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



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.  



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.



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. 


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.




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.



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.



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.


Me a live vicariously through you Dave - nice going on the blog.
The last video says "Video is Private".
davay colly said…
Rispeck Panton

yeah mi fix the last video now...