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

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Days 732- 738 <{ }> Sunday - Saturday, March 21 - 27, 2010

Days 732- 738 <{ }> Sunday - Saturday, March 21 - 27, 2010

Ok so this week wasn't quite as exciting for me as last week. But I think next week will even be more exciting than last week.

Day 732{}
Sunday, March 21, 2010

Didn't do a thing today except went to Japanese class in the night and asked my teacher to translate a speech for me in Japanese... My main school asked me to give a short speech in Japanese on Tuesday for the school closing ceremony...

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Day 733 { Negotiating With Publisher }
Monday, March 22, 2010

So I am really working hard at writing a book with my poetry. I think I am about 80% finished now. I am just waiting for some of my poems to be translated in Japanese... Which, is probably one of the most difficult parts, because the persons who I ask to help me with the translation are all very busy. So all I can do is wait. I am also asking some of my graphic artist friends to produce a book cover for me. As you see, may Idea of a cover isn't too fancy at all.

So I spoke to the lady who is supposed to be publishing my book today for over 3 hours on skype. She was outlining the cost etc. to me and we were trying to negotiate terms. I also spoke to another friend of mine on skype for about 2 hours. This is pretty much all I did today, which marks the start of spring.

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Day 734 { Last work Day 2009-2010 School Year }
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today was my last day at this school for the 2009-2010 school year. I got a year book from the grade 6 kids who I may not be seeing again and a standing ovation from the teachers while I was leaving. I really like the teachers at this school and In took a photo with them because next school year they may change some of them. One thing I hate about this end of year thing is that in the book that the grade 6 kids are supposed to make, they always attempt to draw a picture of me. Sadly, the drawings of me always look like some strange creatures.

I also did my speech in Japanese, and here is a clip of it.. The audio is a little low though.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRdrHrVFhjA

Anyway, after work, I went for a haircut and met up with my friend Noel who lives in the area where I get my haircut.

Later, I got an email from the lady who is supposed to publish my book saying she can't do it again :( So I am going to have to search out other options now.

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Day 735 {}
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stayed in most of the day but withdrew some money and also put some gas in my car. I am seriously broke this month...

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Day 736{ Sherlock Holmes Again }
Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today is the first day of my spring vacation/end of contract. So I can say technically that I am now unemployed until I get a sudden call or email from my company saying, "please go to work tomorrow"

In the morning, I drove to the nearest major city (Kurashiki) to my town along with my friend Catherine (who is leaving to tour Asia then head back to England) and a first year student from the college nearby. We went together to the mall to watch Sherlock Holmes. I watched it before with bad audio but at the theatre it was really great.

While driving back home, I made only 2 wrong turns, which is an improvement :)








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Day 737 {}
Friday, March 26, 2010

Stayed in most of the day today. My friend brought lunch for me in the afternoon though. I then went to the bank, then to purchase my bus ticket to head out for Osaka on Tuesday.

Day 738 {}
Saturday, March 27,2010

Stayed in all day but 3 friends visited me at my apartment. We had some nice laughing time. But that was pretty much my day today. Went no where at all.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Days 725- 731 <{ }> Sunday - Saturday, March 14 - 20, 2010

Days 725- 731 <{ }> Sunday - Saturday, March 14 - 20, 2010


Day 725 {Ground Golf / White Day}
Sunday, March 14, 2010

Didn't go to church today because all the
foreigners were invited to play ground golf along with the the Niimi citizens. At first when I heard about it, I was a bit sceptical but when I heard that the other foreigners would be there I decided to go. And I am happy I did.

First I went to meet my friend Noel for us to go there. But I took it for granted that because the proposed location was near my apartment, I would know exactly where it was... ha ha. Me and Noel walked around the park for a while then finally we heard talking coming from a building. So we went there and saw the gathering. Of course we were late so we missed the opening ceremony.

