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

Check it out

Translate / 翻訳する

Flag Counter

free counters

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.


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.


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:



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


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:



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.


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.




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.



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.



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.


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.



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.


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.




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.



No comments: