Why I Pretend to Know Usain Bolt

I’m a Jamaican currently residing in Japan. Five times out of ten, my conversations in Japan will go like this:

THEM:        You American?

ME:            Jamaican.

THEM:        Jamaica in Africa?

  

ME:            No. Jamaica in Jamaica.

                    (Blank stare)

                    The Caribbean.

                    (Blank stare)

                    Usain Bolt.

THEM:        Ooooooohhhhh!!!! Ahhhhh!!!! Bolto! Bolto!

Yup, Bob Marley may have placed Jamaica’s name on the map, but Bolto as the Japanese call him, is making darn sure the world keeps chanting her name.

  

I realized there was a huge fascination with Bolto, the first day I arrived on Japanese soil. I cleared customs and walked into blinding lights, huge cameras, animated voices screaming my name and a mic being thrust into my face.

Well — it didn’t quite happen like that.

There were three of them. All men. All Japanese. One held a camera, one a mic and the other served as a translator. I was the only black girl who cleared customs so they didn’t need to see Gaijin (Japanese word for a foreigner) printed on my forehead to approach.

My interviewer’s name was Kentaro and his television show on channel 2 was called, ‘Why did you come to Japan?’ He apologized via his translator for bothering me and asked to interview me about —- yup, you guessed it — why I came to Japan.

His first question: Where are you from?  

I was like —–Seriously? Don’t you see the flag on my face?

That’s what I said in my head. My mouth gave a one word response:

Jamaica.

I kid you not, that’s all it took for the conversation to change to Bolto. He totally forgot the name of his programme and spent the entire five or so minutes asking me about Jamaica, sports and Usain Bolt.

  

I again answered the ‘Where are you from?’ question when purchasing my bus ticket and almost instantly, there were chants of Bolto.

Then, the most amazing thing happened. Missy dropped my fare from 3200 ¥ and told me she would give me a foreigner’s discount of 2200 ¥.

Now, people who live in Japan know you get nothing free. I promise you, if you’re short a yen, just put back your groceries and get out! They don’t play with their money.

So, when she decreased my fare, I realized I was onto something.

Now, I don’t wait for people to ask where I am from. I introduce myself:

I’m Keisha from Jamaica.

And, when they ask:

You know Bolto?

I say:

Yes! Yes!

  

Some days we’re friends — some days he’s my distant cousin by my aunty Sonya’s side — I was even his girlfriend one time.

At my job, everyone knows I live 5 minutes away from him.

Technically, this is NOT a lie!!

Ravinia is a mere 10 or 15 minutes away from Norbrook.

Plus, everyone knows in Jamaica everywhere is around the corner, as you turn the bend, beside the big Guava tree near to Ma’as Busha shop.

Now, people, before you judge me, please note that I am not at fault here.

Jamaica is a big, little country. Why ask me if I know Usain Bolt and force me to lie? I don’t go around asking them if they know Kei Nishikori.

And, I’ve tried to stop lying, but they keep giving me things when I say I know him. So far, knowing Bolt has gotten me half price on bus fare, free chocolates, half price on food, tomatoes, sweet peppers, invites to various temples/festivals, tomatoes, free lunch, cookies — did I say tomatoes?

I was having a good run too, but last week this bright eyed little boy handed me his mother’s phone and chanted:

‘Call him! Call him!’

  

Without batting an eyelid I told him.

‘In training. World Championships. Cannot be disturbed.’

Then I quickly walked away to shouts of:

‘When? When call? When call?’

I did not even look back and I sincerely hope I never see that lil imp again.

Listen guys, I know I need to stop, but, who on earth will tell him that some girl halfway around the world is claiming to know him just so she can get free stuff? I doubt anyone would want to jinx it for me — right?

By Stephane Kempinaire - http://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/puma-nordic/images/puma-aw14_ff_bolt-325510, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46777189
By Stephane Kempinaire – http://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/puma-nordic/images/puma-aw14_ff_bolt-325510, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46777189

Check out Keisha’s blog HERE and Like her Facebook Page HERE

Download The Jamaican Blogs™ App for your Android device: HERE

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Karen Goodall
7 years ago

I know Bolt…..mek mi call him fi you……Usain….pon deck….cho….him inna training…soon come now. lol

Francine Montague-Ingram

Girl Usain has a lot of ‘cousins’…my mom lives is the US and her patients ask her all the time about Bolt so she tells them they are related 😀

Francine Montague-Ingram

Girl Usain has a lot of ‘cousins’…my mom lives is the US and her patients ask her all the time about Bolt so she tells them they are related 😀

Roberta Francis
7 years ago

DWL. This is really good. I enjoyed reading your article.

Roberta Francis
7 years ago

DWL. This is really good. I enjoyed reading your article.

Duanel Bartholomew
7 years ago

Lol….thaz funny….no blaming here….

