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

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Days 886 - 892, Sunday, August 22 - Saturday, August 28, 2010


Days 886 - 892
Sunday, August 22 - Saturday, August 28, 2010



Day 886 {Jamaica 14 / Salt / My Sister's House}
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Went to church and performed 2 of my poems then stopped by a friend who lives on the same road as me. We chatted along with another good friend for about 30 mins.

Me, my sister and my mom then went to the house that my sister bought. It is about 7 mins away from our house, and in the same community.



In the evening I went out with 2 of the Japanese persons that I met recently. We watched the movie "salt" starring Angelina Jolie. It wasn't too bad, lots of action.

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Day 887 { Jamaica 15 / Packing / Miss Universe }
Monday, August 23, 2010

Went to the supermarket to get some Jamaican food to take with me tomorrow. I can't believe the time ran off so quickly..... Also went to the dentist, the bank and the barber. Finally completed packing for my trip.


While packing, my sister was watching Miss Universe 2010. Jamaica's, Yendi Phillips came second (1st runner up), while Miss Mexico won.

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Day 888 { Jamaica 16 / Heading to New York /Lottery Ticket}
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Drove to the airport with my sister and mom. Flew again with Jet blue. It took 3 hrs 20 mins to get to New York, and luckily when I got out of the airport, my friend was already there waiting.

In the evening I went with my friend and his relatives to watch this movie name lottery ticket. It is a black American stereo type comedy. It had some funny stuff in it but it wasn't all that good.

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Day 889 { At New York / Miriams }
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Today, me and my friend went to get some pictures cleaned and we also went to Best Buy. I bought a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard using my credit card.

In the evening, me, my friend, his wife and child, went to Brooklyn in New York to a Mediterranean style restaurant name Miriams. We met up with one of their friends and had dinner there. The food was a little different but ok.

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Day 890 { Extension Please!!}
Thursday, August 26, 2010

It is time to head back to Japan. But I wanted to get at least 3 days extension on my time... So I called American Airlines and asked if I could get a 3 day extension on my ticket. They said unfortunately, because my ticket was a 1 month ticket, I have to leave today :( .. They further said that, if I wanted a 3 day extension, I would have to buy a 1 way ticket for over US $2000. That is just crazy, especially when I paid only about US $1300 for my 2 way ticket.

Anyway I got my stuff ready and my friend dropped me to the airport. Now its time for a 12 hours flight to Narita airport Japan. On the plane I watched the movies Iron Man 2 and Shrek forever After. Both were ok enough movies, but Shrek was much better in my estimate. I also occasionally played Prince of Persia on my PSP.

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Day 891 {Back to Niimi}
Friday, August 27, 2010

Landed at Narita at about 1:30 pm then took a Japan Airlines (JAL) flight to Itami, Osaka. It took about 50 mins but had more turbulence than the flight from New York to Narita. I realized at the airport that my Japanese has in fact improved greatly. The guys from customs asked me if I could speak Japanese and I told them a little. So they decided to ask me questions in Japanese and I pretty much understood all that they were asking me in Japanese.

At Osaka, I paid to send my luggage to my apartment (I wont get it until Sunday) then I took a bus to Shin-Osaka (Where we take the speed trains) then a shinkansen (speed train) to Okayama city. I got to Okayama at 8:56 pm and the next train to Niimi would be 9:01 pm. So I had to run like crazy, buy a train ticket then run again to catch the train to Niimi... I caught it with 1 minute remaining... Wow ... If I missed this train, I would have to wait until 10:21 pm to get another train. Such is the situation in rural Japan. My friend picked me up then dropped me to my apartment.



This has been one of my best summers as far as I can remember. So far in my memory, my best summers are

2005 (Summer camps and Virginia),

2007 (Summer Camps, Grenada and Panama),

2008 (Germany trip
and Niimi Summer Festival) and

This year 2010 ( New York, Virginia, Jamaica - Book Tour).


All of the books that I brought with me are now done. I plan to take the books from the book store in Kurashiki (The nearest city to me) and send them to my mom in Jamaica to sell to the others who didn't get when I was home.

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Day 892 { Orthodontist }
Saturday, August 28, 2010

Got a short sleep then went to Okayama city. There are some new JET ALTs in the area but I haven't met them yet. One of them found out about me through my youtube videos. I gave her my email and she sent me a couple of questions. I answered them as best as I could. I happened to see her in Okayama and recognised her because she was the only other foreigner in the Niimi to Okayama train. I spoke to her for about 5 - 7 mins, got her information and then ran off to the Orthodontist.

Got to the orthodontist a little late because of the bus schedule in Okayama city. Everything went pretty well at the orthodontist so now I am wearing braces again. The dentist, introduced me to a Japanese girl who should be going to Seattle, Washington in September. She is studying English in Fukuoka and enjoys travelling. We spoke for a long time, had lunch then I went back to Niimi.



Yes Richard it was good to be back trust mi... naah lie... I hope I can get a good job and then eventually go back and settle in Jamaica.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Days 879 - 885, Sunday, August 15 - Saturday, August 21, 2010


Days 879 - 885,
Sunday, August 15 - Saturday, August 21, 2010


Day 879 { Jamaica 7 / Second Chance }
Sunday, August 15, 2010

Went to church and performed a poem "mek wi build up di nation"....I brought 5 of my books
there and they were all sold off in no time, with people still wanting. I didn't expect this response at all.

In the evening, I went to the pantry play house to watch a play called "Second Chance"along with some of my friends from university.... It was ok, got a few laughs from it...















The picture above is a popular food in Jamaica, boiled green banana.
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Day 880 { Jamaica 8 / Expandables }
Monday, August 16, 2010

Stayed in all day then watched the movie expandables along with my good friend Melissa. It was a good enough movie, lots of guns and explosions and testosterone packed fun.

















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Day 881 { Jamaica 9 / Former Work Place }
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Went to my old work place, The Garmex HEART Academy and spoke to some of my former Co-workers. I also did a presentation on my experience in Japan and taught some students basic Japanese.


The picture displayed below is this food we have in Jamaica called Bulla. It is sort of sweet and has a relatively hard texture. We eat it with avocado pear.












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Day 882 { Jamaica 10 / Scotchies with Japanese }
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Met up with one of my friends who I know for over 15 years now... He is now the main chef for a hotel in Kingston Jamaica...
Went to a jerk restaurant name scotchies, along with the Japanese persons who I met at the Japanese Embassy last week. One of the girls there is married to a Japanese man who she met in Jamaica. We had a wonderful time there and ate jerk chicken, Jerk pork, pork sausage, festival, sweet potato and a whole bunch of tasty Jamaican food.

The food below is known as festival. It is made from flour, corn meal and sugar. Flour is hardly used if ever at all, in Japan.



















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Day 883 { Jamaica 11 }

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Was supposed to visit some friends today but I was too tired, so I stayed in all day and played Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.

The food displayed is stewed chicken. One of my favourites. That other thing is what we call sweet sop, but is known as sugar apple outside of Jamaica.


















Day 884 { Jamaica 12 / Church Friends Link }
(1 Year 5 Months)
Friday, August 20, 2010

Went to meet up with another old friend today in New Kingston. Spoke for a while with she and her husband.

Met up with some other friends at the Mona Baptist Church hall today. They made me read some of the love poems from my book and talk about my experiences in Japan. We ate, laughed and had a good time.... This kind of thing I don't have at all in Japan.... I love my friends, and we all value this kind of friendship and love for each other.

















Here is a video of the poem I did
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7PHsdV7Sos

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Day 885 { Jamaica 13 }
Saturday, August 21, 2010

My mom went to the funeral of one of her many cousins. He died of cancer. One of my friends visited me, then I went to Scotchies (The Jerk Restaurant) again. This time with my friends from university. We again reminisced on old times back at university and spoke about life in Jamaica now. If I could land myself a good job here, I would return instantly. I feel very happy here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Days 872 - 878, Sunday, August 8 - Saturday, August 14, 2010


Days 872 - 878,
Sunday, August 8 - Saturday, August 14, 2010



Day 872 { Leaving Virginia / Virginia Day 10}
Sunday, August 8, 2010

Went to a church known as Buckroe Baptist and performed one of my poems. I sold 2 of my books there after my performance. I then had lunch with a couple of my friends.

Did my final packing to head for Jamaica, then gave the Lassiter family (who kindly hosted me for the week) a copy of my book and some key rings from Japan and South Korea.

The sports Coordinator guy then picked me up at 11:00 pm to take me to the airport in Washington DC. I have a 8:00 am flight tomorrow but because the sports coordinator was going to be very busy throughout today, he had to take me to the airport at the most convenient time to him.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself in Virginia, and it was good seeing old friends again since 2005 and 2007.

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Day 873 { Jamaica 1 / Surprising My Family }

Monday, August 9, 2010

Got to Washington Dulles Airport at about 4am this morning. Went through security then slept for a while. Took Jet blue flight to New York (JFK), wait for about 3 hours at JFK then took 3 hour flight from New York to Jamaica. I sat at the window seat and a lady with a baby sat in the aisle seat. She had a couple bags with her so when the plane landed, she waited until every single person was out of the plane. I of course had to wait until she moved before I could get out, which meant that I was the very last person off the plane.... Then, it so happened that about 5 other planes landed around the time as our plane but a little before... The Airport in Kingston, Jamaica being so small meant that I had to join a verrrry long line... And guess who was at the back? The lady with the baby got assistance because of course she had a baby, so they allowed her to go up to the front quickly.

I waited in the line for 2 hours then joined another line and chose the "Nothing to declare line". Unfortunately, I mistakenly wrote on the declaration form in Jamaican dollars instead of US dollars. So the Customs officer told me to join the items to declare line instead.... The lady in the items to declare line then started asking me about my books... and everything else... She eventually made me go through, then I went out to meet my friend who was waiting on me for 2 hours with his pregnant wife.... I went to his house, gave him the PS3 blue tooth head set, then another friend of mine took me home.

I got to my house at 10:30 pm and knocked on the grill. My sister peeked out and jumped with excitement "I can't believe this, I can't believe this" she kept saying.... Then she woke up my mother who was also quite surprised and excited. So my plan worked ..... :) .... My sister and my aunt suspected that I was coming home but they weren't sure about it... They also weren't sure about the exact date. A couple persons started suspecting because I posted a whole lot of pictures on my facebook account.

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Day 874 {Jamaica 2}
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Went to the Portmore mall (A mall in my community) with my mom to pay my credit card bill and to buy some groceries in the supermarket. Saw a primary school classmate of mine who now owns a car business. My sister then came to pick us up from the mall.


This picture is of a very sweet mango in Jamaica that we call East Indian... and the other fruit is what we call guinep...

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Day 875 { Ja
maica 3}

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Went to sort out out some stuff with my car then picked up my cousin. My aunt and cousins who live nearby came to visit us. We talked, laughed and had a grand time. I haven't laughed so hard in almost a year. There is really no place like home.


This picture is of Stewed chicken, rice and peas along with a vegetable we call in Jamaica pok choy. I saw on the internet that the proper name is actually bok choy (Chinese Cabbage) ...

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Day 876 { Jamaica 4 }
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stayed in all day today playing Call of duty Modern Warfare 2. Also called a couple of my friends in Jamaica to catch up with them. It is interesting that today is Day 876 on my blog and the international dialing code for Jamaica is also 876 ... What a co incidence :-)


This picture is what guinep looks like when you peel of the outside...
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Day 877 { Jamaica 5 / Japanese Embassy Meeting / University Best Friends meeting }
Friday, August 13, 2010

Met for the first time, one of the persons who helped me to translate one of my poems. She has been living in Jamaica since 1994 and she occasionally teach Japanese at my former university. Her name is Tomoko Uemura. She introduced me to a couple of the persons who work at the Japanese Embassy in Jamaica. And I also met the Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica Hiroshi Yamaguchi.

I got 3 books sold there and gave a copy to the Embassy. I then went across the road to meet 2 of my university friends who work at the main commercial bank in Jamaica, National Commercial Bank (NCB). I spoke to them for about 30 mins then headed home, because I was going to see them again later in the night.

So later in the night I drove to my friend's house (the one who picked me up at the airport). Then I drove him and another friend (The one who dropped me home) to meet up with another set of friends from university.

We ate pizza, watch some movies and they made me read 2 of my poems... this is one of them that I read... the audio and video is kind of poor though.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPJTAhxs7BY

I forgot to mention that while I was driving to my friend's house, I was stopped by the police because one of my car head lamps was bad. I had to do some negotiating to get away from them without a ticket and without losing points off my license.








I slept over by my friend's place because I didn't want to get stopped by another police.

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Day 878 { Jamaica 6 }
Saturday, August 14, 2010

Woke up at my friend's place and she showed me the house that she bought in a different area of town. I then dropped her at the hair dresser then headed to a car dealer to buy a front bulb for the car.

