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

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Three Quarters of Whites (in America) Don’t Have any Non-white Friends / Short Trip to the US and Jamaica

Picture of the week:

Week 1

Yeah I'm 3 weeks behind in blogging I know. My trip to the US and Jamaica was packed and then back in office in Yokohama exactly after my trip....  just no time ....

Day 2332 ( Out of Japan - Into Atlanta )
Thursday, August 7, 2014

So finally I got to take some time off from work.... I took 10 days off mainly to go see my 10 months old niece in Jamaica also to go visit a close friend of mine in the states.  So yeah left from my apartment in Yokohama and went to the airport .... Unfortunately this airport wasn't the one that is 45 mins away. This one was 2 hrs away and it is the main airport in Japan. Still 2 hours isn't that bad really. When I was in Okayama, I had to leave like the day before and sleep over in Osaka, a combined journey of about 5 hrs.

So yeah.... the first leg of my flight took about 14 hours to Houston, Texas. I used United air and there was a bit of turbulence while heading to Houston. Of course I slept several times. But only like short 2 hour naps.

I watched 2 movies as well. First I saw  "3 Days to Kill" starring Kevin Costner. Haven't seen this guy in a movie for a while.

It kinda reminded me of Taken. But not as good. The acting was great but the story line was so so. I generally like these kind of spy/secret agent movies though. I give it a 6.5/10.

I also watched an animated flick called Appleseed Alpha.

It was visually stimulating and not bad overall if you are into animated stuff. I give it a 6/10.

I eventually got to Houston for the first leg of my flight. Now it was time for a 2 hr flight to Atlanta. So while on the plane heading to the airport in Atlanta, the pilot said he cannot land the plane at the airport in Atlanta at the time, because of a serious thunder storm in the airport area. Lightning and all. He then said that the storm may last as little as 20 mins or as long as 1 hour. However, the plane only has 1 hour worth of fuel !!!... So if its cutting too close to 1 hour, then the plane will have to land at another airport, refuel, then head back to Atlanta. Luckily, the thunder storm eased down. But now, the plane was flying in the opposite direction....... We managed to land ok in a little rain. When we landed, there was like 17 other planes in the sky waiting to land !!! and after those 17, there were several others just coming in 1 after the other. It was so strange to see the sky scattered with planes looking like they were all flying towards us at once....

And no this is not the actual thing,
I found this on the internet silly!

Yes finally, landed in Atlanta, cleared customs, then took the hotel shuttle to a hotel called Double tree.   

Got there, only to see the hotel in darkness !!! Power outage !!! I went to the front desk and the lady said that a tree fell on an electric pole somewhere nearby. Several persons left the hotel to go to other places. I decided to stay... As soon as I went up to my room, the power came back. I took a shower and was going down to the lobby. Suddenly the power went off again lol. I just stood outside the hotel then met up with a Jamaican friend of mine who I haven't seen in like 14 years. The funny thing is we just found each other on facebook like about 3 weeks prior to this, and I learnt that he was living in Atlanta. So we had a looong chat, catching up from 14 years ago. Big up yuh self Mr. Turner. I went back to the hotel at about 2 am. 



Day 2333 ( Atlanta - Miami - Jamaica )
Friday, August 8, 2014

Did some shopping in the morning. 
I had no clue that Walmart was seen as slightly "ghetto" in America. I can see why though. Loads of stuff for cheap. When I went in there, it was as if I was a dog waiting to be let loose. I went on a shopping spree. I was buying everything. There is no where I can get these quality stuff in Japan for this price. When I was done, my bill came up to US$300 or 30,000 yen. lol.

Had breakfast/lunch at IHOP. Haven't been here since like 2003, when I was in Miami.

