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

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Days 704-710 <{ }> Sunday-Saturday, February 21 - February 27, 2010

Days 704- 710 <{ }> Sunday-Saturday, February 21 - February 27, 2010


Day 704 { }
Sunday, February 21, 2010

Went church, then outside of the new location of church, this little girl saw me and shouted in Japanese " Wow that foreigner it is the first time I am seeing him". (so no gaikokujin hajimete mita). To which the persons around erupted in laughter.


Day 705 { }
Monday, February 22, 2010

Went bible study and lead a small group. Got a new Japanese study book from one of the foreigners who started to come to bible study...










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Day 706 { Assassin's Creed 2 }

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Received my Assassin's Creed 2 PS3 game today that I purchased online...
Amongst the things that I really like about Japan is the speed in which we receive stuff when we order them online. I have about 3 more games that I want to buy then I will have to curb my urge for game buying.... I plan to buy:

Call of Duty 4
Final Fantasy 13
God of war 3

After this I don't care which good games comes out, they will all have to wait until maybe ext year if not further down...


Went to the Tuesday English conversation classes to watch this South Korean guy do his presentation on South Korea... He also gave us a short lesson on Korean....



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Day 707 { Toyota in trouble }

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Got a hair cut today.. And I know my co-workers and students are going to be creating excitement about this... It happens every single month when I trim.


So Toyoto is in the biggest trouble now since their inception... They have been recalling thousands of cars with brake trouble etc etc...The Toyota president is feeling the pinch... I certainly would not want to be him right now....

here is the latest story


He hasn't bowed in apology. He hasn't resigned. But this week Toyota President Akio Toyoda did perform one of the typical rituals of a Japanese executive under attack: He wept publicly.


The image of Toyoda choking up during a meeting with American dealers is winning accolades in Japan, a society that has always had a soft spot for such displays of emotion.

The footage was broadcast over and over on TV news Thursday. Toyoda, 53, was barely able to finish his sentences at the meeting with dozens of Toyota dealers in Washington — a far more receptive crowd than the skeptical U.S. lawmakers who had grilled him about the automaker's safety lapses and massive recalls at a congressional hearing.

A photo of his sobbing face was on the front page of the evening editions of the Yomiuri and Tokyo Shimbun newspapers. "Toyota president offers apology, thanks, tears," said a headline in the Asahi.


Japan is increasingly nervous about Toyota Motor Corp.'s unfolding recall crisis, which has ballooned to more than 8.5 million cars being fixed for faulty gas pedals, floor mats and brake systems.

Concerns are growing that electronic glitches, still relatively new turf for the industry, may be behind the cases of unintended acceleration that have led to deaths and horror stories of runaway cars on highways.

Toyoda's appearance before Congress was a top news item for major Japanese broadcasters.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nb20100227a2.html


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Day 708 { Football Night }

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Played football at the college again. And still I am like a star here playing against the first and second year students... I started playing at about 7:00 pm. After this I went to the usual Thursday football with the other guys... Now at this one I look like a big (Jama) or obstacle on the field... Getting multiple goals and scoring none plus getting tired rather easily... and losing the ball quickly.... Any way football is always fun to me... So I ended up played from 7:00pm straight back until about 10:30 pm...For the second straight week I was the only foreigner present.


Day 709 { Finish Paying for Car }

Friday, February 26, 2010

Got paid today hooray... So I went to pay my final instalment on my car... Finally the car is fully mine now. And thankfully I haven't had even 1 problem with it thus far... I hope it remains like this.

Went football at the college in the night (yes its Thursdays and Fridays)... At one of the break intervals, I was asking the guys about why is it that so many Japanese men stand for hours in the convenient stores reading pornographic manga ???.... I am sure these books supposed to be on sale but you will see scores of men EVERY SINGLE DAY at the convenient stores reading these mangas with out any shame... They are not going to purchase them nor will the convenient store persons chase them away...

So I was telling the guys that one day I am going to walk up to one of these men and ask them what are they reading.... and further ask why do they read them for so long and not buy them.... They guys started laughing like crazy....

At the end of playtime, this new girl came and as soon as she stepped in she greeted me and started being polite and all... I was surprised because only a very very few Japanese girls do this... The other girls who play football there hardly even tell me good evening when they come in to play...


Day 710 { Studying and Festivals }
Saturday, February 27, 2010

Went to the Japanese class again to learn nothing new. The teacher who was assigned to me came today and for some strange reason she didn't seem to remember that I was supposed to be her student. She even told me that I wasn't her teacher, but the coordinator lady had to tell her that yes she is.... Oh Boy... Of course with my tendency to think about everything, I started wondering if she didn't want to teach me....

However, after introducing myself to her and what not, it seem as if she couldn't get enough of my crazy behaviour... She laughed all throughout our study exercise, especially when I told her my stories in my bad Japanese. Several times she seemed as if she was going to pass out with laughter...

