Sunday, April 29 - Saturday, May 5, 2012
Day 1502 ( Spring Ting 2012 Part 2 )
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Today was day 2 of Spring Ting 2012. Usually the best day of the 3. We started off the day with breakfast then headed straight to a gym which was like 10 minutes away by foot.
We headed to the gym for sports day which was one of the major highlights for the day. Everyone was placed in 1 of 3 houses/teams/groups based on the colours of the Jamaican flag. I was asked to be the leader for the gold team. My friend Suen who chose the team leaders said she chose us because we had loud voices (am I really that loud???). I was the only leader of a group that had been to a spring ting before. The other 2 were new to this.
I told my team from yesterday, that I had a cheer leading idea. So we practiced several times yesterday as well as about 2 or 3 times this morning. These guys were serious about the cheer leading. Last year, no one really gave a damn, and my house (green) was placed last in that category. I don't remember what position we came overall last year but for sure it wasn't first.
So the sports day kicked off with cheer leading. We did janken (rock, paper, scissors) to see which house would do cheer leading first, and because I lost in the janken battle, my house had to go first. But we didn't care because we were ready for this. And we practically had it in our minds that we ain't gonna lose this, even if we lost everything else. Here is a piece of our cheer, the sound is a little bad but you can hear most of it.
Next up was the Shoes and socks race, where the participants should first run bare footed and put on a pair of socks, then run to get their shoe laces then head towards their shoes, lace them up, then run to the other end. My house, with the only male entrant ... was placed last :(
Then there was the volley ball competition. Unfortunately the black team was loaded with volley ball stars. Some of who studied physical education at university. Only one was on my team. The others were... well lets just say they played beach volley ball before, sometime or another in their lifetime. Needless to say we were placed last yet again. Black house won this one without even flinching.
Yeah they killed us in volley ball.
Next was the dancehall queen and dancehall king competitions, where the 3 contestants should dance for 2 or 3 minutes. The best dancer based on the judges' decision will be the dance hall king/queen. We had a girl on our team from Trinidad (the slim one who we lifted for cheer leading) who could do some serious moves that made we Jamaicans scratched our heads. She could do limbo almost making the back of her head touch the ground, then get back up quite easily. She could also do a full split and some other unusual stuff. So we won the dance hall queen and got second place for the dancehall king.
The guy in black who is from Haiti won the dance hall king competition, while the yellow shirted guy from Canada on my team came in second place. The dude in the green cap (Raul) who is a really skilled dancer, was third/last place.
This is the dance hall queen from Trinidad on my team.
I think after this, time was really running away, so a few of the competitions were scratched from the list of about 10. Plus people were getting hungry and it was our duty (Gold house) to prepare lunch. Anyway, they went ahead with the skipping competition where 2 persons from a house should skip simultaneously, while 2 others manipulate the skipping rope. This was the only competition outside of the cheer leading I entered and guess what? We were placed last :( ... Black house ran away with this one again by skipping to over 100 with their Physical Education stars. Green house skipped to about 22 there about. You don't want to know how much we skipped. Did we skip?
Finally there was the Dandy Shandy competition. This is a game we played as children in Jamaica (similar to dodge ball in the US and Japan) where 2 persons at either sides, try to hit the person in the middle. The person in the middle should try to avoid the ball. If the person in the middle jumps over the ball with both feet apart, they will gain 10 points. My team tied for first place with green house in this competition.
This was the end of sports day for 2012. It lasted over 3 hours. We desperately wanted to see who won the cheer leading, because in our minds, we already lost the competition. The person who was writing the scores made a few errors and corrected them afterwards. At the end, we won the cheer leading, which we actually went there to win. But to our surprise, we won the entire competition, beating black house by a mere 2 or 3 points. Everyone, including us were shocked. And no we didn't pay off any of the judges. It was the point allotment for each competition that made us win. The cheer leading, dance hall king and queen, and the dandy shandy had huge amount of points allotted to them if won. So basically we did very well in the areas that had the greatest amount of points allotted to them. We were of course extremely happy and left quickly to go and prepare for lunch time.
After lunch time, we played jeopardy. I think we came second in this, but this wasn't a part of the whole sports day thing. Then it was dinner time. We had some really really great jerk chicken. This is the best jerk chicken I have ever tasted while living in Japan.
