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

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Japanese Insurance / Japan Wins Asia Cup 2011 / Volcano Erupting

Days 1040 - 1046 Sunday, January 23, 2011 - Saturday, January 29 , 2011

Day 1040 {Japanese Insurance}

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Went to church first time for 2011. I was urged at church to sort out my Japanese insurance thing if I want to stay here for a long time. What my company did when I got here, well even before I got here, was to give us this international insurance thing......With this insurance, we pay about 6000 yen per month. But if we go to the doctor we have to pay the full fee then make a claim back for the money, which will be sent to your credit card.

However, a rule has passed now in Japan that if we are living here, we have to use the Japanese national insurance scheme. The problem is not that this thing is 30,000 yen a month, the problem is that they want you to pay 30,000 yen a month for the 2 years + that I have been living here, which would be approximately 30,000 x 24 = 720,000 yen. If they find out about the many of us that are not paying this fee, they have the authority to not renew our visas which would really suck. I need to talk to my friend who works in the insurance department in Niimi, to see if I can find a way out of this.


Day 1041 { Cold symptoms }
Monday, January 24, 2011

Had some serious cold symptoms at work today, fever, cough, sneezing etc. and the flu has been spreading like crazy around here. So the principal sent me home early today.


Day 1042 { Strong Medication }
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Had the same cold symptoms today, so the school sent me home even earlier. I went to the doctor and got a flu check, where he used this thing to stick in my nose. It was extremeeeely uncomfortable and a bit painful. However the results were negative and he prescribed a powdered Chinese medicine for me to use. It has 3 small packets and I should take them all with in 6 hours while being in a warm area and while drinking a hot drink. He said if I start sweating after the second packet, I should not take the third one.

After taking the medication, believe it or not, I was all better again, except my voice was still a bit weird.

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Day 1043
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The kids at my school today are working hard on this small snow house.

My electricity bill for last month came today and it was quite exorbitant because of the cold climate this season. It is the first time my bill has come to so much since I am living in Japan.

Day 1044 { Cold at work }
Thursday, January 27, 2011

I notice that after lunch at this school, they turn off the heater and open the windows for a while. Sometimes they don't turn back on the heater, and I am freezing, both in the staff room and in the classes.

Saw this stray monkey at the school where I was today.

After work, I did the first video shoot for season 5 of my show.

Day 1045 { NEW PSP Unveiled }
Friday, January 28, 2011

I was supposed to do karaoke with one of my friends today, but that didn't work out, so I just stayed in my apartment after work.

Sony unveils NGP portable game console

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. on Thursday took the wraps off its new hand-held game device, which has features never before seen on portables, including dual analog joysticks and front and rear touch pads.
The gadget, sporting a 5-inch organic light emitting multitouch display, is code-named the Next Generation Portable (NGP).
It is expected to hit store shelves toward the end of the year.
In addition to Wi-Fi, it will be connectable with the 3G mobile phone network.
The comfort level when controlling the NGP "is the best ever in the history of portable devices," boasted SCE President Kazuo Hirai at the PlayStation Meeting 2011 in Tokyo.
The company repeatedly played up its controls through the dual analog sticks and front and rear touch pads, which Sony said enables users to "feel that they can grab what's happening in the game."



Day 1046 { Volcano Eruption / Japan wins Asia cup}
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Had lunch with my friend today, then I went to buy a pair of shoes. A winter kind of shoes which was very cheap. I then went to the darts bar in the night.

Kirishima volcano spewing ash

Mount Kirishima continued erupting Thursday on the border between Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, spewing columns of smoke up to more than 2,500 meters, the weather agency said.
Rocks were blasted as far as 8 km from Kirishima's Shinmoedake peak, according to the Meteorological Agency. Volcanic ash disrupted train and flight services in the area.
The agency revised the scale of the eruption upward to "medium" from the initial "small," after the smoke columns reached about 500 meters higher than Wednesday.
While continuing regulations to keep people away from the volcano, the agency also warned of large volcanic rocks falling in areas about 2 km from its crater.
Volcanic tremors indicating magma activities also continued Thursday.

Japan defeated Australia in the Asia cup finals tonight, 1-0

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Days 1033 - 1039 Sunday, January 16, 2011 - Saturday, January 22 , 2011

Days 1033 - 1039 Sunday, January 16, 2011 - Saturday, January 22 , 2011

Day 1033 { Snow snow snow}

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Took Shinkansen from Tokyo to Okayama city. It was delayed by about 45 minutes because of the amount of snow falling in certain areas. The other train from Okayama to Niimi was also delayed but only by about 10 minutes. When I picked up my car, it was filled with ice and snow. It took me a couple of minutes to chip off the ice and get rid of the snow off it.

I was online chatting for a short while with my friend from Kochi, when she said she felt a small earthquake. Another friend in Niimi also said he felt a small tremor as well. I can't recall felling any form of tremor or anything like that while living in Japan.

Day 1034

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to you Miho :)

Went work in lots of snow. It was scary, so I called my school and told them I will be a bit late.

After work, I called my Landlord to tell him that 2 lights in my apartment were not working properly. I can't be paying all this money for rent and everything is not in fine condition. He eventually came to check it out and said he will change them on Wednesday.

Tried again to hack my PSP but didn't work.


Day 1035

Tuesday, January 18, 2011
There was a bit of snow on the road while going to work today, but nothing like yesterday.

While at work, I got a call from the Yokohoma branch of my company, offering me a position to work there starting April. I instantly started thinking if I should stay another year in Niimi or go to the city for my possible final year in Japan. It is a possible final year because my visa expires on March 20, 2012 and there is no guarantee that it will be renewed.

Still trying to hack my PSP but not working. I read on the internet that I should repeat a certain process several time... I did that but it still won't hack...


Day 1036 {Jamaicans 3rd coolest in the world}

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Went to an Italian restaurant that is pretty close to my apartment, to meet an old friend of mine. We chatted for a bit, ate and then we went our separate ways.

My landlord seemed to have forgotten his little promise to come and fix the bulb in my apartment.

Jamaica is ranked number 3 as the coolest nationalities in the world... Singapore and Brazil beat us... Japan was ranked number 7.

3. Jamaicans

Dustin Brown, Jamaicans
Just don't call him "mon" and you'll be cool.

There's more to Jamaicans than reggae, including Rastafarian (the most kick-back religion ever invented), an accent that’s the envy of the English-speaking world and the planet’s most distinctive and recognizable hairstyle. Note to backpackers: dreadlocks only cool on actual Jamaicans.

Icon of cool: Jimmy Cliff. The “Harder They Come" singer is still bringing it at 62.

Not so cool: High murder rate and widespread homophobia.

2. Singaporeans

Finally, something worth Tweeting about, la?

Think about it: in this digital age where blogging and updating Facebook are pretty much all that anyone does anymore, old school notions of cool have been rebooted. No longer the laughingstock, geeks are now inheriting the Earth.

With its absurdly computer-literate population, Singapore is geek central and its people can therefore claim their rightful place as avatars of modern cool. They’re probably all Tweeting about it right now.

Icon of cool: Lim Ding Wen. This child prodigy could program in six computer languages at age nine. A glorious future awaits.

Not so cool: With everyone stuck at their computers, the local government actually has to encourage Singaporeans to have sex.

Read more: The world's coolest nationalities: Where do you rank? | CNNGo.com #1 http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/life/12-coolest-nationalities-earth-050844?page=0,1#ixzz1Bq6EF4QC



Day 1037

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Went to my car dealer after work to check out the price of a car part for my friend in Jamaica. A front right strut mount. My mechanic said the cost was about 3200 yen which would be the same as 3200 Jamaican dollars approximately. Not sure how to ship this back to Jamaica though.