I then went to a store called TJMaxx to get some colognes and stuff because the Lord knows I was running low on sprays !! And just like that it was already time to head to the airport. But suddenly it started to rain. Like serious rain !!! Lightning, deafening thunder and all. For sure no plane could take off in this. I still had to squeeze the stuff I bought into my luggage. They were all in the back of the car. They got wet but I still had to pack them up. So yeah had to do it while in the car. Luckily the plastic bags kept most of the stuff away from the rain.  

So got to the airport and of course the flights were delayed. The rain eventually eased down so got on the flight to Miami. The flight in Miami was also delayed. And I fell asleep in the airport. Luckily a lady beside me woke me up. I landed in Jamaica at 9:30 pm. My mom, sis, her bf and their child were all there. As soon as we got to Waterford, Portmore .... The first thing I wanted was JERK Chicken ....

This is home, I felt !!! It felt great. Hot but great. I took a deep breath and all the memories of home started flooding my mind. I love this place, even though it has its many issues. 

And finally after all theses months of looking at my niece via facetime ....

I finally got to hold her physically....



Day 2334 ( Visiting My Aunt's House / 

16-year-old girl arrested for beheading classmate in Sasebo)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Went to my aunt's house today. They are moving out of Waterford to a new community in Portmore. 

I am wondering when I'm going to buy a house... And where would I buy it? My life is all over the place. For now its working in Japan. Later on, my cousin took me to buy some stuff that I am planning to take back to Japan. 


Old news but still shocking ....

16-year-old girl arrested for beheading classmate in Sasebo

Police in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, said Sunday they have arrested a 16-year-old high school girl on suspicion of killing a classmate.
According to police, the victim, Aiwa Matsuo, 15, was visiting the suspect at her apartment when the incident occurred at around 8 p.m. Saturday. TBS quoted police as saying the suspect struck Matsuo on the back of the head more than 10 times with a blunt instrument and strangled her as well. Police said Matsuo’s head had been severed with a large knife and her left hand cut off.
At around 11 p.m., Matsuo’s parents contacted police after their daughter failed to return home. She had told them earlier that she was going to her friend’s place and texted them at about 7 p.m. to say she was about to leave for home.
Police found Matsuo’s body early Sunday morning, lying on the suspect’s bed.
The suspect, who cannot be named because she is a minor, was alone with her classmate at the time of the crime. Police said she does not live with her parents.
The suspect admitted to the crime, police said, but has so far given no motive for the attack.



Day 2335 ( Eating Fish in Port Henderson )
Sunday, August 10, 2014

Went to my home church today. Been going here since 1987 when it just built. Hurricane Gilbert blew it down in 1988 but it was rebuilt. It is sad but this is the first time I'm going to church since like October 2013. I'm mostly in Toyama now where churches are almost unheard of. There is one about a hour away I heard but the Japanese only thing won't work with me. 


Went to an area of Portmore called Port Henderson this evening to eat steamed fish with my family.

The pictures look like this because this was exactly how the lighting was. A weird green look that was hurting my eyes. 



Day 2336 ( Passport Renewal / Meeting My Ex After 6 Years)
Monday, August 11, 2014

My passport will expire in February 2015. I'm in Jamaica now so I thought it is best that I renew my passport while I'm here. That and I heard stories about the Jamaican embassy in Japan losing stuff.... Even if there is no truth to this, just the very thought of my passport going missing is scary. I had to wait for like 3 hours to get through. First I had to join this very long line under a tent, then photcopy some documents, sit and wait under the tent, rain started falling !!! Then finally got inside the building and wait again..... Jet lag was kicking in now so I was falling asleep inside the building. Finally I got through and let them know that I needed the next day service. It cost JA $7000 or about US $70 So I should be collecting the new passport tomorrow. 

After submitting the passport renewal application, I went to a famous Jamaican restaurant in the New Kingston area name Cuddy's. I go here every time I come back to Jamaica. I went to meet up with my ex. The one where we broke up as soon as I got to Japan :(  .... It was an interesting meeting to say the least... 1st time in 6 years. We chatted for more than 3 hours about random stuff from school, to who we are seeing now to every thing. She has matured by leaps and bounds. 



