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

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 556 { Japanese Shaken } Saturday, September 26, 2009


Day 556 { Japanese Shaken }


I called my bible study leader today to ask her if she could follow me to get my car... So she came and followed me to the mechanic shop... The mechanic persons actually asked a friend of theirs to come and help translate for me as well .. but that wasn't necessary....

Another ALT here was also getting her car checked because her shaken (a mandatory car inspection fee that all car owners in Japan has to pay every 2 years) was going to expire pretty soon. This thing is almost like what we would call car fitness in Jamaica. She got her car for cheap but thats also because the shaken was due soon..... And apparently her car had a whole lot of issues that she wasn't even aware of. When the mechanic guys told her of the car issues and how much she has to pay... She flipped.... Well yeah I would get upset too...

Eventually they made a deal and she will purchase a second hand car from them that would end up valuing less than the price to fix the old car???? But yeah that was the best they could do for her...

After I collected my car, I went to purchase a new chair, because as I mentioned yesterday, these chairs here are giving my back a warm time....I squeezed the chair inside my car then drove back to my apartment.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 555 { More Car Fixing / Wii Drops Prices / Segway } Friday, September 25, 2009


Day 555 { More Car Fixing / Wii Drops Prices / Segway }

After work today, I went to the car shop nearby my apartment, because my coolant reservoir was loose. Plus my brake felt a bit weird so I had them check it out...

I realize that the standard chairs in Japan are not built to make people feel comfortable. So I think I am going to get a nice, comfortable char for my birthday.... A couple of my friends have been complaining about back trouble since they got here... And even a couple of my Japanese friends too... A whole lot of old people in my community has some serious back issues, and I do not want this same thing happening to me at all.




Nintendo Wii has dropped its prices....

Nintendo Co. has cut the price of the top-selling Wii for the first time since the game console's debut in 2006 to maintain its lead after Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. reduced the cost of their systems.

The motion-sensing Wii's price will fall by $50 to $200 in the U.S. starting Sunday, Nintendo said. Prices will be cut in Japan on Oct. 1 and in Europe the following day, Ken Toyoda, a Nintendo spokesman, said Thursday. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20090925n1.html



Honda Motor Co. unveiled on Thursday a new compact self-balancing vehicle that looks like a futuristic unicycle.

News photo
Not so easy rider: Honda Motor Co. President Takanobu Ito tests the U3-X electric unicycle at a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday. YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO

Unlike other self-balancing devices like the two-wheeled Segway or Toyota Motor Corp.'s Winglet, Honda's U3-X is a one-wheeler. It can move back and forth and even side to side, thanks to a ring of small perpendicular wheels lining the outer edge of the main wheel, Honda said.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20090925a1.html

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 554 { Religious Hard Talk } Thursday, September 24, 2009


Day 554 { Religious Hard Talk }


Went to play football today after over 2 months of break... Ohh it was wonderful. And I managed to score 1 goal against the opposing team... And about 2 or 3 while training with my team.... Again I must admit that my fitness is waining ... But, I plan to take drastic steps to improve my fitness again.... I actually started by jogging last night.....

Yesterday while at home, I watched a couple of religious hard talk programmes on youtube (A TV programme in Jamaica that explores different religions and have debates etc)... I found them quite interesting... And I had no idea that Muta Baruka (A famous Jamaican Dub Poet) was so well learnt...Here are the videos that I watched.... I must say that even though I am a Christian, the pastor (Rev. Clinton Chisolm) lost this debate in my opinion...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0dh5HjzEn8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72zNEoOwP5A&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SZ_70zCVn8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zlez8Gtmrs&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMkzWftK_1Q&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FBdD1BTzrI&feature=related


Yes Stewart there is The ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations but Japan, China, nor South korea is a part of that group.... They have diplomatic relations with them but thats about it... There is NO union that joins Japan, China and/or South Korea together...... There is the East Asian Summit that is held every year which includes the ASEAN nations, Japan, China and South Korea as well India, New Zealand and Australia... But thats pretty much it....... There is though the proposed EAC (East Asian Community) which would include all the ASEAN nations along with China, Japan and South Korea.... But that is yet to happen...... I am guessing because of Japan's military history...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 553 { Asian Union Maybe On The Way } Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Day 553 { Asian Union Maybe On The Way }

Today I stayed in all day playing the evony game and watching anime....then a Japanese friend of mine stopped by... thats pretty much all for today...

This new Japanese Prime minister seem to be what Japan needed all these years... His administration won the election quite convincingly... And the leaders of many countries are expecting a lot from him.... He is like a second Obama, except that he is Japanese, and he hardly have any opposition because of his race.... Can you believe that the China and even North Korea has high expectations of this guy????

Read below

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama proposed the formation of an East Asian community along the lines of the European Union in his first meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The two leaders, meeting late Monday, also agreed to deepen bilateral ties, work closely toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and make progress on a snagged joint gas-development project in the East China Sea.

Hatoyama said he wants to make the two nations' strategic and mutually beneficial relations "more substantial," according to Japanese officials.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20090923a2.html


Richard ...what I did with the cell phone was to put it under this thing called a kotatsu, A table with a little heater thing under it... I left it there for about 2 hours to dry out the water... and the phone was good to go again...

Hey we went to bed 2 am because we were up chatting bredrin :) nothing else I promise...


Stewart, apparently you would need to do a bar exam from the USA or maybe England... Not sure if Jamaican Bar thing is recognised in Japan...The black lawyer guy has a bar from Washington DC.. And he is currently studying for the one in California..

Day 552 { Very Lucky } Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Day 552 { Very Lucky }


I wrote down the train schedule that I was supposed to follow today in order to catch the 10:50 am bus to get back to my city.... ooh boy... I woke up early and everything.... But one problem... I started to play evony in the morning before leaving...Bad idea.... My friend looked at the time and said hey, you can't make this train so try to catch another...

I said to myself and to her that, "hey, Im going to catch this train no matter what".... So I rushed out of her apartment, gave her a hug, and thanked her for her hospitality.... I ran with my small suitcase and my laptop towards the train station... But because of my recent unfit state, I am getting tired very easily...... Eventually as I got to the station, I actually saw the train leaving... So I missed it by about 45 seconds....Darn!!!.... I started to worry a bit because if I miss my 10:50 bus in Umeda-Osaka, there would be no guarantee that I could get on another bus today, or even tomorrow, and it could mean that I wasted some money plus I would have to find another route to get home....

My friend, knowing that I would miss this train, called me while on the computer and said the next train that I can take will arrive in the next 5 minutes ... I got on it, BUT!!! I misunderstood what she said about something.... I thought she said that I should stay on the train until it got to the last stop but what she really meant was that I should come off at the very first stop.... hmmm time was going.... She was on the phone with me trying to figure out the best route for me BUT!!! my phone battery was dying....Darn what a day!!! All because of a stupid online game.....well its not that stupid :)

I got up in the train while talking on the cell phone (which is impolite in Japan) but I didn't give a damn this time... I was looking on the information in the train to see if I could get off at a stop and catch a fast train that was going towards my bus.... Luckily, the train stopped at a main station and very kind English - speaking Japanese guy, saw me being flustered and stopped me.... and asked where am I heading for... I told him Umeda-Osaka.... He showed me the train and said to get on it quickly because it will be leaving in the next 2 minutes...... I then ran on the train which was supposed to get to Umeda-Osaka at 10:40 am ..... 10 minutes before my bus leaves.... I eventually got there and as soon as the train stopped, I started to run like crazy, trying to get out of the station... It was pure instinct leading me through this very big and busy station, because I had no time to stop and ask any questions.... I ran and ran like crazy while looking at my watch...... When I got to the bus station... My bus actually drove off ... But again, some sort of luck or something was on my side today,.... The bus got stuck in a little traffic and I ran towards it and knocked on the door.... 2 men ran behind me and was apparently checking if I was crazy.... I showed them my ticket and they quickly grab my small suitcase and placed it under the bus.... And I got on the bus in the nick of time I tell you.... I have never experienced this before...well except when I almost missed my flight which was no fault of mine but the stupid travel agents......

Yeah so Thank the Lord I got on the bus and I when I got off in Niimi. Then out of the blue was my bible study presenter right there, as if she was waiting on me..... she took me to my car and then I drove home.......

Sheeesh what a day...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 551 { Science Museum and Kayukan Aquarium / Old People In Japan} Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 551 { Science Museum and Kayukan Aquarium / Old people In Japan}


Today, me and my friend planned to go to a couple a places.

