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

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ackee and Saltfish (Jamaica's National Dish) #2 on Top 10 National Dishes Around the World

Days 2066 - 2072
Thursday, November 14 - Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Day 2066 ( How To Help Haiyan Typhoon Survivors in the Philippines)
Thursday, November 14, 2013


Went to the Jamaican restaurant in Shubuya today. Haven't been here in a while. Since April this year, things could have been better lets just leave it at that.





Chatted with my friend there for a while.

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How To Help Haiyan Typhoon Survivors in the Philippines



Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms in history, hit the Philippines on November 8, leaving behind a catastrophic scene: more than 5,000 dead, almost 24,000 injured and about 3 million people displaced. Recovery from the monster typhoon, locally known as Yolanda, will be long and difficult.

Emergency support

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) deployed rescue and relief teams to evaluate the damage in the areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. You can donate to the Philippine Red Cross by selecting theSupertyphoon Yolanda campaign on their donation page. TheInternational Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies(IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Red Cross networks from around the world are supporting the Philippine Red Cross. Many have created specific funds for this disaster, including the American Red Cross, Canadian Red Crossand the British Red Cross.

The Salvation Army is serving storm survivors, primarily with food, water and shelter. Emergency Disaster Service teams have been providing help since the typhoon hit, but are challenged by the lack of accessible roads to transport goods and medical supplies. The non-profit has set up a designated fund for Haiyan relief efforts, which you can access here. You can also make a donation by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

Food and water

The World Food Programme was already providing emergency food assistance in the Philippines following the October earthquake. With these emergency food stocks stretched thin, additional supplies are needed. You can help these efforts by donating online or by calling 1-202-747-0722 domestically or +39-06-65131 for international calls.

Samaritan's Purse sent disaster relief specialists, including water and nutrition experts, to the Philippines to deliver immediate aid. They have launched the Philippines Emergency Relief fund for this disaster, which you can support online or by phone at 1-828-262-1980.

World Vision is responding in the Philippines by first providing emergency food and clean water. They will also create child-friendly spaces and help families rebuild from this disaster. They have launched a Philippines Disaster Response Fund that you can support online or by calling 1-888-511-6443.

Action Against Hunger is providing drinking water and survival kits containing buckets, soap and chlorine tablets. They're also working to distribute sanitation equipment to prevent outbreaks of waterborne diseases. They're requesting assistance and you can help by donating online or by calling 1-877-777-1420.

Shelter

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is working with the Philippine government to establish safe cluster zones for those displaced in the typhoon-affected areas. They're also distributing tents and housing essentials, including clothing, blankets and solar powered lanterns. You can help the UNHCR with an online donation or by calling 1-202-296-5191 domestically or +41-22-739-8111 internationally.

ShelterBox was already in the Philippines providing shelter after the 7.2 earthquake that hit Bohol on October 15. They are now expanding their operations to provide tents and essential equipment for families left homeless after Typhoon Haiyan. You can support their work in the Philippines either online or by calling 1-941-907-6036.

Habitat for Humanity is providing shelter repair kits to help survivors rebuild their damaged homes. You can support this work by donating from the Philippines to their Re-Build Philippines Fund or from the U.S. by contributing to their Disaster Response Fund. You can also make a donation by phone at 1-800-HABITAT.

For more information check:
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/09/world/iyw-how-to-help-typhoon-haiyan/index.html

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Day 2067 ( Is Japan really Racist? Good Read )
Friday, November 15, 2013

Did classes like normal at my main school today. Went back to my apartment a bit then to the YMCA. I had to teach none stop for 2 hours. Well I gave them a 10 mins break. I really like these kids and they want to learn. They knew I would have them for 2 hours so they welcomed me with my name on the board.

デイブ --- Deibu which sounds like Dave


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Is Japan really racist?





Much ink has been spilled about the supposed homogeneity of Japan and the dangerous idea of racial purity that goes along with it. Some expats have made entire careers writing — or ranting — about the problems of discrimination in Japan. And yet, the number of foreign residents has more than doubled in the last 20 years and international marriages in the country have been steadily rising, so it can’t be all that hostile either.

So how racist is Japan, really? Here’s my take — admittedly only one perspective — on where things stand.

So, let’s start with where I’m coming from. I grew up in a white, middle-class neighborhood. There were a handful of minorities at my schools, mostly Latino, but I lived my entire life as part of the majority ethnic group. Moving to Japan 10 years ago was the first time in my life that I experienced what it’s like to be in the minority.

