Japan - A "Train" Culture / Back To Jamaica 2012 Pt.1

Days 1733 - 1746 (2 weeks)
Sunday, December 16 - Saturday, December 29, 2012    

Day 1733 ( Performance Of "Gi Mi A Bly" )
Sunday, December 16, 2012

Went to church with some Jamaican friends today. Then we went to an Indian restaurant afterwards. The food was great.

In the evening I performed again at the "Writer's Block" monthly thing. Today was their 1 year anniversary and the restaurant was jam packed. I invited a few friends who saw me perform live for the first time.

Here is the poem:

This was one of my best/enjoyable performances.



Day 1734 ( Japan - A "Train" Culture )
Monday, December 17, 2012

Went to work like normal then met with a friend of mine about a business proposal.

Japan - A "Train" Culture 

So almost all of Japan is connected by train lines. You can pretty much get from any part of Japan to the other by train. In some instances, planes and buses are much more convenient and cheaper but, you still can get there via train.

There are people here who are called "Densha Otaku" or "Tetsuo" or "Te chan" basically meaning Train Nerd. People who are absolutely fascinated with trains. I am still yet to find out what is so amusing. But...to each their own. These train nerds will stand for hours with their tripods and cameras, waiting for a train to pass by. Then they snap away like crazy. I know a vice principal who has like 10 albums of random trains. And he can tell you their schedules!!! Don't ever start talking about trains around him, or he will start show you tonnes of pictures on his phone, or even worse, take out the 10 albums and start talking about the trains.

In the country side though, trains are not as accessible as in the city. So cars and buses are the preferred mean of transportation.

Kelroy aka Jamaipanese - Train Nerd and Blogger



Day 1735 (  )
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bought a small, purple carry on suitcase thingy for my upcoming trip to Jamaica. Then had dinner at Fridays in Yokohama with a friend of mine.



Day 1736 ( 115 Year Old Japanese Man, The Oldest in the World )
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Had 4 lessons today then did my usual Wednesday, English conversation.


Kyoto man, 115, now world's oldest

He is older than your great-grand father, but still alive

A 115-year-old Kyoto Prefecture man has become the oldest living person in the world after an American woman, also 115, passed away Monday, according to Guinness World Records.
Jiroemon Kimura of Kyotango was born on April 19, 1897, 15 days later than the American woman, Dina Manfredini, who lived in Iowa. Kimura has been recognized by Guinness as the world's oldest man since last year.
Kimura worked at a post office until age 65 and engaged in agriculture until he was 90. He currently lives with the wives of his son and grandson, according to the Kyotango Municipal Government.
He has 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.
Kimura's personal motto is "Eat light to live long" and he has said he believes the key to his longevity is to be a healthy, small eater. "




Day 1737 ( Last Company Meeting Of 2012 )
Thursday, December 20, 2012

After a tiring day at work today, I had to go to our final company meeting of 2012. It was pretty much about different games we can play at the schools. But we played them instead.

We are not as happy as it may seem

After the meeting, a couple of us had dinner at Fridays.



Day 1738 ( Sexless Marriage On The Increase In Japan )
Friday, December 21, 2012

After work, I visited my good friend Vany who I haven't played Modern Warfare online with for over a year. I still have his DVD because mine ain't working. He moved to this prefecture a while now but we have both been very busy to even turn on the PS3. We do meet occasionally though to chat and laugh. We had yaki tori (grilled chicken on a stick - my favourite) and chatted for a while.


Sexless marriages on the increase

More than 40 percent of married couples in Japan say they have sex less than once a month, with the figure rising in surveys since 2004, a doctor at a clinic belonging to the Japan Family Planning Association said.
The ratio stood at 41.3 percent in the survey of 1,306 people aged between 16 and 49 conducted in September. The figure was around 32 percent in 2004 and topped 40 percent in 2010, 

Among men, 28.2 percent said they were not interested in sex because they were "tired from work," the survey said. Among women, the largest segment, at 23.5 percent, said they find sex "troublesome."




Day 1739 ( Final Packing For Jamaica / Dinner With My Student's Family )
Saturday, December 22, 2012

I mentioned several times before that while going to YMCA on Fridays, I see a student and his grand mother at the bus stop. And she always want to speak to me about random stuff. Anyway, she invited me to a family dinner today with her husband, her daughters, their husbands and kids.

She lives about 10 mins away from me by foot. I got to the house and it was time for dinner. We ate quite a bit of food, played some games and had a good time. I stayed there for about 3 hrs then went back to my apartment to do my final packing.

Tsukiyaki - Cooked Beef Strips





Day 1740 ( Heading to Texas and New York )
Sunday, December 23, 2012

Went to Narita Airport by train.

I'm tired can you tell?

Then took American Airline flight at 12 noon.

On the Plane, I watched 2 movies. The first was "The Words"

It was interesting to a point but it leaves much to be desired. And I still don't get the ending. So I give it a 5/10

The next movie I saw was "End of watch"

This movie is graphic and full of action. But it has a very sad ending. Overall it wasn't too bad. I give it a 7/10.

We landed in Texas, USA at 10 am ( going back in time like a boss ). But got delayed because the pilot said the re-fueling truck scraped the bottom of the plane!!!! WHAT!!!

So they had to be running all sort of tests to assess the damage and also to send reports here and there. All of that took about 1hr 30 mins. They eventually placed us back on the same flight where we headed to New York. There was some amount of turbulence while heading to New York though. At New York, my niece who I was meeting for the first time, picked me up at the John F. Kennedy airport. I met her kids and her husband. This niece is the daughter of my brother who died in November.

My niece and her husband in Brooklyn NY

Their daughter



Day 1741 ( Back in Jamaica after 2 years 4mths )
Monday, December 24, 2012

My niece dropped us at the airport this morning in New York. Arrived in Jamaica at around 5:30 pm where my cousin Leroy picked us up.

So much has changed in 2 years. even my house looks different.



Day 1742 ( Merry Christmas From Jamaica )
Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Today was my first Christmas in Jamaica since 2007.

Went to church this morning with my family. My pastor preached. Haven't seen him since 2009 after my cousin's funeral. This is a short snippet of his message.

My car in Jamaica

We had a big Christmas dinner today with lots of ham, chicken, curried goat etc etc. But I couldn't eat a lot because I had a terrible stomach ache from I was on the plane in Japan.
Went to my sister's house later in the evening.



Day 1743 ( Visits From A Few )
Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Went to New Kingston today to drop my friend off, who will be heading to Savana-la-mar, Westmoreland via the South Coast express bus system.

I was then visited by a couple a friends and my cousin.

Classmate at University, Tamara

Cousin - Dr. Mair

Aunt to the right, mom to the second left



Day 1744 ( Heading To Negril And Kuyaba Restaurant )
Thursday, December 27, 2012

My sister dropped me at New Kingston to wait for a bus to go to Negril, which is about 6 hours from Kingston. But first we stopped at the bank where I had a loan for my car. The loan was paid of at the end of 2011 so its now time to claim my car documentation. I went there to collect it but they said I have to come back in a couple of days in order to get it back. Plus I had to pay $JA 4000.

Got on the Knutsford Express bus and headed to Negril. The bus stopped in Ocho Rios, then Montego Bay then finally after 6 hrs ... well 5hrs 30 mins actually, I got to Negril.

Washington Boulevard

Ocho Rios

Montego Bay


After arriving in Negril, I walked around at a mall for a while, then checked in at a hotel called "White Sands" which I booked online while I was in Japan.

White Sands Hotel, Negril

I slept for a while then went to a restaurant name KUYABA in the evening. The food was great but again I couldn't eat too much because of my stomach ache. I still managed to eat 2 gigantic lobsters.

Kuyaba Restaurant, Negril Entrance

Like a Boss!!

Looks like the place is on fire

These areas in Jamaica, it is very possible to see more foreigners than actual Jamaicans. And most Jamaicans don't get to see these gorgeous parts of the island sadly.

Here is another video I made while driving and being driven through Jamaica.



Day 1745 ( In Savana-la-mar And Rock House Restaurant)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Went to Savana-la-mar (The capital of Westmoreland) today in an attempt to renew my expired Jamaican driver's license. So yes I was driving in Jamaica on an expired license!!! BUT I was told that I could use my Japanese license for up to 6 months. They told me that I would get back my license in 6 weeks and said it is better I do this in Kingston. So I had to wait.

I also went to a mall in Sav and bought a few stuff. From Negril to Savana-la-mar would normally take about 45 mins, but welcome to the Jamaican taxi men!!!! They take 20-30 mins or under.

After coming back from Sav, I took some pics at the beach which is adjoined to the hotel.

In the evening, I went to a restaurant called Rock House. Again, the food was great!!!

I am supposed to be leaving Negril tomorrow morning to head for Ocho Rios for 1 night. However, the hotel that I booked in Ocho Rios called SKY CASTLE, called me and said they were over booked. I told them I made my booking online while in Japan, over a month ago. They said they could arrange for me to stay in another hotel about 45 mins from where I wanted to be. I told them ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! Because I booked the hotel specifically to be near Dunn's River Falls. They said they would get back to me tomorrow. But in the mean time, I started searching for options in the Dunn's River area. I eventually got a villa online who said they will be available tomorrow at the time I planned for.



Day 1746 ( Doctor's Cave Beach, Montego Bay )

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Left from Negril early this morning and went to Montego Bay to Doctor's Cave Beach. On this beach you will also see more foreigners than Jamaicans.

Where are the Jamaicans?

And for the first time in my life, I did snorkeling. I had no clue that we had so many colourful fish in our beaches.

Say snorkel  

Putting my swimming lessons to use


Here is a video I took while snorkeling a bit and while climbing the waterfalls at Dunn's River. That blog will be tomorrow.

After Doctor's cave beach, I met my long time friend Teisha at a restaurant in Montego Bay.

After meeting my friend, we took the bus to Ocho Rios. The people at Sky Castle Hotel called back and said they still haven't found a room for me yet. So I checked in at a villa about 10 mins from Dunn's River Falls.


Anonymous said…
Very nice. I have been following your quest. Ibwork for Okidata america. Our parent company is Okidata japan. Thx for sharin
Niki said…
You lived in JA all your life i didn't know our sea life was awesome.. shame Mr Collymore!
Peta said…
Hi Dave,

I'm a fellow Jamaican living and working in Montego Bay, Jamaica but with hopes of getting into the JET program this year (keeping my fingers crossed that I will be invited to an interview next month).

I've read through all your blog entries to present and I've found them to be very humorous and informative. Keep up the good work and enjoy your vacay!!!

If I get in, I think I'll definitely reach out to you in Japan so we can hang out (if you want of course :-)).