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

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 643 {Missed The Train / Philippines Day 1} Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 643 { Missed The Train } Philippines 1

Woke up at 6am in the morning and was ready by about 6:45 am. We have a 10:00pm flight today so I was telling Omara to hurry because we have a 7:15 train to catch.... Oh boy... I was there waiting on Omara and then when it was time to leave, we were rushing... However, I had 2 heavy things carrying plus my hands were cold until they were numb, seriously.... Omara was ok because she had on a glove.... She was in front of me and rushing. I was a little slower because my hands were cold, and my luggage were heavier... Plus I had to be constantly wiping unsightly snot from my nose... This happens any time the place is extremely cold and you decide to do any form of exercise. My nose was running like a river... I even saw a Japanese lady looking on me with scorn....

Omara went through the train thing with her card quickly but I got stuck, because the machine didn't read my train card the first time.... plus my hands were numb so I couldn't feel if my hands were in my pocket or not.... It was a most uncomfortable situation... Definitely in the top 5 worst things that ever happened to me while travelling or going to travel to another country... But it doesn't stop there...... It of course ended up that Omara caught the train but I missed it.... However I didn't know that she caught the train.... So I jumped on the very next train I saw and thought Omara was on it.... only to see Omara calling me on my phone .... I answered and told her I was on the very next train..... She said it was the wrong train and I should get of at a particular stop and rush to the other side of the station.... I managed to do that after bumping a few persons out of my way...... The train that I would got on was 2 trains in 1.... Meaning that the train would eventually stop at a point then half (Carts 1-4) would go to the air port and the other half (Carts 5-8) would head to a place name Wakayama. I thought I was in cart 2 (to airport) when I got on the train but only to look at the top of the door and see cart 6 (to wakayama ).... Ohh Lord.... And the train would be splitting soon...

Hmmmm ... I had to bore through to cart 5 then get off the train then run to cart 4..... Oh boy what a relief..... It was the very next stop that the train was splitting....... I eventually got to the airport and met up back with Omara and also Sauna who was there.....Omara was now telling sauna that I moved too slow, that is why I missed the train???? Yes when I was ready from like 6:45 and waiting on her.....If I left her maybe it would have worked out better for me... Anyway, I then got my luggage and headed for the checking counter...... We then took Thai air and I was seated behind Omara and Sauna.... There was also this Half Filipino Half Japanese girl seated beside me.... I was speaking to her for most of the journey..... She is only 17 and she speaks fluent English, Japanese and tagalog (The main language of the Philippines). On my other side, was a Filipino woman who told me to be careful in Manila, Philippines and if anyone is asking if I need help, I should tell them NOOO!! Im ok.... She also said the taxi drivers will pretend as if they don't understand English, and either take you all over the place and over charge you or drive very slow and make the journey longer... They do this only to foreigners.....

After the plane landed, which was a rough landing by the way, I thought we were going to take a taxi to a HOTEL .... Oh no.... The girls queried about the local bus system, and we took a bus to an area name LRT then took a train to an area name Abad Santos. I had to be struggling with my heavy suitcase, up and down several stair cases while doing all of this...... Any way, as soon as we got to Abad Santos, there were taxi men rushing us like crazy.... but most of these men didn't really drive a car. They drove what is known in the Philippines as a tricycle...... I initially refused to go into the contraption but after being convinced by the girl, I took a chance...... It was an interesting experience, however, the area was a very very run down, ghetto looking, dirty water on the road, old buildings and poor people begging everywhere, area... And It was no hotel that we would be staying in, but an hostel.....

3 other foreigners were in the same room with us ... we were on bunk beds.... This was not what I envisioned to be a vacation at all... BUT!!!! It was very very cheap.... The taxi from the airport would normally cost around US $15-20 ... And we managed to pay only US $1 .... However, it was a bit inconvenient with heavy luggage.....

The hostel that we stayed in is known as Red Carabao (you can click on it to see the link)..... After we settled in a bit, we went to the mall to eat ( And the food was absolutely wonderful, a welcome change from the usual Japanese dishes) then I got a manicure and pedicure for the first time in my life...

Here is a clip of the Mall and a talking bird in the Hostel where we stayed.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-4-zuO8cas
After we came back from the mall.. I sat and chatted with an American guy name Alex who has been travelling all over the world... He once did a 7 week drive from England to Mongolia... Including several other countries in between... He also travelled to Antarctica before.

Heading to Osaka and the Philippines

Day 641 { Final Packing For Philippines }
Sunday, December 20, 2009

Greetings again.

