finals of the football...

Later on, I started training for a team in Waterford name Workers United... I went to many trainings but I did not go to any of the matches, because I knew I would not get any game... In 8th grade, I again played for the inter-form football team but I did not play in every match... in 7th grade I played in every single match though...... In 9th grade, I started training for a team that is at the border of Gregory park and Waterford in my community.... The name was Black Star. I was present at a couple trainings and had to walk for at least 30-45 minutes to go to training... I got one game in this intense competition... And the coach knew nothing about my skills or anything... because he was never really present at the trainings... The senior guys would conduct these training sessions...And even then, many people still did not know I played soccer...Even some of the guys that I spoke with every day....

Between 10th grade and 11th grade, I played random matches and did random trainings with my friends around my area... Nothing serious.... I was known as the "Brukyboo" of the lot.... I hate to pass the ball, all I want to do is head for the goal, beating everyone in the most stylish ways, and scoring.... I also played some random matches at my community college against some other class teams, nothing big... the only other friend I can think of now who is still in touch with me, that actually saw me in action on the football field is Keith Francis...


I then started to play for my church...and they also figured that I didn't like to pass the ball... I played for my church maybe for about 5-6 years.... I also went to occasional inter-faculty trainings while in university...... Not many by a loong shot.....The longest I have ever been away from playing football is maybe 6 months maximum.....Ohh I have a clip of me playing while in Brazil in 2006.....Here it is... I am in the purple mariner/under shirt and a jeans pants :



I actually scored a goal toward the end of the video...

So you see, yes I am a joker and yes I sometimes look like and act like a priest or a pastor but I do play football... And I also play table tennis... But that I haven't played in a while...

Day 392 { OK Come Visit Jamaica } Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Day 392 { OK Come Visit Jamaica }


At my school today, I am yet to receive a plan of what I should teach....And every single one of the teachers at this school wait until a couple a minutes before the English class begin, to tell me what they want...Although most of the times I fully control what takes place...Atleast the last year English coordinator lady at this school could speak a little English, and I would get a copy of the plan for the month, at the start of each month...


Went to the Wednesday English conversation thing tonight, and I was the only native English speaker there...One of the girls who come there said she really want to visit Jamaica... and she want to come along with me on my next visit :) :) :) .... I really want to go this summer...But the dates are uncertain right now... As I would also like to visit the Bahamas for a conference in July...... I dont know how my friend would fit into all of this as I would be very busy, if everything goes according to plan... unless she want to visit the Bahamas and come to the conference, then that can be arranged...



Richard yuh nuh si mi a lose mi English... or ministry deh pon mi mind... tanks fi di correction

Hey, if di baby did eva mashup mi ps3... har madda or fadda wudda haffi buy back a new one, and dis time it wudda haffi bi di backward compatible one wid 2 controls...cause mi know dem have a likkle change.... What games yuh have for it now??

Day 391 { New Members At Tuesday English Convo } Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 391 { New Members At Tuesday English Conversation }

I prefer this new set of grade 6 students at my main school now... I hope the former grade 6 teacher doesn't feel too bad about that, but most of her former students were too quiet in class... And most of them seemed to be extremely shy except for 3 of the guys. The now grade 5 has more kids and most of them are not afraid to speak... there are a few shy ones but the majority of them are not so shy...

Rain fell all day today but I still went to the Tuesday night English conversation thing... I have fully tied myself up every single day of the week, except for occational Saturdays and Sundays.
When I arrived at the English conversation, I saw the Chinese-American ALT doing a presentation on her walkathon and jogging events...as well as her trip to Thailand... I met a few new college students who are freshmen at the college... 3 girls :) :) :) and 1 guy : ... and they all speak English pretty well...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 390 { Bun and Tin Mackerel Exchange } Monday, April 13, 2009


Day 390 { Bun and Tin Mackerel Exchange }

My friend made the mistake and told me that she made Easter bun for Easter.... aah bwoy...knowing hungry belly me... I am going to want some of this, as I have no clue where in Japan they sell anything similar to a nice Jamaican Easter bun.... So I made a deal with my friend that she should mail the bun to me and I will mail some tin mackrel to her.... So she mailed the bun yesterday and I got it today...

