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

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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


Jamaipanese said...

another great post, I agree with your Jamaica section

zRö TöLéRàNçE said...

Dave - phone bills in Jamaica not high? Jamaica's telephone (and even broadband) rates are some of the lowest in the western hemisphere.

Now, Electricity - your totally correct on. It's one of the highest.

davay colly said...

Hail Jamaipanese!

Richard my phone bill used to high. But maybe a mi sister das why.