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

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Things NOT to do in Japan

Days 1488 - 1494
Sunday, April 15 - Saturday, April 21, 2012 


Day 1488 ( One Piece Museum )
Sunday, April 15, 2012

Went to Roppongi in Tokyo today to check out this museum that a friend of mine told me about. It is a temporary museum with stuff about my current favourite Japanese animation, One Piece. At this museum, they showed the progress of One piece from its beginnings in 1997 until now. The story gets more and more interesting as time progresses. They also showed us some information about the creator of one piece, Oda Eiichiro as well as random clips from the anime.

I got the information and the pictures from the site below.

 From March 20th, 2012 to June 17th, 2012 Mari Arts Canter Gallery, Roppongi Hills , Tokyo. 2000 yen to get in for an adult.
The exhibition, which marks the 15th year since the manga was first published, was creadted under the supervision of the priginal creater, Eiichiro Oda himself —- guaranteeing that the world of ONE PIECE is accurately and uncompromisingly displayed. It’s also one of the largest , ever, with the exhibition spanning the entire 52th floor of Roppongi hills.

http://www.kawaiikakkoiisugoi.com/2012/04/09/one-piece-x-roppongi-hills/

After looking around the museum for about 2 hours, I bought some One piece merchandise.























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Day 1489 ( First Day 2012-2013 / Things NOT to do in Japan )
Monday, April 16, 2012

First Day 2012-2013

Today was my first day of work for this school year (2012-2013). I had 5 classes and had to do a speech for coming back. All I said in Japanese was "I am happy about coming to this school again. Please treat me well this year also."


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Things NOT to do in Japan

This list of things NOT to do in Japan is not exhaustive but are simply the ones I can think of now. There are many more taboos.

Don't - Make too much noise in your apartment

I occasionally do this while either talking with friends on the phone or in person. Sometimes while playing Modern Warfare as well. At times I will hear a knock on the wall from the neighbors. This is not good though, because I can get kicked out of your apartment quite easily, especially because I am a foreigner.

To be honest though, foreigners have a nasty reputation where noisy apartments are concerned in Japan.



Don't - Talk on cell phone in trains

This is considered bad manners. Some people still do it but at the risk of people staring them down, whether Japanese or foreigner. This thing has been stomped in my mind so deeply that when I was in Malaysia and Singapore, I didn't even bother to turn on my phone while in the trains. I think this has something to do with the elderly Japanese and their pace makers, and the cell phone possibly can mess up their pace maker.

Don't - Call to "SOME" of your students/team teachers out of work

If you don't want to be embarrassed, then when you see a student/former student and some teachers you know, then just keep your head straight and go about your business. Some will call to you but others.... They will totally ignore you.

This has happened to me quite a few times where your students/former students and some time teachers act like they don't have a clue who you are in the supermarket. Even this morning I saw some of my favourite students from last year (now in Jr. High ), who I would jump around and have fun with, all turning their heads away from me when I tried to wave to them. It of course broke my heart but what to do? This is Japan!! I have to keep reminding myself. Again it is not all of them who are like this, just quite a few.

Don't - Wear your outside shoes, inside someone's apartment/house

Even schools and some other places have special slippers for inside. Other persons have their special inside shoes or slippers. I am not quite sure where this practice came from. I think it has something to do with keeping the inside clean and or respecting the building.






NEVER - Say or hint to Japanese people that they resemble Chinese or Koreans

Even though we still can't really tell them apart, DO NOT under any circumstance even hint to a Japanese that they resemble a Korean or even worst a Chinese. Well that is if you want to be friends with them. Every time I say to a Japanese person that many Japanese think I am African, but we in Jamaica think they are Chinese, the air suddenly becomes uncomfortably silent. A few are open to it but the vast majority aren't.


Don't - try to stop a fight if you happen to see one

If you do, the possibility exist that you and the fighters are going to go to jail. And if you can't speak Japanese, then you are in big trouble.


Try not to leave food in your plates

The custom here is to eat every grain of rice and every piece of vegetable or meat given to you. You are excused only if you are allergic to something or if you indicated earlier that you don't like a particular food.











Don't - Ever Ever Drink and Drive

If you do this you will probably be deported or at least go to jail. If you are lucky, you may get off. There is a 0% tolerance for drinking and driving here, even drinking and riding is a crime.

