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

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Days 1124 - 1130 Sunday, April 17, 2011 - Saturday, April 23 , 2011

Days 1124 - 1130
Sunday, April 17, 2011 - Saturday, April 23 , 2011

Day 1124
Sunday, April 17, 2011

Went to a nearby area name Kamio oka to meet a friend of mine. We then had lunch there.


Day 1125 { Busy at Work }
Monday, April 18, 2011

Worked straight through for 8:40 - 3:00 today, with only a brief 20 mins break and about a 1 hour lunch break. Doing pretty much the same self introduction for all the classes. I have been doing this for the past week and a half. So I see where I will be doing 1 lesson for 2 - 3 weeks because of the size of the schools.

At the school today, I take a bus there and back to my apartment. So I have to wait at a bus stop. There is a Jr. High school attached to the elementary school that I teach at and ooh boy, Jr. High school kids (13-15). Apparently they do quite a bit of training there for random sports like tennis, baseball, basketball and you name it. So many of them will jog pass me while I am waiting for a bus. When the girls jog pass they all say hello one after the other. But after answering like the 10th hello it becomes a bit annoying.

Then there are the boys. Today, I heard a guy shouted out "Bobby Ologun" .." ボビーオロゴン" That is actually this Nigerian dude who is a famous comedian in Japan. (Look at me.. Am I not infinitely more handsome than this dude?...lol 笑....) Anyway, shortly after that, some other Jr. High school guys were jogging by then a guy just suddenly started shouting son koku, son koku, after passing me. I am not sure what they were saying but I am pretty sure it has something to do with me being black. The only thing I could think of is son goku from Dragon Ballz, but they changed it to son koku ... and koku-jin actually means a black person in Japanese.

I guess it comes with the territory. I like to travel and to experience other cultures. It just so happens that I am black. And Asians in general as well as quite a few Americans surprisingly, have limited exposure to black people outside of those in the USA... Maybe even those in the USA they have little contact with..... I say this because I came across quite a few racist or near racist Americans back in Okayama. Some of them tried to hide it, but it still ended up coming out some way or the other. But what can you really do if someone don't like you because of your race??? Or deliberately try to make crude jokes, gestures, highlight the negatives and ignore the positives etc. about you or your race? What can you do? I choose to ignore the situation and/or the persons involved. I almost never fight back in any way. I believe I am mature enough not to go down that street with them.

I know of persons who purposely misquote or mis-represent the core of who I am just because....But I digress. Racism has been here since Bible days and it probably never will leave. Almost every country has it, maybe with the exception of places like say Brazil and Jamaica to an extent. With strong mixed populations. It even feels strange for me to be writing about this stuff, when in Jamaica it is almost never discussed.

For example look at this Chinese Jamaican http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YW3TmlslGo&feature=related

Here is a white Jamaican http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DaedQloZvA

Indian Jamaican http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hje3xnoz32I


Day 1126 { Yurekuru / Earthquake #6&7 / Starting School }

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I downloaded this application for the iphone name yurekuru call that actually warns me when an earthquake is going to shake the area where I am located. The phone will start to make a funny sound then 30 seconds after, the earthquake follows. That happened twice today. Once at about 2:00 am (yes I was still up) and once at about 7 pm. The 2 am earthquake was actually in my prefecture... Yikes!!! They are getting closer and closer :( ..... In a very weird way, the small shaking actually feels a bit exciting and scary at the same time.

Surviving kids and a teacher, hopes to resume school.

Classes start this week at Okawa Elementary School. But 74 of the 108 students will never come back. They died in last month's tsunami. All but one of the dozen teachers also perished.

The school's main building is ripped open. Trees jam into second-floor classrooms and the gym and playground have been reduced to muddied concrete foundations.

All along the battered northeastern coast, schools have been heavily damaged or converted to shelters, and families are without jobs, permanent homes or cars. But the country is determined to move ahead with one of its rites of spring: the start of the school year in April, even as some parents and children grieve.



Day 1127 {3 Years 1 Month / Football again}
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

After work today, I played football with the grade 6 kids. Some of them who are unbelievably good. One guy boasts that he can go 3000 none stop juggling the ball. Another guy said he could go up to 1000. They call the 3000 juggling guy Torres (Spanish soccer player shown in the pic-But now with the English League) and he has his jersey as well. I have never even attempted to juggle beyond 100, because I have never stayed more than a year training for a football team or tried to go beyond 100. Anyway, I decided to play on a team against these 2 guys and sure enough they were pretty good. They hammered my team with me being exhausted by the first 10 minutes or so.

As I type this now, my yurekuru call just went off, but the earthquake was too far away for me to feel it.


Day 1128 { Earthquake #8 }
Thursday, April 21, 2011

Went to what I think is my tamest school this morning, but I could not locate the school's entrance. The entrance I went through last week, was apparently not the main entrance. I had to call my company, who called the school and told them to let me in. The staff at this school is trying to get me to come to their welcome party. I do want to go but with a cost of 7500 yen, I am not so sure about it at all. Plus I have a meeting with my head teacher and other teachers in my area on this day. More than likely they will want to go out or something.

Felt another small earthquake in the night.

Day 1129 { Earthquake #9 }
Friday, April 22, 2011

Felt another small earthquake at about 1 am, shortly after the one last night.
I got the bus right on time this morning. A teacher promised me to show me the way to this school by walking, so I'm waiting for that. I can walk but still claim money from my company. Its only a 10 minutes walk I was told. I walk like 20 minutes to one of my schools, so this should be no problem.

The classes I had today went pretty well. I now notice, like what one of the English teachers told me that, at these city schools, its the younger kids that are harder to deal with. Like grades 4 down to 1. The grade 6, 5 and some 4s seem relatively well behaved. Except when there are 3-4 groups, the 3rd and 4th groups are almost always a bit noisy.

I went to the chicken restaurant in the night and had quite a few stuff there to eat. Delicious I tell you, and only 3 minutes away by foot.


Day 1130 { Bad Publicity cartoon }
Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stayed in all day and read manga and watched anime. I was so lazy to go anywhere that I called dominoes again to ordered some great food.

The New York times published this cartoon that immediately caused the Japanese to lodge a protest.... America again, why am I not surprised.

The Japanese Consulate General in New York lodged a protest with New York Times Co. on Thursday for publishing a cartoon in which Snow White, carrying a newspaper with the headline "Japan nuclear radiation," asks an old woman offering an apple if she comes from Japan.

The consulate said that since the cartoon refers to a story in "Grimm's Fairy Tales" in which Snow White falls into a stupor after biting a poisoned apple, it may stir up what the consulate called unfounded anxieties over the safety of food from Japan.

The cartoon was carried on the editorial page of the Thursday edition of the International Herald Tribune, which is owned by the New York Times.

In the cartoon, Snow White looks skeptically at the apple through a magnifying glass and says to the old woman, who is dressed like a witch: "Wait a minute! Do you come from Japan?"



Latasha said...

lol i found that snow white cartoon funny. /shot

glad to see you having fun in yokohama. about the racism thing. I was having this conversation recently with another ALT too. I'm still new here though and have no blatant experiences. I hope it stays that way.

SON KOKU! >< it's funny though because you:d think in yokohama it'd be less strange to see foreigners

Anonymous said...

Though Tokyo is not particularly close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant - this CNN video may change your mind about staying in Japan.


Anonymous said...

More reasons to leave