We wanted to see a science museum, a dinosaur museum and an aquarium plus stop by Universal Studios in Osaka.... But, because we were out until so late last night and went to bed this morning at around 2 am.... we were tired.... So we got up at about 11 am (later than we anticipated) and headed first to the Science museum, where we looked at some astronomy stuff and magnetic devices etc.... It was then a bit too late to go to the dinosaur place so instead we headed straight to the aquarium....

The place was filled with people, I guess this is what we got for waiting too long and for going on a public holiday. First thing was that there was a A-line and a B-line.....the people in the A-line had some sort of yellow ticket or coupon that allowed them to get there... the people in the B-line inclusive of me and my friend Omara, had no ticket/coupon..... Now this ticket/coupon was not the ticket to get inside the aquarium...

This ticket/coupon would allow them to go and purchase their ticket before us in the B-line...... Both lines though were filled with people. In the aquarium, we saw a whole lot of sea creatures, some of which I have never seen before, inclusive of this gigantic whale shark creature....

Here is a clip of it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2amFD_fCYxQ





ok so if you never knew, then know now.... Japan has over 28 MILLION persons living here who are considered as elderly... Read this to find out more ...

In yet another sign the Japanese population is getting older, one in four women is now 65 or older, while one out of almost every five men is reaching that milestone, according to a government estimate ahead of Respect for the Elderly Day on Monday.

Elderly people — or those at least 65 years old, according to the World Health Organization — numbered 28.98 million as of Sept. 15, up 800,000 from a year ago, accounting for 22.7 percent of Japan's population.


http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20090921a3.html

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 550 { Heading For Osaka } Sunday, September 20, 2009 *** 1 Year 6 Months ***



Day 550 { Heading For Osaka } *** 1 Year 6 Months ***


So, this weekend is going to be a 5 days weekend.. Hoorayyy!!! As there is a set of holidays coming up starting tomorrow. 1st is Respect the elders day, then Bridge/Bank public holiday and then Autumn equinox which marks the beginning of autumn. So I wanted to avoid staying in my apartment for the entire time.... from last week I was trying to find some places to go... ideally, I wanted to go to Kyoto but that wasn't working out...So I decided that I would spend the time at a friend in Osaka and go to an aquarium there amongst other places.

So I left out this morning and parked my car then took the bus to Osaka... After about 1 hour inside the bus, I started to feel sick... Yes recently long journeys on a bus or a train, is causing me to have motion sickness... I don't know why... but this doesn't normally happen. So every time the bus stop for a break, I get out and walk around a bit..... while in the bus, I played a whole lot of Grand theft auto liberty city on my PSP to buy time for the 3 hour 40 mins bus ride.

In Osaka, I then had to take 2 more trains to get to my friend's place... 1 train for about 35 mins and the other for about 2 mins.... I got to my friend's place then we headed out to another area for a yearly festival thingy..... It was very interesting... I met some more persons at the festival and one Japanese girl said she saw a sign saying JARK CHICKEN.... So we headed to that area.... the guys that were doing it, were some reggae/Jamaica fanatics, and there are a couple a people like that in Japan, trust me... they had the Jerk chicken thing in front of a store name "Hope Road" which is located in Jamaica... One of the guys at the store, said he visited Jamaica 3 times already. I bought some of the "jark" chicken and even though it tasted almost nothing like our Jerk chicken in Jamaica, it was pretty decent. But then again the sign said Jark and not Jerk...

One of the persons who were there with us was a black guy from the US... He is a patent lawyer in the Osaka area.... Wow a black lawyer in Japan.... That's more than impressive to me .... He said he is here for about 1 year and 6 months as well... and said that it is just since the past 2 months or so that some of the very persons that he work with, started speaking to him..... WHY??? After so long??? And its not like he is living in a country area of Japan... This is in the middle of one of the biggest cities in Japan... and this is 2009 for Christ's sake !!! He is the only non-Asian person working at his firm...

At the festival, a bunch of persons would run while drawing a rope that is tied on to this movable shrine thingy with people on it.... Sometimes they run, pulling this thing with people on it, while turning corners..... Ohh yes this is dangerous and sometimes people fall off the movable shrine thingy... . Here is a video clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4-ygF7p_bU


After watching this festival, a couple of us went to Sannomiya, Kobe .... to go to a Jamaican restaurant.... its my second time here...and the food was pretty decent... While heading back to Osaka in our tired state... a Japanese guy was on the train sleeping and his feet were blocking the path so no one could gain access to the seat... So my friend who I was staying with Omara, touched the sleeping guy twice trying to wake him up... However, our lawyer friend wasn't so patient, he gave the guy 3 hits on his feet and he jumped up so quickly.... And actually it was his stop to get off the train...so he was lucky we got there...