I finally got a more stable internet connection from The Philippines. I will do these 2 Japan blogs together and break up the Philippines blog day by day just like what I used to do...

Today was nothing spectacular. I completed my packing exercise and basically sat around my apartment for most of the day. I also went by the station to see the Christmas lights that they had there.

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Day 642 { Heading For Osaka }
Monday, December 21, 2009

Went to work like normal but left at about 1pm to get ready to leave for Osaka. Took the bus to Osaka then met my friends Sauna and Omara in front of Yodobashi Camera. It was extremely cold in Osaka. Spent the night at Omara's apartment which was also very cold inside just like outside.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Little Big Planet / Singing Christmas Songs

Day 634 { Little Big Planet } -
Sunday, December 13, 2009

Went church then when I got home, me and my friend played the PS3 game Little big planet for hours... Its a lot of fun trust me... Especially when playing with another person.


Day 635 { Dexter Season 4 - Final Episode } -
Monday, December 14, 2009

Today I asked the English coordinator at the school that I went today, if I could give the kids chocolate... She told me to wait a moment but then didn't answer me. I don't know why...

Later I went to bible study. I lead of the bible study briefly, because the usual leader was on an important call it seem...

I then went home and watched the final season of Dexter... And ooh boy was it interesting...The final 5 minutes had me stunned for a while... Out of all the 4 seasons, this episode was the single most interesting to me.....Sadly, I have to wait for 9 months until the new season ... Darn


Day 636 { Going To The Philippines } -
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

So just to let you know, I should be heading to the Philippines next week Tuesday with 2
Jamaican friends.... I should first head to Osaka (where the airport is) on Monday though... However, on Monday I have work.... So I asked the Vice principal of my main school if I could go home after 12:00 because I am free from then until 4:00.... He said that should be fine....

I wanted to leave early because 4 buses leave from my town to go to Osaka. One leave at about 7am (which I can't use because of work) another at about 10 am (which I also can't use). One at 2pm (which would be ideal for me) and the other at 6pm (I would get to Osaka late but I could still try it)...

The Vp said leaving at about 12 should be fine then he proceeded to tell me that he will have to call the Board of Education... I told him that if there is a problem then I will use the 6pm bus... He however somewhat insist that I use the 2 pm bus... He then called the Board of Education and informed them... This was apparently a bad idea... Because、 it wasn't too long after that my company called me and said if I want 3 hours off, then I should apply for half day.... We only get 5 days off with pay. The person who called me from my company also said that apparently the Board of Education was angry about the call from my school... I know better next time.


Day 637 { Fun And Games } -
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

At the school today, they had a little Christmas game time thing in the gym. They asked me to sing some Christmas songs. So I sang silent night, Jingle bells and we wish you a merry Christmas. I also gave all the kids chocolate.

Later, my Japanese friend Kenichi who I met in Jamaica, came to visit me for some help in translating some Jamaican dialect stuff. He spent 1 year in Jamaica studying Reggae gospel. He is doing a Doctorate in Cultural anthropology.


Day 638 { Snow Snow/ Don't Be Pissed Off } -
Thursday, December 17, 2009

It started snowing a bit today and its freezing cold.

Don't Be pissed off

A police officer was arrested for allegedly urinating from a Tokyo train platform, the Metropolitan Police Department said Monday.
The sergeant in his 50s, whose name was withheld because he was released without being sent to prosecutors, allegedly committed the act of public indecency at Minami-Senju Station on the JR Joban Line at around 10 p.m. Sunday night, according to a police spokesman.
"I could not hold it any more, so I got off a train and urinated. I am sorry," the Asakusa Police Station sergeant was quoted as saying.

Day 639 {More Snow}
Friday, December 18, 2009

More snow and it was -2 degree Celsius / 28.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Day 640 {Packing}
Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stayed in and packed my suitcase for The Philippines most of the day. A delivery service will collect my suitcase tomorrow to take my suitcase to the airport...

This may be my last post before Christmas day and the New Year... So until 2010 ... Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Concert / Suicide in Japan

Days 627- 633 { }Sunday-Saturday, December 6 -December 12, 2009

Days 627- 633 { }
Sunday-Saturday, December 6-December 12, 2009

This week to me was just longer than the norm...

Day 627 { Christmas Concert } -
Sunday, December 6, 2009

Went to a Christmas concert that my church planned... I helped with the preparation but this year they didn't ask me to participate... They initially asked me to help with singing a song but they changed that.

My Canadian friend from a nearby town was telling me a story (sorry N it was too funny not to include :) )) about the people in his area. He said a man in the community decided to have a chat with him, and told him that the people in the area are discussing him.... Guess what they are discussing??? They are discussing about how he eats out most of the times!!! And that he is a bad ALT because he eats out ?????? WHAT!!!!!! How does one eating style affect your teaching??? I would love to know...

