A day-to-day, true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Jamaicans in Japan - Spring Ting 2013 Part 1 (Go Green) / Lets Go to Mars.. No Really!!


Japanese Sentence of the week - namae wa nandesuka? 名前はなんですか?- What's your name?


Days 1859 - 1865
Sunday, April 21 - Saturday, April 27, 2013



Day 1859 ( 116 Years Old )
Sunday, April 21, 2013



Since I broke up with the Japanese girl I wrote about 2-3 weeks ago, I haven't played a PS3 game that we used to play together. We broke up in January of 2010.... We used to play this game name "Little Big Planet" and I stopped playing it for a while. Since I ended "Assassin's Creed - Brotherhood" I decided not to buy any new games and just play the ones that I have now. So I decided to revisit Little Big planet. It is a very difficult game to play alone. I made several outbursts of anger while playing it.

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World’s oldest living person turns 116


116

The Kyoto Prefecture man recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest person turned 116 on Friday, receiving congratulations from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and others.

Jiroemon Kimura, of the city of Kyotango, received congratulatory messages at his home via Facebook and email, including from Mayor Yasushi Nakayama. He also received a certificate from Guinness recognizing him as the world’s oldest person.
“Mr. Kimura’s good health is the confidence and pride of Japan. Please keep well,” Prime Minister Abe said in a video message.

Kimura, who lives with his grandson’s 60-year-old wife, has been hospitalized twice since late last year but was discharged most recently April 9.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/04/20/national/worlds-oldest-living-person-turns-116/#.UYEUHaLqjoJ

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Day 1860 ( Life on Another Planet Maybe Possible )
Monday, April 22, 2013

Had lunch with my Uzbek friend today. We spoke for a bit about our jobs and studying Japanese etc. I also learned some Russian.

I then went to teach a class at the YMCA. Jeez, these classes are difficult.

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NASA telescope discovers distant planets on which life could possibly flourish




The newly discovered planets Kepler-62-e and Kepler-62-f are seen in this illustration provided by the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Scientists using NASA's Kepler telescope found the two distant planets that are in the right place and are the right size for potential life. Planet 62-f in the left corner is somewhat covered by ice. It is the farthest from the star. Below it is 62-e, which is slightly warmer, has clouds, and may be a water world.


NASA’s planet-hunting telescope has discovered two planets that seem like ideal places for some sort of life to flourish. And they are just the right size and in just the right place.
One is warm, the other chilly.

The distant duo are the best candidates for habitable planets that astronomers have found so far, said William Borucki, the chief scientist for NASA’s Kepler telescope. And it has got astronomers thinking that similar planets that are just about right for life — “Goldilocks planets” — might be common in the universe.


http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/04/19/world/nasa-telescope-discovers-distant-planets-on-which-life-could-possibly-flourish/#.UYEhBaLqjoJ


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Day 1861 ( JET English Teachers May Double in Japan)
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Had 2 classes today at my "once per week" high school, then 2 business English classes at Komatsu. The advanced students sometimes ask some very difficult questions. I gave them an exercise to do about "tag questions" .... The first problem was that I had no clue what was a tag question before preparing for the lesson. One of the questions they attempted was to complete the following sentence, ending it with a tag question..... "I am sitting next to you----------" The answer should be "aren't I?" A student then asked, why couldn't it be "am I?" I honestly wasn't sure how to answer him. But these things challenge my thinking so I like it. I told him "Because that's just how it is......" lol

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LDP looks to double JET Program’s ranks in three years


The number of teachers hired for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program would be doubled in three years under a proposal drafted by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to boost Japan’s global competitiveness and nurture international talent.


According to the draft of a midterm report by the LDP’s economic revitalization headquarters obtained Monday, the number of JET teachers would be increased to 10,000 from about 4,360 in 2012. The teachers also would be dispatched to all elementary, junior high and high schools within 10 years.

The JET Program was targeted for wasteful spending by the Democratic Party of Japan’s “shiwake” government revitalization unit before the young party was kicked out of power in the Lower House election in December.