Day 549 { Happy Birthday To Me } Saturday, September 19, 2009


Day 549 { Happy Birthday To Me }


Yes, today is my second birthday in Japan. I much preferred last years and this blog will explain why.

So I was planning a birthday party today along with my Japanese friend who likes reggae music. His birthday was yesterday, as in September 18th, and he is 1 day older than I am. I called him yesterday to wish him a happy birthday, and he sounded very down. I asked him what was wrong, and he said that he was verrry sick. hmmm .... We planned to start the party 7:00 pm tonight..

Anyway so, my day started off slow.... Just sitting around the computer and giving God thanks that I was able to see another birthday. then at about 4 pm, one of my newer friends who was driving from a nearby town, called me for directions, but he was already about 5 mins from my apartment. So I had him over and we chatted for a while.... He is a pretty fun guy but sadly his town is even more country than mine.... That is so hard to imagine though...
So it was now time for me to hit the showers and get ready for my party. I started to get a whole lot of calls so while taking a shower, I had my cell phone somewhere in the bathroom with me....

After showering and getting ready to leave, I could not locate my cell phone... I know I had it in the bathroom but where did I leave it???? I started to search frantically and I checked on a little shelf that was above my toilet..... I then started to move this pack of toilet paper and walla !!! the phone fell from off it, to................. guess where????? yes inside the toilet !!!!! Luckily nothing but water was in there or else it would be a real MESSY situation....

So, I stood up there watching the cell phone in the toilet.... In total shock for about 30 seconds just looking at it and wondering if I should take it up or not....then I grabbed it quickly but, the battery fell out and I had to take out the battery as well as the back of the cell phone from out of the toilet...

I got every cleaner I had and started to disinfect the phone and my hands....And I was also trying to get rid of the excess water that was inside the phone..... after flashing the phone for a couple a minutes and wiping off the water, I tested it... and it was working but malfunctioning a bit...

I then got to the party with my friend from the nearby town at exactly 7pm....only to see this 1 Japanese guy around a turn table.... and in front of the turn table was a big flag with about 5 weed symbols on it..... I told him to remove the flag...... He then told me that Koji (the other Japanese guy who I should have the party with) was extremely sick and that his fever was at about 39 degrees..... Which is really really dangerous.... So a couple of his friends, I think decided not bother show up at the party....We started to suspect that it was the H1N1 virus... but they said its not it.

Eventually my friends started to trickle in one by one and two by two... In all maybe about 30 persons came out... and I got a couple of birthday gifts.... even though it was less than I expected, I think we still had a pretty good time... A couple of us then went to a little bar afterwards.... then I went home......

Day 548 { More Pre-Birthday Treats } Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 548 { More Pre-Birthday Treats }


Went work then was bored after my classes were over... After work I went to karate class...I should be doing the change belt exercise in about 3 weeks...yikes.... and I haven't been practising my routine enough...

After karate, I went to the Friday, English conversation classes briefly to advertise my birthday party for tomorrow...Then my friend treated me to some yaki niku (barbecued beef and chicken) along with corn and vegetables.... It was good.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 547 { Assisting With Study on Jamaican Reggae Gospel } Thursday, September 17, 2009


Day 547 { Assisting With Study on Jamaican Reggae Gospel }

This morning, I woke up with a slight head ache and my eyes were paining me. I started to wonder if I got the flu business and instantly I started to pray...

Yesterday, the Japanese guy who I met in Jamaica name Kenichi (Who lives about 1 hour away from me in Okayama) wanted some help with completing his thesis. He is completing his Phd in cultural Anthropology. He spent 1 year in Jamaica, studying reggae Gospel music by interviewing some of the artist and going to gospel concerts and churches. Somewhere in his studies, he is going to tie in something about masculinity. He left Jamaica 2 weeks before I did, this past August.

Yes so he called me yesterday because he was having difficulty understanding the exact words of the Testimonies of 3 Reggae Gospel Artist.... They were
Gody Gody,
Dj Nikalous and
Shepherd.... .....

