Best of from 2011

Happy New Year! From Hiking the highest Mountain in Jamaica to My first trip to Japan, 2011 was a great year for my blog as well as myself personally. As 2011 draws to a close I thought I’d re-share some of the best posts published on in 2011 so regular readers can revisit some past posts as well as new readers I picked up during the year can fill in the black areas they may have missed. So in chronological order I present to you the best of for 2011.
  • 2011 Asian Cup – Japan will win it! – Still on a high from 2010 World Cup I was looking forward to watching the 2011 Asian Cup of Nations. I did some analysis and made the slightly biased prediction that Japan win it! Turns out they did!
  • Japanese Culture and Calendar Exhibition 2011 – The Japanese Embassy in Jamaica puts on a calendar exhibition each year in Kingston, sometimes it is for charity. Last year I met a lot of persons who have been to Japan and work at the Japanese embassy which it turn made my eventually first trip to Japan go that much more smoothly.
  • Five years blogging on – started as a spot online to help me remember what I studies in Japanese class and link with other Japanese learners. 5 years later my Japanese hasn’t improved much but has exploded into so much more than I envisioned and I enjoy writing every post and interacting with readers.
  • Blue Mountain Peak Hike a Success – For years I had wanted to phycally go to the highest point on my tiny island nation of Jamaica but didn’t. I scratched 1 more thing off the “things I want to do” list in 2011 when I (barely) made it to the top of the Blue Mountains. I had fun “documenting” the journey and even made a video! Guess what? I’ll be climbing the mountain again in a few weeks ^_^.
  • Jamaica Pegasus Tweetup “Tweetheart” Edition – the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel hosted yes another Tweetup in February and in my eyes it was the best one yet. Lots of fun, socializing, live performances, giveaways and a all-round good experience. Maybe there is another one coming in 2012? Not sure but if so I’ll be there again!
  • Tōhoku Disaster helps to explain why I love Japan – An Earthquake, Tsunami then prolonged (and still ongoing) Radiation Crisis. Thousands of lifes were lost and immerserable damage done to infrastructure and families but still the Japanese people stuck together; no widespread looting, orderly queuing for supplies, that never say die attitude and willingness to work hard and start from scratch if necessary.
  • Jamaican TV in 1984 – JBC Clip – At times it may seem that time is moving so fast that we forget the past and have our eyes always affixed to the future. In 1984 I wasn’t even born yet but i surfed into an old Jamaica Broastcasting Corporation clip from when Jamaica only had 1 television station and nostalgia overcame me and everyone I shared it with for days.
  • I feel Guilty after losing my Sushi Virginity – Last year my office treated me and the other workers to a weekend at an all-inclusive resort. While there I noticed there was “sushi” on the menu so I thought why not try some? Afterwards I felt like I lost my sushi virginity to a callgirl but alas I got over it and enjoyed real sushi while in Japan a few months later.
  • Portland Revisited – Rio Grande + Scatter Falls – Monthly trips with a local photography group help to release the stresses of my life. Last summer we checked otu some beautiful sights in one of Jamaica most beautiful parishes. There I met a photogenic goat, an “elephant” a couple waterfalls and trotted through the jungle commando style (sort-of).
  • Send-off Reception for Successful 2011 JETs – Each year a dozen out so Jamaicans heat to Japan on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET). I was fortunate enought o be invited to the sending of receptionf or the latest batch where I was inspired by the group and a couple friends. I’ve been keepign up with the adventures and experiences of about 3 of them mostly through facebook and I am happy to say it has mostly been positive.
  • Anime Nation 2011 puts Jamaica on Cosplay map – Cosplaying is a growing subculture here in Jamaica that is obviously imported from and heavily influenced by Japan. WIth the legion of anime, mange and video game lovers here in Jamaica it was only a matter of time and ANime Nation is that yeraly even where Jamaicans come out to cosplay and meet with persons who share their interests.
  • Touchdown in Japan – poetic edition – After 3 years of planning, 2 years of saving plus support from friends, family and readers of my blog I finally touched down in Japan in September 2011. Words cannot describe how I felt when walking off that plane and taking my first few step inside JAPAN.
  • Tokyo Game Show 2011 – Highlights, Booth Babes, Cosplay and Showfloor – One of the highlights of my trip to Japan was attending Tokyo Game Show 2011. After watching it on TV and reading about it on blogs for years it felt strange actually being on the group absorbing the sights and sounds. I could barely take it all in and it was so much crazier that I’d imagined but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
  • Back in Jamaica after 3 weeks in Japan – One minute teary-eyed while stepping off a plane in Tokyo then a few short and eventful weeks later I doign the oposite. Looking back now I don’t think I would have done anything differently but more money would always help! I managed to visit Akihabara, Kyoto, Shibuya, Harajuku, Nara, Shinkjiku, Nagoya, Kamakura, Yokohama and so many other places during my time in Japan. I can’t wait to go again!
  • True Story: Lost and Found in Japan – Buddha Edition – Beleive it or not, my Japan trip could have been over less than a week after arriving. The enlightened one saved me with the help of of an awesome Japanese friend. My overactive iagination filled in the blanks and the result is a story from my time in Japan I’ll be telling everyone who will listen for years. I can hear my grandkids complaining already.
  • My Romantic experience with the Narita Express – After more than 24 hours in the sky and even more hours hustling around 4 aiports it was good to finally be in Japan but man was I tired. An unlikely rescuer came to my aid in the form a train (yes I am crazy I know). After all that traveling and lugging arounf luggage it was good to sit and enjoy a 1 hour ride from Narita to Yokohama – thank you Narita Express, we will be together again soon.
  • 10 things I miss about Japan – After the first 2 weeks in Japan I was starting to feel like a local. I grew familiar with my commute, using the trains, convenience stores, restaurants, food, money, photos, friends etc. But soon I had to return home and then expectantly I started to miss Japan which I now realize is much more potent that when I just wanted to visit because now I have memories and experiences.
  • Akihabara Electric Town Experience and Photography Blowout – Akihabara, the mecca of Japanese popular culture and I had to make the pilgrimage not once but twice while I was in Japan. I could have easily spent all three weeks in Akihabara alone, but then I would have been pennyless on the first day… turns 6 in Febrary 2012 and I have some interesting giveaways planned so stay tuned.
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