Let me be clear. I’m not conflating my experience, which has been largely unproblematic, with the experiences of oppressed minorities. They don’t even compare. However, for the first time in my life, I was visibly “other.” For the first time, I wondered what assumptions people were making about me based on the color of my skin and the shape of my face. For the first time in my life, racial differences stopped being something I thought about abstractly and started being something I confronted daily. It got me thinking about the different forms racism takes and how they work in society.

Many Japanese make three assumptions about me before even speaking to me. One, I am an American (true). Two, I am an English teacher (nope). And three, I don’t speak Japanese or know anything about Japanese culture (the jury might still be out on this one). None of these assumptions are particularly terrible, but are nonetheless racial stereotypes.
Read more here:
http://www.japantoday.com/category/opinions/view/is-japan-really-racist?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2013-11-11_AM

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Day 2068 ( Volcano Form New Island is Japanese Seas )
Saturday, November 16, 2013

Stayed in all day today completing my blog and preparing lessons for next week.

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Volcano raises new island far south of Japan



A volcanic eruption has raised an island in the seas to the far south of Tokyo, the Japanese coast guard and earthquake experts said.
Advisories from the coast guard and the Japan Meteorological Agency said the islet is about 200 metres (660 feet) in diameter. It is just off the coast of Nishinoshima, a small, uninhabited island in the Ogasawara chain, which is also known as the Bonin Islands.


The approximately 30 islands are 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) south of Tokyo, and along with the rest of Japan are part of the seismically active Pacific "Ring of Fire."
The coast guard issued an advisory Wednesday warning of heavy black smoke from the eruption. Television footage seen Thursday showed heavy smoke, ash and rocks exploding from the crater, as steam billowed into the sky.
A volcanologist with the coast guard, Hiroshi Ito, told the FNN news network that it was possible the new island might be eroded away.
"But it also could remain permanently," he said.
The last time the volcanos in the area are known to have erupted was in the mid-1970s. Much of the volcanic activity occurs under the sea, which extends thousands of metres deep along the Izu-Ogasawara-Marianas Trench.
Japan's chief government spokesman welcomed the news of yet another bit, however tiny, of new territory.

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Volcano-raises-new-island-for-south-of-Japan

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Day 2069 ( Grammar Advisor / China's Small Pledge to Help the Philippine Victims)
Sunday, November 17, 2013

Another lazy day. Well not so lazy, stayed in studying for my final test of the TEFL thing. The final test is 100 multiple choice. Learning quite a bit of new stuff about this language that I have been speaking since birth. The second half of the course is through this thing called grammar advisor.


http://www.grammaradvisor.com/


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Making sense of China's meager typhoon aid




Faced with a devastating typhoon a mere 700 miles away, Chinese President Xi Jinping this week pledged financial support for the Philippines, as did nearly every other industrialized nation. Australia offered $30 million; the Europeans $11 million; the United Arab Emirates promised $10 million. China offered $100,000.

The media backlash was immediate. Within days, an embarrassed Beijing upped its pledge to $1.6 million. That’s still less than a sixth of the total offered by Japan, China’s main regional rival. In 2010, China overtook Japan as the second-biggest economy in the world.

What gives - or doesn’t give, as the case may be? Why is an economy so big, a government so willing to invest abroad, and a country so eager to win favor in the region stiffing a neighbor in need? Because China is still a new enough power that it has no tradition of shelling out helpings of foreign aid - and because the Philippines is not China’s favorite country at the moment.

And despite its successes, China is actually still a poor country. Its per capita income finally topped $9,000 last year, which ranks China about 90th in the world, depending on the exact measure. Nearly 130 million of its people live on less than $1.80 per day. With a renewed sense of urgency to tackle the country’s many economic reform challenges, China has far too many pressing needs at home to be cutting big checks abroad.
http://www.japantoday.com/category/opinions/view/making-sense-of-chinas-meager-typhoon-aid?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2013-11-17_AM

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Day 2070 ( Top 10 National Dishes )
Monday, November 18, 2013

Had 1 class at the YMCA. Next week their parents will come to watch my class. I'm not looking forward to this, even though the Monday group started to behave a little better recently. Later on, I had my new "Sales rep" private student. She drives a nice BMW. Her English level is really low. But we still managed to do like a second introduction of sorts, she wanted to know more stuff about me.


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I still don't get how Hamburger is number 1......

 Top 10 National Dishes  


From the National Geographic book Food Journeys of a Lifetime



  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.