Don't - stick Chop Sticks in the rice

This indicates that the food is for a dead person.














Don't - pass your food from chop stick to Chop Stick

This is also a funeral custom where cremated bones of a family member are passed down from one person to another using a chop stick.

Don't - Be late

We Jamaicans have a very bad reputation where this is concerned. But in Japan, we have to try our best to be early.. Not even on-time is acceptable. EARLY!!

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Day 1490 ( The Hit list / Triple murderer Gets Death Sentence ) 
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Played some games after work today then watched a movie called the hit list. The story was strange and seemed unlikely. The acting was mediocre to bad. It was also a bit predictable. So I didn't really like it. I give it a 4.5/10. While watching the movie, I was actually rearranging my apartment. I switched where the bed used to be as well as some other stuff.

Maybe the woman below would have been a better actor for the hit list movie.




Triple boyfriend killer handed death sentence



A woman accused of killing three of her lovers was sentenced to death Friday in a high-profile lay judge trial that was based solely on circumstantial evidence.


The Saitama District Court ruled that Kanae Kijima, 37, killed the three men in 2009 and attempted to disguise their deaths as suicides.
In handing down the sentence to Kijima, the presiding judge, Kazuyuki Okuma, said: "The defendant repeatedly committed quite serious crimes that claimed the lives of three people.
"There is no room for leniency because the defendant committed the crimes for selfish purposes," he said. "She repeated irrational excuses in court and did not show any remorse."
Takao Terada, 53, and Kenzo Ando, 80, were found dead at their homes in suburban Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, while 41-year-old Yoshiyuki Oide's body was discovered in a rented car in Saitama Prefecture.



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Day 1491 ( Man Climb Mountains For almost 10,000 Days )
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spoke with my evening student today mostly about my trip to Malaysia and Singapore.



Spirituality drove Man to scale mountains for 9,738 consecutive days



A photo exhibition celebrating a Mie Prefecture man who climbed mountains for nearly 10,000 days straight, and who only stopped because he died last year, opened earlier this month at the Mont-Bell outdoor and climbing goods store in Nagoya.



Narao Higashiura, who lived in Ise, set off on his epic challenge at age 59 but passed away at the end of 2011 at age 86. While he was ultimately forced to abandon his quest last June — only 262 days short of his goal — he set a new record by scaling peaks for 9,738 days in a row, or 27 years straight.
Higashiura retired from a printing company in 1984 and was profoundly influenced by the Buddhist Tendai sect's extremely grueling, 1,000-day circumambulation, one of its hardest programs.
Higashiura embarked on his 10,000-day challenge in 1984 and hiked daily up mountains for the following 27 years, mostly in the Ise area, although he would sometimes travel to Mount Fuji.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120421cc.html



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Day 1492 ( Stupid Officer Arrested For Licking Hair??? )
Thursday, April 19, 2012

I was to come on TV today with about 50 other foreigners. But apparently it is next week. I'm still not sure though. I waited up for the show but it was actually 50 famous persons in Japan.


Officer arrested for licking woman's hair




A policeman has been arrested for licking a woman's hair in a restaurant, police said Thursday.
Fellow officers detained forensics specialist Tatsuya Ichikawa, 50, at a fast-food joint after he was spotted tonguing the locks of an unsuspecting 25-year-old woman in Shizuoka Prefecture.
"I wanted to lick so I did," Ichikawa reportedly told police.
A spokesman for Shizuoka Prefectural Police confirmed Ichikawa's arrest, adding that he was on medical leave at the time and did not specialize in the analysis of human hair.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120420b2.html



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Day 1493 ( )
Friday, April 20, 2012 ( 4 Years 1 Month )

Had only 4 classes today which ended at about 12. But I stayed until 3 because the principal didn't send me home. After work I again played loads of Modern Warfare.


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Day 1494 ( 2nd Day at the YMCA )
Saturday, April 21, 2012

Today was my second time at the YMCA. The first 2 classes went well but there is a third class with some kids ages 2-3. Oh boy. Those who aren't running all over the place, are crying for their moms who are just outside. This is going to be a challenging one I think...

Monday, April 16, 2012

More on Malaysia / Huge Surprise!!!