After dinner I chatted around a bit, took a shower then slept for a while, because I was exhausted. I think everyone was. But it was soon time for the hat and tie party in the evening. This was crazy fun. Lots of dancing and lots of noise everywhere.
Because we were in deeeeeep rural Japan, making noise is not an issue here at all. The people around would probably even welcome the noise. A Japanese lady from the area was actually there dancing with us. This was a good day. I went to bed like 4:00 am and I should be up by 8:00 am to start the long journey to Saitama by car then to Tokyo and Yokohama by train.
Day 1503 ( Heading Back to Yokohama from Fukui )
Monday, April 30, 2012
Today is a national holiday in Japan, that marks the start of golden week.
Woke up a little after 8am, totally exhausted. I snacked on some stuff, had some fruits, did my last packing, then it was time to go. The girl that came down with us from Tokyo will be staying in Kyoto, so she won't come back with us. Instead, a Vietnamese background guy from the US but now lives in northern most part of Japan (Hokkaido) and a Jamaican guy who lives in Tokyo will be coming with us. This was the car we used.
I drove for about 3 hours of the way, while Yamato (the Japanese guy who rented the car) drove the other 6 - 7 hours.
We got to Saitama at about 7:00 pm then me and the other 2 guys took a train to Tokyo. The American guy was going to stay in Saitama with a friend. I got back to my apartment at about 9:00 pm there about. The sad thing is that I have work tomorrow and I am totally exhausted. This has been the best weekend of 2012 thus far.
Day 1504 ( Bike Floats From Japan to Canada )
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Taught only 4 classes today then went home early. I then spent a good portion of my time preparing my last blog.
Bike Floats From Japan to Canada
A container that was apparently swept away from Miyagi Prefecture by the March 2011 tsunami has been found on a British Columbia island, and inside it contained a Harley-Davidson.
The motorcycle, found in the container by a local resident, bears a license plate showing it registered in Miyagi Prefecture, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said. The container may be the first debris from the disaster to arrive in Canada, the report added.
Day 1505 ( Meeting Up with a Friend from Niimi / Nintendo Loses Big)
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Meeting Up with a Friend from Niimi
Left work early again then had evening lesson at which I spoke mostly about "spring ting". My student seemed very interested and possibly would like to go next year.
After the evening lesson, I ran to Shibuya, in Tokyo to meet my friend Melissa from the US who lives in Niimi. She has been there since summer 2010. I met up with her and the other US, Vietnamese background guy who came with us from Spring Ting. He brought along 2 Japanese friends. We went to the Jamaican restaurant then to a club in the night.
Nintendo Loses Big
Day 1506 ( Many Japanese has Contemplated Suicide )
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Came back to my apartment from the clubs at about 8:30 am. The name of the club was Harlem and we were the only foreigners in there.
After I got back to my apartment, I was exhausted beyond my imagination. I dragged myself to my apartment then dropped on my bed. I woke up back at about 3:30 pm. And stayed in all day. They wanted me to come out again tonight but I had no motivation at all.
1 in 4 Japanese has thought of suicide: government survey
The Cabinet Office said Wednesday in announcing the results of a government survey that 1 out of 4 Japanese adults has contemplated suicide, with young people more prone to such thoughts than others.
Day 1507 ( Out in Shubuya Again )
Friday, May 4, 2012
Stayed in most of the day then went out with Tuan (the American - Vietnamese background guy) and Yamato (the Japanese guy who dropped us home from Spring ting). We ate out at a Japanese style restaurant. Yamato and Tuan then headed to the clubs while I headed home because I thought I had work the following morning. How wrong I was.
Day 1508 ( Waste of Time / Japan Nuke Free )
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Went to work today after waking up at 8:30 am this morning. Something that I am not too fond of doing on a Saturday morning. Only to realize when I got to the location that there was a big sign at the door saying in Japanese "We are closed from May 3 - 5, and will re-open on Monday May 7" .... Just what I needed right. Surprisingly, I wasn't upset. I had nothing to do today so I did a little shopping then went back to my apartment.
Japan nuke-free for first time since '70