When the class was over, and I was doing the 10 mins walk to the train station... She caught up with me on her bicycle and we chatted a bit until she turned off. I am still roughly at the same area in Kanji study where I was last week, only a few more I learnt throughout last week... I know most of the Level 4 (grade 1) and Level 3 (grade 2) kanjis now...Well at least one of the meanings because kanjis most times have multiple meanings... I just started the level 2 ( grade 3 and 4) kanjis recently...

I then went to a kids festival that was being held near my apartment... I saw a couple of the kids I taught with their parents.... I also saw 2 of the guys who I play football with at the college and one of the girls.... One of the guys actually came up to me and shook my hand, but the girl, she pretended as if she didn't know who I was and sort of looked away... ooh boy... When will I get used to this kind of thing???

Anyway, shortly after this, I went to the car place again and they were keeping a little festival there as well... They were giving free food and some other free stuff while advertising new cars...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Days 697- 703 <{ }> Sunday-Saturday, February 14 - February 20, 2010


Days 697- 703 <{ }> Sunday-Saturday, February 14 - February 20, 2010

Day 697 (Valentine Blues)
Sunday, February 14, 2010

So it was Valentine's Day today, and for the first time in 6 years ( kind of breaking my silence of some issues I am currently dealing with), I am actually single on a Valentine's day. So no Valentine for me this year.
As much as I wanted to go somewhere today, I ended up staying in my apartment studying Kanji characters. I also watched this animated film called the battle for Terra. Story line kind of reminded me of Avatar with a slight touch of Star Trek (2009). It wasn't quite as good as either of them however, but it was interesting to watch.

A big project I have taken on recently is to write a book of poetry. I am hoping that it will have English, Jamaican dialect (patois) and Japanese... I did some editing to it today.

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Day 698 (More Japanese Books)
Monday, February 15, 2010

Ordered some Japanese books today off amazon.co.jp ... One of them is the complete masters series, and the other is Genki Japanese 2. I realized today that I am not even ready to take the lowest level in the Japanese test...But I'm going to fight it through.... I am trying to concentrate more on learning the meanings of the Kanji characters for now though... The grammer and stuff I will look at every now and then.






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Day 699 (The English Language)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010

One of the J.E.T (Japan Exchange And Teaching Programme ) ALTs here did a presentation at the Tuesday English conversation thing. Her presentation was on the English Language... I realized that there was some much stuff about my native language that I didn't even know... I am sure some of you reading this don't know either if you didn't study stuff like the backgrounds to English etc...

For Example:

The word "three" is probably the oldest word or amongst the oldest words in the English Language.

The word "Coffee" came into English via the Turkish work Kahve.

The word "Shampoo" came from India.

It was a very interesting presentation.

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Day 700 (Dinner with Teachers)
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A teacher at one of my schools invited me and 3 of the other younger teachers to her house to have dinner today... We had a pretty good time there. They eventually started to joke around about me and the office girl, to the amazement of everyone...

Today, I also received one of the books I ordered from Monday.


Sorry Noel, I am thinking that the people in your area don't like inviting out foreigners, or are afraid to or something... Two of my schools invite me out to stuff but the school which is nearest to your area, not even once in almost 2 years have I been invited out by them. But try to encourage yourself bro...just go places and do things...

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Day 701 ()
Thursday, February 18, 2010

Played football today and finally managed to score a goal. Both while practising and playing against our usual opponents. However, I got about 5 goals to score and messed them up....

I think I completed about 85% of the level 4 and level 3 (Grade 1 and 2) Kanji after one week of trying to remember these near impossible objects... But if many foreigners can do it, then I should be able to do it as well.


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Day 703 (Winter Olympics / New Football friends)
Friday, February 19, 2010

So winter olympics has been going on in Vancouver Canada and I have no idea about the stuff going on... I know there is a team from Jamaica there and the teachers here keep asking me about them to which I cannot answer. They are also asking me if I am watching the events that are going on.

Probably 90% of Jamaicans didn't even have a clue that this event was going on, except if they go on the google home page site to see the artworks.

I learnt today that Japan got a bronze medal in the figure skating. And the guy is actually from Okayama... here is a video of what he did

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

This other Japanese guy got banned from the Vancouver opening ceremony because of his in appropriate dressing according to the Japan's top gov't officials. Here is the story

Seiko Hashimoto, head of Japan's Vancouver Winter Olympic delegation, said Friday snowboarder Kazuhiro Kokubo was barred from the games' opening ceremony for flouting the dress code.

News photo
Kazuhiro Kokubo KYODO PHOTO

The dreadlocked 21-year-old drew sharp criticism for the way he wore Japan's official Olympic uniform when he traveled with the snowboard team to Vancouver and was not allowed to attend an arrival ceremony at the Olympic athletes' village held Wednesday.

Kokubo was seen at Narita International Airport with his tie loosened and his shirt hanging out of his trousers, which were worn low down off his hips.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/so20100214a1.html


Oh and here is a video of the Jamaican Skiier who qualified

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UkGIJ8MFSw









In the evening, I went by the Niimi college to play football with a couple of first and second year students
in the school gym, both males and females. It was soooo much fun.... way more fun than the Thursday football thing... After every 2 rounds (14 -20 mins) we change teams. These students make me seem like a Demi-God while playing football with them... They kept telling me that I am fast etc, etc... But they realized that after about 10 mins of play, I was out of it. Some of these guys also like basket ball and they thought that I was good at it, I guess by virtue of me being a kokujin (black person).... Not so at all, they seem rather disappointed when they realized that I suck at basket ball. Hey, I grew up playing only football and table tennis, and those are the only 2 sports that I can somewhat play... Almost nothing else.... :)

I must admit that since the start of the week, this was the most anticipated event for me since the college student I met at the bar last week told me about it. And thankfully it was more than worth it. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and the guys seemed to have enjoyed my company...

I was soo tired after playing that driving to the other English conversation class was a task and a half... I managed to go there though and then straight to my bed afterwards.

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Day 704 (Was it a waste?)

Saturday, February 20, 2010 (1 Year - 11 Months)


Went to Kurashiki again to study Japanese at the same place where I went last week. And what did I learn??? Absolutely nothing...Its like reviewing what I already taught myself... But it still beats staying in my apartment all day....

The coordinator at the place, assigned a teacher to me last week. She told me then that if I am going to be absent any day, I should call either my assigned teacher or her (the coordinator). However, this week, my assigned teacher was absent and no one told me a thing... OOOO the double standards I tell you... So, another lady helped me this week or I should say re confirm what I already knew this week... I ended up mostly telling her about myself and Jamaica, instead of actually learning something new. So mostly I was the one teaching and giving information.

Another little problem I have here is that almost no body knows about Jamaica... So I have to be telling them that we speak English and that we are not in Africa and so forth....

These people keep telling me that my Japanese is Jouzu (skillfull/very good) and I keep telling them to cut the bull because I know the truth which is one of the main reasons why I am at the class in the first place.

Today is the annual naked man festival which is organized by the J.E.T ALTs... I was considering to go but because I was already near the area, and the event wouldn't start until the next 6 hours, I ended up going back to my apartment. To wait or walk around for 6 hours in the cold isn't fun... Here is a video of what it looks like

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMRNo3vVGaY


Hey Dwayne thanks for your comment... I try not to get into too much details with stuff sometimes just because I try to be somewhat private with certain things. Just my style I guess. Other times I am trying to avoid trouble.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Days 690- 696 <{ }> Sunday-Saturday, February 7 - February 13, 2010

Days 690- 696 <{ }> Sunday-Saturday, February 7 - February 13, 2010


Day 690 {}
Sunday, February 7, 2010

Went to church at it's new location today. Later on I played loads of Metal Gear solid 4.

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Day 691 { District 9 }
Monday, February 8, 2010

After work I watched a Science Fiction film name District 9. It was quite interesting. It sort of had a similar story line to Avatar but then it changed drastically. It also had a sad ending. But it was pretty decent to watch.

Went bible study in the night where about 14 persons were in attendance. We actually prayed for growth and here it comes. The numbers has more than doubled.










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Day 692 { As A Man Thinketh }
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Went to the Tuesday English conversations today where a high school guy did a presentation about his trip to Cambodia.

I completed reading this very very encouraging book that I downloaded from the internet name "As a man thinketh." It is quite encouraging and it has motivated me a whole lot since I am through reading it.

Here is the link for it... http://asamanthinketh.net/aamt.pdf .. Not sure if a sign up thing is involved.





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Day 693 { The Secret }
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

After work, I had a long chat online with one of my friends from my last job. He told me to watch this documentary name "The Secret" ... This also was quite motivational... It really is a powerful documentary... At the root of what it was saying though, is that we should flood our minds with positive thinking. Which is not really a secret if you think about it but yeah.

I must honestly say though that after watching this film and reading the "As a man thinketh" book ... I have had a renewed vigour to study Japanese even harder. I also made a couple of objectives that I want to achieve, and I am going to work hard at achieving them...


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Day 694 { Studying Kanji}
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Today is a holiday, and I didn't even realize it until like late yesterday. That is how much I have been staying away from the thought of sitting in my apartment all day recently.... However, I did make use of the time and studied a lot of kanji characters.












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Day 695 {}
Friday, February 12, 2010

Went to the dentist after work. I fell like the lady didn't clean my teeth properly though. I then went to a local bar place and chatted a bit with my Japanese friend who loves reggae music.