Days 1481 - 1487
Sunday, April 8 - Saturday, April 14, 2012


Day 1481 (My First Taste of Dorian) 
Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hey I'm still in Malaysia. A good place to get away from the craziness of Japan. No stares, no scorning, no strange and unfriendly behavior. But on the other hand, you don't really have thieves in Japan or cunning taxi drivers also when a Japanese person is nice, they are unbelievably nice. So its a give and take. There are not much thieves in Malaysia either but I heard about some petty thieves who break in houses and steal some random stuff.

Went to church this morning with my friend Miriam, her dad and her mom. Her dad is Malay-Indian while her mom is German. We then hand brunch after church with some of the members of the church we went to. We went to a Malay-Chinese restaurant where the persons serving us were all speaking Cantonese. The food was good though, I would seriously go back to Malaysia, not only because of the general atmosphere and my friend who is there but also for the food. Even though the food sent me to the restroom quite a few times. Apparently my stomach wasn't quite accustomed to this kind of food yet.




















After this I went with Miriam to the down town area of Kuala lumpur and purchased some souvenir items. We then rushed to an old English style hotel/restaurant where I met up with some of Miriam's friends and friends of her friends. Most of whom were Germans or half Germans.







Miriam's mom then came to picked us up and took us back to their home. I started packing then later, they introduced me to Dorian. A fruit that looks like a small Jack fruit (also found in Jamaica). All I've heard about Dorian is that it has a very strong smell, that is difficult to get rid of. Oh and for sure it did. I was a bit hesitant to eat it, because it had mixed reviews. Some people really hate it, others really like it. My first impression is that, it tasted like a strange mango, crossed with a Jack fruit. But it was a bit slimy. Its not too bad overall. Not great but not terrible either. It definitely reminds me of Jack fruit.






Later I watched Miriam trained her dogs to sit, roll over, high 5 etc. It was interesting. I tried to do it as well, but I wasn't as effective. Plus one of the dogs (The white one ) kept trying to get the food out of my hand. 










                                                         Checkout the Video




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Day 1482 ( Heading Back to Japan / A Huge Surprise)
Monday, April 9, 2012

Did my final packing and preparation for my trip back to Japan. The taxi came for me pretty early so I asked him to give me a few minutes. The helper at Miriam's home made me a sandwich then I was off.
I got to the airport terminal at about 11:15am for a 2:35 pm flight. Better to be way early than a little late I think. I ate something else, reconverted my Malaysian ringgit to Japanese yen, then checked on my luggage.





Went on the plane and an Asian lady sat one seat away from me. I looked at her passport and initially thought she was Chinese, so I didn't even look at her a second time. However, while filling out the Japanese immigration card, I saw some kanji that I didn't recognize. I wanted to ask the lady beside me, but because I thought she was a rude Chinese, I left the space blank. Anyway, after a while, I braved up and spoke in Japanese, asking her what is the meaning of a particular kanji character on the immigration card. She then spoke to me in perfect English saying "I can ignore that part, it is only for Japanese people". I was of course pleasantly surprised that she spoke English.

She then prolonged the conversation and asked me where I was from. So I said "I am from Jamaica but I have been living in Japan for over 4 years".... I then asked her where she was from, and she said "She lives in Yokohama, Japan " .... I told her that I also live in Yokohama. She said she lives in Aoba ward, while I live in Kanazawa ward. Kind of like the 2 opposite ends of Yokohama.

So I said to her that I lived in Okayama for 3 years. She then said she was born in Okayama. So we of course started to look at each other strange. So I said I lived in a verrrrry verrry rural part of Okayama that hardly anybody knows about, by the name of Niimi. At this her eyes almost popped out, and she shouted "Really!!!" then she said "I was born in Niimi and lived there for most of her life" ... at this both of us were extremely excited and were wondering what are the chances that you sit next to someone in Malaysia who actually knows about Niimi!!!!  We were both baffled and could not stop talking. I told her everything I knew about Niimi and that I had a TV show there for 3 years. She could not believe how well I knew about Niimi. So I showed her some pictures and some of my friends there. But we only had 2 friends in common. A daughter of the pastor of the church I went to back in Niimi, as well as another guy who visited the Niimi darts bar occasionally and who translated a poem for my book.