Two of my friends visited me when I got home and we chatted for a very long time... Basically catching up on where our lives are at the moment.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Days 865 - 871, Sunday, August 1 - Saturday, August 7, 2010

Days 865 - 871,
Sunday, August 1 - Saturday, August 7, 2010


Day 865 { Virginia Day 3 / Speaking at Church }
Sunday, August 1, 2010

Spoke at a church in Virginia name Park view Baptist for about 30 mins. I never knew I would be able to speak that long after not doing anything like this for a long time. I mentioned about my experience in Japan and also did 2 Poems from my book. I got 5 books sold there. Here is a video of the poem I did http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzH17RoYWws

After church, a couple of us ate out at a Mexican restaurant where I met 2 fellow Call of duty Modern Warfare 2 addicts. The food there was great. While coming back from the restaurant, I managed to get my Latvian friend to read some of my poems in Jamaican dialect.... It was quite funny... I also got her to say a few of the Jamaican dialect words..

Here is a video of it ....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFG7vmTKIRU

Me and my host family then went to a small party in the night, where I met some more people... We played this sort of sand bag toss game where we should try to throw some sand bags into a hole.




























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Day 866 { Virginia Day 4 }
Monday, August 2, 2010

Went to a Sports camp at a church and did one of my poems again. The people seemed to like it... Today I was in charge of teaching the kids how to play cricket. It was fun but very tiring.

In the evening, I ate dinner with my host family then played a dance game on the Nintendo wii with them.

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Day 867 { Virginia Day 5 }
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Did sports camp again and this time I was in charge of devotion for 7 different groups. I however ended up speaking mostly about my experience as a Jamaican in rural Japan.

The man who is in charge of running the sports camps also brought 4 of us to a camping area in Virginia name East Over. I visited this area 5 years ago as well.

I did 2 of my poems there, advertised my book and spoke to some guys about my experience as a Jamaican living in rural Japan. I then taught them how to play cricket.

After this I went into the pool that was there...

We eventually went back and I got back at my host family's house at around 7:30 pm.















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Day 868 { Virginia Day 6 }
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Went to sports camp and this time I was in charge of one of the groups along with this very talkative guy. Then 4 of us again went along with the sports coordinator to the East over camp. I did a couple of my poems again, then I went into the pool.















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Day 869 { Virginia Day 7 }
Thursday, August 5, 2010

Today I was in charge of football (soccer) at the sports camp. I saw some guys doing it earlier this week and thought that it seemed like fun... However, when I tried, it was a whole lot of work...Especially because different age group of kids were coming for 20 min intervals, to learn football (soccer). I had especially a hard time with the 4 and 5 year old kids...

3 of us then went to the East over camp. I did my poetry there again then we went into the pool. I like going in pools but unfortunately, I can't swim. I can't quite get the breathing technique properly. Here is a video of me doing my poetry there......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh1rbgkxl74

While coming from East over, there was heavy rain pouring down every now and again. While taking a shower, there was a power outage. I eventually quickly got dressed then sat and chatted with my host family for a little.

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Day 870 { Virginia Day 8 / Zombie Tag}
Friday, August 6, 2010

Because of the power outage yesterday, the guy who normally take me to the sports camp in the mornings, slept somewhere else where. So this morning, I had no one to take me to the sports camp. My host mother had to call her daughter's boyfriend, who picked me up.

I stayed with the same group that I did on Wednesday, along with the same talkative guy. Today will be my last sports camp on this trip, because I head to Jamaica, starting Sunday night but the actual flight home will be Monday morning. This trip I plan to surprise my mom and sis.

In the night, they had this thing known as a "lock in", at the church I spoke at on Sunday. We played some games, had some discussions and watch some movies.

There were about 30 of us there, and one of the interesting games we played was with nerf guns. They call it zombie tag. In this game, there will be a team of humans who have the nerf guns, against a team of zombies who have some long sponge/styrofoam things. If the humans get hit with the sponge/styrofoam thing, they are out of the game. But if the zombies get shot with the nerf gun, they can re-spawn indefinitely. This game was reallly fun.

We stayed in the church until the following morning.




























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Day 871 { Virginia Day 9 }

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Slept in for most of the day because of the all night lock in thing. Then went out to change the wired PS3 ear piece that I bought at Best buy in New York, to a PS3 blue tooth head set. I thought it would have been a problem but it was really easy. I also wanted to change my laptop battery but they places I went to didn't have my type of battery.

Started packing for my trip to Jamaica. My sister is already getting curious because she saw the pictures I posted on facebook. But even if they find out that I am coming, they don't know when...