So after leaving work, I went to the main post office in my area to do 3 major things:

1) Collect the bun
2) Mail the mackerel
3) Mail my now signed contract because my company made the necessary corrections

First I went to mail off the mackrel, then I told them I need to mail my contract..... To my surprise, these post offices do not sell envelopes, nor do they have them available!!!!! So I had to drive to a nearby plaza, get some envelops then post the contract.... I then collected the bun... While collecting the bun, there was this lady that recognised me...But I couldn't tell where exactly I knew her from... She then asked me if I am going somewhere tomorrow....So I told her yes, I am going to work tomorrow.... She then said ooh ok...She then asked what about tomorrow night....That was when I realised who she was.... She is one of the older participants of the Tuesday night English conversation classes. And they all now think that my Japanese is perfect after 1 year... So they speak very fast and difficult Japanese to me now...

Later on I went to bible study and showed them the pictures I took while in Jamaica...I was also explaining to them that the average Jamaican family is not like the average Japanese family. In that, if you should select any random Jamaican person, there is possibly a 90% chance that their father was missing in action, and their mom or grand mother had to grow them up... On the other hand, in Japan... there is a 95% possibility that they grew up with both parents and possibly even grand parents as well.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 389 { Animals I hate / Civil Unrest in Thailand } Sunday, April 12, 2009




Day 389 { Animals I hate /Civil Unrest in Thailand }






Went to church today and took communion. I haven't done this in about 5-6 months if not more. I saw the new ALT girl there who is a catholic, and they asked me to introduce her in Japanese!!! .. I stuttered a bit ....and all I said was her name, she is from Austin, Texas in the USA and that she is an English teacher at 3 elementary schools in Niimi. After church, I was telling them some stuff about Jamaican fruits. They were shocked when I told them that my next door neighbour has a mango tree... Thats because you don't see mangoes very often in Japan. I was also telling them that I am absolutely terrified of scorpions and centipedes... And just seeing a picture of a centipede (not scorpions though) makes my skin crawl in disgust and fear. I remember about 10 years ago when I was at one of my aunt's house... and I was sitting down and looking around... My eye then caught a black scorpion....Instantly I was gripped by fear... I slowly went for a slipper, then threw it at the scorpion and ran as if there will be no tomorrow...


Anyway, I was watching the news tonight and saw where the Asian summut was planning to have a meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.....They wanted to discuss the North Korea Missile business as well as some other stuff....But, some anti-governement protestors had already warned the governement that they WILL disrupt the meeting.... The government went ahead and still had the meeting....OOh boy.... The Thai people were destroying a benz that had the prime minister inside it...and they didn't give too hoots .... They had to air lift the Japanese prime minister out of a hotel building or else only God knows what would become of him.... The other leaders had to take away themselves or had to be rushed in some emergency evacuation vehicle... Here is the story http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090411/ap_on_re_as/as_asia_summit





Day 388 { Niimi Election / Japanese Lady and Her Kids } Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day 388 { Niimi Election / Japanese Lady and Her Kids }

For the past week and a half or so there has been this very noise campaign going on to choose a mayor and about 23 candidates.

I got a video of them making this noise on the road in vehicles.





The good thing about this election thing is that there is absolutely no violence involved... Just a whole lot of noise... If three candidates are driving pass each other, you will hear 3 different loud speakers shouting the three different names.... And they are all saying the same thing in an annoying tone... The worst thing is that they drive all over Niimi between 8am - 8pm and shout their madniss.... again, all of them saying the same exact thing and saying they will do their best... All these cars have in about 7 or 8 people and at least one person is shouting on the top of their voice... They are basically saying stuff like... "vote for Takahiro please treat him well and he will do his best" ... or "vote for yamaguchi please treat him well and he will do his best" ... I cannot begin to describe how annoying this is...
Even one of my Japanese friends said it is absolutely ridiculous...
At noon, I invited this mother of 2 to my apartment because she missed my presentations about Jamaica and about Easter, and she really wanted to see the pictures... So she came with her kids and oh boy.... One kid is about 5 year old, and the other is 1... The 1 year old kid started to take up my camera, my ps3 controller etc...all the important looking stuff... I only could look at her through the corner of my eye... luckily she didn't break anything.

Day 387 { New Contract / WHERE ARE MY TIRES??? } Friday, April 10, 2009



Day 387 { New Contract / WHERE ARE MY TIRES??? }




I taught a new 1st grade class today, where the kids were all seeing me for the first time... As soon as I got in the class, there was this grand excitement and this one kid started shouting on the top of his voice ..."WOW HE IS BLACK!!!" in Japanese... Then a few kids started to follow him...Aaah the backwardness of this area is unreal...They never cease to a amaze me.