Duanel Bartholomew
7 years ago

Lol….thaz funny….no blaming here….

Christine Salabie Wilkins

u made me lol to hiccups
wat else could u do n burst there bubble noway

Christine Salabie Wilkins

u made me lol to hiccups
wat else could u do n burst there bubble noway

Patricia Nelson
7 years ago

Lol. This is hilarious. I love it.

Patricia Nelson
7 years ago

Lol. This is hilarious. I love it.

Elmore Jamieson
7 years ago

lol… love this. Hope you share more soon

Elmore Jamieson
7 years ago

lol… love this. Hope you share more soon

Spontaneous Shan
7 years ago

I don’t wrong u, we all related to him. Distant cousin the linkage mix up lol

Spontaneous Shan
7 years ago

I don’t wrong u, we all related to him. Distant cousin the linkage mix up lol

Georgette Hunt
7 years ago

Hilarious. Keep writing like this. You’re talented.

Georgette Hunt
7 years ago

Hilarious. Keep writing like this. You’re talented.

Stacyann Perry
7 years ago

Always sey every Jamaican is my cousin

Stacyann Perry
7 years ago

Always sey every Jamaican is my cousin

Chanté-René Bełłá

I did meet the man as his ex gf once lived across from us in pembroke hall. I know him before beijing 2009 … Anyways. I went for an autograph after the 9.67 record to prove to my friends In prep school that I actually met him.

Chanté-René Bełłá

I did meet the man as his ex gf once lived across from us in pembroke hall. I know him before beijing 2009 … Anyways. I went for an autograph after the 9.67 record to prove to my friends In prep school that I actually met him.

Khary A Simmonds
7 years ago

M’neven a laugh,, yuh mek mi name girl,,,, the smile,,, pan mi face stuck,,, behave yuhself…

Terry-an Alouidor
7 years ago

Love it!

Haiduk Denise
7 years ago

I live in Germany and I am popular because I am from Jamaica. Everybody knows about Bolt. I have to answer questions about him all the time. We are friends. I have him on Facebook…….Well, his fan page.

Keisha Thompson
7 years ago

LOL this has me dying in the office…i can’t stop laughing , so a lady came up to me asking what’s going on since i don’t laugh much. .my answer went like this my cousin Usain just called me telling me something …woeeeee

Rose Henry
7 years ago

DWL! Too funny!

Denise Brown
7 years ago

Can’t stop laughing!! Lol long may your free gifts continues and maybe one day you will do get to talk to Usain Bolt!! Good Luck as long as you are Jamaican we are all family…L ol

Nagem Couture Lee
7 years ago

Lol, Love it! We are all family here in Jamaica hon 😀

Shallema Stewart
7 years ago

This literally made my day!

Adesola Soyibo
7 years ago

I love this blog! Very funny and well written.

Adesola Soyibo
7 years ago

I love this blog! Very funny and well written.

Andrea Crossdale Smith

You are sooooo funny. My pastor had said they are cousins. Just a joke. You see he is 6′ 11. So i guess thats why. I love this article. Keep it up.

Andrea Crossdale Smith

You are sooooo funny. My pastor had said they are cousins. Just a joke. You see he is 6′ 11. So i guess thats why. I love this article. Keep it up.

Ree Cee
7 years ago

Funny!

Ree Cee
7 years ago

Funny!

Javaun Ellis
7 years ago

Very funny ..

Javaun Ellis
7 years ago

Very funny ..

Dahlia-Ann Howard-Lewis

Lol!!!!! Love this! I am a Vincentian and Bolt is my cousin too! After all we are from the same region!

Dahlia-Ann Howard-Lewis

Lol!!!!! Love this! I am a Vincentian and Bolt is my cousin too! After all we are from the same region!

Snikki Gunzalez
7 years ago

I am not from JA but that shit is funny as hell hahaha

Snikki Gunzalez
7 years ago

I am not from JA but that shit is funny as hell hahaha

Harry Dillon
7 years ago

Girl 2 funny! I
was laughing out reading this you made my day

Harry Dillon
7 years ago

Girl 2 funny! I
was laughing out reading this you made my day

Alicat James
7 years ago

dwl.. thats was hilarious

Alicat James
7 years ago

dwl.. thats was hilarious

Danielle Thomas
7 years ago

Sooooo fuhnny! I really enjoyed this!

Danielle Thomas
7 years ago

Sooooo fuhnny! I really enjoyed this!

Tanice Wellington
7 years ago

Mi know him to…. lol! as a mata a fact, mi an him use to go a d same church…. lol!! thats how close we were….
A wanda if dem would reduce mi school fee a bit… Dwl!!

Aneilia MC
7 years ago

OMG you didn’t!

Aneilia MC
7 years ago

OMG you didn’t!