He also mentioned that 2 old ladies ALWAYS present themselves behind him in the supermarket line... The same 2 ladies all the time... LOL!!!! He said apparently someone call them whenever he is in the super market line.... Ohh boy, I don't envy him at all... That is just crazy....

Day 628 { World Cup 2010 } -
Monday, December 7, 2009

Didn't do anything really, just went to bible study after work, where the leader spoke about some Christmas songs.

Worldcup 2010

Yes its just around the corner. As I usually do, except for worldcup 1998, i'm choosing Brazil as my team. I just love Brazil :)

I honestly think that world cup, though the single biggest event in the universe as we know it, is a very unfair competition. Every single winner of the world cup since its inception, has either been from South America or Europe... I wonder why???.... In world cups 2006, 1982 and also 1934... All the top 4 teams were from Europe.

Here is what the groups look like...


Day 629 { } -
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nothing really again, was tired after work so I missed the last Tuesday English conversation for 2009. I again played a lot of Assassin's Creed...

Richard, its part 1 I'm playing, will probably buy part 2 as well as Uncharted 1 and 2 in January.
And I sent both you and Stewart an invitation on the Playstation 3 network... All now unnu don't accept it...

Day 630 { Suicide in Japan } -
Wednesday, December 9, 2009

After work, I did a video shoot for my show. This is the introductory part of it. It lasted only about 30 - 45 mins... Hey, I'm getting better at this thing :)

Suicide is so bad in Japan that a group had to come together to help prevent it...Anti suicide site raises yen with clicks

A private group launched a suicide-prevention Web site Thursday to raise funds to combat the social scourge.
The site, Joining Efforts to Prevent Suicides with a Click ( www.inochinobokin.jp/ ), allows each visitor to make one click a day, which triggers a ¥1 donation to a volunteer group that is trying to reduce suicides in Japan, according to Stop! The Suicide Conference, an organization set up by four media and consulting companies.
When the number of clicks reaches a certain level, Home-One Law Office, which helps people in debt, will donate the yen equivalent to the Federation of Inochi No Denwa Inc., which offers round-the-clock suicide counseling services.
With more than 30,000 people in Japan taking their lives each year for the past 11 years, the conference said it hopes to raise public awareness through the Web site.

Day 631 { Final Video Shoot Season 3 } -
Thursday, December 10, 2009

Did another video shoot today, this one will be the final one for season 3, which will begin broadcasting somewhere around December 29. This video shoot was done a t the Niimi College (which will become a 4 year University for nursing students next year). The video shoot today was about origami and it included me, yamauchi sensi (in charge of the Tuesday English conversation) and 2 first year college students, Yuu and Hitomi.

After the video shoot, I went to a nearby elect ronic shop to check out the prices for a
HDMI - DVI cable, which I plan to use to Connect my PS3 to the new Monitor I bought last week... The stores had none, so I ordered it online for about US$16.

I then went to play football.

Day 632 { VW SUZUKI Merger } -
Friday, December 11, 2009

Went to main school to borrow some Christmas picture cards, then take them to use at another school. I was falling asleep at this school today because I was very tired.

After work, I went to karate, and they invited me to have dinner with them tomorrow.

VW - Germany and Suzuki-Japan has merged.
lkswagen to buy Suzuki Motor stake
Suzuki Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG inked a capital tieup agreement Wednesday that will trigger the emergence of one of the world's largest auto groups with a boosted competitive edge in emerging markets and green technology.
Under the deal, Volkswagen plans to acquire a 19.9 percent stake in Suzuki for around ¥222.48 billion through a
third-party allotment scheme to be carried out from mid-January. Suzuki in turn will invest around ¥100 billion, with an initial investment of ¥50 billion, to buy shares of the German automaker, the two companies said.
The tieup will create an auto behemoth with sales on a par with Toyota Motor Corp. in a move likely to trigger further realignment in the global auto industry.

Day 633 { } -
Saturday, December 12, 2009

Today I received the HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface ) to DVI (Digital Visual Interface)
cable that I ordered from amazon on Thursday. I then hooked up the Ps3 to the monitor via the cable and it worked wonderfully... However, there was no sound... So I went to buy a set of speakers as well .... Only to realize that I could use the Old TV's speakers. But the new speakers could also attach to the Tv as well so it wasn't a total waste. However when playing the PS3 now, the TV, the Monitor, the speakers and the PS3 are all running simultaneously...