14 February 2010 ~ 21 Comments

Conversation 2/14/10 Valentine's Day: I love Black People!

Conversation 2/14/10 Valentine's Day: I love Black People!

5 minutes ago at the corner of my apartment with a Japanese woman I’d never seen before: Woman: Excuse me Me: Yes Woman: Where are you from? Me:…err…America… Woman: Oh. I just came back from Africa… Me: Uh huh? Woman: I love black people! Me: Lucky me… Woman: Ee? Me: Me, too. I love black [...]

10 February 2010 ~ 21 Comments

Conversation 2/09/10: Everybody knows


Conversation with a Japanese friend at a café in Yokohama Me: Can I ask you a question? Friend: Sure. Go ahead… Me: Well, last week my student told me that a staff person had asked her if she were 100% Japanese… Friend: Really? A staff person? Why? Does she look like a foreigner? Me: She has [...]

08 February 2010 ~ 16 Comments

Conversation 2/06/10: Are you 100% Japanese?

A conversation with my student over coffee at a Starbucks in Yokohama: Me: So what did you do yesterday? Student: I went shopping at Jiyugaoka. Me: …in Jiyugaoka… Student: Sou sou sou sou…in da ne. Me: That’s good. So, what did you buy? Student: I bought  nothing, but I meet…met a very nice woman. Me: Really? In the [...]

07 February 2010 ~ 26 Comments

200 Posts ago…

200 years ago an 8.0 earthquake in Missouri caused the mighty Mississippi River to flow backwards. 200 months ago the number one movie was about a weatherman who found himself living the same day over and over. 200 weeks ago I moved from the wasteland of Saitama Japan to the greener pastures of Yokohama,,,the grass [...]

06 February 2010 ~ 10 Comments

Can you be more Japanese?


Woman walks by a shop window and stops to check herself in her reflection. Amid a few adjustments she notices something in her peripherals. Something startling. She turns her head fully and takes it in. She’s aghast! She turns away quickly and begins to walk faster than before. She glances over her shoulder every 4 [...]

04 February 2010 ~ 17 Comments

The trials and tribulations of teaching English in Japan pt.3

“Do you like to make lessons for our classes?” I asked Yoshida-sensei making sure my smile was intact. She flinched and said, “Unnnn chotto….” (well, kinda, sorta…) which I’ve learned is as strong a “no” as you’re gonna get sometimes in Japan. But I treated it like a half-hearted yes. “Well,” I said, keeping upbeat. “I really like making [...]

02 February 2010 ~ 13 Comments

I should ask my wife: Conversation 2/1/10

lesson at a café in Yokohama with a Japanese private student Student: So, what is your book about? Me: It’s about some of my experiences in Japan… Student: Really? That sounds interesting. Me: While we’re on the topic, do you mind if I ask you a question? Student: No problem…what is the question? Me: Well, [...]

01 February 2010 ~ 16 Comments

The trials and tribulations of teaching English in Japan pt.2

When I first started working for this company I was told that they hired teachers for Elementary, Junior High and High Schools and was asked which I preferred. I’d told them anything but an Elementary school was ok. I’d had my fill of  toddlers and pre-teen kids during my tenure at Nova. So, naturally when I received my first [...]

31 January 2010 ~ 8 Comments

The Street Fighter: Sonny “Shinichi” Chiba

The Street Fighter: Sonny “Shinichi” Chiba

When I was a kid there were only two types of movies I wanted to see. What came to be known as Blaxploitation films (Superfly, Shaft, Buck & the Preacher, Uptown saturday Night, Let’s do it again, etc etc etc) and martial arts movies, or rather Karate flicks. Bruce Lee was of course the biggest [...]

29 January 2010 ~ 18 Comments

The trials and tribulations of teaching English in Japan pt.1

What can I say? It aint all Manzai and Kawaii kids… Yesterday a woman from the Board of Education came to observe me teach. She’s a nice woman, been at her job for a long time. Not Japanese, I don’t think, but she’s been here so long you can hardly tell she’s not from here. [...]