He wanted to document their exact words in Jamaican dialect (patois)... not the English equivalent.... He had their testimonies on his computer. I picked him up at the Niimi station and I helped him to get the correct wording of their testimonies. Goddy Goddy's and Dj. Nicholas' testimonies were relatively easy to get the exact words from... But Shepherd was a little difficult. Because he says a whole lot of "yuh nuh and" (you know and).. so that took a while.

I then dropped him back at the train station.

Day 546 { Pre-Birthday Stuff } Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Day 546 { Pre-Birthday Stuff }
The grade 4 kids at this school gave me a pre-birthday present. It was a note book, a notepad and a pencil they said for studying Japanese. I was touched.

After work today, the Wednesday, English conversation people had a little pre-birthday get together for me at a nearby restaurant..... We had a good time laughing and stuff. I was the youngest one there and everyone was trying to remember what they did on their 29th birthday.

South Korean president hopes Emperor Akihito Of Japan will visit next year

SEOUL (Kyodo) South Korean President Lee Myung Bak said Tuesday he hopes Emperor Akihito will visit Seoul next year to "put an end to the sense of distance" between the two countries as 2010 marks a century since the start of Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Lee also expressed strong hope for the development of bilateral relations under the incoming government of Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama.


http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20090916a5.html

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 545 { Flu Check } Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Day 545 { Flu Check }


The kids at my school were being checked today for the flu.. Because I think a couple a fevers and stuff were being reported...So a whole lot of kids were wearing face mask today.

Recently, the weather here is going on very strange....Its the fight between Summer and Autumn as the mornings and nights are very cold... But the afternoons and evenings are very hot...

In the evening today, I went to the Tuesday evening English conversation where a lady and her daughter were doing a presentation on their trip to France and England.

Day 544 { Swine Flu Hits Niimi } Monday, September 14, 2009


Day 544 { Swine Flu Hits Niimi }



So the swine flu has finally hit my community in Japan. I heard that 2 kids got it... So now the city is on High alert. And I am hoping and praying that I nor anybody who I associate with, get this business.

Today I didn't go to work, because of the sports day yesterday which is considered as work. I stayed in all day playing the Evony online strategy game http://67.evony.com/ Then in the night I went to bible study where they had some pre-birthday stuff for me... Inclusive of 2 different cakes. They kept this pre-birthday because the next bible study will be around September 28th as most of next week will be holiday.




Hey Derri, mi nuh waah yuh laugh afta mi innuh caw mi can run :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 543 { Sports Day ( Undokai ) At Main School } Sunday, September 13, 2009


Day 543 { Sports Day ( Undokai ) At Main School }

Today I went to the sports Festival as they call it at my main school. But when I got there, no body said a thing about where I should sit or anything.... So I watched as the teachers were running around busy busy busy, trying to get things in order. Me not knowing a thing what to do... Then suddenly all the teachers disappeared to outside where over 100 parents were.... I was of course hesitant to go out there because of the stares that I would draw.

I eventually braved up and went out there and bore the stares that were coming from all angle.
I sat under a tent with the event announcers for a while, then it was time for me to participate in the sport event... It was the teachers versus a couple of students versus the parents.... They call the game wanageh where we threw some ring objects over some cones.... And the team that got most rings over the cones, would be the winner. When it was my time to throw, I only managed to get 1 over the cone... Ultimately, the kids won, the teachers came in second and the parents dead last.

Then there was going to be the parents race, and they needed some more participants, so they drafted me off the bench so to speak... They placed me in white house (on the white team) and I was to run in the parents relay, even though I am not a parent. They made me do the anchor leg even though they knew nothing about how fast I could run... But hey, I am from Jamaica, which I guess should mean that I can run really fast. Now because I was the anchor leg and there were about 10 parents in front of me, I had to wait a bit, but unfortunately, my team was already wayyyy in the lead, causing me from the off-set, to not really have any competition. so when it was time for me to get the baton, I still ran like crazy to the finish line, even though we were wayyy in front of the other teams... When I finished, everybody was saying that I ran very fast... They also wanted me to do the Bolt pose but, I conveniently forgot...

After sports day was over, I went to my apartment then went to eat out with the teachers...They were a bit disappoited that I didn't take alcohol, because I was on the anti-biotic medication for my ear. As to why these people want to get me drunk, I do not know.... It was a good time though and we ate many many many different food. Most of it was quite delicious however.