I got my new contract today, and after taking so long to get my contract...they misspelled my name... Can you believe that??? After working for this company for over a year they still cant spell my name properly???? I remember telling them at least twice that they always misspell my name on their letters to me....Not only that... I saw where they cut off some money from my pay.... So I immediately sent an email to the new supposed to be half boss guy... He responded by saying that he was really sorry and embarrassed about my incorrect name spelling and that the pay thing was another error... He said I should mark out the wrong letter in my name, then initial it..as well as they well send another contract with my corrected new salary...

I went to smile service (the company where I purchased my car) and told them that I need my tires to change from snow tires back to the normal tires that I had.... The lady at the place then asked me where are my normal tires????????????? I tried to tell her that I went to the Okayama Mazda place yesterday and they told me that they (smile service had my tires)...The lady then called Okayama Mazda and told them some stuff that I didn't understand... She then came back to me and told me that I need to pay ¥23,000 for a set of new tires... I almost started talking Jamaican patois to her and almost asked her "if shi lik har head some weh" (translation ... if she hit her head somewhere). I ended up asking her WHY!!! in Japanese... Why should I pay for new tires when either they, smile service or one of their dealers, Okayama Mazda ... had my tires... I was starting to get really upset, so I called my company and explained everything to them... Eventually, smile service ended up giving me 4 tires and they told me to go back to Okayama Mazda to let them put them on... A lady from my company then called and asked me if I remembered who told me in November that I should leave my tires at Okayama Mazda... I told her that I don't know the name of the guy but I know his face...I then told her to call back smile service and ask them if I am going to pay for the tires that they gave me...Just in case..... She then called me back saying that its a second hand tire from another car and I don't need to pay for them....

The million dollar question is....WHERE ARE MY TIRES????? The lady from my company then said maybe I got the car with some Old snow tires and so Okayama Mazda probably kept them then disposed of them..... I then told her that then apparently that means that I bought the piece of junk for a car, with OLD TIRES .... And I paid so much damn money for it..... So I was basically subtly robbed through my teeth by either my company and/or smile service and/or Okayama Mazda.... Then the worst thing to top it off now was that... the same lady from my company called me back to say she remembered telling me that I should have kept my tires with me after they were changed....and keep them in my apartment.... Then she started hinting that maybe I still have my tires somewhere in my apartment????????????(WHAT) I told her that even if she told me that... I did not take her advice, and the Okayama Mazda place kept my tires.... As to what they did with it, remains a mystery... I told her that I want to stop dealing with these 2 companies because they seem like highway crooks to me....She then started to defend smile service saying that they are very kind, and if my car should break down on the road, they will help me out.... I told her point blank that I will avoid them at all cost... I told her that I will go to Okayama Mazda to change my tires then that will be the last time I plan to have any dealings with them...

I then went to Okayama Mazda and the same guy who told me in November to leave my tires and also that they can't find my tires... started apologising... I asked him if my first tires were old snow tires....and he said he doesn't remember.... I then sat and waited for about 45 minutes for them to change my tires....during this 45 minutes...A Japanese guy came there and started talking to the car dealer guy... He was asking him if I could speak Japanese...the guy then told him no I don't seem to understand Japanese.... I then turned around and said in Japanese... "Yes I understand it a little but not very well".... The men paused for about 10 seconds while staring at me with their mouth's wide open, and were looking astonished that I understood their Japanese conversation....

Any way, after that, the car dealer guy told me that the bill was ¥4000 instead of ¥2000 because my car needed to balance....and they went ahead and balanced it for me..... I was tempted to tell him to unbalance them back and I would get it balanced elsewhere... Because I did not ask them to balance my tires...They did it without my consent then asking me to pay...WHY????

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day 386 { Meeting With Board of Education / Changing Car Tires } Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day 386 { Meeting With Board of Education / Changing Car Tires}

The office lady at my last year Tuesday school, which is now my Thursday and sometime Friday school, has been changed... The new office lady is a 21 year old girl fresh out of college and she speaks a little English. The vice principal is really pouring on the pressure on her and asking her to do multiple things at once...He was also attempting to explain a million things to her at once... You can see that the new girl is very flustered and nervous...I am sorry for her already.

