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

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Best Japanese Foods / Nanjing Massacre Denial

Days 1432 - 1438
Sunday, February 19 - Saturday, February 25, 2012


Day 1432 ( My Favourite Japanese Foods )
Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nothing special today.

After living in Japan for almost 4 years, these are the foods that I would consider the best. Only 7 of them.

Number 7 - Kakigori (Shaved Ice with syrup and milk)

This is simply shaved ice with syrup, condensed milk and a little water if desired. But it is delicious. Sweet but good. It is chiefly eaten in the summer in Japan and reminds me of something we have in Jamaica called sky juice. But in Jamaica there is no condensed milk in it.


Number 6 - Ebi Fry (Fried Shrimp) 

Yes normal fried shrimp. I never had this outside of Japan and I like it. Probably more on the unhealthy side but we can indulge in some fatty foods every now and then.





Number 5 - Kari Raisu (Curry and Rice) 

This is not Indian curry like what we have in Jamaica. It's Japanese curry. Actually I do prefer the Jamaican style Indian curry but hey, this is Japan and it is a good substitute. This is normally done with potatoes and carrots.





Number 4 - Ebi Pirafu (Shrimp mix up mix up)

Again Shrimp made the list. This is shrimp mixed with rice and some other stuff. Normally green beans and mushroom and some other stuff. Another great food in Japan.


Number 3 - Niku Jaga ( Beef, potatoes, carrots etc )

This is beef mixed with potatoes, onions, carrots and some other food that I have no clue what they are. It normally has a sweetish taste but soooo good.

















Number 2 - Yaki Niku (Literally Translated as cooked/grilled beef/meat)

This was actually originated in Korea but now an almost irremovable part of Japanese culture.You are given a piece of beef or chicken or whatever meat you desire, and you prepare it over a stove that is built in the table.



Number 1 - Yaki tori ( Literally translated cooked/grilled Chicken )

Initially, yaki niku was my favourite until I had some really good yaki tori. Back when I was living in Niimi, Okayama, there was one main shop  that specialized in this. You had to pre-book this place weeks in advance. Sometimes you might get lucky if you just go there randomly. I don't care where this is, I'm going to find it and buy it. Luckily a few places around Yokohama sell this delicious treat.



There you have it, the best foods in Japan. anything else is just normal or down right terrible. I am trying to understand how people like sushi.

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Day 1433 ( Start  Jogging / Flight Booked )
Monday, February 20, 2012 [ 3 Years 11 Months ]

Start Jogging

I should have a football match this Thursday. The final match of the competition for this school year and I am unfit to the 5th power. So I decided to start jogging today. I did it in the night because I can't deal with the stares. Even then, the few people that see me jogging are still staring. I jogged down the mountain twice then back up twice. I felt like I was going to die. My heart was pumping so hard. The worst thing is that I only jogged for like 12 minutes.

My aunt who is a nurse that lives in Atlanta, eventually called me and said she was heading for the gym. So I told her that I just finished jogging after not exercising for a very long time. She said that was dangerous for my body and might shock my heart. So she recommended that I walked first then eventually start to jog.

Flight Booked

I finally booked my flight after searching like crazy on the internet for cheap flights. I wanted to go to Bankok, Thailand for my spring vacation but the flights were to expensive for just a few days. So I booked a flight to Malaysia and I plan to make a trip to Singapore while there. I booked the flight on air asia and got a 4 day trip for US $330.

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Day 1434 ( Nanjing Massacre Denied)
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I taught evening class to the teacher at one of my schools today. We spoke about travelling again. She made a cookie for other teachers in the school, and she also made one for me as well.

I then jogged for 22 minutes afterwards. This time I went up and down the mountain 3 times.





Nanjing Massacre Denial


Ok so apparently the world knows about the atrocities that Japan committed before world war 2. But it seem as if some Japanese are totally unaware of this. Or refuse to accept the fact that they did. A major thing they did was when they invaded a part of China and did some really messed up stuff there. The pictures of this are all over the internet. Many Chinese were killed and raped in this invasion attempt. Estimates outside of Japan go from 250,0000 - 400,000 deaths. But in Japan from 40,000 - 200,000. With some persons totally denying that this event ever happened. Like this idiot......


Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura riled China on Monday by telling a visiting official he doubts the 1937 Nanjing Massacre ever happened.


The 63-year-old Nagoya mayor, whose father was in Nanjing when the war ended in 1945, told Liu Zhiwei, a member of the Chinese Communist Party's Nanjing City Standing Committee, that he believes only "conventional acts of combat" took place there, not the mass murder and rape attributed in history books to the Imperial Japanese Army.
"Why were people in Nanjing kind to Japanese soldiers only eight years after the incident?" Kawamura asked, referring to his father's memory of the event. "I could go to Nanjing and attend a debate on the history of the city, if necessary," he said.


http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120221a3.html

Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura refused to retract his contentious comments about the veracity of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre and said he is ready to visit the city to explain his views. "I don't have any intentions of retracting my comments or apologizing," Kawamura told reporters.


http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120223a5.html


Then the Chinese hacked the website of a zoo in Nagoya, where the mayor that made the comment is from.

 The website of a city-run zoo in Nagoya was hacked to display messages demanding that Japan acknowledge the 1937 massacre of Chinese civilians in Nanjing, officials said.


The posted messages, which included kanji believed to show a Chinese personal name, followed Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura's recent denial of the Nanjing Massacre.
The posting in Japanese included messages stating "The history is manipulated!" and "Please acknowledge the Nanjing Massacre!" displayed along with a full-body photo of a man, which appeared after clicking on Chinese characters shown on the top page of the website, city officials said.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120225a5.html

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Day 1435 ( Lost Glove / No Contract for Niimi 2012-2013 )
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lost Glove

After work today, I put my tam/knitted cap on my head and left. Some students saw me and said I looked scary. Next time I will ask them if a Japanese man also look scary when wearing it.

I was messing with my phone in the train after work then forgot my brand new leather glove in the train. I had to call the station. Luckily they had it. If this was Jamaica....No comments.

I jogged for 15 minutes today after work. Only went up and down the mountain twice.

No contract for Niimi 

I learnt about 3 weeks now that the company I work for lost the contract for Niimi, Okayama (the area I lived for 3 years). Seven English teachers will have to relocate to other areas now. Whether home or other parts in Japan. Niimi is really rural but its fun and the people there are friendly to foreigners. No wonder 12 foreigners live relatively close by each other. I don't know anywhere else where this kind of situation is. I live in Yokohama now, and I would be lucky if I saw a foreigner anywhere near my apartment.


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Day 1436 ( Final Company Meeting for 2011-2012 )
Thursday, February 23, 2012

Collected my glove at the station after work then went to a company meeting. The final meeting for the 2011-2012 school year. About 5 persons gave very good presentations about their experiences in Japan.
We took a group photo after the meeting. Sorry guys, if there are any objections to your photo being  on my blog, I will have it removed. No objections, it will stay there :)


I should have had the football match this evening but it got cancelled because of rain. I actually brought my umbrella to the meeting today and left with it, but somehow I lost it. I had 3 umbrellas at the end of September. Now..... Zero.


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Day 1437 ( Kidnapped in Jamaica )
Friday, February 24, 2012

Met up with my old friend from England, Peter. He was my partner for a presentation back when we just got here in 2008. Since then, we have tried to stay in contact. He lives wayyy down south in a prefecture called Saga, but before that he spent 2 years in Iwate, one of the prefectures that got really messed up by the March 11, 2011 earthquake.

He is now in Tokyo visiting, so I introduced him to my favourite Jamaican restaurant in Shibuya. I also introduced him to ackee. He told me that he lives in a shared apartment with a male and a female Japanese. He said the Japanese guy is a Jamaican enthusiast who loves EVERYTHING about Jamaica. So much so that he visited Jamaica once. But when he visited Jamaica, he and 4 other friends got kidnapped. Its the second time in Japan I am hearing about tourists getting kidnapped in Jamaica. He said the 5 of them got kidnapped for about 3 days, then they eventually just ran away from the kidnappers. It almost sounds unreal....

Afterwards we met up with one of Peter's other old friends who work for the same branch as me. But he lives in another area. He is from California. We went to starbucks where the 3 of us chatted for a while. To my surprise, I saw 3 of the foreigners who live in Niimi, walking in the crowd of people in Shibuya. I called one of them but they were already heading for a restaurant.

Peter should be heading back for England at the end of March after doing a tour of South east asia. His friend invited us to some sort of get together tomorrow, that he himself is uncertain of what exactly it is.


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Day 1438 ( Accidental Setting up Party / Accidental Goukon or Konpa )
Saturday, February 25, 2012

Met up with Peter, his friend from yesterday and another of his friends from England. 2 of them met me at the station in an area of Tokyo known as Ebisu. We then went to a restaurant where the American guy was waiting for us. When we got there, we were surprised by the amount of persons in the restaurant. More than 30 men and women. Eventually after 2 drinks, everyone just started chatting away and it was so much fun. Peter's friend from England then realized that this type of meeting is not your normal Japanese eating and drinking party. It is one of those things where people go to meet others with the hope of getting a second date. Basically a setting up/hooking up dinner party (Goukon / Konpa). People there were from all over Japan. I had no clue that this was what I was going to. Nor did I realize while I was there. But none of the foreigners cared we were just chatting away and having a good time.



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Hey Patrice, when we use the cards we get points that we can use in the future to purchase other stuff. The points are like cash. Each time you buy, depending on the amount you spend, you get a certain amount of points. I think in Jamaica the magna card is similar, not sure.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Japanese Resilience

Days 1425 - 1431
Sunday, February 12 - Saturday, February 18, 2012


Day 1425 (Japanese Resilience)
Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stayed in all day.

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Japanese Resilience 

I saw this article and thought it was worth sharing. In just 11 months you can see some of the major reconstruction efforts done after the big earthquake in March 11, 2011. My dad's house was knocked down by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and its still probably just there. Any thats his fault I believe.


Japan’s Reconstruction Agency will be inaugurated Friday, almost 11 months after an earthquake and tsunami devastated the country. The agency will streamline the process to help municipalities, set up special reconstruction zones and provide subsidies for disaster-hit local governments.
YASUYOSHI CHIBA/TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images
This combination of pictures shows a catamaran sightseeing boat washed by the tsunami onto a two-storey tourist home in Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture on April 16, 2011 (top) and the same area on January 16, 2012 (bottom).
245 — Cost in billions of dollars of the post disaster reconstruction package.
15,846 — Number of dead.
3,320 — People still missing.
2 — Number of missing people found dead this year.
240 — Number of orphans in the three most severely affected prefectures, Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima.
16 — Million tons of disaster waste in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the hardest hit areas of Japan.
2.4 — Drop in millions of tourists to Japan in 2011 from a year previously.
6 — Approximate months lost in the average life expectancy for a Japanese woman following the disasters, down from 86.4 years in 2010 to 85.9 in 2011.
3 — Approximate months lost in the average life expectancy for a Japanese man, down from 79.5 years in 2010 to 79.27 in 2011.









































http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02/09/see-how-japan-has-rebuilt-in-the-11-months-since-the-earthquake-and-tsunami/

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Day 1426 (Course Complete/Fatal Shooting)
Monday, February 13, 2012

Usual day at work. Finally submitted my last paper for the course that I am doing. So I'm just waiting for the results now. I went to bed at 4 am this morning completing the course.

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You almost never hear of incidents like this in Japan. In Jamaica however, no comments!!!


Mobster dead in eatery shooting

An apparently underworld member gunned down another yakuza in a crowded Denny's eatery in Togane, Chiba Prefecture, and then fled, police said.