  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.

  1. Goulash, Hungary

    Gulyás—Magyar for “herdsman”—became a national dish in the late 1800s, when Hungarians sought symbols of national identity to distinguish themselves from their partners in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A filling stew of beef, vegetables, red onions, and spices, goulash gets its flavor from the use of slow-cooked beef shin, or similar richly flavored cuts, and paprika.
    Planning: For a lighter version, sample gulyásleves (goulash soup).

  2. Wiener Schnitzel, Austria

    Made with the finest ingredients and served fresh, this simple dish of pounded veal cutlets breaded and lightly fried is Austria’s food ambassador, despite the dish’s Italian origins. Austrians typically eat Wiener schnitzel garnished with parsley and lemon slices, alongside potato salad.
    Planning: Vienna’s Café Landtmann, a city institution since 1873, serves up an authentic version of the dish, as well as a dose of history and glamour: Sigmund Freud, Marlene Dietrich, and Paul McCartney have been among its famous patrons.

  3. Pot-au-Feu, France

    Originally a rustic dish that was stewed continuously all winter and topped up as needed, pot-au-feu (pot-in-the-fire) is a warming, fragrant dish of stewing steak, root vegetables, and spices. Traditionally, cooks sieve the broth and serve it separately from the meat.
    Planning: In downtown Paris, Le Pot au Feu at 59 Boulevard Pasteur (Métro: Pasteur) specializes in its namesake.

  4. Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, England

    Despite England’s increasingly cosmopolitan cuisine, this dish remains a much-loved Sunday lunch and national symbol. Named for England’s eponymous county, Yorkshire—or batter—puddings originally served as fillers before the main course for those who could afford little beef. Today, the two are usually eaten together alongside gravy-soaked roast potatoes, vegetables, and horseradish sauce.
    Planning: Try the traditional British restaurant London’s Rules, founded in 1798, or country pubs.

  5. Irish Stew, Ireland

    Originally a thick broth of slow-boiled mutton with onions, potatoes, and parsley, Irish stew nowadays often incorporates other vegetables, such as carrots, and many cooks brown the mutton first. It is a staple of Irish pubs worldwide.
    Planning: One place in Dublin to enjoy Irish stew and other traditional fare isShebeen Chic, in George’s Street.
http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/national-food-dishes/#page=2


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Day 2071 ( World War 2 If it was on Facebook ... Very Funny! )
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Had 2 classes today. Later on I went to Komatsu in Hiratsuka to teach my 2 business English classes. One of my regular students from the intermediate group will be transferred to Osaka for 2 years. I was a bit sad because this dude made considerable progress in learning English and he was a regular student.

The first class was about personality types and "horror scopes" (horoscope but horror because u know, if you follow this thing it can become horror!!) while the advanced class was about traveling in Dubai.

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Found this thing on a website about what if world war 2 was on facebook. I found it quite interesting. Maybe Japanese, Germans and/or Italians probably won't find it funny but who knows. It might take a while to read but take a read. Click on the link below this pic.



http://www.collegehumor.com/article/6650094/facebook-news-feed-history-of-the-world-world-war-i-to-world-war-ii/page:3

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Day 2072 ( English I-pad Lesson )
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

As I mentioned last week, a teacher approached me about how we could teach lessons using I-pads. So today was that class. We divided the class into 10 groups and gave each group an I-pad. Then we told the students to describe a picture using 4 English words. Here are some of the pictures.





The last picture with the tiger was the one I used as an example.... the three words I used were:

Leaf, Rock, Wet and Tail. The students should then look through the 20 pictures given to them on the I-pad and tell which was I describing. The second part of the lesson involved the student describing another picture in more details ... using present continuous tense eg. "The tiger walking in the water" .....  The group with the most descriptions would be the winner.

The lesson went well with about 7-10 teachers looking on including a professor from a university in Tokyo.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Why Japanese Prefer whites / Portia in Japan

Days 2059 - 2065
Thursday, November 7 - Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Day 2059 ( Jamaica's Prime minister - Portia Simpson-Miller in Japan )
Thursday, November 7, 2013

But even Abe prefer JLP.. Look at his fingers !!!



Had my private "Business woman"student then had tako rice (one of my favorite dishes) for lunch with my friend Sabina in Fridays. I specifically told the lady "No Egg" .. she said ok.. But guess what?? I got it with egg.... I called her back instantly, of course she was apologizing like mad for forgetting.



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Prime Minister of Jamaica reports successful working visit to Japan


Jamaica and Japan prepare to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations next year. Prime Minister of Jamaica -  Portia Simpson Miller visited Japan from November 4th to 8th 2013 in a multi-day working visit aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between Japan and Jamaica.  Mrs Simpson Miller and  Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe signed a joint statement.

The joint statement promised stronger bilateral relationships through shared prosperity, peace and sustainable growth; consolidation of a mutually beneficial and sustainable economic relationship; mutual respect and understanding through dialogue, exchange, and trade; and a strengthening of co-operation on Caribbean and global issues.
jamaica-japan-prime-ministers
Jamaica and Japan celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations next year
http://www.jamaipanese.com/prime-minister-of-jamaica-visits-japan/#comment-403355

Then there was cartoon in the Jamaican News paper LOL... DWL....LMAO!!!




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Day 2060 ( Messed Up Philippines Hurricane ... Possibly the Biggest Ever )
Friday, November 8, 2013

Had 2 classes at my main school then helped a student with some essay writing. Later on I had dinner with my 2 Jamaican friends again near to the YMCA where I work on Fridays.

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Philippine typhoon death toll could reach 10,000





The death toll from one of the strongest storms on record that ravaged the central Philippine city of Tacloban could reach 10,000 people, officials said Sunday after the extent of massive devastation became apparent and horrified survivors spoke of storm surges as high as trees and winds sounding like the roar of a jumbo jet.

Regional police chief Elmer Soria said he was briefed by Leyte provincial Gov. Dominic Petilla late Saturday and told there were about 10,000 deaths in the province, mostly by drowning and from collapsed buildings. The governor’s figure was based on reports from village officials in areas where Typhoon Haiyan slammed Friday.

Tacloban city administrator Tecson Lim said that the death toll in the city alone “could go up to 10,000.” Tacloban is the Leyte provincial capital of 200,000 people and the biggest city on Leyte Island.
About 300-400 bodies have already been recovered and “still a lot under the debris,” Lim said. A mass burial was planned Sunday in Palo town near Tacloban.
The typhoon barreled through six central Philippine islands on Friday, wiping away buildings and leveling seaside homes with ferocious winds of 235 kilometers per hour (147 miles per hour) and gusts of 275 kph (170 mph). By those measurements, Haiyan would be comparable to a strong Category 4 hurricane in the U.S., and nearly in the top category, a 5.
http://www.japantoday.com/category/world/view/1200-feared-dead-in-typhoon-devastated-philippines?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2013-11-10_PM


It is good though that help is pouring in from all over.

U.N. launches $300 mil appeal as warships head to Philippines


The U.N. launched an appeal for a third of a billion dollars on Tuesday as U.S. and British warships steamed toward the typhoon-ravaged Philippines where well over 10,000 people are feared dead.

Four days after Super Typhoon Haiyan destroyed entire coastal communities with record winds and tsunami-like waves, the magnitude of the disaster continued to build with almost unimaginable horror.

Festering bodies still littered the streets in many areas, with the smell of rotting flesh hanging in the air and ramping up the fear of disease in the tropical heat.

Increasingly desperate survivors begged for help that was having difficulty reaching them—many still without access to food and water after nights spent in the open.



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Day 2061 ( TEFL Certified!!! )
Saturday, November 9, 2013


Ok I kept it a little secret but now its over. Well a part of it is. I decided to take on this course to become a certified teacher of English as a foreign language. It should take 6 months but I wanted to just get it out of my way quickly. So I was done with the majority of it in 1 month and received this certificate. I have an additional 40 hours to complete but the final test will be multiple choice... Yuck .... When I complete that part, I will have a total of 100 hrs. As is now, I have 60 hours but still enough to get a certificate and use at interviews etc. Since receiving this certificate just today actually, I have gotten several interview offers lined up !!! Never knew this thing had so much power....Its just to do well on the interviews now. If you are interested you can check out the course here ..... http://www.teflonline.com/

Later in the evening I met with a relatively new Jamaican in the area to have dinner and have a little chat. She did an even more powerful course than mine while in Thailand known as CELTA ... Which once meant "Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults" ... but now means Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.... This one is British based... The TEFL that I did is American based.

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Day 2062 ( Why Japanese Prefer whites )
Sunday, November 10, 2013

Stayed in today just watching random stuff and preparing myself for a tough week to come.

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Why Japanese Prefer whites



This is one of those topics that probably everyone in Japan knows but many try to avoid.... And I guess frankly it would probably feel uncomfortable for many to speak about this topic in a group of people of different races inclusive of whites and Japanese.

Just to make sure there are no misunderstandings .... This is not a campaign against anyone or anything like that .. Its just what is happening, an observation or if you want to say plain and simple facts... It is obvious but hey lets talk about it for a little.

Here are some reasons why Japanese ( and arguably most Asians in Asia ) prefer whites...

1) Skin color -

Japanese, Chinese, Koreans ... Just call a group of Asians.... Many of them prefer to have a clearer skin... As close to white as possible... Ever notice the Japanese covering themselves from the sun? Well actually a Japanese friend argued that this shouldn't count as a reason because they probably are just protecting their skin from the sun... But hey I remember showing some teachers a photo and most of them were admiring the Korean lady for her "beautiful clear, white skin" .... This was in Okayama.... In Yokohama I showed some male teachers a photo of a close Japanese friend of mine and all they were saying was "wow her shin is so light and beautiful" .... 3rd case this one was a Chinese girl who I showed a picture with me and some of my white friends... and she kept singling out my white friends and saying... wow he/she is so beautiful... I love their skin .....

How can I forget the time when my white friend from England was telling me stories about every time he makes eye contact with a Japanese woman, she almost always blush and smile....Especially the parents of the kids he taught back then.... I told him that I can't recall this happening to me before... Then came my Asian-American acquaintance "But Dave, you are Black!!!" .. To which the British guy quickly hushed the Asian dude and changed the topic swiftly.... I still want to know what he meant..... Is it something I should know that Japanese would blush at white men but not at blacks??? Still uncertain.... Hey I know that there are some Japanese/Asians that are obsessed with Black men or foreigners in general... But it is evident that the vast majority prefer whites.

Hey if we are even to be truthful to ourselves, even many Jamaicans prefer whites or clearer skin.... But I regress...

2) White = Money/Rich

In all Asian countries.. Hey even in Jamaica, possibly the world.... white automatically means rich. Even if the white person is as broke as hell, it doesn't matter... white means rich.


Hey I remember twice while living in Japan, having to lend white friends money. Both of whom parents were probably quite rich or at the very least... really comfortable....

3) Hollywood

Movies and advertisements in general has a huge effect worldwide. Most successful actors and models worldwide are white. And I guess one can argue that white people look alike?? Well yeah to Asians and to others who are not used to having white people around. They may think that a random white person has a strong resemblance to a movie star... Like a Japanese guy went up to my friend from England saying "Macaulay Culkin!!"



4) Powerful Image and Prestige 

Hey let's face the facts, the most powerful countries has a majority white population. Minus Japan and China. In terms of economy and power over the years since Greek and Roman domination, whites have basically been controlling the world since then. The Mongols did something for a while and so did the Turks who are arguably white. But their domination was short lived. I guess Asians or the world in general see this and whites are thus at the top of the food chain. White people are aware of this... some subtly flaunt it... others just simply enjoy the benefits of being white.


You know you can't mess with me right?
5) Visa 

Some Japanese want to escape Japan.. And hey where's a better alternative to Japan? Another rich country... Which are almost always majority white.

The darker the red, the richer the country

Again this is just an observation.... an obvious observation that even Japanese people already knows. Nothing more than that. And hey nothing is wrong with this !!! .... A preference is just a preference at the end of the day.


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Day 2063 ( Woman Jumps From Window and lands on Man Below )
Monday, November 11, 2013

Went to Tokyo today to sort out some very important business. I will inform you of this later when things start to develop more.

In the evening I did a free class with a potential student. Her English level is low but she really wants to study English. She said some of her co-workers want to study as well. So this has the potential of becoming a business by itself.

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Woman jumps off building in Shinjuku, landing on man below




A man was seriously injured after being hit by a woman who apparently jumped from a building in Tokyo’s Shinjuku on Monday morning.

According to police, the 30-year-old woman jumped from the 9th floor of her office building into a parking lot at 10:30 a.m. TV Asahi reported that a 45-year-old company employee was conversing with a colleague in front of a vending machine when the woman landed on him.

Police said the man suffered a broken neck, while the woman broke her back in the fall.
http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/woman-jumps-off-building-in-shinjuku-landing-on-man-below?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2013-11-12_PM

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Day 2064 ( North Korea Executed 80 in Public! )
Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Did 2 classes at the high school, then 2 business English lessons. Only the laser creating student came to the intermediate/basic class.

My boss' wife said one night while going home, she was driving then overtook a car on the road. She said the driver then speedily caught up to her car, came out of his car when they stopped at a stop light and demanded that she apologize for what she did ..... I was like "WHAT!!" ... All I could think was that this is Japan... weird things happen all the time.

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North Korea publicly executes 80 people




North Korea publicly executed around 80 people earlier this month, many for watching smuggled South Korean TV shows, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday.

The conservative JoongAng Ilbo cited a single, unidentified source, but at least one North Korean defector group said it had heard rumors that lent credibility to the front-page report.

The source, said to be “familiar” with the North’s internal affairs and recently returned from the country, said the executions were carried out in seven cities on Nov 3.

In the eastern port of Wonsan, the authorities gathered 10,000 people in a sports stadium to watch the execution of eight people by firing squad, the source quoted one eyewitness as saying.
Most were charged with watching illicit South Korean TV dramas, and some with prostitution.
http://www.japantoday.com/category/world/view/north-korea-publicly-executes-80-people-s-korean-paper?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2013-11-11_PM

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Day 2065 ( Company Evaluation/Observation )
Wednesday, November 13, 2013


For the third time while living in Japan, I had a class observation to see how well or badly I'm teaching. I did it once in Okayama, once for elementary school in Yokohama and now for High school. This should have been done from June.... but there was one issue or the other ..... My boss/trainer for this job is pretty cool so no worries. He said he actually enjoy my classes. But he said today's class, I should apply the introduction to more realistic stuff. He gave me many other tips.... I of course told him about my new qualification as a TEFL qualified teacher and told him I'm interested in working in the office or possibly being a trainer myself... Hmmm Me training pompous Americans in my job...... I wonder what would that be like!!! I am almost certain that many would have it in the back of their minds .. stuff like "Why am I being trained by a Jamaican?, Do they even speak English?" ...... Well what the heck...I'm probably just imagining stuff right?

Had the terrible kids at YMCA afterwards, then my scientist private student in the night. I didn't play soccer tonight because it's too cold!!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Steve Jobs Movie / My Performance in Germany back in 2008 (re-post)


Days 2052 - 2058
Thursday, October 31 - Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Day 2052 ( Nintendo Losing Some Serious Profits / Congrats Baye! )
Thursday, October 31, 2013

Stayed in today just preparing my last week blog. So nothing at all to report about the day. Lol sorry Deneise I really did absolutely nothing.

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Nintendo reports weak first-half profit





Video game maker Nintendo sank to a loss in the latest quarter as sales of its Wii U game console continued to be eroded by a shift to gaming on smartphones and tablets.

The Kyoto-based maker of “Pokemon” and “Super Mario” reported an ¥8 billion loss Wednesday for the three months that ended Sept. 30. That virtually wiped out an ¥8.6 billion profit the previous quarter. Sales totaled ¥115 billion, a slight drop from the same quarter last year.

Quarterly Wii U sales nearly doubled to 300,000 units from 160,000 in the previous three months, but the total remained far short of the company’s goal of 9 million units for the fiscal year ending next March.

The company’s business has been shaken in recent years as more people play games on their smartphones and tablets. So far Nintendo has resisted offering its games on those platforms, but analysts say continued poor performance could force a change in strategy.
The company cut the price of the Wii U console last month.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/10/30/business/nintendo-reports-weak-first-half-profit/#.Un8D13BkOF9

Unfortunately this will be one of the last few news posts you will see me refer to from Japan times. They are now charging a subscription fee. I don't plan to pay a cent for reading internet news.


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Congrats Baye

The unique blogger who wrote the book :



has now published a second book. I remember when I was introduced to his blog and got hooked on reading it. Then bought his book in February 2012. Really great writer. I am planning to get a copy of his second book :



It has encouraged me to do a second book. I didn't really like my first book. My next book will be about my story leaving from Jamaica to Okayama then to Yokohama. The problem is I don't have advanced writing skills. I just write.... Anyone can do that. Baye has a way with words that I only see a few people have. I really admire people who can grab other people's attention with their style of writing. Baye is one of them. Baye's information is now listed on Wikipedia....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baye_McNeil

He was also featured in the Japan times but you probably won't see the full story because you have to PAY!!

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2013/10/19/books/loco-in-yokohama/#.Un8Lp3BkOF-

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Day 2053 ( Beware of Some Japanese Restaurants  - False Ads )
Friday, November 1, 2013

Stayed at work today until after 4:00 pm (I should leave at 3:15) because I am helping a 3rd year student with essay writing. She is trying to get into a supposedly difficult university that conduct their classes only in English. She lived in America for a year so some parts of it shouldn't be too difficult for her. It's just passing the initial interview which includes a test. An essay writing test that involves current issues.

Later I skipped YMCA to go have dinner with my relatively new friend "J". He has been inviting me random places and most times its fun. We had this expensive soup kinda thing with vegetables and meat known as "Shabu Shabu".

Shabu Shabu


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More restaurants tied to food fraud

lies abound in profit pursuit

Following Hankyu Hanshin Hotels Co.’s recent admission that dozens of its restaurants misrepresented the food on their menus, “revelations” have emerged that several other establishments around the nation are doing the same thing.

The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Osaka and the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel in Hokkaido, for example, recently admitted using ingredients that are cheaper or more easily obtained than the premium items advertised on their menus.

On Thursday, even the prestigious Imperial Hotel Ltd. admitted that it once served frozen juice labeled as “fresh” at restaurants in its Tokyo and Osaka hotels.

Imperial said the orange and grapefruit juices had been served until May 2006 and May 2007, respectively, after procuring freshly squeezed juice from a Tokyo supplier in frozen form. The juices are now being served freshly squeezed.

High-end eateries, such as those in luxury hotels, often tout the quality and safety of their fare to provide an air of exclusivity while cutting costs in the kitchen.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/10/31/national/more-restaurants-tied-to-food-fraud/#.Un8MFHBkOF9

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Day 2054 ( Movie about Steve Jobs Coming Soon )
Saturday, November 2, 2013

Got to YMCA a bit late today. Its just hard teaching infants on a Saturday morning. My boss said the parents were sort of grumbling .... understandably... This was my second consecutive week coming 5 mins late. I did make up the time so no problem in terms of "time stealing".

When I got home, I watched a bit of Spartacus and learnt that the main character from the first season died from cancer. This was back in 2011 but I still felt sad :(. His name was Andy Whitfield and he died at the age of 30.


Rest In Peace Andy
This was the best scene in the entire season 1 of Spartacus... It made me fire a few blank shots ..... Jamaican style....




Had to print screen it

I started watching the second season but I'm still not used to the new main character as yet.

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Sneaked  another Japan Times article in.

The blessing and the curse of being Steve Jobs





Filmmaker Joshua Michael Stern has the distinction of directing “Jobs,” the first big-budget movie biopic on one of the world’s most important entrepreneurs: Steve Jobs. The film was bound to come under extreme scrutiny from avid Apple fans, of whom there are many, and so Stern takes a cautious approach, lining up events in chronological order and sticking to facts garnered from meticulous research.

“Still, there are some things about which I’ve had to choose sides,” Stern tells The Japan Times. “For example, Steve Wozniak’s account of his time with Steve Jobs is different from Jobs’ own account. There were some things that had to be left unsaid or not referred to, and I’ve had to stick with Jobs’ account. It’s impossible to get a consensus of memory, but that’s what biopics are about.”

Stern was a screenwriter before he became a director, but he says he “would not have gone into writing or filmmaking if not for Apple.” In college, he first started working on an Apple II computer.

“I don’t think linearly; I think in images, so if I’d had to deal with the typewriter and whiting out the mistakes and all that, I don’t think I could ever have achieved any level of prolificness,” he says. “And I was never good at spelling or grammar either. But Apple II and the home computer allowed me to take all the thought that was racing around in my head and more or less slap it onto the screen, so that there was a constant, fluid motion going on between my thoughts and the computer. Before, writers had to be much more orderly and disciplined. But for me, Apple II was a real extension of my thoughts.”
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2013/10/31/films/the-blessing-and-the-curse-of-being-steve-jobs/#.Un8R43BkOF9


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Day 2055 ( Wrath of the Titans )
Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stayed in today, did some studying and submitted an assignment... forgot to mention that I was doing an English Teaching Course called TEFL. Will explain about it later.

Wasted my precious time watching a movie on my "to watch list" name Wrath of the Titans. By now, after watching a movie for 10 - 30 mins, I can usually tell if it's going to suck or not. The first 10 mins made me know this was going to suck. But I held on to dear hope.


Please don't waste your time!!!

Acting wasn't the best, the story was just not grabbing me nor was the movie in general. I give it a cold 2/10.

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Day 2056 ( Zero Dark Thirty / The Internship)
Monday, November 4, 2013

Today was a Japanese holiday but I still had a class even though it was only 2 students. After the class, I bought a rain cover for my bag, because the last time I got soaked in the rain, some of the stuff in my bag got wet.



Later on...I watched 2 movies. First was "Zero dark Thirty" which was basically a docu-movie of how Osama Bin Laden was killed. It had my attention. Good acting and generally interesting movie. I wanted to know more at the end though. I give it a 7/10


Then I watched "The Internship" which was kind of a comedy-Drama of sorts. I liked the general theme which had to do with "Don't give up" and "working together as a team". I think you could also squeeze in "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" theme as well. The acting was pretty good and it had a few laughable moments. Some of it had me scratching my head though. It is a good advertisement for Google...I give it a 6/10. An ok movie.



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Day 2057 ( Performance in Germany in 2008 )
Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Today was my usual busy Tuesdays. Had a class or half of a class at the high school then business English in the evening.


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I have a controversial topic brewing, but I will gather some more information then present it in a week or 2. Until then, lets go back in time a bit to when I went to Germany at a conference in 2008 and did a performance in front a crowd of approximately 5000.....

Day 137 - Germany Chapter 7

OK!!! So today is the BIG day. When I will be on TV in Germany ...RAYYY!!!! lol ... I only got like 1hr and 30 mins sleep then had to wake up and get ready, because I was packing even at 4:30 am this morning. When I got up I was sooo tired. I went on the tram then to the Congress Center Leipzig and met up with the Mass Choir people and the other rappers... The guys were saying that I look too neat to be a rapper, and that I should fix my outfit accordingly... So I unbuttoned my yellow shirt and made my white under shirt be in full view. A lady from Puerto Rico then gave me her white hat and I had my big board cross pendant around my neck... The guys then said "much better" :) ... instantly just by our appearance, we became Celebrity Baptist Rappers :) and many people wanted to take pictures of and with us.

So after a bunch of people asking for our email addresses and taking our photos, we then sat and watch the opening ceremony. The celebration went live on TV in Leipzig at 9:30 or 10 am I think. We then watched the other performers including a performance from the Jamaican group. The caption on the screen actually said Bethel Baptist Jamaica but there were actually a couple a persons on it who were not from Bethel Baptist. They sang a song by Jr Tucker, "Sold out" ... It was well done ... Magnifico !!!! 

Soon after that, it was time for the mass choir to perform. Suddenly, my heart started to pound furiously and my belly, stomach and throat started to feel funny. This will be my biggest performance ever, even though its not solo but still. This again will be in front of approximately 6000 people live, plus another couple thousand people who live in Leipzig will be seeing us on their Television screens. So we all went up and sang to the glory of God and walla it went well. I am of course the guy in the bright yellow shirt and the loud white hat. 
































You can see the clip below. 

My solo piece comes in at 2:57... my name appears on the screen at 3:06 and my second little rap piece appears at 4:57 thats if you only want to see me and not listen to all of it :) :) :) .. Yes so our performance was exciting and it was very well done, so say many many people.










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Day 2058 ( ipad Lessons Coming Soon )
Wednesday, November 6, 2013

An English teacher told me that my main school, which I have on Wednesdays and Fridays, got 40 Ipads from the Education ministry. And they "MUST" use them especially in English classes. The teacher then said I need to come up with ideas of how to teach English with the ipads. Luckily I'm doing the TEFL course that gave me quite a few ideas of how to use these things in lessons.

One of the ideas is to show a picture like say this one ....




Then ask the students to come up with 3 English words that they think about when they see this picture. After that they should make 3 simple sentence with the words. So far the idea is nice on paper. Not sure how it will go.

Later on I had lessons at the YMCA then my private student then played soccer again. My age old groin injury started acting up again. Even though I scored quite a few goals because only 10 of us showed up... and my team this time was that good. But ooh how my groin area hurts....


It was hurting so bad that I was hopping back home at 11:45 pm. I had to do some research and I found this .....

A groin pull -- or groin strain -- results from putting too much stress on muscles in your groin and thigh. If these muscles are tensed too forcefully or too suddenly, they can get over-stretched or torn.
Groin pulls are common in people who play sports that require a lot of running and jumping. In particular, suddenly jumping or changing direction is a likely cause. Groin pulls often appear in people who play soccer and football, and they make up about 10% of all injuries in professional hockey players.
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/groin-pull

This was the group tonight.