I then went to a Board of Education meeting with the other ALTs that work for my company.
First we met the director of the Board of Education then we had a meeting with the English coordinators, a representative from our company and the head of the English department in the Board of Education. This meeting is where the representative from my company, come and give some information to all the English coordinators in Niimi... The head of the English department in the Board of Education also gives some explanation... Out of the 7 ALTS who were at the meeting, only 2 of them can speak and understand Japanese relatively fluently... I only understand like a few words and thats about it.

After the meeting, I went to get some gas, some coolant and also went to the car shop that changed my car tires in the winter.........ooh boy... So I went there because everybody was telling me that I need to change back to normal tires, because it is already getting very hot in the days... The temperatures are now fluctuating between a high of about 27 degrees celcius in the afternoon times, to a low of about 8 degees celcius at nights and early mornings... So anyway, I went to the car shop to take off the snow tires... and this guy was telling me that They don't have my tires??????... I was like WHAT!!! then were are they??? He said that maybe Smile Service (The company that I bought the car from) has them... I was like...What in the world are they doing with my tires???? I called my company to tell them...and they told me to go to smile service tomorrow because they would be closed by now....

So stay tuned tomorrow for that leg of the epic drama about .... The Life of Dave in Japan !!!!

Any way... later I went to play soccer after a long break since that groin injury incident on Day 323 on Feb 5 ..... Ahhh playing soccer after about a 2 month break was so much fun trust me.... But I could feel that groin area acting up a bit, after about 30 mins of play...

Day 385 { Shifting Teachers / Flying Dragon In Miyajima } Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 385 { Shifting Teachers / Flying Dragon In Miyajima }

All over Japan, every new school term they shuffle the teachers around. Sometimes against their will...I do not know why they do this.... But no teacher will be at the same school for say more than 5 years...So as soon as they start getting comfortable, they will eventually have to move somewhere else... So today I went to my former Thursday school which is now my Wednesday and sometime Friday school. There were a lot of new faces because of the shifting around system... The teachers were crazy busy and they had nothing prepared for my classes......This school is the only school I have now, where I have to actually help the teachers plan the lesson for the classes....

After the classes, I went to get a haircut at my usual lady barber... She was telling me a story about a famous shrine in Hiroshima name Miyajima. The shrine is actually located in a body of water in Hiroshima... There is a myth surrounding the shrine that there is a flying dragon overlooking the shrine....She told me that she know of at least 2 persons that can actually SEE THE DRAGON!!!!!! She said not many people can see it but she said she has a good friend who can actually SEE THE DRAGON !!! hmmmm she also said some kid was in a class one day and he told the teacher to look outside AT THE DRAGON???? and the teacher was like "WHAT DRAGON???? " hmmmm yup yup.... but friends... I have absolutely no comments concerning this ok!!!

Hey Deneice I did recommend that "vacation with the kids" to the lady who wants to divorce the Japanese guy, but she is afraid of going out of Japan and not being able to return... or return to Japan and dem sen har guh prison...

Luckily mi neva yet get shame wid di money thing but dem need fi talk if mi haffi pay from early out....Now mi jus going to be very very aware wid dem invitation ting yah...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day 384 { Presentation On Easter / World Baseball Classic} Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Day 384 { Presentation On Easter / World Baseball Classic}

I went to my main school today...And they changed the days from Monday and Wednesday and now its Monday and Tuesday. I was asked to do a presentation about Easter by the Japanese guy who conducts the English conversation classes on Tuesdays... So I did a presentation on the different Easter traditions in different countries including Jamaica's Easter bun... In Czech Republic they have a tradition to beat women with a whip... not beat them to cause pain though...It went pretty well in my estimate and they asked many questions afterwards..I also spoke about Christianity and Jesus, and how and why we celebrate Easter...

Later I went to another ALT link up to meet the New ALTs... There are 4 new ones... 2 from England and 2 from the USA... We chatted and introduced ourselves and what not...But again I could not deal with the smoking, so I left early...