We spoke non-stop on the 7 hours flight back to Japan. She was coming back from a 3 month long visit to Cambodia and Laos as well as a 3 weeks visit to Thailand. But seriously, what are the chances?
Anyway, when we got off the plane, she called her mom and told her the story, but her mom didn't know who I was. She then called her best friend, who knew about me. It was great meeting you Maya ^ ^




















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Day 1483 ( New Book Received )
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stayed in all day doing some research about how to apply for US visa as a Jamaican living in Japan.


I finally got my book today that a fellow blogger from the US wrote entitled, "Hi! my name is Loco and I am a Racist"



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Day 1484 ( English Teacher's Welcome Ceremony #2 )
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Had a meeting with my company and the Board of Education in Yokohama. The second one since coming here. It is done yearly. So I initially met up with some friends at the Yokohama station then we walked to the meeting area. They introduced about 125 of us who are Elementary school teachers, to our English coordinators for this year. 2 of my English coordinators are the same and only 1 new. Well not new but different. All women, and they talked a lot. Even when I was twitching to leave, because everyone else was leaving, I had to stay back and wait on them to finish talking ....  A friend of mine from my group last year became a head teacher :) (Congrats Mel) which means the group I was in, was one of the best :) ... It would be interesting to know what being a head teacher is like, I know its definitely more work, but more money too .... Don't know if I will ever get to find that out ... Especially with this possibly being my last year trying out elementary schools. I'm kind of tired of these kids now seriously...

In the evening I took photos of these Cheery Blossoms (sakura) next to my apartment.




















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Day 1485 ( US Visa Application/Another TV Interview )
Thursday, April 12, 2012


Stayed in all day today applying for my US via online. My US visa expires in May of this year. So I'm going to have to apply for leave from work to do my visa interview in Tokyo in May. I took so many photos with my camera phone trying to meet their specifications, because I didn't want to go out and take a professional passport size photo, that I would have to upload anyway. So I did it myself after hours of trial and error.
I think this was the one that finally got accepted.




Later in the evening someone who worked for a TV station by the name of FUJI Terebi (TV) came to my apartment to interview me and asked me a few questions about Jamaica. I had to answer in Japanese of course. Some of his questions I didn't understand but eventually they were clarified. He said they will review it and basically come again if they think it is interesting enough to come on TV. The interview took about 1 hr 30 mins.

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Day 1486 ( 73 Year Old to Attempt Climbing Mount Everest?  )
Friday, April 13, 2012


All I did today was post a letter to Jamaica and bought some stuff for my apartment.



Woman, 73, to attempt Everest again



A 73-year-old woman will try for the third time to scale Mount Everest, hoping to become the oldest woman to conquer the world's tallest peak, Nepal's Tourism Ministry said Tuesday.
Eiko Funahashi, a patent lawyer from Tokyo, will fly to Lukla, the most popular gateway to the mountain, on April 17 and trek to the base camp to become acclimatized to the altitude before attempting to climb the mountain in the first week of May, a Katmandu-based agency handling her expedition said.
Funahashi abandoned two previous attempts, in 2006 and 2010, to reach the top of the 8,848-meter peak. If successful, she will beat the record set by fellow Japanese Tame Watanabe, who scaled the peak in 2002 at age 63. Funahashi is among eight Japanese climbers participating in three separate expeditions attempting Mount Everest this season, the Tourism Ministry said.


http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120411b1.html


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Day 1487 ( First Lesson at YMCA / North Korean Missile Launch FAIL!!!  )
Saturday, April 14, 2012

Had to wake up relatively early today to go to the YMCA. Did 3 classes. The first one only had 3 children. They were bright and fun to teach. All 3 of them in Grade 5.... the second class had 6 students. One guy kept talking and I had to shut him up several times. The staff did warn me about him though. So I went there prepared. The third class, was a class of 3 year olds and a 2 year old boy. One of the kids as soon as he saw me, guess what he did???? Yup he started crying non-stop to his mom. After a while he calmed down and started participating.... Again, as much as I had a felling this was going to happen, it is ALWAYS Annoying!!!

After these classes, I was tired and hungry. so I stopped at a nearby restaurant and had lunch. As soon as I got home, I was knocked out on my chair.



