A true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan since March 2008.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

My Favourite Places To Visit In Jamaica

Days 1586 - 1592
Sunday, July 22 - Saturday, July 28, 2012  

Day 1586 ( New Venture / Serious Heat Stroke)
Sunday, July 22, 2012

I was supposed to go to a beach party today then do a performance. But the weather looked messed up and my phone says there would be a 60% chance of rain. So I opted to stay in then followed my friend to a French restaurant in the evening.

While I spent the day in, I ordered some Jamaican stuff with the hope of selling them here. But the site I tried to order from was having some issues. I am going to try sell these stuff:


If you are reading and you are interested, let me know .... 


5,467 hospitalized for heatstroke

The number of people taken to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke in the week through Sunday more than doubled from the preceding week to 5,467, preliminary data showed Tuesday.

The figure, up from 2,622 in the week to July 15, hit the highest for a single week this summer, according to the data released by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
Deaths caused by heatstroke increased to 13 from five in the preceding week.
Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture had the most victims, with ambulances called for 388 people each. They were followed by 382 in Aichi Prefecture and 372 in Osaka Prefecture.
People aged 65 or older accounted for 45.9 percent of the total.
Since the agency started this year's survey on May 28, 11,116 people were taken to hospitals as of Sunday. Twenty-three people have died.




Day 1587 ( My Favourite Places To Visit In Jamaica )
Monday, July 23, 2012

First day of summer vacation and I simply used today to get some much needed rest.


My Favourite Places To Visit In Jamaica

These are just a few of the places I like to visit in Jamaica:


There is something about Mandeville that makes me always want to visit there. The temperature there is cooler than the other parts of Jamaica, and there is this feeling of peace and tranquility. It is said by many that this is literally the center of Jamaica, being approximately 2 hours from any major point in Jamaica.


Dunn's River Falls, Ocho Rios

I mentioned this 2 blogs ago but yeah Dunn's River Falls is a fun place to visit. Climb the falls and be in pain the next day but all a part of the fun.


Scotches Bar and Restaurant, New Kingston

I went to this restaurant for the first time back in 2010 when I was on my "Save the Dave Book Tour" . They have Jerk everything!!! And everything there tastes great. Maybe a bit pricey but great nonetheless.


Cool Runnings Waterpark, Negril

Went to this Water park (I looooove Water parks) back in summer 2009 and had a great time. I am sure you will too if you should go there.


Hellshire Beach, Portmore

Within the Kingston metropolitan area, this is the most famous beach. So on any given holiday, this place is gonna be filled with people. It is only 10-15 mins away from my house by car. They sell great fried fish, lobster, and some really good sea food....


Sunset Jamaica Grand Resort, Ochorios

If I start behaving myself and manage to get a wife, then I would really love for us to have our honey moon at this place. Honestly, I have only been there once but it was too awesome to forget.


Likkle Ochi Restaurant, St. Elizabeth 

I mentioned here 2 blog posts ago as well but its worth mentioning again. Its about 3-4 hours away from Kingston and they sell really wonderful sea food. I think they take a while to prepare it though.


Doctor's Cave Beach, Montego Bay 

Hey, Jamaica is a tropical island so don't complain about me mentioning too many beaches ok!! Any way, another fine beach to visit is Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay, St. James.


Nutshell Baptist Camping Site, Trelawny

I grew up going to church, and it has been a part of my life ever since. I don't plan to depart from it. So one of the places I used to visit 'religiously' since 2002 (Wow over 10 years now) was our Baptist camping site in Trelawny. Its a very quiet, rural area but when many people from all over come to camp here, the place transforms. I think its more of the company of the people than the location I like but, the location just happened to be here.



Day 1588 ( Usain Bolt Documentary / Farmer Carved Usain Bolt Figure)
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just stayed in all day again. Watched a documentary about Usain Bolt. It was an interesting documentary for 1 hour. Here is a link to it.


Farmer Carved Usain Bolt

A British farmer has carved a unique tribute to Usain Bolt in a field. Only effectively visible from the air, the huge likeness of the Jamaican sprinter performing his famous "TO DI WORLD" pose took weeks of planning and ploughing.




Day 1589 ( Small Jamaican Style, Japanese Party )
Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I met a guy who owns a restaurant, not too far from my apartment. He really loves reggae music and Jamaican culture (Reggae Baka). He had a party tonight at his restaurant and he invited me. I was the only foreigner there but it was pretty decent.



Day 1590 ( My First Audition )
Thursday, July 26, 2012

After 7 months of joining this talent agency, I finally got selected for an audition. I normally get kicked out at the first stage, which is the picture selection stage. But I realized why today, when I saw the pictures they used for my profile. The main picture was one they took of me when my hair was a mess. How could they not realize that this was a bad photo???

Anyway today was an interesting day. The audition was about seat belt usage for a company called Graco. They wanted a black actor/model. So 16 black dudes came to audition for this 1 part. All these dudes had experience. Me??? My first time. Yeah I have been on TV but never done an audition. There is always a first time for everything anyway. But I do not expect to get this part over these guys. Some of whom actually take this thing on a full-time basis.