The shooter, thought to be a gangster in his 60s, remains at large. The victim, Yoshiaki Furukawa, 62, from Kujyukuri, also apparently a yakuza, was shot in the chest. The gunman fled by car from the Denny's Togane Bypass outlet at around 10:05 a.m.
Police, who suspect the killing stemmed from money troubles, set up checkpoints on key routes.
Furukawa entered the Denny's with four others at 8:45 a.m. He started talking with the gunman, who came in shortly before 10 a.m., at another table near the door before he was shot.


http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120214a9.html

The Japan Police thinks they know who did the shooting.


Police continued their manhunt Tuesday for a 65-year-old man wanted in the fatal shooting the previous day of a 62-year-old man in a restaurant in Togane, Chiba Prefecture.
Witnesses said Chong Yong Bom, who also goes by the Japanese name Tomio Ishikawa, fled with the gun after shooting Yoshiaki Furukawa at around 10:05 a.m. at a Denny's restaurant, according to the police.

And look at the dude who they suspect.











http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120215a1.html


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Day 1427 (Happy Valentine's Day)
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Took another day from work today, mainly because I was tired from staying up all night completing my final paper for my course. But also because I was sneezing like crazy.

Got a pair of leather gloves today. :) I also went out in the evening to Shibuya at an Italian style restaurant.


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Day 1428 ( Radiation Machine / Japanese  Point Cards)
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Worked like normal today. The vice principal showed me today that the Board of Education gave every school a radiation checking device. So she checked the radiation level around her desk area, and it was a very very low reading she said.





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Japanese Point cards

I am unsure of anywhere else in the world where almost every shop, pharmacy, restaurant or retail business have a point card. Check out a couple of the cards that I walk around with on a daily basis. I have a special pouch that I keep some in, while others I keep in my wallet.




















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Day 1429 ( Cheap Flights )
Thursday, February 16, 2012

2 members from the Board of Education came to view my class today. It was more of a school inspection rather than a English class inspection.

I found out about this website where you can book cheap flights within Asia. But you have to use a credit card. Its called Air Asia.

http://www.airasia.com/jp/en/home.page




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Day 1430 ( Hit the Clubs )
Friday, February 17, 2012

Met a friend of mine who went to my university and now living in China. He is visiting for a short while. So I met him in Yokohama then we rushed to Shibuya to go to the Jamaican restaurant to meet up with some other friends.

After we left the restaurant, we went to a club in the night.


                                                         

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Day 1431 ( Meeting Friends/In Time )
Saturday, February 18, 2012

Went out with my friend to meet up with a Jamaican girl who was on my facebook friends list for the longest while, but just meeting her in person today. There are a few persons like this on my facebook friends list actually. We ate at a fast food restaurant name Moss Burger, then I ran to a part of Tokyo name Ikebukuro to meet an old friend of mine. He introduced me to the whole Jamaica Baptist Union Youth department thing back in 2002. Wow 10 years ago. He is now living in Bermuda and working as a director in the central bank there. He came to Japan on a business trip.






We then went to see a movie name "In Time" starring Justin Timberlake. The concept was interesting and the action wasn't too bad. But some of the acting was a bit off in my estimate and something was missing and a bit too predictable. It had the potential of being a great film however. I give it 6/10











Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Twang

Days 1418 - 1424
Sunday, February 5 - Saturday, February 11, 2012 



Day 1418 ( Duke Powell Show )
Sunday, February 5, 2012


Went to church today then watched a few youtube videos made by this guy Duke Powell who is Jamaican/Canadian.

His shows are really funny. He comments on other youtube videos and on news worthy stuff. This one was one of my favourites.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ2VlcFXMNE&feature=plcp&context=C386da39UDOEgsToPDskK6jrWpslup2SH8a2VruspV

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Day 1419 (Epileptic Seizure / Sony and Panasonic Losing Big) 
Monday, February 6, 2012

Today after teaching a grade 3 class at one of my schools, I told the children and teacher good bye and was leaving. Then suddenly, I saw the teacher rushed past me and grabbed the phone in the classroom. When I looked around, I saw a child on the floor shaking frantically. This was my first time seeing a child having a seizure. And I was quite shocked.