Went to play football but the gym was closed. No on said a word to me. Later I called my English friend and he said they went but only about 4 of them were there so they didn't bother staying. I think the main reason is because of the blistering cold. The temperature recently has been at almost a constant -1 degrees Celsius except in the afternoon hours when it is about 5 degrees Celsius.


Day 1038

Friday, January 21, 2011

Went to the car dealer again after work and they gave me a paper with a picture of the car part. They said they are not sure if it can be sent by post but I plan to ask the post office people next week.

Karate started back today but I skipped out because I know the gym was going to be really cold.

Day 1039 {Snow kill 45 so far}

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Finally started playing one of the games I bought last week, Bayonetta. The action stuff in it is nice but I really really don't like the story line at all.

Went to play darts in the night. A short Japanese girl won me three times consecutively in one of the darts games name count up.... Just throw the darts to see who can get the most points in 8 rounds. I then teamed up with my English friend and she teamed up with another lady and we won them 2-1 in a very very close match up. I then played a match against the girl again.. this time it was count down, who can get to 0 from 301 the fastest. I finally won her in that match.

Snow deaths at 45 so far this winter: agency

This winter has so far seen 45 snow-related deaths, a pace similar to the 2005-2006 season when the second-highest postwar toll was logged, a government agency said Friday.

The government urged caution as people aged 65 and above account for 60 percent of the deaths, which occurred in 11 prefectures between Nov. 1 and Wednesday, according to the Fire Disaster Management Agency.

Of the total, 27 people died of accidents while removing snow, including those falling while shoveling snow from rooftops, nine were buried under accumulated snow and avalanches claimed a further six.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jamrock Jamaican Restaurant / Visiting Tokyo

Days 1026 - 1032
Sunday, January 9, 2011 - Saturday, January 15 , 2011

Day 1026
Sunday, January 9, 2011

Did absolutely nothing today except washed and watch anime.


Day 1027 ( Coming of age / Darts Improvement )
Monday, January 10, 2011

Today was a public holiday in Japan, where all those who turned 20 are now considered adults and can drink alcohol freely.

The darts bar owner had a time slot called "happy hour" where we pay only 1000 yen and play for about 2-3 hours today. Normally one game would be 100 yen or 200 yen for some games. So 3 of us went there and stayed from about 2:30pm until about 6pm. There will be another competition coming up at the end of this month. Today I changed my stance in darts and for the first time, I hit 3 bulls eye in a row. After I did that, I continued with that stance and I demolished my friends in the next 3 games I played... WOW!!

I also watched a dance movie, step up 2. The story line and the acting was horrible but the dance moves were fantastic...


Day 1028 { Back to work }
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First day of work for 2011. It is always hard to go back to work after a long holiday, but I only had two classes today and they went pretty well.

In the evening, I watched my Japanese friend do a presentation on her visits to Australia, Canada and the US.

Day 1029 { Dinner with Friends }
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

While going to work this morning, there was snow and ice on the road. All the schools I go to, I have to drive up and down mountains. A car got stuck this morning on a slope and it held up some traffic for a bit. I felt my car sliding a little while I was driving up the mountain on the icy slope.

In the evening, I had dinner with some Japanese friends.


Day 1030
Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another car had to pull over on the side of the road today because of the ice on the slope to go to my schools. Lord help mi. My car again was sliding a little bit while going up the hill. I am going to start using the 4WD everyday from now on.

Went to football in the evening after about 1 month break. It was good after not playing for so long.


Day 1031 { Heading for Tokyo again }
Friday, January 14, 2011

I decided to make another trip to Tokyo today. What can I say, I really like it there.

My friend helped me to pay for a bus ticket at a convenient store today, because I am not sure how to operate the ATM terminal device just yet with all the Japanese. I then took a train to Okayama then a night bus to Tokyo.


Day 1032 { Back In Tokyo }
Saturday, January 15, 2011

Got to Tokyo again at around 6:45 am and as usual it was cold. Met up with a friend of mine and we had breakfast. I ended up buying 2 Ps3 games at a store name bookoff. I bought vanquish and another name bayonetta. I then introduced my friend to darts in an area of Tokyo name Takada no baba. The darts was a little different from the one in Niimi but it was still fun.