Rocket failure an embarrassment for North

Taepodong-2 launch fails after a minute in flight


North Korea on Friday defied warnings from the international community and launched a rocket — which then exploded about a minute after takeoff — scattering debris over the Yellow Sea off South Korea.




The North's three-stage rocket "was airborne for more than a minute before it broke apart," Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka told reporters at 8:32 a.m., less than an hour after it was launched around 7:40 a.m.
At a separate press briefing, a South Korean military officer said the rocket exploded just one or two minutes after liftoff and about 20 pieces plunged into the sea, Kyodo News reported.

North Korean state media acknowledged the satellite failed to enter orbit much later in the day, while the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado identified the projectile as a Taepodong-2 missile.


http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120414a1.html

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Will be on TV Again!! / Malaysia and Singapore 101

Days 1474 - 1480
Sunday, April 1 - Saturday, April 7, 2012


Day 1474 (Arita and Matsuko TV Show at TBS)
Sunday, April 1, 2012

Woke up late this morning and rushed to Akasaka, Tokyo for the TV show shooting. About 54 foreigners from all over the world were present. All of whom had varying fluency of Japanese. But most were perapera (fluent). 

The first thing on the agenda was to get a short briefing from the director guys, in wonderful Japanese. They said basically they are going to ask 2 questions, then we should write our answers on a small, portable, erasable blackboard. The 2 questions they said would be asked were:

1) What is the most famous/important thing in our country?

2) What annoys us the most about Japanese people and/our Japanese culture?   

After waiting for about 1hr 30mins it was time for the show to begin. I was a bit nervous because they made me sit down in the front row. I am not sure if it was because they found me interesting or because I was the only one from my country there or a combination of both. But I had a #3 sticker. 

There was this one loud girl from Mongolia who constantly wanted to speak. And she happened to sit right behind me. Oh Lord was she annoying. She did this show thing before and she kept chatting none stop. She was chatting quite a bit even before the show started. The show then started, the name is something to the effect of Arita and Matsuko deluxe, male and female something something. Starring 2 famous Japanese comedians one of whom is a really fat guy/girl, possibly a transvestite. The other being just a normal Japanese dude who really like women. 

So the show began, and they asked that first question... What is the most famous thing in your country? ... The answer doesn't have to be true, the funnier it is the better. And the writing should be in Japanese. Alphabets are ok but it should be readable by Japanese people. Anyway, I had no idea what to put about Jamaica, so I wrote "Buru Mounten kohee" (Blue Mountain Coffee). Sure enough the host guy (Arita) looked at mine and said "ooh yes indeed that is a famous and expensive coffee, is it from Jamaica?" So I said yes to which some other guys from Africa and Brazil were saying "yes coffee is famous here too"

Other persons had stuff like Blue sapphire (Sri Lanka), Mayan Pyramid (Mexico), Messi (Argentina), Flirting (Italy), Everything (USA), Niagra Falls (Canada), Vodka (Russia), Beaches (Philippines), Transvestites (Thailand),  football (Brazil and England, the Italians were arguing this also), ... Most of these persons were then asked to explain themselves about why they wrote these things. This alone took about 1 hour. Because pretty much EVERYONE wanted to talk. Especially that girl from Mongolia that I spoke about earlier. She butted in almost every single time while someone was speaking. 

Then it was time for the second question, "What annoys you the most about Japanese people / Culture?

I wrote "Watashiwa Afurika Jin Jyanai desu" (I am not from Africa/I am not an African). Sure enough again, the host guy (Arita) stopped at me first then he LOLed. Then paused a bit and said, "wait a second, where is Jamaica?" Then the fat man/woman (Matsuko deluxe) said "It is in the Caribbean". Then the Arita guy said "The image of Jamaica is that it is in Africa". So I started to explain that most Jamaicans are of mixed ancestry and that we have quite a few Chinese, Indians and Syrians there. Not only blacks. I also said that some Japanese are there too and we sometime confuse them with the Chinese, just like how they confuse us with the Africans.







Other persons wrote stuff like:

1) They hate when tired / drunk Japanese men fall asleep on their shoulders in the train.

2) The girls hate when Japanese men try to touch them etc etc.

3) The old style Japanese toilets.