I forgot to mention sometime ago that Japan won this World Baseball Classic thing about 3 weeks ago... So they were celebrating like crazy... I remember one day when I was in the city, I saw a good bunch of people glued to the TV when Japan was playing South Korea.... I think this is the second time Japan is winning this event...and I am still surprised that the won America, with all those Major league players...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Day 383 { Wrong Information/Bicycle/Marrying A Japanese } Monday, April 6, 2009


Day 383 { Wrong Information/Bicycle/Marrying A Japanese }

Yesterday someone from my company called to say that I should wear jacket and tie today because the school will have their opening ceremony... HA... When I got there, all the teachers were there in their sweat suits and T-shirts. They were all complimenting me on how my suit looks nice and what not...... Now, where did this guy who called me get his information from???? To me, thats a bad start for the new school year..... I sent him an email to say he delivered some wrong information to me....... and guess what??? I am working and I don't have a contract !!! So clearly, if I get another job now, it would not be considered breaking my contract....And technically I am still unemployed.... I can also do whatever I feel like doing and break any rule that the company told us in the last contract... As I have none now....I asked the guy who called me yesterday, about my contract and he said that the manager and another guy is sorting it out.... WHAT!!!!!

My friend who has now moved to a nicer city, left her bicycle behind and told me to take it... It is one of those weird looking small Japanese bicycles but I took it... Its now parked outside of my apartment... Hopefully they won't steal it... OOH I forgot this is Japan...and more specifically Niimi, Okayama, Japan...

My Bulgarian friend who got married to a Japanese man, is trying desperately to get a divorce...However the problem is that, she has children with him, and the man wants his children even though she said he didn't look after them.... She showed me a few documents where even though Japan signed some agreement to not be discriminatory in these family matters, they have NEVER granted a ruling in favour of a spouse who is a foreigner..... A document said that its bad enough if its two Japanese persons getting divorce in that, the norm is the father (if children are involved) will keep all his belongings while the mother will keep the children, many times unable to support them properly.... But the father will never again have contact with the children as long as they live....If the husband or wife is a foreigner then the problem gets worse... A document said a foreigner has no defence or representative in Japan who will help them out in these situations....and the police WILL NOT/NEVER HELP a foreigner in these situations...
And guess what?? ...if you some how have children with a Japanese, then decide to go back to your home country....then you can practically kiss those children goodbye.... because even though Japan is a part of the hague convention , they specifically did not sign one of the agreements... The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction so in essence, a Japanese person can kidnap your kid, claim parentage...and the kid is all theirs... And you cant do a thing about it....If you try to take the kid, the police can lock you up.....

Now my friend is in a messed up situation because she is almost sure that the ruling wont go in her favour...

So be careful if you fall in love with a Japanese citizen :) ... Of course that goes for me too :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Day 382 { Cherry Blossoms / North Korea Missile }


Day 382 { Cherry Blossoms / North Korea Missile }

Went to a park today to look at the beautiful cherry blossoms that the Japanese people pride themselves in... They appear for one week in spring, then disappear until next year. I decided to make the journey with my friend. I saw some kids and a teacher from the school that I went to on Tuesdays.


So north Korea decided to go against international pressure and fired a missile today, claiming that it was to put up some satellite.... They even lied that it came out of the atmosphere and went into space....
here is a part of the story

Despite weeks of warnings from the United States, Japan, South Korea and others, North Korea launched the Taepodong 2 missile, a three-stage rocket with potential range of more than 4,100 miles, at 10:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, according to the White House and State Department.
The North claims that the missile is a vehicle to launch satellites, but the U.S. and its allies regard satellite and missile technologies as interchangable.
Four hours after
the launch, North Korea declared it a success. North Korea says the experimental "Kwangmyongsong-2" communications satellite was sent into orbit in a peaceful bid to develop its space program. The satellite reached outer space in just over nine minutes and was orbiting without any problems, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch from Pyongyang.
A U.N. Security Council resolution bars the country from ballistic missile-related activities of any kind. It was passed in 2006 after North Korea detonated a nuclear device, prompting a flurry of diplomatic activity to get it to abandon its atomic weapons program. The so-called "six-party talks" between China, Japan, Russia, North and South Korea and the United States had made limited progress until stalling last year.
As part of those talks, the Bush administration removed North Korea from a terrorism blacklist. Some lawmakers had called for restoring the designation in the event of a missile launch, but Obama aides say no decision has been made.

Japan initially said it would shoot down the missile if it entered their air space but North Korea said if Japan should ever shoot down their missile....It would mean war...Japan quickly retracted their statements.... Japan has a looong history of hatred with China, north korea and South Korea.... North Korea though has been antagonising Japan since Japan became a more peaceful country after world war 2... North Koreans have kidnapped a couple of Japanese nationals and take them back to North korea to teach them Japanese...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korean_abductions_of_Japanese

So you see I run away from Jamaica where every no and again I hear gun shots barking. And come to Japan where missiles are flying over my head....I guess we are safe no where in the world really.