Day 2337 ( Meeting More Friends )
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Went to a money market broker (JMMB) to lodge some money today. I'm really trying to invest and save. I also bought some Jamaican souvenirs for some friends in Japan. Later in the evening I met some of my good  friends from university, church and otherwise. We just ate and spoke about random stuff again. The aim really was just to see my friends and chat. 



Day 2338 ( Meeting With Friends From University / 
Three Quarters of Whites Don’t Have any Non-white Friends)
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Took some random selfies with my niece. 

Went to the tax office in Portmore (my home town) with my sister to transfer my car to her. She already has a car now but they want to sell my car... It did it's time now after 7 years. I then collected my passport, did some more banking stuff and also bought some more Jamaican goodies then met my classmates from university in the night. More than half of them are married now. It was a good meeting with great food. They discussed extensively about their marriage life. Me and 2 of my other friends pretty much sat and listened to them give their stories one by one. Extremely heated and interesting discussions. Most of them seem to agree on one thing ...... That if you are not married yet.... Just wait a bit more lol. 


Three Quarters of Whites (in America) Don’t Have any Non-white Friends

Not that I have any issues with this but still interesting. 


"All my black friends have a bunch of white friends. And all my white friends have one black friend."
That's the memorable punchline of a Chris Rock bit from 2009 on interracial friendships. And according to some recent number-crunching by Robert Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute, there's a good deal of truth to that statement.
Let's consider the average American white American and the average American black American, and let's say, for simplicity's sake, that each of them have 100 friends. If you were to break down their respective friend networks by race, they would look something like this.
If you're interested in how PRRI arrived at these numbers, see the methodological note at the bottom of this post.
In a 100-friend scenario, the average white person has 91 white friends; one each of black, Latino, Asian, mixed race, and other races; and three friends of unknown race. The average black person, on the other hand, has 83 black friends, eight white friends, two Latino friends, zero Asian friends, three mixed race friends, one other race friend, and four friends of unknown race.
Going back to Chris Rock's point, the average black person's friend network is 8 percent white, but the average white person's network is only 1 percent black. To put it another way: Blacks have ten times as many black friends as white friends. But white Americans have an astonishing 91 times as manywhite friends as black friends.
There are a number of factors driving these numbers. Simple population counts are one of them: there are more white people than black people in the U.S., so it makes sense that the average American is going to have more white friends than black friends.
Another factor is our tendency to seek out and associate with people who are similar to us in any number of ways - religiously, politically, economically and yes, racially too. The polite term for this phenomenon is "sorting," and it impacts everything from political polarization to income inequality to the racial differences in friend networks seen above.
As PRRI's Robert Jones writes in The Atlantic, Americans' segregated social circles have influenced responses to the events in Ferguson, Missouri over the past few weeks. Polls show deep divides between blacks and whites on everything from the role of race in Ferguson to the appropriateness of responses by protestors and police.
The numbers above offer insight into why so many whites have expressed bafflement over protesters' responses to the shooting of Michael Brown. The history between many black communities and the police forces that serve them is long, complicated, often violent, and characterized by an extreme imbalance of power. But as Robert Jones notes, most whites are not "socially positioned" to understand this history, simply because they know few people who've experienced it.
To be fair, the numbers suggest there is plenty of racial self-selection in black Americans' friend networks too. But focusing solely on black-white relations, there's a pretty big difference between having only one member of a given race in your friend network, and having eight of them.
In fact, PRRI's data show that a full 75 percent of whites have "entirely white social networks without any minority presence." The same holds true for slightly less than two thirds of black Americans.
The implication of these findings is that when we talk about race in our personal lives, we are by and large discussing it with people who look like us.

How PRRI calculated the racial breakdowns of friend networks
As part of their American Values Survey, PRRI researchers asked respondents to name up to seven people with whom they regularly discussed important matters. They then asked a battery of demographic questions about these people - their relationships to their respondents, as well as their gender, religion, and germane for these purposes, their race. They used these numbers to derive average racial breakdowns of the friend networks of the average black, white and Hispanic survey respondent.





Week 2

Day 2339 ( Macau Lounge)
Thursday, August 14, 2014

Went to the airport to pick up a friend of mine. First time to Jamaica. Had to wait for 2 hours because I forgot to give them an address in Jamaica !!! Yikes ... Anyway everything eventually worked out well. 

While on the way to the airport I saw this country/rural bus. I had no clue that these buses were still around in Jamaica. All kinda stuff on the top of it, bicycles, coconuts, bags, clothes, you name it, it's probably up there. 

Later, a couple of us went to a kind of bar name Macau. Think this opened back in like 2008 or there about when I just came to Japan. My friends from university would frequent there. 



Day 2340 ( Sunset Jamaica Grande Hotel )
Friday, August 15, 2014

I have been to this hotel a couple of times but never actually slept over. This was my first opportunity. 

Aaaamazingly beautiful place. I fell asleep on the beach side for like 2 hours.  

I had some all inclusive dinner.... Great food !!! I really miss this kinda food.....

I was falling asleep again after the food... But ended up going to a little live entertainment session afterwards.



Day 2341 ( Heading Back to Portmore )
Saturday, August 16, 20140

Went to the pool today, haven't been in a pool for a while. And yeah still can't swim. It is unfortunate. Saw an old friend of mine at the hotel. The same guy who sold me my car in Jamaica. We were quite surprised to see each other there. We chatted for a bit but I had to hurry and check out of the hotel. Checked out of the hotel, had breakfast, then went back to the pool. Had lunch (not supposed to be doing this as I already checked out, but you know ....). Headed out of the hotel for the bus park.... The bus was a few minutes late but all was well. I started to get a little motion sickness while on the bus for the 2 hour journey back to Kingston. My sister came to pick me up eventually. 

All this time while in Jamaica, I was in and out of random bathrooms (Gross I know).... My body is still re-adjusting to the food. This happens to me every single time I travel of recent times. Same thing happened earlier this year in Thailand and last year in Singapore.   



Day 2342 ( Packing for Atlanta )
Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bought some more Jamaican stuff downtown. Downtown Kingston looks wayyyy different now. I like how it is beginning to get a long needed face lift.    

As soon as I got home, I started packing. 

I leave for Atlanta tomorrow. Aaah short but this was a really great trip back. Thoroughly enjoyed every single day. Trip cost like 200,000 yen but was worth every yen.  



Day 2343 ( Tight Security in Miami / Culture Shock in ATL )
Monday, August 18, 2014

Woke up at 4am and my sister dropped me to the airport. Stopped in Miami again then back to Atlanta. I hate going through Miami, the immigration there is just ridiculous. Dogs everywhere and one bag a questions !!! The customs officer lady asked me if I had friends coming from Jamaica with me to Atlanta !!! WTH??? What you mean like smuggle them in??? She started asking if I'm paid well in Japan and what I do there and all manner of things .... And she knew very well that my connecting flight was like in the next 50 mins and I was running late ......after like 10 mins with her, she asked again... "Are you sure there is no one else with you????" .... I almost lost it...seriously ..... Lady don't you see I need to go!! I was saying this in my mind of course.... .. Anyway, after passing that lady there was another dude there.... Same bag a question ..... Bredrin!!! Mi a run late yuh know !!! He asked me if I was bringing in ackee, or breadfruit or any kind of food...... I mean I was carrying some rum and some other food stuff but still.... 
I told him no for everything but he still was going on with his questions.... finally he said ok go ahead..... Next time I will not be connecting in Miami. 

My friend picked me up at the airport in Atlanta and we had lunch at a famous restaurant in Atlanta name Mary Mac's. 

