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



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 ^ ^



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"



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.



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.



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.



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.