Things I Like About Japan

Days 1446 - 1452
Sunday, March 4 - March 10, 2012

Day 1446 (Puma Mystery Shopping / Word Heritage Sites)
Sunday, March 4, 2012

Did my second mystery shopping assignment today. The first one I did was back in 2009 in Okayama city. With mystery shopping, I go in to a flagship name brand store and basically check out some items, check out the store, check out the employees and pretty much look around the store. All this while pretending to be interested in an item or few. At times I can purchase an item and get reimbursed later. After performing this procedure, I should then compile a report within 24 hours of performing the mystery shopping. If the report is done well, I will get paid the following month. Not a lot of money but I will get paid for basically acting like I am shopping.

In 2009 I did it at an Adidas store but never got the chance or I wasn't interested in doing it again until now.
So I went in the Puma store and it took about 3 mins or more for someone to attend to me. The first item on the agenda was to purchase a Puma socks (which I will be reimbursed for), then to check out some shoes (there are some standards to follow when a customer ask for a shoes), then to check out some track suits.

Everything went pretty well except that the lady who was attending to me seemed a bit uncomfortable.

World Heritage Sites

Went to 2 World Heritage sites in Kyoto today. The first one is called Ginkakuji (Silver Pavillion), the second is called Nijo Castle. The truth is that after going to like 2 or three of these temple / shrine / Castle places, I pretty much got tired of them, because they all look the same to me. But it is still somewhere to go with friends.



Day 1447 ( Things I Like About Japan ) 
Monday, March 5, 2012

These are the things I like about Japan so far. They are in random order because I don't know how to rank them.


The train system and general transportation system is probably second to none. Trains are dead on time and can pretty much get you anywhere in Japan except to places like Hokkaido (Way up north) and Okinawa (Way down south) where you have to use the plane or travel by sea.

Its also very easy to shop online with some great online stores like Rakuten and Amazon Japan. Convenience stores (called konbini in Japanese) are open 24 hours and vending machines are just one minute away in any direction. The closest thing to inconvenience I see here is that if by chance you are on the road in a rural area at say 2 or 3 pm, you may not see any taxis but with some luck, an internet cafe maybe nearby.

Easy Access to Other Asian Countries

If you like travelling to random places like me, then Japan is a good hub to access different parts of  Asia for cheap!!! Even cheaper than travelling within Japan. So far, I have only been to The Philippines and South Korea but I plan to go to Malaysia and Singapore pretty soon. I wanted to go to Thailand but Malaysia was much cheaper. I have to visit Thailand though before I leave Japan.


How could I leave this one out? Honestly, I had absolutely no attraction to Asian women before I got to Japan. But then yellow fever hit me and its very hard to cure. I will say no more re this topic.


I love games. I haven't been playing much recently because of various reasons. But all the best games and systems are made here in Japan. They are not cheaper but they are very easily accessible. Almost every major game and gaming consoles are released in Japan first then elsewhere afterwards. Well they are cheaper when compared to Jamaica but much much cheaper in the US.

Many Interesting Places to Visit

Whether you like museums, castles, ancient stuff, modern stuff, roller coasters, zoos, huge aquariums, Tall buildings or whatever, its all here in Japan.

Clean and Safe

This speaks for itself. Outside of the very few ghetto looking places in Japan, the place is exceptionally clean. There are special designated areas to put garbage which must be sorted out.

Also crime is almost non-existent. They occur but its not a big concern. And as you may see in a blog or few ago, I left my leather glove on the train and actually got it back. It is highly unlikely for you to get robbed in Japan, especially foreigners.

There are many more things I like about Japan but I can't think of anymore now.



Day 1448 (Huge Electricity Bill)
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Had buffet style lunch today with my favorite Grade 6 class at my favorite school. The lunch was delicious. They did this buffet style thing because graduation is just around the corner.

After getting back to my apartment happy from the buffet style lunch, I was greeted with this fat electricity bill.

The highest I have ever had to pay in my entire time being in Japan. I don't know if it is the electricity company trying to pull a fast one on me because of their trouble with the Fukushima Nuclear Plant or me using the AC and heater too much to keep me warm in the apartment. Or a grand coalition of both. But this is an eye opener and I shall be using the AC less to heat up the apartment. All if the cold a kill mi. (Patois)



Day 1449 (New Evening Student)
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Another English supporter told me today that she will miss me a lot if I don't come back to that school next year. She also gave me some cookies. This supporter is always giving me random stuff. I of course appreciate them.

A Jamaican friend of mine who was living in Yokohama, but recently moved to another area of the prefecture, introduced me to one of her former students. We were supposed to speak for 30 mins as a practice lesson but we spoke for about 45 mins. He is a scientist who specializes in satellite data and imagery. You don't find people like this walking on the road everyday. Surprisingly he went to Malaysia like last month. And I am planning to go there next month.



Day 1450 (Good bye messages/Another Racist Japanese Old Lady)
Thursday, March 8, 2012

The grade 5 students at my school today gave me 2 "Thank you for teaching us for 1 year" presents.

There is a high chance of me seeing these grade 5 students next year. But the grade 6 students who I won't see again, it was just a normal class. Just good bye and that was all. In one of the grade 6 classes, there is this student that shout random things about Bobby (the African guy who is on TV in Japan) when I am teaching. I normally ignore him but now I'm wondering if I should complain to the teacher.... Its too late now anyway.

In the evening, I had one of those irregular evening English classes with the student who use me as a back up teacher. Her pregnancy is in its advance stage now. We discussed about relationships and she said she and her husband has been together for over 14 years but married for about 7. She also said there was even a 3 year break from the relationship then they got back together.

After the class I sat beside an old lady in the train. she looked like late 60s. And as soon as I sat down, she got up and went way over to another side of the train. I didn't feel so bad because shortly after that old lady got up, a younger, beautiful lady sat right next to me. That felt good actually. I would however really like to ask one of those ladies "Why did you move" ... Is it fear? or just hatred?or both? There must be a reason.



Day 1451 ( Good Bye Grade 6ers at My Main School )
Friday, March 9, 2012

At my main school, I normally eat lunch in the teacher's room along with the vice principal and a few other non-classroom staff. But occasionally I eat lunch with a class. Today I had to eat lunch with the loudest grade 1 class. GRADE 1 !!! After lunch, the kids were all over me, playing with my hair, grabbing my leg etc. Like a gang warfare kind a thing. about 13 of them ganged me.

One grade 6 class sang the song that they are going to do at their graduation. They sounded like a professional group of singers honestly. I couldn't believe it. The teacher also took a photo of us together. I shouldn't be putting up this photo but hey, they don't know about this blog.. Or do they : p
Any way check out that grade 6 kid at the left of the photo... Dude looks like a giant. Those 2 other students beside me at the right are also quite tall for grade 6 students.



Day 1452 ( Stomach Ache Day )
Saturday, March 10, 2012

My friend cooked one of my favorite dishes today, Yaki Soba. It was good but afterwards we both had a slight stomach ache.


Bjorn J Burrows said…
Yellow fever huh? lol oh my...perhaps an announcement soon?
Surya Brissett said…
hey Dave, dont you have videos of you teaching your class?? I would love to see one.
God bless.