This is one of the best spots in Atlanta where you can get the real Southern food. Southern fried chicken, stewed apples, broad beans stuff, corn bread etc. It's somewhat similar to stuff in Jamaica but with its own American flavor. Usually with less spices though. It was my first time having stewed apples!! 

I did some more shopping then my friend had to run to a part time job. So I slept for a while then in the evening had dinner at a place name Vortex. 

Before heading to the restaurant tho.... A homeless guy was there at the car parking lot asking us for money. He would not move !! No matter how many times we told him we were low on cash..... When we left, he approached the others in the line waiting behind us. There were sooooo many homeless people in Atlanta. I have never seen so many homeless people in my life, outside of when I went to the Philippines. In the Philippines you can probably expect it but the USA???? It shocked the heck out of me. Not only blacks, yeah mostly blacks but whites too. I have been to the USA more than 20 times and I have never seen this. Maybe my friends and family just stayed clear of the areas with the homeless peeps?  

I am still shocked. Almost everywhere we went in downtown Atlanta, there was some homeless person asking for a dollar or 2. 



Day 2344 ( Atlanta - Chicago - Japan )
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ate breakfast at a restaurant name fly biscuit this morning. It was really good.

Did some final final shopping, and before you know, it was time to go. Got to the airport and almost teared up..... But held myself together ... Cause man a tuggs .... This trip was just too short. My flight to Chicago was full, so full that they had to check on our carry-on luggage. The flight from Atlanta to Chicago took about 2 hours. The plane was running late, and I have to connect to go to Japan. 

While on the plane, somehow me and the lady beside me sparked up a conversation. Found out she was on a teaching program in Dubai and she travels between Dubai and Atlanta twice a year. Her husband is Kenyan and also works in Dubai. She said she brought him over to visit Atlanta recently and he too was shocked at the fact that there were so many homeless peeps in the states. Simply unbelievable.... My heart goes out to them ... It is when you see stuff like this you have to give thanks for whatever little you have.    

The lady said she has a 15 hour flight to Dubai. I was there dreading my 12 hour flight to Japan. Anyway, finally the plane landed and I had to wait for my checked on, carry-on luggage. As soon as I got it, I rushed inside the airport only to see someone holding up a sign ANA/United airlines to Japan.... I said to the lady "I think this is my flight" ... She asked "Are you Mr. Collymore" .... I said "yup that would be me" .... she said they need to check my passport.... I showed them .... then they asked if I had my Japan Alien Registration card.....I always have it in my pocket.... why did they need to check this in the US? No idea. I was lucky I made the flight tho.. because my phone was already sending me messages that I may have to take the next flight to Tokyo which would be 2 hours later. If that was the case then I would be late for work on Thursday, because there would be no trains going into Yokohama at the time when I would get there. I will not be using United airlines Again .... They always put the connections too close... This is the second time they are doing something like this with my connecting flights... 



Day 2344 ( Back to Japan ) 
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 ( 6 Years 5 Months )

Notice I left Atlanta and Chicago on Tuesday? It was a 12 hour flight but I got to Tokyo at 9:30 pm Wednesday night. And I have work tomorrow !!!!! Not just work but I have to do training for some new teachers. Luckily I won't be the main trainer. I will be in a supporting role. 

Anyway, long flight but it was really smooth, hardly any turbulence ... Watched a movie called Transcendence .... really interesting concept   

but was kinda slow and lacked depth. Something was missing. I give it a 7/10 tho. 

After landing, got my stuff... And for probably the second time in my life, I went through the Japanese customs without any issues whatsoever. All the guy asked was "do you have presents for anyone?" After telling him no, he just said ... go right ahead.... Usually they would stop me and search my stuff. Now I will just look for the old guys who doesn't seem to care..... 

Thought I left my keys in Jamaica or Atlanta so again I had to call on my friend to open my apartment door. I eventually found my keys luckily.... It was hidden in my nap sack bag. So that pretty much sums up my trip.... whoa that was a long blog post.. took me 2 days to do all of this... Here is a very short video clip of my trip...

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