If you are in Japan and have a TV, this show will air on TBS on Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 11:45pm

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Day 1475 (YMCA Meeting)
Monday, April 2, 2012

I had a meeting today with the head of the Yokohama YMCA, elementary school English Department. It was held in a ward in Yokohama known as Totsuka. The lady simply asked me a few questions. But she seemed to be impressed and very happy by my answers. I also did a small dub poem for her to hear.

After this 30-45 mins meeting/interview I left then went to purchase a new suitcase. A purple, hard exterior one.  





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Day 1476 ( Small Storm )
Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Did some packing then visited my friend briefly today. But while returning, I got stuck at a train station. I was there for more than a hour. Many trains stopped because there was a small storm going on, that I had no clue was going to hit Japan. It was very windy with some amount of rain as well. 

Here is the news about it:


Strong storm wreaks chaos nationwide

Transportation grinds to a halt amid powerful gusts, heavy rainfall


At least three people were killed and several others were injured as strong winds swept across the nation Tuesday, and the Meteorological Agency called for continued vigilance in northern regions Wednesday.
In the city of Toyama, a man in his 80s was crushed to death under a warehouse at his home after it was knocked down at around 1 p.m., the police said.
Another fatality was reported in Mitoyo, Kagawa Prefecture. Hideko Shirakawa, 69, died after being buried under a collapsed warehouse in strong winds at around 3:25 p.m.
The third death was in Oshu, Iwate Prefecture, where a man in his 90s was blown off the roof of his house.











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Day 1477 ( Heading For Malaysia / Japanese Ghost Ship Sank in US Waters)
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stayed in for most of the day, doing my final preparations for Malaysia. I then headed out and took 2 trains to the airport. I live only about 45 mins from the airport now, just like in Jamaica. 











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U.S. sinks tsunami ghost ship off Alaska


OVER, The Gulf Of Alaska — The U.S. Coast Guard unleashed cannon fire at a Japanese vessel set adrift by last year's tsunami, ending the ship's long, lonely voyage across the Pacific Ocean.
A coast guard cutter fired on the abandoned 50-meter Ryou-Un Maru in the Gulf of Alaska more than 240 km from land. It sank in waters more than 305 meters deep.
The crew pummeled the ghost ship with high-explosive ammunition and the Ryou-Un Maru burst into flames, began to take on water and list, officials said.
A huge column of smoke could be seen over the gulf.
A coast guard C-130 plane crew monitored the operation.
In about four hours, the ship vanished into the water, said Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow in Juneau.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120407a2.html

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Day 1478 ( Welcome To Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia )
Thursday, April 5, 2012














For the past couple of weeks, I have been in dialogue with a friend of mine from Malaysia. We met initially in Brazil at the World Council of Churches Assembly in 2006. She is however half Indian-Malaysian and half German.

It is only recently, like 2-3 years ago I knew that Malaysia was a predominantly Muslim country. I found out when it was all over the news in Japan that the Muslims were protesting against the Christians for calling God Allah.  ???? Yeah, they were basically saying that ONLY Muslims have the right to call God Allah, even though its the same God they are praying to. Allah is actually the Arabic word for God. So I am not sure why there was a big problem then.

Malaysia has 3 major groups of people. The Malay, the Chinese and the Indians. But the main language is English because it was under British rule and is still a common wealth nation. They got their independence in 1957, which make them 5 years older than Jamaica.

Anyway, I landed in Malaysia this morning at about 6:30 am, after a 7 hour flight. Then I took a bus from the airport to a place called KL Sentral which is a 1 hour drive from the airport. Every train and taxi goes to KL Sentral. I walked around a bit in the KL Sentral area then took a train to go look at the infamous - Petronas Twin Towers.





 I then went to a shopping mall and to an aquarium.






































Later on I checked in at a hotel that my friend, Miriam told me about and I got some sleep. Then Miriam and her mom brought me to their house, then to a restaurant in the evening, then back to the hotel.























The food you see above is cooked shrimp inside of a coconut with a special sauce. It was soo good. And the last picture is of course me and my friend Miriam. The pic below was us in Brazil in 2006.



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Day 1479 ( Welcome to Singapore / Happy Good Friday )
Friday, April 6, 2012

Woke up at about 5:00 am this morning and a taxi came for me at about 5:45 am. We rushed off to the airport and I took a 8:30 am flight to the financial capital of South East Asia, Singapore. The flight took about 1 hour or less.