We were then placed in teams and started to play this ground golf game that many of the seniors around this area seem to like a lot. These old people are quite skilled at the game but most of the foreigners really sucked. I heard that Noel got a whole in one though. I must say that I enjoyed this day Immensely and hoped it had continue for a little longer. Surprisingly, we had wonderful weather today which we don't see very often in this town. I also got a brief interview from the local TV network NHK and I again came on TV on the night news. I did not get to see it though :(

White Day

Today is also known as white day in Japan. This is basically another Valentine's Day that the Japanese confectioners created in 1980 but this day is for the women. In Japan, Valentine's Day, the girls normally buy the guys gifts but on White Day, the guys should buy the girls gifts (chiefly white chocolate).









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Day 726 { }
Monday, March 15, 2010

It was 7 years ago today when I did my very first dub poem. I am now at around 220 there about... My performances has slowed down almost to a complete stop since I came to Japan. This is coming from at least 2 performances per month back in Jamaica. My last performance was for the peace concert on September 11, 2009. So almost half a year and I haven't performed a dub poem.

My friend came today again to help me with Japanese. I also sent out several texts to people I know, inviting them to my presentation (about my trip to the Philippines) at the Niimi College tomorrow. I then went to bible study in the night.


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Day 727 { Presentation on The Philippines }
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Took some pictures with the grade 6 kids today, because today maybe the last time I will be seeing them, as they move on to Jr. high school soon.



My main school ask me to give a short speech next Tuesday in Japanese at their school closing ceremony.

I then went home and did my final preparations for my presentation then headed out to do it. This is the first presentation I remember doing that so many people came out to. Even the girls that I met for the first on Sunday at the ground golf thing came. Also the mayor's son who I met last week Sunday came with his wife and children.

After the presentation, I told them about the book that I am currently writing and also read one of the poems from it entitled "Never Give Up". The coordinator translated the poem in Japanese for me while I read it in English.

It seem like the people really enjoyed the presentation, and I realize that I really enjoy doing these presentation things. I just wished I got more opportunities to do stuff like this in Japan. My dream is to speak on different topics and do my poetry at more conferences and meetings/gatherings all over the world.

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Day 728 { }
Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Had dinner with a couple of my friends tonight after work. The lady that help me with Japanese on Mondays also came to eat with us.











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Day 729 { }
Thursday, March, 18, 2010

Took pictures with the grade 6 kids today at this school. There is this 1 kid in the grade 6 class that get on my nerves and he even mocks the Japanese teacher at times.

The grade 6 teacher at my school today,
requested last week that I show a DVD to the kids with some activities I did in other countries. He made this request because he said the Kids at this school know nothing about foreigners and I am the only one they probably know outside of their former English teachers. So I gave him a DVD with some random clips of when I went to Brazil and when I went to Germany.

I told the principal and the Vice Principal good bye and they thanked me for the 2 years I spent teaching English to this school. They kept asking me if I am staying but I told them I don't know because that really depends on the Board of Education and my company. The only thing I know is that there is a 95% chance that I will still be here in Niimi but as to which schools I will be having, I have not the slightest idea.

After work, I went home and did some more editing to the book I am hoping to publish this year.

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Day 730 { End of School Year Party }
Friday, March 19, 2010

After work today, I got a standing ovation from the staff for working there for 2 years. They are hoping that I return to this school next year. But to be totally honest, except for 1 single class (Grade 4) at this school I am not really looking forward to going back there. The main reason being that it is just too far away. This grade 4 class though happen to be my favourite out of every single class I teach at all the schools.

After work, I went to the end of school year party with my main school. We had a whole lot of chicken there. They even gave me chicken heart.... I tasted a small piece of it but I didn't like it at all. I also think I drank a little too much alcohol there, so I ended up being very tipsy and telling the staff members my business. Some of the teachers laughed so hard that they had to be wiping tears from their eyes.


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Day 731 { 2 YEARS !!! }
Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wow!!! I'm here 2 years now. Never thought it would go by so quickly, especially when time seemed to have been moving so slow in the first couple of months. My intention was to spend only 1 year here but Japan grew on me I guess. This is a break down of the major good and bad things that has happened to me here in Japan. Also my future hope..



Good


1) I am learning another language

2) I get to meet many people from different countries

3) I get to travel to other countries very cheap

4) I enjoy my job

5) My job pays relatively well

6) I feel 100% safe where I am

7) My apartment is comfortable

8) I have a TV show

9) I think most of the people I encounter with like my vibe

10) I get to play football a lot and I am learning karate

11) 75% of Japanese girls are nice to look at

12) I feel a sense of independence here unlike in Jamaica



Bad

1) Japanese is a difficult language to learn

2) I live in a very rural part of Japan and there is not much to do where I live

3) My job is not challenging and can foster laziness

4) Got broken hearted a whopping 3 times while in Japan.

5) My best friend and cousin died while I was in Japan

6) Because of points 4 and 5 - the 2 years spent in Japan has been the most emotionally low period of my entire 29 years on earth. In Jamaica, if I get low emotionally, in a matter of days I am ok again, because the support network of family and friends are nearby. But.....

7) If you should ever fall in depression (many foreigners in Japan do) you are almost certainly going to be on your own and may have to fight through it all by yourself.

8) I missed over 20 friends' weddings

9) I miss my family and friends back in Jamaica

10) I don't get to perform my poetry as much here

11) I get very lonely at times

12) I get some bad back pains every now and again because of the chairs here

13) Kind of feel like I am stuck here because of the foolishness that is going on in my country now.

14) The stares from people are sometimes annoying


It is a bit unfortunate that the bad things out weigh the good... If that is the case why am I still here ??? That's the billion dollar question and the main reasons are the following:


Future Hope

1) To be fluent in Japanese

2) To start speaking more at meetings and conferences in Japan and around the world

3) To start some sort of business here

4) To get some sort of movie or TV programme deal with a major channel in Japan


5) Buy a house in Japan and in Jamaica

6) Complete writing my book in English, Jamaican dialect and Japanese

7) To build an hospital

Yeah I have some big dreams that I hope and pray will come true. Can it be done? Lets see, only time will tell.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Days 718- 724 <{ }> Sunday - Saturday, March 7 - 13, 2010


Days 718- 724 <{ }> Sunday - Saturday, March 7 - 13, 2010


Day 718 { Unexpected Dinner }
Sunday, March 7, 2010

Went to church in the morning then to study a little Japanese in the night. I told the teacher that I was writing a book of poetry in English, Japanese and Jamaican dialect... He then started to teach me about traditional Japanese poetry. One is called the Haiku... The other is called the Tanka.

While at the Japanese study class, my Landlord called me to have some food with him and a couple of his friends in the area. There I met the head of the police traffic patrol division in my city. He drank quite a lot and ended up breaking a couple plates and a cup I think. I also met the city mayor's son who was asking me a bunch of questions.







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Day 719 { Wrong Age Group }
Monday, March 8, 2010

I notice recently that I am probably attracting the wrong age group of females... Firstly, this lady probably in her sixties was questioning me quite a lot while I was going to Kurashiki last week. And she proceeded to tell me how happy she was to see me in person because she always see me on the TV and blah blah. Now today, this grade 5 kid kept whispering "handsome teacher" while I was teaching in class... What is going on here????

Recently I also solicited the help of another friend who is willing to help me with Japanese on Mondays after work.

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Day 720 { Foreigner protest }
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Some serious snow fell between last night and this morning, even though winter is almost over.

Foreigners rally over job security

Hundreds of

foreign and Japanese people staged a rally Sunday in Tokyo demanding better working conditions and employment benefits for foreign residents.


At the annual "March in March" event at Hibiya Park in Chiyoda Ward, Louis Carlet, deputy general secretary of the National Union of General Workers Tokyo Nambu, said foreign workers have a great need for job security and health care.

"It's difficult to be a foreigner in any country. But it's much more difficult when you don't have job security, when you don't have health care," said Carlet, whose union jointly hosted the event with other groups lobbying for improved labor conditions.


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Day 721 { }
Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Took some pictures with the teachers at my Wednesday school today and some with the grade 6 kids who will be graduating soon.

I then went home and pre-ordered God of War 3 online.

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Day 722
Thursday, March 11, 2010

Played soccer again at the college after work... And as usual it was really fun even though I was beyond exhausted near to the end.

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Day 723
Friday, March 12, 2010

Went karate and learnt a new karate style finally after about 5 months of trying the last 2 styles. I then went to The Friday English conversation thing, then to a farewell gathering for Neil who is leaving at the end of this month... I was very late for the goodbye party but I saw him and wished him well. Most of the J.E.T ALTs are leaving this year.

I then went to a random bar in the night where 1 guys there saw me and recognised me from my TV show. One of them is a teacher who knew a Jamaican friend of mine who was living about 1hr from me.



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Day 724
Saturday March 13, 2010

For the first time in my almost 2 years living in Japan, I drove by myself to Kurashiki to study Japanese. I got lost about 10 times but I eventually found the way thank the Lord. So I got to the location very very late.

I then drove to the mall in Kurashiki just by following my instincts, because I had no clue where to go....Driving back to my apartment though was quite easy.


Later on, the principal at my main school along with his wife, invite me out to dinner and then to their house. Really nice people. His wife was quite surprised about my knowledge of Japanese culture even though I told her several times that I am living here almost 2 years now. Almost every time I said something, she wondered how I knew about it.






Yeah Richard mi a try on a weekly basis to talk with more Japanese people and occasionally go into the bars and listen to the people.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Days 711- 717 <{ }> Sunday, February 28 - Saturday, March 6, 2010

Days 711- 717 <{ }> Sunday, February 28 - Saturday, March 6, 2010


Day 711 { Resume Class/Earthquake in Chile }
Sunday, February 28, 2010

Went to church and I was the only English speaker present there. If I knew that my translator wasn't going to be there, I would have probably stayed home. It is always good there though because we get food and lots of it :) Not saying that is the reason why I go there now you know...

Resumed my studying of Japanese with the teacher who lives nearby me... I actually learnt some new stuff here... I however need to constantly review what I study...


Earthquake in Chile

Massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake strikes Chile

Temblor leaves at least 78 dead; tsunami warnings issued in Pacific


A huge wave reached a populated area in the Robinson Crusoe Islands, 660 km off the Chilean coast, President Michele Bachelet said.

Tsunami warnings were issued over a wide area, including South America,Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand,Japan, the Philippines, Russia and many Pacific islands.

"It has been a devastating earthquake," Interior Minister Edmundo Perez Yoma told reporters.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20100228a9.html

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Day 712 { Uncharted 2-Among Thieves/Tsunami Pass by }
Monday, March 1, 2010


Went bible study in the night. It was smaller than the last couple of weeks but it went pretty well. Received the PS3 game Uncharted 2 - among thieves today, not even sure when I am going to play this. 





Tsunami rips across Pacific, pats Japan

Feared waves from Chile do little in Asia


The Meteorological Agency said the biggest wave in the initial tsunami from the 8.8-magnitude temblor off Chile was 145 cm high and hit the fishing port of the town of Otsuchi in Iwate Prefecture at around 3:43 p.m.

Another one about 120 cm high landed in Kuji, also in Iwate, at 3:49 p.m.

No casualties had been reported as of 5 p.m., the National Police Agency said.

The threatening waves forced the Meteorological Agency to issue its first Major Tsunami Warning in more than 15 years to the northern Pacific coastal areas of Aomori, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, where the initial waves were believed to have hit between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.


http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20100301a1.html

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Day 713 { Karate Restart }

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Started back karate today, because there was no English conversation at the college. At karate we reviewed some of the stuff we learnt last year. I realize that I really suck at this new level... Its either the stances are really difficult or these teachers are too strict...










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Day 714 { Pre graduation stuff }
Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My schools are now preparing for graduation. So today my Wednesday school had some sort of pre-graduation thing with persons coming in to do stories and also to do some traditional Japanese dances. After about an hour of it, I started to fall asleep. I think mostly because my listening is very poor in Japanese...

I later went to the super market and saw 2 of the ALTs there and I was speaking to them for a very long time. Also saw one of the students who came on the first season of my show, and I had a short conversation with her and her friends..




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Day 715 { Thailand Sends Skin bleaching agents To Haiti??? }

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Went to play soccer at the college today but because its exam time now, only 4 persons showed up, so we didn't play... We ended up going to a restaurant near to my apartment where I saw a couple more of the college students studying...

I am again getting a bit self conscious again because of these stares that I endure almost daily... I thought I got used to them but its like I am almost starting over my life in Niimi again...As soon as I walked into the restaurant the stares were stifling... Some of the college students who were there knew me though and called me over...



Thailand Donates 50,000 Bottles of Whitening Skin Cream To Haiti

Abhisit hopes earthquake survivors will feel “more confident” with lighter, more radiant skin


BANGKOK – Responding to international criticism that its initial donation of $20,000 was insufficient, the Thai government has generously added 50,000 bottles of whitening skin cream to its aid shipment to earthquake-stricken Haiti.


“Thailand is a compassionate nation,” said Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya. “We noticed in the news that the Haitians are all very dark-skinned. This is surely one of the reasons they are living in poverty. With lighter skin they could be more successful.”


The donation is co-sponsored by Unilever Thailand Ltd., which has agreed to provide the 50,000 bottles of Citra Ultra White if the government provides shipping. Along with the whitening cream, there will also be 50,000 copies of Citra’s new brochure, explaining the power of Citra’s double-action anti-aging and brightening formula.


“Citra Ultra White lets you look and feel your best,” said Marlene Van Houten, Unilever’s regional marketing director. “Whether you’re standing in line for UN food shipments, or just sorting through the rubble of your devastated village, Citra Ultra White provides whiter skin and all-day UV protection.”


The whitening cream represents the single-largest shipment of its kind ever to a disaster-zone. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said that the generosity of Thais was evident because so many people had encouraged the donation.


“Everyone kept talking about how black-skinned the Haitians are,” he said. “At every discussion about aid, the skin color kept coming up. I see now that the initial pledge of USD20,000 was very low because in the back of our minds we knew that these black people needed something more than just money.”


Many people interviewed for the story seemed to agree with the PM.



http://www.notthenation.com/pages/news/getnews.php?id=861


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Day 716 { Planning another Trip/Woman starve son to death }
Friday, March 5, 2010

I am planning to go to South Korea at the end of this month all by myself. I will probably meet up with 2 Jamaicans eventually but this is my first "by my self" trip to another country so to speak. Its either normally me and friends or me going to meet up with friends at a conference or something... This time its just going to be a random trip

at the end of my contract, before starting the new school year...

I spoke to the travel agency for a long time today trying to get a good price and a good date for my trip...


Went to karate and did some excruciating exercise there, then went to the college again to play soccer, but unfortunately they ended early today... I guess because of exams. So I went to the Friday English conversations instead.


I know that strange things happen in every country but seriously now???? :

Woman starved son, 5, to death because he looked like husband?

A woman who was arrested together with her husband Wednesday for allegedly starving their 5-year-old son to death has told investigators she could not feel any affection for him because of his resemblance to his father, police sources said Thursday.


Mami Yoshida, a part-time worker, also told investigators her relationship with her husband, Hiroshi, 35, a corporate employee, had soured. The investigators reckon the couple's worsening relations led to the abuse of their son, Tomoki.

Yoshida said she felt affection for the couple's other child, a daughter, 3, who shows no signs of having been abused.

Her husband was quoted as saying he was aware their son had been getting weak, but did nothing to protect him.

They are suspected of having failed to give sufficient food or provide necessary medical care for their son since early January.


http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/nara-couple-arrested-for-starving-5-year-old-son-to-death

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Day 717 { }
Saturday, March 6, 2010

Went to Kurashiki again, most of the time again was spent talking about random stuff, rather than actually studying.... but that is a part of studying as well I guess...

I then went to Okayama city to pay for my ticket to South Korea...


Richard, if I order stuff on amzon.co.jp it takes about 2 days to get to me... If I want it the very next day, I can pay about Ja $ 300 more...



@Razi - 日本語 すくし しゃべる