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Day 696 {New Japanese Class}
Saturday, February 13, 2010

Started going to Japanese classes today... Sadly (a) it is 1 hour away in Kurashiki ... Sadly (b) is that it seem they don't have a structured plan like what I was expecting...... Sadly (c) is that the darn teachers hardly speak any English!!! ... At least the person who volunteered to teach me in my community was more or less fluent in both English and Japanese... So maybe I will start to go back to him again...

It took me some time to find the building for the class today but I found it with the help of my friend Courtney who lives in the area. I then went to the main city and finally bought the game killzone 2 because it was only for about US $29. While heading back to my apartment, I some how took the wrong train???? I still don't know how honestly.... The time was right and I was at the correct platform... But just maybe because my watch is 5 mins fast, a train probably came before mine during that time...and I accidentally jumped on it..... that could have been the reason why....

I eventually had to stop at a point, head back and painstakingly wait for over an hour in the cold for another train... Ohhh the many disadvantages of living in the country... I hope I get some experience living in one of the major cities in Japan.

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Yes Richard I ended up buying the book.. It was a little too interesting for me not to buy....I paid about US $20 for it.

And I do agree with you that it's quite embarrassing and down right lame to be in a country almost 2 years and not even be close to fluent in the language... I still have to be asking random friends to follow me to the doctor or dentist if needs be. So I've decided to act now and stop making excuses.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Days 683-689 <{ }> Sunday-Saturday, January 31-February 6, 2010

Days 683- 689 <{ }>
Sunday-Saturday, January 31-February 6, 2010


Day 683 {}
Sunday, January 31, 2010

Went to church. It will be the last time it is going to be held at this location. Next week they will change the venue. I then dropped a friend of mine to a hair dresser in the area.

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Day 684 {Surprise Dinner}
Monday, February 1, 2010

After work, this guy that works at the city office in my area called me and invited me to dinner with his friends. I gladly we
nt because my apartment was getting boring. He however wasn't too sure where I lived, so when I went out of my apartment, I saw a car with hazard lights flashing... I went in the car, which a lady was in the driver's seat and a guy around the back. They both jumped in shock as they weren't sure who I am... The guy who called me was looking for me in the total opposite direction... He then came in the car.

So I went to the house of the lady who was driving and met her kids and her husband and another guy... We talked, drank and eat... and it was fun...




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Day 685 {}

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Went to the Tuesday English conversation thing at the college in my area after work today. One of the members was doing a presentation on his trip to Cambodia. It was all Japanese so I only understood about 30% of what he said... I need to take up studying Japanese more seriously... I am here almost 2 years now but I can only speak a little.

I then collected a CD from the coordinator with pictu
res that were taken of me at a dinner last December.

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Day 686 {New Visa Rule} ***

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nothing worth mentioning happened today.

So the Japanese Government wanted every body to take their national insurance. This would include us foreigners and depending on how long you live in Japan, you will also have to pay a somewhat hefty back fee... This is in addition to about US$150 per month. they want to make it mandatory for us to pay or our visa probably won't get renewed. However here is hope now.....


The Immigration Bureau is planning to change a new guideline for foreign residents to ease concerns that those without social insurance will be forced to choose between losing their visa and entering the insurance system, a bureau official said Monday.

New visa rule on insurance to be deleted

Aim is to ease foreigners' concerns



But some foreigners warn the move won't be enough to entirely free them of the risk of being forced to enter the insurance system.

The wording of the guideline, which is to be enforced April 1, currently stipulates that foreign residents must present their health insurance card when reporting changes to or renewing their residential status. It is the last of the guideline's eight items.

"The bureau will delete item No. 8 by the end of March, and 'lightly mention' the need to present a health insurance card in the introductory passage of the guideline," Immigration Bureau spokesman Yoshikazu Iimura told The Japan Times. "The wording will be in a manner to eliminate foreign residents' concerns that their visas won't be renewed if they don't have insurance."

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20100202a1.html

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Day 687 {Black Passenger Yellow Cabs Book}
Thursda
y, February 4, 2010

Played football
after work at the usual location... So now they are back with the me vs them thing which the foreigners dislike very much. Got a book today that a Jamaican/American guy wrote about his experience in Japan... The book is called Black Passenger, Yellow Cabs...







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Day 688 { }
Friday, February 5, 2010

Went to dinner with my Landlord then to a little bar like place afterwards. I was quite shocked to see one of my recent friends working at the bar.

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Day 689 {Invictus}
Saturday, February 6, 2010

Stayed in most of the day. Watched an inspiring film called as Invictus. It's a true story about how Nelson Mandela, (former pres
ident of The republic of South Africa) inspired the South African rugby team to win the 1995 rugby world cup.