We then went to a Jamaican restaurant in Harajuku, Tokyo name JAMROCK Cafe in the evening. I ate oxtail, rice and peas and plantain. My friend ate jerk chicken, festival and some other stuff. It was good eating Jamaican food again.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Days 1019 - 1025 Sunday, January 2, 2011 - Saturday, January 8 , 2011

Days 1019 - 1025
Sunday, January 2, 2011 - Saturday, January 8 , 2011

Day 1019 { Recapping 2010 }
Sunday, January 2, 2011

After such a wonderful time over the Christmas, it is back to my boring apartment :( Today I re-stocked my apartment with groceries from the super market, and that is all I did today. To provide some entertainment, I started re-watching an old Japanese animation that I used to watch about 10-11 years ago in Jamaica, name Dragon Ball Z. Only this time it is in High Definition.

Recap of 2010

January 1, 2010

Started off the New Year in the Philippines, then headed back to Japan.


Also season 3 of my show started http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqsTRlt1CNA

January 30
Went skiing for the first time in my life http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNwwdU64v3M

January 31

Me and my girl friend of 1 yr 2 months broke up... We had irreconcilable differences. We both saw it coming but we still held on, until I finally initiated it. It was really difficult for us both but we thought it was the best thing. However, it tore me to shreds because she helped me with everything, so this day was possibly the worst day for me so far in Japan. It would have been easier for me if I was in Jamaica with support from people and with activities like crazy but in country side Japan ??? My mind was going through hell. No one to talk to, no where to turn. I am happy this time had passed eventually. Going through it was no fun.

The good is that, this hard situation lead me to start studying Japanese like crazy and also lead me to start the process of writing my book.

Relationships can be so hard sometimes, even worst when we are from different cultural backgrounds. I wish there was a manual for such.

March 31 - Went to South Korea



May 8 and 9
- Went to Tokyo for One Love Festival



May 26
Printed first 5 copies of my book for editing purposes

June 14
Had a photo shoot for my book. I heard from sources that the person who took my photos, didn't really like me. Also heard that this person was telling others about me and somewhat painted a bad image of me to others. OOh well such is life.

June 23

95 of my books arrived

July 1

My book debuted in Japan

July 20
My book was ranked number 7 at the local book store in my area


July 27

Went to New York

July 29

Went to Virginia via Washington DC




August 9

Went to Jamaica and surprised both my mom and sister. Did some poetry readings while in Jamaica.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPJTAhxs7BY - My Love for you

- I am sorry

August 27
Back to Japan and back to my apartment

September 1

Fourth season of my show started today


September 14

My book was sold out in the local book store

September 19

My third birthday in Japan so I went to visit my friend in Kochi Prefecture.

October 8

Started going to a darts bar in Niimi

October 22

Did Karate Exam

November 16

Got my blue belt in Karate today


December 12

Entered a darts competition.

December 23

Went to my first wedding in Japan


December 25

Went to Tokyo for my winter vacation

December 31

Went to a New Year and Congratulations Party in Hiruzen, Maniwa, Okayama, Japan.


Day 1020 { Toy Story 3}
Monday, January 3, 2011

I hope reading my recap was some what interesting, because this week was really boring for me. Today I went to the post office to mail a game to my friend in Yokohoma, only to realize that everywhere was closed. I ended up watching Toy story 3 on my computer. It was very interesting.

Day 1021 {Toyota Prius top selling car of all time}
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Today all I did was paid my rent and my credit card bill then played a bit of Call of duty Black ops.

The Toyota Prius is now the top selling car in Japan, dethroning the Toyota Corolla...

Toyota Motor Corp. sold more than 315,000 units of its Prius gas-electric hybrid in Japan last year, making it the top vehicle in the nation and dethroning the Corolla for the first time in 20 years.

The previous record was held by the Corolla, which Toyota sold about 300,000 of in 1990.

Boosted by government subsidies and tax incentives for environmentally safer cars, the Prius chalked up strong sales with its high fuel-efficiency and low price compared with conventional hybrid cars.



Day 1022 { My TV Arrived :) }
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Paid some money on my car checkup thing today, I have only 1 installment left and I am done.

I received my 37 inch Sharp Aquos TV today, that I bought from Akihabara in Tokyo. Instantly I started replaying ninja Gaiden sigma 1 on it with my PS3. I cannot yet hook up my computer because I need a device to convert analog to digital (DVI - Dsub) So I ordered it on amazon today.


Day 1023 {Last Company Meeting for the school year 2010-2011}

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Went to a company meeting in Okayama city with the other English teachers today. All we did was watched a video and discussed it in groups. The meeting lasted from about 1pm until about 4pm.

When I got back to my city, I ate dinner by myself at a nearby restaurant. It is the first I am eating at this restaurant by myself in a very long time. I don't like going here alone because I hate when everyone just start staring and laughing. It drives me nuts, and I just cannot get used to it. If even one other person, anybody, Japanese or foreigner was there with me I feel a lot better. The kids especially just can't help themselves from staring.


Day 1024 { New Chair }

Friday, January 7, 2011

Stayed in for most of the day. Received the DVI - Dsub converter thing today and I attached it to my TV. So now my computer information can be seen on my 37 inch screen :)

I received some food stuff from my Jamaican friend in Tokyo today. She sent some Jamaican soup packs, a piece of Jamaican Christmas cake, corned beef, sausage and some other stuff :) Thanks Chantell !!!

Later in the evening I went to the darts bar. I won one game of darts out of 3, against the guys who were there. I am almost 100% sure that we won't be seeing much of one of the guys because he now has a new girl friend :) who I also know quite well.

The Darts bar owner asked me to create some DVDs for him with songs by Rihanna and this other artist from Bulgaria name Sahara or Andrea... if you watch this video you will see why he likes her ... Be warned, it is very very sexy... And your wife/girlfriend may become insecure or even fall in love. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBHv0pO94JQ

Maaan Balkan girls are hottt. Anyway, the darts bar owner said if I burned some DVDs for him, he will sell me a nice chair for only 3000 yen. He gave me the chair for the 3000 yen and I will be giving him the DVDs on Monday.


Day 1025 { Multi-Million dollar fish} Saturday, January 8, 2011

Went to Okayama city again today to visit the orthodontist. While going there, I missed my stop and had to walk back for about 7 mins. My orthodontist wasn't there today, so 2 other persons had to attend to me.

Check out this Multi-Million dollar fish

Giant bluefin fetches ¥32 million

A giant bluefin tuna fetched a record ¥32.49 million in Tokyo on Wednesday during the first auction of the year at the world's largest wholesale fish market.

The price for the 342-kg tuna beat the previous record set in 2001 when a 202-kg fish sold for ¥20.2 million, Tsukiji market spokesman Yutaka Hasegawa said. "It was an exceptionally large fish," Hasegawa said. "But we were all surprised by the price."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Days 1012 - 1018 Sunday, December 26, 2010 - Saturday, January 1, 2011

Days 1012 - 1018
Sunday, December 26, 2010 - Saturday, January 1 , 2011

Day 1012 { At Akihabara }
Sunday, December 26, 2010

Spent almost the entire day today in the electronics / games / anime district of Japan name AKIHABARA in Tokyo. Here is a short video clip of my walk in Akihabara http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAAojNMgps8 I went in a couple of stores just to feast my eyes. But I succumbed to the advertisements of these Big screen television sets and ended up buying a 37 inch Sharp Aquos. I chose this one out of the others because the menu can be changed to English. The others can't.


Day 1013 { At Kawasaki in Kanagawa }
Monday, December 27, 2010

Left from Tokyo and made a 30 mins trip to the adjoining prefecture name Kanagawa. I got the directions where to go from a former student of mine in my last job. I plan to spend 2 nights at his place. He got married to a Japanese in May 2009 and moved to Japan in January 2010.

After arriving at the station, my former student met me along with his wife at the station. The name of the area is Kawasaki. We ate at a restaurant then went to a place name book off that sell second hand games and game systems for very cheap. My former student, Jermaine also happen to be a lover of games, only he is a little worst than me. Afterwards I went by their apartment with them and had curry chicken for with them for dinner.



Day 1014 { Shibuya and Uniqlo }
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Went back to the Tokyo area with Jermaine to try and change the TV I bought to a 40inch. But the guys said the 37 inch was already being prepared to go to my apartment so for now it cannot be done. But I can try again when it actually arrives at my apartment.

We then went to the very lively area of Shibuya in Tokyo. I really like the night life in this city... Many people and many things to do daily. The total opposite of where I live now. I bought some heat tech garments ( which I was told can keep people warm ) in a famous store in Japan name uniqlo. We then headed back to Kawasaki


Day 1015 { New Note Book }
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Left from Jermaine's place and went again to Shinjuku to meet a new friend. We walked around a bit then we had dinner at TGIF in Ueno, Tokyo.

She got an iphone 4 today along with a portable wifi thing and a notebook laptop.

She said she didn't want the notebook laptop so she gave it to me :D

Day 1016 { Back to Okayama :( }
Thursday, December 30, 2010

Left from Ueno, Tokyo and bought breakfast at a nearby Starbucks. I then headed for the Tokyo station to take the high speed train ( Shinkansen ) to head for Okayama city. The Tokyo station was packed with people and I wanted to take the 11:10 am train but because there were so many people waiting, I missed that train but I got a seat on the 11:30 train. These trains are super fast but also super expensive. One way from Okayama to Tokyo is equivalent to US$155 and that is for the non-reserved seats.

It takes about 3hr 30 mins on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Okayama city. Got there at about 2:50 pm and saw an ALT from Niimi, at the station in Okayama. He was also in Tokyo for the Christmas. We then took a train back to Niimi.

After experiencing the things I did in 2010, this was really a good winter vacation.

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Day 1017 { New Year and Congratulations Party }
Friday, December 31, 2010

The last day of the year 2010, and I don't plan to spend it in my apartment doing absolutely nothing. Luckily, my friend Marlon, a fellow Jamaican who lives about 1 hour 30 mins from me had invited me to this end of year party that his newly married Italian friend was hosting. His Italian friend who is living in this remote rural town, even more rural than Niimi where I live, got married to a Japanese girl. They are both 25.

left out of my apartment at about 4:30 pm in order to avoid driving in the dark. I drove on the express way for only the second time while living in Japan. It took about 1 hour then I met up with my friend Marlon. We then drove for about 30 mins to his apartment for me to park my car there. The are he live in is known as Yubara, where many hot water baths (onsen) are. There was a lot of snow on the road, and we were going up some mountains. But the journey was not over yet. After parking my car, I drove in his car for another 30-45 mins to go to a place name Hiruzen in some serious snow. I have never seen snow like this in Japan.

We got to the house where the party was going to be held, and I met quite a few persons. We all had a pretty good time there.
******************************** ********************************
Day 1018
あけまして おめでとう ございます
。Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu }

Saturday, January 1, 2011

!!! to every one. Thanks to all of you who have been following my life through this blog.

Trust me, 2010 was a really rough year for me. 2009 started off bad but ended good. 2010 started off bad and continued that way until about July. It went back down hill a bit but really picked up back around the end of October. Any way, next week I will give a run down of my life in 2010.

Today I woke up at the Italian and Japanese couples' house along with a few others who were at the party last night. We had breakfast there then my friend took me to my car which was parked at his apartment covered in snow. While going from the party location to pick up my car, there was snow everywhere. I had to take a few pictures and a video there, because I have never seen snow like this anywhere before. Here is a clip of both the party and the snow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhPcSwxKlBg