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

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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.




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.


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.




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.

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?



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.



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

Just work like normal today....


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.




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.



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.

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