The LDP views the use of native English speakers as vital to improving English-speaking ability at a time when it is moving toward making a passing score on the Test of English as Foreign Language mandatory for entering and graduating from college.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/04/23/national/ldp-looks-to-double-jet-programs-ranks-in-three-years/#.UYEnjKLqjoJ

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Day 1862 (Skype Account and Credit Card Hacked / 40 years To Clean Up Nuclear Disaster )
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Had 3 classes at my main High school today, then 2 classes at the YMCA, then my private student. Yeah, my usual tiring Wednesdays recently. The second and third year girls at this school seem unusually excited to see me there. Its not the same at my other school though.

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Skype Account Hacked



When I went back to Jamaica in December of last year, I realized that some weird stuff was happening to my skype account. Even my photo was changed. So I changed my password and thought everything was ok. When I returned to Japan, my account was de-activated by skype. I contacted skype online and file a complaint. I chatted with someone online who helped my through the process of re-activating my account. I did, and still thought that everything was fine.

Today, I decided to log in on skye via my computer (I usually use my i-phone). I checked my account details and realized that I had some strange subscription for Pakistan minutes???? I know only 1 Pakistani and we aren't that close. For this service, I had to pay US 29.99 per month. I instantly unsubscribed from the service. I then checked my skype bills and realized that since December last year I was being charged US 29.99 per month for this strange service to Pakistan. I then checked my credit card online to see if this was being reflected. And yes it was... My credit card was  charged US 29.99 From Dec - April.

I quickly contacted skype and chatted to a member of the support team online. Luckily the person instantly understood what was going on. So I got back the money on my credit card. I was fortunate that I found out after 4 months.

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Fukushima nuclear plant cleanup may take more than 40 years




A U.N. nuclear watchdog team said Japan may need longer than the projected 40 years to decommission the Fukushima power plant and urged Tepco to improve stability at the facility.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency team, Juan Carlos Lentijo, said Monday that damage at the nuclear plant is so complex that it is impossible to predict how long the cleanup may last.

The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. have predicted the cleanup would take up to 40 years. They still have to develop technology and equipment that can operate under fatally high radiation levels to locate and remove melted fuel. The reactors must be kept cool and the plant must stay safe and stable, and those efforts to ensure safety could slow the process down.

The plant still runs on makeshift equipment and frequently suffers glitches.


http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/04/24/national/fukushima-nuclear-plant-cleanup-may-take-more-than-40-years-iaea/#.UYHjRaLqjoJ

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Day 1863 ( Lazer developer / Documenting My Xenophobic Experiences)
Thursday, April 25, 2013



Today would normally be my day off. But I went to Komatsu to teach 2 classes. Its hard, but I have to take every dollar I can possibly get. One student told me he develops LAZERS!!! His English isn't that good, but developing lazers is bad ass.

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Mentally Documenting My Xenophobic Experiences



For some reason or another, I've been mentally documenting all the xenophobic experiences I have experienced here in Japan. So far, I can recall 5 occasions of Japanese people getting up from beside me in trains.
2 times in Okayama (1 male maybe in his 20s, 1 female also possibly in her 20s) and 3 times in Yokohama (2 females over 60, 1 male in his 50s or way older). This is over a 5 year span. Based on this very small sample, it seem that the younger persons in the rural areas are less open to foreigners or black foreigners.... While in city areas, older folks are more xenophobic. I got my third experience just recently while actually speaking to a Japanese lady who I taught English briefly at the YMCA. I sat next to the older dude and in the space of 3 seconds he got up and sat on the opposite side, diagonal from me. In my previous 2 cases, the women who got up, gave me a nasty stare. In my recent case the man just got up and went on his phone.


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Day 1864 ( Strange Sports Day Preparation Activity / One Way Trip To Mars Available )
Friday, April 26, 2013

Went to my main high school today again. I should have started class at 9:50 am but the scheduler didn't confirm with me. Luckily the class had a medical check up so it was cancelled anyway.

Today, they started the process of selecting which house/team each student would be in. Sports day will be all the way in September but they are starting from now????? So they did some quiz and other activities to determine what colour their team would be. Each class will be on a different team. For example, class 1-1 will be red team but class 1-2 will be blue team. There are only 4 teams, so eventually some classes will be on the same time.

Anyway, one of the activities involved the third year guys dressing up like famous Japanese "Female" actors.  FIAH!!!!!

What tha?

All Bulls

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After this, I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned. They gave me an x-ray and saw that both my wisdom teeth had tartar. So they had to clean it out.... Oh God was it uncomfortable and painful. Lots of blood was involved (sorry about the imagery). I then went to teach at the YMCA for 1 hour.

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Reality show seeks one-way travelers for Mars mission




Want to go to Mars? Anyone? ... You may not see earth again though... 

If you are interested, check out this website to apply:

http://mars-one.com/en/faq-en/21-faq-selection/251-do-i-qualify-to-apply


Are you crazy enough to sign up for a one-way trip to Mars? Applications are now being accepted by the makers of a Dutch reality show that says it will deliver the first humans to the red planet in 10 years.


The main requirements are strong health, good people and survival skills, being 18 or older, and having a reasonable grasp of the English language.

The nonprofit company, called “Mars One,” aims to land its first four astronauts in 2023 for a televised reality show that would follow the exploits of the first humans to attempt to establish a colony on Mars.

A range of potential pitfalls might prevent the project from becoming a reality, including the inability to return to Earth, the small living quarters and the lack of food and water on Mars.

Assuming of course, that radiation endured during the trip is not lethal, and that any spacecraft is able to negotiate a volatile landing onto the harsh Martian landscape.

Nevertheless, Mars One founder Bas Lansdorp told a New York news conference Monday that organizers had received 10,000 messages from prospective applicants in over 100 different countries in the past year.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/04/24/world/reality-show-seeks-one-way-travelers-for-mars-mission/#.UYH6YKLqjoJ


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Day 1865 ( Jamaicans in Japan - Spring Ting 2013 Part 1 )
Saturday, April 27, 2013



Woke up at 5 am this morning and headed out to Ikebukuro in Tokyo. Its easier to get to this area now from Yokohama. They changed the train system recently. I met my Japanese friends Yamato, Rumi and Rumi's sister Mari. Myself, Yamato and Rumi drove down to Spring ting last year. So we are doing it again this year. They both lived in Jamaica for 2 years. Yamato lived in St. Ann while Rumi lived in Westmoreland then Clarendon for a while. Mari visited Jamaica twice.

When we arrived at Ikebukuro, we had to wait on Kevin, another Jamaican who frequents spring ting. We then took turns driving to a very rural prefecture name Toyama. In all it took about 8 hours.

We saw some beautiful landscape while driving down.





When we got there, we ate then did self introductions. We were all placed on different colour teams, based on the Jamaican flag, which is the norm at Spring Ting. I was placed in the green house. Last year I was in Yellow and we won overall in cheer leading and sports day. But based on the make up of green house this year, it seemed very likely that we definitely weren't going to win. So I spoke to the persons who arranged the teams and complained about the lack of male presence on our team. The coordinators tried their best, but everyone already meshed with their teams. And we Jamaicans just don't corporate in certain situations. This was one such case. :-) So I was stuck with a team of only 1 Jamaican male.... yours truly.. Anyway no big deal, its just fun anyway. But our my competitive spirit couldn't see this and not complain.


Not sure what I was laughing for here... Not sure when this pic was taken either

Suen posing for my random picture...

Madam Sports Coordinator to the right... Mi Trini/Canadian fren
Da Soup ya by Debbie did SORT OUT
(This soup by Debbie was really great)

Stay tuned next week for part 2.


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Thanks for your comment Nikky. Yeah, I think people should be free to make whatever choice they want. If God wants to punish anyone, let him do it, not us.

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