After the audition, I met up with a Jamaican guy who now lives in England. He found out about me through this blog.... So I guess this was not such a bad idea at all ranting about my life in Japan as a Jamaican. We went to the Jamaican restaurant in Shibuya and spoke about a range of stuff. He is a specialist in Oracle.



Day 1591 ( Machines May Begin To Rule :O )
Friday, July 28, 2012

Went to Shibuya again in the evening. The Jamaican guy who works at the restaurant in Shibuya invited me to an event that the restaurant organizes once per month. It was a total waste of my time. Especially because I plan to go to a pool tomorrow which is not too far from my apartment. So I robbed myself of some sleep.


Rise of machines could pose existential threat to human existence, warns expert

One of the founding engineers of Skype and Kazaa has warned the human race that machines are becoming so intelligent that they could pose an existential threat.

According to Sydney Morning Herald, Jaan Tallinn said that the machines are becoming smarter than we are, warning that if we are not careful this could lead to a "sudden global ecological catastrophe".

Tallinn argues that the human-driven technological progress has largely replaced evolution as the dominant force shaping our future.

He said that the US military is experimenting with robot fighter pilots, while the majority of trading on the stock market is done by computers in what is known as "algorithmic trading".

"My core main message is actually that this thing is not science fiction, this thing is not apocalyptic religion - this thing is something that needs serious consideration," Tallinn, who gave a talk on his theory at the University of Sydney, said.

He said that we are witnessing an 'intelligence explosion', with neuroscience advancing in leaps and bounds to the point where scientists could replicate the human brain by the middle of this century.

The event when machines surpass human levels of intelligence and ability has been dubbed "the singularity".




Day 1592 ( Yokohama Pool Center )

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Got to my apartment at about 7:00 am this morning from Shibuya and was supposed to meet another English teacher (who work with my company) today at 8:30am. I asked for an extra 2 hours because I was too tired. So I woke up at 10am took a quick shower and headed out to meet my friend.

We took a train near to the pool area, then walked for about 10 mins to the pool. We left there at around 5pm. It was great and the weather was great also. Food there is good and cheap, and the entrance to the pool is just 800 yen. Almost unheard of for anything in Japan. I highly recommend this pool for the summer.

We left the pool and went to the main Yokohama station and randomly saw another English teacher from our company. We stopped and chatted for like 1 hour. By now I was dying to go sleep. So I went back to my apartment and passed out on my bed.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Things Not To Do In Jamaica

Days 1579 - 1585
Sunday, July 15 - Saturday, July 21, 2012  

Day 1579 ( Best 2012 Olympic Uniform / Bolt's Dream )
Sunday, July 15, 2012

Met some friends today in Tokyo and had dinner.


Best 2012 Olympic Uniform 

Which of these do you like?

I personally like the Germany, New Zealand, USA and Jamaica uniforms. People in the USA are hating on the US uniform and people in Jamaica are hating on the Jamaican uniform.


But I think both looks good if you ask me. I would give Germany the edge over the others though. You can vote below.



Bolt's Dream

Bolt has his eyes set on retaining his three Olympic titles and his three world records, as the London 2012 Games draw nigh. 

Bolt is also hoping that his performance at the London 2012 Olympics will make him a living legend. 

Bolt also spoke about the people who have helped to get him to the top of his profession, his relatives, best friends and the Jamaican coach. 



Day 1580 ( Amazing Spiderman / New Japanese Religion Getting Popular In Uganda)
Monday, July 16, 2012

Today was a well needed holiday in Japan. Recently I feel as if my battery is running low. 
In the afternoon I watched Amazing Spiderman with my friend. It was a good watch. It kept me interested for the over 2hours there. Good action, good acting and nice plot etc. I give it 8/10.


New religion from Japan succeeding in Uganda

A religion with origins in Japan is quickly amassing a following in Uganda, winning converts in a slick campaign that has attracted the attention of Christian clerics offended by its beliefs.
Happy Science (in Japan it's called Kofuku no Kagaku) advertises itself as a global religion with a goal of teaching "the truth about life, the world and ourselves." The religion says its grand mission is to create a world filled with love, peace, harmony and prosperity.

The success of Happy Science in Uganda was put on public display late last month at a lecture given by the religion's middle-aged Japanese founder on his first visit to Africa. Buses decorated with the image of Happy Science founder Ryuho Okawa ferried people from all over Uganda to attend his lecture in the national stadium, causing traffic jams and upsetting athletes who had planned to use the space for Olympic trials.

Happy Science officials don't know precisely how many converts they have won since coming to Uganda in 2008, but they say most of the 10,000 people who attended Okawa's lecture were believers. Uganda's population, one of the youngest in the world, is heavily Christian, and Happy Science officials want to use the country as a springboard for what they hope will be success across Africa.




Day 1581 ( Things Not To Do In Jamaica )
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Left work early today and came back to complete my last week blog.


Things Not To Do In Jamaica

This is a very short list I compiled of things not to do in Jamaica:

Don't Take The Spanish Town To Ocho Rios Route Taxis

These taxi men are crazy as I mentioned in a blog before

They take 45 mins to get to a destination that usually takes about 1hr 30 mins otherwise.


Don't Lend Money To People Unless You Know Them Very Very Well

I mentioned this in my last blog. Just don't lend money unless it is to a family member or close friend. This money will not be returned. Even if you ask several times.


Don't Go To Neighborhoods That You Are Not Familiar With 

Some places in Jamaica are dangerous. So just don't go wandering off in some random neighborhood or you may regret it. Also if possible, walk in a group. 


Don't Wear Expensive Jewelry Or Walk With Too Much Money In The City

If you go to places like Down Town, Kingston, you can get cheap stuff on the road BUT don't wear jewelry or take too much money with you. It may get stolen. 


Don't Be Early For An Event Unless It Is An Official Event

If you are, then you will be the only one there. We work by "Jamaican Time" there. Which is normally a hour or more after the suggested start time. When I went to the Bahamas, it was 2 hours or more after the time given.



Day 1582 ( National Geographic's Top 10 National Dishes )
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

While heading home from work, I saw the three special education teachers at my school today walking. They saw me and asked me if I could go to lunch with them. So I did. We went to a Chinese restaurant not too far from the school. The food was pretty decent.

In the evening, did my usual evening conversation.


Top 10 National Dishes

Most countries have a favorite or national dish. Popular with residents and forming part of a country’s identity, they are an essential experience for visitors.

  1. Hamburgers, U.S.

    Although the origins of the hamburger are disputed, there is no argument over the popularity of this classic dish. Toppings and accompaniments vary from region to region, but for an original version visit Louis’ Lunch in New Haven,Connecticut, which has been serving hamburgers since 1900 and claims to be the oldest hamburger restaurant in the U.S.
    Planning: Louis’ Lunch is open most days for lunch and some days until the early hours of the morning.
  2. Ackee and Saltfish, Jamaica

    Despite ackee’s unhappy origins as slave food, Jamaicans have reclaimed it as part of their national dish. A nutritious fruit with a buttery-nutty flavor, ackee resembles scrambled egg when boiled. Jamaicans sauté the boiled ackee with saltfish (salt-cured cod), onions, and tomatoes. Sometimes the dish is served atop bammy (deep-fried cassava cakes) with fried plantains.
    Planning: Jake’s, Treasure Beach, is renowned for ackee and saltfish and also offers cooking classes.
  3. Coo-Coo and Flying Fish, Barbados

    A polenta-like cornmeal and okra porridge, coo-coo pairs perfectly with flying fish, which is either steamed with lime juice, spices, and vegetables or fried and served with a spicy sauce.
    Planning: The Flying Fish restaurant overlooking St. Lawrence Bay claims to be the Barbadian national dish’s home.
  4. Bulgogi, Korea

    Beef bulgogi (fire meat) is a dish of thinly sliced, prime cuts of meat marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, onions, ginger, sugar, and wine and then grilled. It is often eaten wrapped in lettuce or spinach leaves and accompanied by kimchi (fermented vegetable pickle). Many Korean restaurants have miniature barbecues embedded in tables where diners grill the meat themselves.
    Planning: Seoul’s upmarket Byeokje Galbi chain is a bulgogi sensation.
    --- Actually this is known as Yaki niku in Japan and is also a part of Japanese Culture. ----

  5. Kibbeh, Lebanon/Syria

    Dining well Levantine-style often means sticking to the delicious mezes(appetizers). Kibbeh, a versatile confection of ground lamb, bulgur, and seasonings, is a core component of mezes. It is often fried in torpedo or patty shapes, baked, boiled, or stuffed, but is tastiest raw.
    Planning: Aleppans in northern Syria are kibbeh’s greatest innovators, flavoring it with ingredients like pomegranate or cherry juice.

You can see the others here 



Day 1583 ( Strange Child / Massive Rally Against Nuclear Energy )
Thursday, July 19, 2012

Recently, every single week at this school, a few teachers forget that they have English. It is somewhat annoying. My company is of the opinion that English is important to the schools. It appears that way at some schools, but at others like the one I go today, it is at the bottom of their list. Everything else is more important.

Anyway, today at this school, there is a child that is normally well behaved. But today something went wrong. I played a game with this class where they should throw the ball at the card that I call. Then, this student got the ball and he threw it in my general direction. I am still uncertain if he threw the ball at me or simply threw it away. In any case, the ball went in the direction where I was. I was of course surprised. If it did hit me, I don't know what I would have done.

There are a few things/people that I have a very low tolerance for. Rude children is one of them. And I may just lose it if a student purposely hit me with a ball. Most people who know me, has never seen me angry before, but when I do get angry, I am scary and possibly dangerous. I scare myself, because I don't know what I will do then regret it afterwards.

Anyway, the teacher that was there with me said the student has been behaving very strange since he came to school today. She also said that he wasn't throwing the ball at me and that he even emptied some sort of liquid substance in the casing for a musical instrument owned by the school.

After work, I went to a company meeting. The final one before summer vacation. After the meeting, me and a couple of the English teachers had dinner at TGIF.


Massive Tokyo rally decries atomic power

Organizers say 170,000 turned out to demand nuke-free Japan

Tens of thousands of people rallied in Tokyo demanding an end to nuclear power, the latest in a series of demonstrations to erupt since the triple-meltdown disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Under scorching sunshine on a national holiday, demonstrators marched through the streets around Yoyogi Park chanting: "Don't resume nuclear power operation! Prime Minister Noda should quit!"
Organizers estimated the turnout at 170,000, which would apparently make it the biggest antinuclear rally since last year's quake and tsunami sparked the world's worst atomic disaster in a generation at the poorly protected plant.
Participants included Nobel Prize-winning author Kenzaburo Oe and famed musician and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.
"We are angry because no progress has been made in terms of compensation and decontamination," said Noboru Shikatani, 71, who evacuated from Fukushima to Tokyo amid the disaster.




Day 1584 ( Last Day At Work Before Summer Vacation )
Friday, July 20, 2012 (4 Years 4 Months)

Finally the day has come!!! The last workday before the long awaited summer holidays. I don't know, but between April and July I am not sure what happened. But my energy has gone down... Oh I know what... I started teaching at the YMCA. Today was also the last day for YMCA until late August.

Surprising myself, I went to bed at 10pm. Normally I would go to bed around 1 am there about.



Day 1585 (  )
Saturday, July 21, 2012

Did absolutely nothing today. Stayed in and fooled around my iphone and the computer for the entire day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Things You Must Do In Jamaica

Days 1572 - 1578
Sunday, July 8 - Saturday, July 14, 2012  

Day 1572 ( China Passes Japan In Fortune 500 Company List For The First Time )
Sunday, July 8, 2012

A couple of my Japanese teacher friends did some sort of teacher's exam today. I always hear that this exam is extremely difficult and only the best of the best will pass it. If you pass it, then you are seen as a permanent Japanese teacher with lots and lots of benefits. Also lots and lots of work. If you fail, then you are a temporary teacher and you will be given only a yearly contract, not many benefits, but lots of work. The failure rate is very high.


China passes Japan for first time in Fortune 500 list of biggest companies

China for the first time overtook Japan on the Fortune Global 500 list of the world's biggest companies by revenue, the U.S. business magazine said Monday.

While U.S. firms held the plurality of slots on the list, with 132, Chinese firms came in second with 73 followed by 68 from Japan.
China's ascent marked the addition of 12 companies to the prestigious list, while the number of European firms fell to 161 from 172 in 2011.
Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell retook the top spot this year, knocking off U.S. retail titan Wal-Mart from a two-year reign.
Eight energy businesses dominated the top 10, three of them Chinese companies; Sinopec Group, China National Petroleum and State Grid.



Day 1573 ( Things You Must Do In Jamaica )
Monday, July 9, 2012

Today was extremely hot and muggy at work. After work, I went to a Costco store about 10 mins by car from my apartment. I went along with the owners of the yakitori (chicken on a stick) restaurant that is near to  my apartment. This store is gigantic and has lots and lots of foreign goods that you won't find in your everyday Japanese store. So I went on a shopping spree. I was warned early, that I should be careful because people tend to go bonkers here then when they look at their final bill, they can't believe the price. Meaning it will hurt your pocket. 

I got just a few stuff and check out my bill afterwards. 

One of my best Foods in Japan - Taco Rice

Things You Must Do In Jamaica 

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are quite a few more fun stuff to do in Jamaica. Actually many of these things, I have never done myself either because of lack of interest or no time. Here we go:

Hike Blue Mountain (Portland / St. Thomas)

I have never gone the full length of this journey before because hiking just isn't my kinda thing. However I have been to the foot of the mountain with some friends. I heard that the tracks are very narrow and it takes about 6- 8 hours to hike the entire way. I also heard that at the top is super cold.


Visit Lime Cay (Kingston)

Another area that I've never been to. I heard that this is a nice boat ride to a small islet off Jamaica.  


Go to a Ninth Night / Wake / Nine Night / Nai Night / Dead Yard (Anywhere)

Alright, this might seem strange but it's actually fun. This is some sort of tradition (more than likely from Africa) that Jamaicans inherited. A huge celebration is held on the ninth night after a person dies. Sometime its not exactly on the ninth night but there is still that celebration/mourning event on the night before the actual funeral. I think the aim of the celebration is to chase the spirit of the dead away or to celebrate the death of the person because they are no longer suffering in this life. I'm not exactly sure. 

Anyone reading this and has never been to one, may feel that there is a sad tone. But, that couldn't be further away from the truth. Many people will gather and there will be loads of food and music and fun Jamaican stuff. This is a glimpse of one.


Climb the Dunn's River Falls (St. Ann)

I have done this maybe 2 or 3times in my life time. Each time I'm in pain the next morning. But doing it was always exciting. 


Stay at a Jamaican Resort (North Coast)

There are several of what I would consider A-Class Beach resorts in Jamaica. Especially on the North Coast, tourist areas. Two of the most famous resorts in Jamaica are Beaches and Sandals, both owned by the same Jamaican-born multi-millionaire, Gordon Stewart . 


Eat Jerk Chicken / Ackee and salt fish / Fish and Bammy / Banana Chips (Anywhere)

I mentioned some of these foods in my blog post on Jamaican foodsIf you try any of them, you will understand why I told you to. 


Go Snorkeling or Diving (North Coast)

This also I have never done, because of the simple fact that I cannot swim. Hey, but It looks like fun.. 


Go Rafting on the Rio Grande (Portland)

This too seems exciting, but I've never done it before.


Play With Dolphins at Dolphin Cove ( Ocho Rios, St. Ann )

I have never even seen a Dolphin before coming to Japan. They are very much in Jamaica though...


Visit Port Royal (Kingston)

Once considered one of the richest and wickedest cities in the world. But outside of Pirates of the Caribbean, almost no one outside of Jamaica knows about Port Royal and it's history of pirates. Finally, the Jamaican government has applied for Port Royal to become a World Heritage Site. A part of the city can still be seen underwater. It sank after a great earthquake in 1692.   



Day 1574 ( Tiny Magnetic Memory Developed )
Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Left work early again today. Saw a hornet devouring another insect while on my way home. This Japanese hornet ting can royally screw you over if you don't be careful. 

Later I got a call from a company that would like to give me a interview this Thursday. If the interview is successful, I will speak about Jamaica, in very bad Japanese on TV during the Olympics. 


Tiny magnetic memory developed

A team that includes researchers from Chiba University has developed the world's smallest magnetic memory storage medium, made up of a single iron atom and organic molecules.
Its size is 1 nanometer, or one-billionth of a meter — about one-thousandth the size of magnetic memory media currently available.
The tiny medium could significantly boost data storage capacities of digital media and make information terminals smaller.
The memory medium does not require rare earth minerals, which are used widely in electronic parts. As a result this should cut production costs, the team said Tuesday.
Using a single iron atom was forecast to be technologically possible in 2009, but it proved difficult to make due to unstable magnetism. The team managed to achieve stability by covering an iron atom with special carbon and other organic molecules.



Day 1575 ( China's Political Game, Pulled From Apple Store )
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Had evening conversation after work, where my student mainly spoke about his trip to Hokkaido last week. 


China and their hating Japan crap again.

Apple pulls Chinese game with island-invading ninja

Defend the Diaoyu Islands
A "Plants vs. Zombies"-style game that depicts Japanese ninja and sumo wrestlers invading an island chain claimed by Beijing and Tokyo has been pulled from Apple Inc.'s App Store.
The game, "Defend the Diaoyu Islands," which had been available on the Chinese-language version of the App Store, was no longer listed Wednesday.
The company that made the game, Shenzhen ZQGame Network Co., said it was given no explanation for the move, the China Daily newspaper reported Wednesday. The company apologized to players and is in negotiations with Apple over the game, the China Daily said.
In the game, players defend the islets by unleashing various attacks on the invaders, which include soldiers carrying Japanese flags, ninja and sumo wrestlers. The game plays music from "Tunnel Warfare," a Chinese movie about the war Japan fought with China from the 1930s to 1945.



Day 1576 ( Interview )
Thursday, July 12, 2012

Went to a place in Tokyo known as Akabane Bashi after work today. It is very close to Tokyo Tower. I did a brief interview in Japanese, while a camera was rolling. They asked me quite a few questions about myself and Jamaica. Some of the questions I didn't understand that well, then the interviewer had to make it simpler for me. In all it took about an hour, and it was a great experience. I'm not sure if I will be selected but lets see.  

Saw a small snake on my way home from Tokyo. Summer has officially opened the gate for all manner of insects and animals in my area. 


This stupid Japanese, put up a video of himself breaking the law on youtube.

YouTube post backfires on speeder

A business executive who gunned his Lamborghini along Hiroshima's streets at more than double the speed limit has been nabbed after posting footage of his hot-rodding exploits on YouTube, according to police.
The 38-year-old man charged around 60-kph speed zones in the city of Hiroshima at nearly 160 kph for around an hour two years ago, but only recently uploaded images from a video camera rigged inside the vehicle, police said Tuesday.
Police tracked down the motorist and arrested him for traffic violations after a viewer saw it online and alerted authorities.



Day 1577 ( Alternative Capitals, If Tokyo Gets a Big Earthquake )

Friday, July 13, 2012

Had normal work, then rushed off to the YMCA then to the Kawasaki area to meet a friend of mine. 


Quake left 20-meter crack in Fuji

A 20-meter-long crack was found halfway up Mount Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit on March 15, 2011, centered around eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, local authorities revealed Tuesday.

They ruled out the possibility of an eruption.
"No abnormalities have been observed regarding Mount Fuji and the mountain shows no signs of an eruption," an official at the Meteorological Agency said, indicating the crack was caused not by volcanic activity but by the temblor.
Both the width and depth of the crack were several centimeters, and it has subsequently been covered by sand and pebbles, according to the Yamanashi Prefectural Government.


Five cities named alternative capitals in case Tokyo devastated by next Big One

A government panel will recommend that the central government transfer its functions to one of five major cities, including Osaka and Nagoya, if an earthquake devastates the capital, according to a draft interim report.
The other three candidates are Sapporo, Sendai and Fukuoka, a task force studying emergency measures under the Central Disaster Prevention Council said in the draft.
Serious damage to core political, administrative and economic functions could "affect our country's fate," the draft stressed, also calling on the government to make backups of disaster-related data for use at the emergency headquarters.
Let me see...Kobe, which is very close to Osaka ... had a big earthquake in 1995.
Nagoya ... Maybe ok
Sapporo ... Too far away up north 
Sendai ... Got hit by the last earthquake and too close to Fukushima where the Nuclear fallout is. 
Fukuoka ... Lots of rain, hurricanes and too far down south



Day 1578 ( Japanese New Copyright Law/Snow White )

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Today was my last Saturday at the YMCA for the next 2-3 weeks. A welcomed relief, trust me. I realize that a few persons are telling me that I am getting slimmer. This maybe the cause. Getting extra money but, working like crazy. 

Went to a little party in the night, and while heading home, I saw another black dude on the train, which is a very rare siting in my area. So he asked me if the train was heading to Tomioka, to which I said "yes, that's where I am heading" .... We chatted for a bit, then when we got at the station, I saw a friend of mine there waiting on me to my surprise. 


Copyright law with teeth leaves download masses puzzled

The bill to revise the copyright law that cleared the Diet on June 20 has confused many Internet users, especially over two major changes that take effect Oct. 1

The law penalizes people who knowingly download illegally uploaded music or movie files.
It also bans the ripping, or copying, of DVDs or Blu-ray Discs, which are encrypted to curb access, regardless of whether the discs have been purchased or rented by the user.
Many people remain unclear about what is exactly banned under the law.


This law may affect me too (Clears throat vigorously). Just like how I watched a movie today (I will not say how, where and by what means). But yeah I watched Snow White and the Hunts Men. It was like a clash between one of those mid-evil times war movie like Alexander, along with Lord of the rings. It was a good watch but it wasn't extremely great. I give it a 6.5/10.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Things I Hate About Jamaica

Days 1565 - 1571
Sunday, July 1 - Saturday, July 7, 2012 

Day 1565
Sunday, July 1, 2012

Came in early this morning again at about 8am. Slept for most of the day then headed to another video shooting in Akasaka, Tokyo at TBS. It was the same TV program that I came on in April.. This one :

But this time it was a special edition. Unfortunately, today, they didn't give me enough briefing about what was going to take place, so I was totally at a lost. Also, I was the only "very tanned" person, anywhere in sight. There were 4 other recognizable foreigners though. There were probably some Koreans, Taiwanese or Chinese mixed in the crowd, but how would I know? There were 50 of us in total, 5 recognizable foreigners, 1 black.

Anyway, the program today basically surrounded an interview with a well known Japanese celebrity known as Sugi chan (See below) . The 50 of us were somewhat interviewing this dude that I ave no interest in knowing.

Yeah I don't like how he looks either

I knew absolutely nothing about this dude except that my students always try to mimic him. Well I didn't even knew it was him until like half way through the video shooting. Most of the questions that the hosts asked, flew right over my head. So I had to be bothering someone beside me who spoke some English, about what exactly the host asked.

The first question was 
who are your four favourite Japanese celebrities?

I hardly know any of them so I said:

1) Imoto (She is from another program on another TV station) and she went to Jamaica some years ago in one of her programs.

2) Monkey D. Luffy (The main animation character from the One Piece anime. Also from another TV station). And hey, he isn't  real....

3) Arita and Matsuko - The hosts of the show today 

All 3 of those answers would be considered a no no or for the last one, boring.

They then did a survey to find out how many people liked the sugi chan dude. A little more than half of the audience liked him, about 7 of them didn't know who he was, the remainder of us, didn't like him. I fell in the category, don't know him, and don't like him.

So they asked the next question.

Why don't we like him?

So I said, I didn't like his choice of clothes, especially his shorts that seemed feminine. The host dude didn't even entertain my thought for too long, he quickly moved on to the next person... LOL. I wasn't even taking into consideration that the other host was a bordering transvestite.

I knew after the show that they were going to cut the parts which I spoke. Certainly. 



Day 1566 ( Things I Hate About Jamaica )
Monday, July 2, 2012

Went to work today, then paid my yearly city tax. To my surprise, my tax in Okayama was higher than my tax in Yokohama. A pleasant surprise if I may say so. I pay at least US$70 less now.


Things I Hate About Jamaica

Oh yes and here we are again. Continuing my "About Jamaica" series after a 2 weeks yasumi (holiday/break) to talk about what to expect when moving to Japan Part 1 and Part 2. Which were both huge hits, especially part 1.

Anyway, back to Jamaica....Many things I plan to mention are also very general but most Jamaicans will probably agree with what I have to say. I always try to give a balanced view of anything I write about. I did mention the things I liked about Jamaica ...... Now its time for the things I hate. I will list them in random order:

Loud Music not too far away... 

If anybody know anything about the average Jamaican, they should know that most of us like to party!!!!
Not all, but most. If you live in the city or even a suburban area, it is quite popular to have loud music blasting away near your home. This is less often in the rural areas. In extreme cases, sound boxes maybe placed in front of your house. In the night when its bed time. I am immune to this now so its not so much of a big problem. But it can be annoying.

Hate Level 4/10


Con Artists

Be careful of men on the street side with cards/dice or any game-like gadgets. They will probably try to trick you out of your money. Oh and be careful of any "get a large amount of money, in a short space of time" investments. These are also quite popular in the urban areas.

Hate Level 7/10


Beg yuh/lend mi a money nuh / Can you spare me some small change

If you are smart, DO NOT LEND MONEY to a random Jamaican who ask you. YOU WILL NOT GET IT BACK. Well, some really good friends that you trust and know and family members are fine. If you just met them recently and they are asking for money, RUN AWAY!!!

There are also some guys/girls at the malls, random stop lights or anywhere that will just ask you for money. Especially if you drive a car or seem to be working. Once ago I would occasionally give away money but now I give away food instead. Again all of this is less in the rural areas.

To be fair though, this also happened to me in the Philippines, Brazil and even in Germany surprisingly.

Hate Level 4/10


Crime and Violence

This is probably the main thing that any Jamaican hate about Jamaica. Well except for the ones committing the crimes. Some time ago, Jamaica was number 3 in most murders per capita. We have since fallen to around number 7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate
Well that's wikipedia's info. About.com still have us at number 3 http://worldnews.about.com/od/crime/tp/Top-Murder-Rates-In-The-World.htm

The thing is that these stuff are centered almost exclusively in certain areas. There are random cases where it comes on the main, but this is quite rare. So some areas many of us tend to avoid all together. These areas sometimes if they see someone strange, questions will begin to surface about who are you and why are you there. Both my elementary school and my high school were very close to inner-city/violence prone towns. Also these communities are chiefly political strong holds. This leads me to the next point...

Hate Level 10/10


Jamaican Politics

The politics is the main reason behind the majority of the crime and violence in Jamaica. Messed up politics from the 70s and 80s, lives on throughout the decades. And the politicians either can't control the people who vote them in power, or simply refuse to control them. It is also said that its the politicians who get the guns to come in the country. Politics has divided Jamaica for too many years.

I always tell people that there are 2 Jamaicas. The messed up, poverty stricken, political inner-city part, mainly located in sections of Kingston, Spanish town, St. Catherine, Montego bay, St. James and May pen, Clarendon. And there is the high end, touristy, expensive, great beaches and resorts part. Each side almost totally oblivious of the other. Well there is also a 3rd part that falls somewhere between those 2. Not too rich, not too poor. Most Jamaicans who are in Japan would fall in the middle class 3rd part.

I have been trying to maintain a practice for about 7 years now. To not argue moot stuff like Politics,  Religion, Race and War. Why? Because everyone has their own theory. And if some one choose to or has a particular leaning that benefits them, or that they like/feel comfortable with, they will find every single argument to support their claim about why this is better than that etc.  Its however hard not to argue the race thing living in Japan.

Hate Level 10/10



The gap between rich and poor is so huge in Jamaica (Its way worse in places like Brazil and The Philippines though). Jamaica doesn't have a a big middle class. Many people have to work really hard to earn a small amount.

Hate Level 6/10



Our economy is messed up. Possibly again because of the politicians and their inability to manage the economy, the national debt and whatever else they need to manage. It seem as if the aim is just to get in power, that's it. Bad economy normally spell no good jobs. No good jobs breeds poverty. Poverty equals possible violence and crime. I think the spending habit of the average Jamaican also contributes to this.

Hate Level 8/10


Corrupt Cops

Oh boy. Yeah the cops will stop you in your car and will want you to pay them. There is a question they ask... very simple... Left or right ... This means .... Left (Leave some money) or Right (Write you a ticket).

Left = Leave / Right = Write

Not only that, but some of the same police guys who are harassing illegal taxi drivers on the road, also has an illegal taxi on the road.

Hate Level 5/10


Customer Service

Customer service in Jamaica can be terrible. Especially at government agencies. Mainly because government workers don't get fired so easily and they are not paid very well. That's a bad combination there. You may hear that at many government agencies, they should close at 3pm but if you go there at 2:30pm, they may tell "sorry it's too late".

In Japan, even if the customer service person hate your guts, they will still smile and tell you thanks.

Hate Level 6/10



I have so far experienced only 3 hurricanes in 27 years while living in Jamaica. But these disasters knock out your electricity and water, sometimes for days. Plus cause food shortage and destroy stuff. Every single year there is the threat of a hurricane. The first time I experienced one was 1988, Hurricane Gilbert. Then fast forward 16 years later to Hurricane Ivan in 2004. In 2005 .... 3 big tropical storms passed by but no big hurricane. Then 2007 was hurricane Dean. This is a very short clip of hurricane Dean from the back of my house.

Hate Level 9/10


High Bills

Electricity and phone bills are crazy. I don't know what kind of mark up these guys put on the bills but the bills are high.

Hate Level 7/10

Wow my hate list exceeds my like list...Let me stop here. There are probably more things on the hate list too. Oh yeah like a random fight may occur somewhere and you may get injured because you are there. Or a fight breaks out at a party then gun shots start and everybody is running like crazy and you get squished. Yeah and random quarrels and complaining on buses etc. How can I forget crazy taxi and bus drivers that cause some serious accidents?



Day 1567 ( Big Earthquake Close by / Radiation Spiraling Out of Control )
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I was teaching a grade 6 class this morning then I felt a sudden movement. I thought it was the kids running downstairs but then the class started to sway a bit. Then every student got under their desks. I was just at a lost as to what to do. I wasn't scared just shocked. The teacher gave a helmet to a special needs kid but she also stood and walked around like nothing. Same thing like what I was doing. This was a 5. something earthquake and the epicenter was close by.


Fukushima radiation sizzling at 10 sieverts in flooded basement of unit 1

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday that radiation levels exceeding 10 sieverts have been detected in the flooded basement of reactor 1 at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, a development that will hamper its decommissioning.

Radiation from the basement water was found to be as high as 10,300 millisieverts an hour, a deadly intensity that will deliver the maximum annual dose in only 20 seconds and sicken anyone who is exposed within minutes.
"Workers cannot enter the site and we must use robots for the demolition," Tepco said.




Day 1568 ( Japan Will Win 25 Medals In The 2012 London Olympics )
Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Felt really tired, a bit dizzy and really hungry just before lunch at work today. I'm seriously getting tired of teaching kids now.

Tried playing Modern Warfare 2 today, but my MW2 disc is acting all messed up. It keeps restarting. So I started playing Modern Warfare 3 again. And I am finally getting used to it now. Panton, seh anyting yuh want... Soon come shoot yuh up. 


I'm not sure which country is better than Japan at copying stuff from other cultures but yeah, it's pretty much a part of their culture now to do that. Have you seen this somewhere before?

Octopus predicts Olympic medal haul in London

An octopus has "predicted" how many medals Japanese athletes will scoop up at next month's London Olympics at an event inspired by Paul, Germany's famous fortunetelling octopus from the 2010 soccer World Cup.

At a department store in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, the octopus named Takotencho forecast Wednesday that Japan's medal haul will come to 25, the same number it won at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Two years ago, his predecessor in Germany successfully predicted the outcome of all of the German soccer team's matches at the World Cup finals in South Africa, including its third-place victory over Uruguay. Paul then correctly picked Spain over the Netherlands in the final.




Day 1569 ( High Paid Sony Executive )
Thursday, July 5, 2012

Just had a normal day at work today.


Sony Corp. Chairman Howard Stringer made ¥449.5 million in the 2011 business year, according to the electronics giant's financial statement.

Sony logged a record ¥456.6 billion in group net loss in the year that ended March 31, remaining in the red for the fourth consecutive year.
Stringer's pay for 2011 was nearly half of the preceding year's ¥863 million because he returned the performance-based portion of his salary due to the company's dismal earnings.
Even so, Stringer was still one of the nation's highest-paid executives.
The total breaks down into ¥277 million in basic salary and ¥172.5 million in stock options.




Day 1570 ( Japan, US and EU Battles China )
Friday, July 6, 2012

After my normal work, I ran home, slept, then headed to the YMCA to teach 2 classes. I had to teach a Junior high second grader for 40 mins. It was a good lesson of self introduction and she seemed to really enjoy English.

After the evening lesson, I had some wonderful yakitori in the evening with my friend.


Japan, U.S., EU take battle over rare earth exports with China to WTO

Japan, the United States and the European Union asked the World Trade Organization on Wednesday to form a panel to resolve a dispute over China's export restrictions on rare earths. 

The three economic powers tried to end the dispute through formal consultations with China at WTO headquarters in Geneva in April, but the negotiations failed to bring a resolution.

The U.S., Japan and the EU lodged a complaint at the WTO earlier this year, complaining that China was unfairly benefiting its own industries by monopolizing the global supply of rare earths.
Despite the consultations, "there have been no signals from China that it would remove the restrictions," the EU statement said.
China produces 97 percent of the world's supply of rare earths like lutetium and scandium, which are used to make key components for products such as flat-screen TVs, hard drives, hybrid car engines and camera lenses.
Critics say Beijing's strategy is aimed at driving up global prices of the metals and forcing foreign firms to relocate to the country to access them.
But Beijing says the restrictions are necessary to conserve the highly sought-after natural resource, limit harm to the environment from excessive mining and meet domestic demand.




Day 1571 ( Reggae Bakka Restaurant Owner )
Saturday, July 7, 2012

Today at the YMCA, I went to teach my second class, only to see 2 parents seated in there. No one told me that the parents would be present. I don't really like Japanese parents observing my classes unless there is some sort of open school, or at least some one telling me from before.

The worst thing was that, I decided to play a throw ball game, where the kids should throw the ball at the card I call. One of the male students threw a ball and it accidentally hit a female student in her face. The ball was soft but it stings. The kid that got hit in the face was the daughter of one of the parents present at the time.

I ended the game soon enough but surely, my boss spoke to me about the incident shortly after. I told her I will quit playing that game, because the boys are too energetic and playful.


In the evening I went to a restaurant with my friend. The restaurant is owned by a Japanese guy who is crazy about Jamaican culture. He visited Jamaica twice and even spent some time in one of those inner-city communities.
The cassette I have is an old Buju Banton