This is a very rich island country, and you can see it when you go there. It is the world's 4th leading financial center, The world's second biggest gambling market, and is the busiest transshipment port in the world (Jamaica is actually number 15).  The general feel I got from the Singapore people is a very snobbish "I am richer than you" kind of feel. They were once a part of Malaysia but they eventually broke off in 1965. The main religion is Buddhism and they generally speak English, Chinese, Malay and and Indian dialect known as Tamil. But they are one of the smallest countries in the world (Even smaller than Jamaica) but has about 5 million people.

Anyway, landed there, and the first thing on the agenda was to go to an Asian museum. But as soon as I exited the train station, their was heavy rain. So I waited for about 25 mins for the rain to ease down a bit then headed on my way. I searched based on the information I got but there was no Asian museum. I asked some guys and they said they had no idea. Asked another deliver guy and he actually signaled for me to leave him alone.... (how rude!!!). Yup welcome to Singapore alright. I got this general impression from them even before I went there. Because there is a girl from Singapore who works with my company, and I tend to notice her attitude.

So I walked for about 30 - 45 mins in the rain looking for this darn museum and couldn't find it. So I turned back and went to a mall to look around. I stopped to eat a subway sandwich there then went to a shop to buy some souvenirs. I didn't want to ask anymore questions because of the general rudeness thus far but I braved up and asked the shop owner about a lion fountain that I saw on a T-shirt (Merlion). He said its just 20 mins in a particular direction. So I went there and saw the lion statue as well as a famous, very expensive, 5-star hotel known as Marina Bay Sands.


                                                        Check out the Video



I then took a train and a cable car to an area called Sentosa island. This was my second time using a cable car. But there are no earthquakes in Singapore so no problem. The only natural disaster they have is bad, unreadable whether like Jamaica. This area where I went to is a big resort and theme Park on an island. Time was running out for me to catch my flight back to Malaysia so I quickly ran to watch a 4D movie called Pirates. Yes 4D. You wear a 3D glasses and you sit in a chair where you experience the crawling of land crabs, spiders, water splashing on you, the chair pushing you forward and backward etc. It was interesting for the first 5 minutes, but then everything got a little repetitive and boring there after. It only lasted 20 mins though.




















                                                          Check out the video




I then went to a beach on the resort known as Siloso. Many people were playing beach volley ball and football. I had limited time, So I had to rush back on the cable car then to the train station.







While at the train station, I had no clue where to go to head for the airport. so I took a chance again and asked a young guy how to get to the airport. He introduced me to 3 of his friends who were going in that general direction and they followed me. Now these 3 persons saved my total bad impression of Singaporeans. They were really nice and I chatted with them for the entire duration of the trip, about various topics. 

I got to the airport about 30 mins later than that "2 hour before check in time" thing. But everything went pretty smooth. Hey, I always complained about Japan being expensive but check out Singapore!!! It is like double Japan. Anyway, I took the flight back to Malaysia, then a bus to KL Sentral again, then a taxi back to the hotel. I was extreeemly tired so I went to sleep instantly.

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Day 1480 ( KL Bird Park, The World's Largest, Free-Flight, Walk-in Avery )
Saturday, April 7, 2012

Warning, if you go to Malaysia and gain friends, they are going to over feed you !!! Which is not really a bad thing actually :) because the food is good.

This morning, Miriam's mom came to pick me up from the hotel and brought me to their house. I will be staying there for the next 2 days. So we went to an Indian restaurant in the morning, where we had various kinds of Indian cuisine.


The custom is to normally eat this food with your hands. But I some how don't like when my hands get messy. I tend to avoid holding all foods except bread and other pastries.

After this we went to KL Bird park.



















                                                 Check out the video


Afterwards we went to a Chinese, Taoist Temple. On a good day, you can see much of Kuala Lumpur from there. I bought some souvenirs there.






We then went back to the house, and in the evening we had dinner with some of Mirams' Parents friends. We ate at a Chinese restaurant. But the food was Malay Chinese, it was absolutely delicious.























This is definitely one of my longest blogs in a while. Took me about 7 hours to write, edit, do the pictures and the videos. Plus I started compiling this blog while I was leaving Malaysia in the airport. Next week, you will see my final 2 days.