Some years ago while going to church in Jamaica, a lady would occasionally experience it. But this was the first in a very long time I am seeing this sickness in action. I had no idea what to do, I just stood there staring with my mouth wide open. The other children were also watching in fear and was wondering what was going on. I slowly moved away and then the school nurse rushed up stairs.

This is what I like about the efficiency though in Japan. By the time I got downstairs, I heard the ambulance coming. And by the time I looked outside the window, the ambulance was already there. Basically about 5 minutes from the beginning of the seizure, to the ambulance coming. I wonder how long it would take the ambulance to come if it was Jamaica??? I don't even want to think about it. Anyway, the teacher came to me and said everything will be fine and I shouldn't worry about it. I was actually wondering if it was my class that triggered her seizure. But the teacher said that the  child had this situation since she was 3 years old. But it never affected her again until today.

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Sony, Panasonic keep sliding as Samsung soars



Japan's biggest makers of phones, TVs and microchips say they'll lose about $17 billion this year, about three-quarters of what Samsung Electronics Co. will spend on research to lengthen the lead over its competitors.


Sony Corp. more than doubled its annual loss forecast for the year ending March 31 as it named a new chief executive officer, while Panasonic Corp. and Sharp Corp. predicted the worst losses in their histories. Their combined losses compare with the $22 billion that Samsung, Asia's largest consumer electronics company, said it will invest in capital expenditures.


Japanese companies hurt by a stronger yen, flooding that swamped their Thai factories and weaker demand for their TVs may not be able to regain ground lost to Samsung and Apple Inc. That's prompting Sony and Panasonic to focus on sectors including medical devices, solar panels and rechargeable batteries in an effort to revive earnings.


http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nb20120207n2.html



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Day 1420 (The Twang)
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I didn't go to work today again. This is the 5th day I used since April 2011. Don't think I'm going to use anymore for now. Staying home is boring. Although I stayed home completing the final paper for my course.

I also had an evening class, teaching English to a teacher at one of my schools. Her English level is very basic. So we communicate mostly in Japanese. But she is slowly understanding.

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The Twang

Ok I just randomly decided to post about twanging. What is a twang?  It is A strongly nasal tone of voice, especially as a peculiarity of certain regional dialectshttp://www.thefreedictionary.com/twang
Now, all along I thought this was a word only used in Jamaica. I had no idea it was an actual word. However, in Jamaica this word "twang" almost always means a Jamaican who visited a foreign country (some only need to  get the passport or visa of that country) then suddenly loses their native Jamaican accent and start sounding like persons from that other foreign country.

This phenomenon is many times ridiculed, laughed at or at worst scorned by many Jamaicans. This is arguably though a natural thing if you are constantly around others who speak a certain way. It also depends on the will-power of a person as well. Almost all Jamaicans I know living in a foreign country or spend a long time there, has been in someway affected by this changing of the way they speak. Some say it suddenly came upon them without them even realizing it. Due to the fact they are around people who constantly speak with a foreign accent. In other words they are saying that it is a natural phenomenon. Heck, even my friend from England told me that some children I taught, spoke with a strong Jamaican accent after teaching them for only a year.Others, say they totally have control over it and change the way they speak, in order to allow people from other countries to understand them properly. But as soon as they are speaking to a native Jamaican, they will speak with their Jamaican accent. Yet still, others do it because they want people to know (or think, in some cases) that they are living in or at least visited another country. They won't say this, but we know it is the case at times. This one is a bit suspicious especially if the person visited a foreign country only for a short while.

But woe be unto the one that returns to Jamaica with that new "twang". Well actually it depends. In the rural areas you will be seen as a foreigner or at least someone who can afford to visit other countries. In other words, seen as rich or near rich. However, in the urban areas, it is possible that you will be mocked, ridiculed or laughed at. Not all the time but it is possible. Again, it is strange though when someone only visit that foreign country for a month or even less, and suddenly loses their native accent. It is even more suspicious if that person haven't even visited a foreign country before. As is the case with a good friend of mine in university, I will call no names...

My cousin told me that I was "twanging", when I went back to Jamaica to attend my late cousin's funeral in 2009 (actually tomorrow is the 3 year anniversary of his death). But no one else said it to me. She said when I went back to Jamaica again in summer of 2009, my accent sounded naturally like a Jamaican again, unlike in February????

My conclusion though is that, I think it is natural if someone lived in a foreign country for a long time, and chiefly interact with others who speak a certain way, to start speaking similarly. It doesn't matter what country the persons are from. It is however possible for others to retain their native accent if they try hard enough to. I have heard Japanese with a strong American English accent, while others have a strong England English accent, yet still others have a Jamaican English accent. Are they twanging?


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Day 1421 (Get Well Card)
Wednesday, February 8, 2012



Today I made and sent a get well card to the grade 3 child who had the seizure at the end of my class on Monday. I asked one of the English supporters to write a message for me in Japanese and I translated it in English.











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Day 1422 ( Many Airports in Japan  May Close Soon)
Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just work like normal today....

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Japan has 98 airports, and most of them are operating in the red as a result of exaggerated demand forecasts and rampant, costly and arguably pork-barrel construction projects. The transport ministry hopes to mitigate the problem by selling off the management rights to 27 state-owned airports as soon as 2014. The ministry also plans to issue an airport reform blueprint by summer.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120207i1.html









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Day 1243 ( Drinking Party )
Friday, February 10, 2012

Went to a drinking party with one of my schools tonight. I was invited by the teacher who I teach English to on Tuesday evenings. The drinking party was fun but after playing a gesture type game with them, I felt bad afterwards. The game involved us gesturing like a famous Japanese character that everyone would more than likely know. But because I am not so familiar with Japanese celebrities, I asked if I could act like someone who works at the school or better yet, someone present at the party. They agreed and they were waiting for me to begin gesturing. But I asked them for someone else to go first then I would go afterwards.


So a teacher went ahead and described how someone in the restaurant with us normally reacts. About 5 of us thought of the correct person. Then it was my turn. I tried to act like a teacher and after 2 attempts, most persons knew who I tried to act like. And they found it pretty funny. Afterwards, I did another one, I tried to act like the vice principal who was sitting next to me. No one guessed it. I thought  for a while that they knew, but pretended not to because they didn't want to embarrass the vice principal. So I was feeling a bit weird. I asked the vice principal if he knew who I was tying to act like. He said yes he knows. Eventually one person gave the correct answer, but the room felt a little awkward afterwards.

So I asked the lady who invited me if she thinks the vice principal felt weird that I tried to act like him. But she assured me that it was fine. I am still wondering about it though.

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Day 1244 ( Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol)
Saturday, February 11, 2012

A friend of mine who attended university with me, was studying in China through a scholarship he got from Jamaica. I was 2 years ahead of him in university and he is now visiting Japan in the Tokyo area.

Met up with my friend today and we walked around Tokyo a bit. We watched Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. It was a good watch I think, but some parts were a bit predictable. I give it 7.5/10.

We also went to a famous Japanese store name Donkiote. Where I bought some stuff for my apartment. Afterwards we went to a restaurant in the evening. We saw these things going on in Tokyo.





Monday, February 6, 2012

Yokohama and Niimi/Extremely Cold Week

Days 1411 - 1417
Sunday, January 29 - Saturday, February 4, 2012 



Day 1411 ( Differences Between Yokohama and Niimi )
Sunday, January 29, 2012

Today we had another big earthquake. No stranger to Yokohama. I was in a coffee shop with my friend while she was studying for a test. Then suddenly a big tremor. But it only lasted like 5 seconds.

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Stewart that is an interesting question which lead me to write this week about the major differences I experienced between Niimi and Yokohama.

To answer you though, in Niimi I realized that initially most people were just curious. But after they got to know me, they were some of the best persons I met on earth SERIOUSLY!!! I still have at lease 5 really good Japanese friends from Niimi. One of them even referred to me as his best friend. I can't recall experiencing any kind of racist behaviour from Japanese in Niimi. So in Niimi, some people maybe a bit xenophobic. But people were interested in knowing the foreigners.

I really can't say the same for Yokohama though. I think both xenophobia and racism exist here. I get a  strong feeling that some persons here in Yokohama don't know you and really don't wish to know you if you are a foreigner. Even the children I teach in Yokohama seem more xenophobic/racist than the ones in Niimi.

So here are the differences that I can think of now.

Location

The major difference is that Yokohama is in eastern Japan while Niimi is in western Japan. Eastern and western Japan has 2 different cultures in general.

Population

Yokohama has 100 times more people than Niimi. No I'm not kidding. Niimi has a population of a little over 30,000 while Yokohama has a population of over 3,000,000.

Size


Surprisingly enough Niimi is almost twice the size of Yokohama. Niimi is 793km sq (306 sq miles) while Yokohama is 437 km sq ( 168 sq miles )


People

Niimi  people were really kind and friendly. But not many people are like that in Yokohama.

Popularity

Almost everyone in Japan knows about Yokohama, which is just a city in the prefecture/state of Kanagawa (Well the largest city in Japan actually). Yokohama is even more popular than Kanagawa prefecture name wise.

But ask anybody anywhere in Japan about Niimi. Outside of the people in the Okayama prefecture where Niimi is, there is a 99.99 % possibility of them never hearing about it.

Opportunities

There are more opportunities for side jobs in Yokohama but my pay was higher in Niimi. They gave us a higher pay because Niimi is in the middle of nowhere. However, at the same time, I had a TV show in Niimi. This made me immensely popular other than the fact that I am Jamaican. I signed up with 2 model/acting kind of agency in Tokyo but nothing :( too many foreigners around.

I have to say though that anywhere in Japan a foreigner goes they will be stared at. The only places I got few stares at are Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kobe/Sannomia area.

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Day 1412
Monday, January 30, 2012

Just sat in after work doing nothing.

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Day 1413 ( Blizzard Deaths )
Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Again just stayed in, playing games and surfing the internet because my student canceled today.


51 deaths laid to blizzards; more snow forecast


Blizzard conditions had caused 51 deaths nationwide as of Tuesday, and most of the victims died while trying to remove snow accumulations, the government said.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency found that 35 of the casualties were aged 65 or older and that 42 died while removing snow, including those who fell from roofs while shoveling snow.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120202a7.html


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Day 1414
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Met a friend of mine in Shibuya, Tokyo after work today. We had dinner and talked a bit about random stuff.


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Day 1415 ( More Blizzard)
Thursday, February 2, 2012

Another Lazy day after work.


Deadly blizzards have wreaked havoc in coastal areas along the Sea of Japan, including an avalanche that killed three spa bathers.
The latest blizzards have claimed over 50 lives and snow levels are nearing levels last seen in 2006, when around 150 people died amid the bitter cold.



http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120203a1.html

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Day 1416 ( More Salsa and More Cold News )
Friday, February 3, 2012

I met up with a friend of mine in an area of Tokyo name Nakameguro. We ate at an expensive restaurant then we went to salsa club in Roppongi, Tokyo.


Japan experienced severe cold weather Friday and morning temperatures dropped to record lows at 38 locations nationwide, the Meteorological Agency said.

From Tohoku to Kyushu, 16 prefectures recorded their lowest temperatures ever, including the town of Kusu in Oita Prefecture, where the mercury fell to minus 14.7 degrees, and Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, where the temperature plunged to minus 8.4.
Temperatures were below zero early Friday at more than 90 percent of 927 observation points across Japan, the agency said.
The lowest figure was minus 32.6 in Esashi, Hokkaido.



http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120204a1.html


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Day 1417 ( Cancel Day )
Saturday, February 4, 2012

Was supposed to go to the movies with a friend of mine but it got canceled. I was to also meet up with some friends in an area called Ofuna but that too I cancelled because I thought I was going to the movies to see Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol.