A month or two back my girlfriend and I took a short sojourn to Japan, a country I’d greatly anticipated visiting since first touching down in Korea back in December ’08. Just a three hour dash by ferry from Busan, our entry point of Fukuoka wasn’t perhaps the most traditional of Japanese cities, but still gave us an intriguing initial taste of The Land of the Rising Sun. We spent the first evening at a riverside ‘yatai’ supping Asahi beers and juggling tempura with chopsticks. Then, after softening me up Leslie coerced me into catching a baseball game the next afternoon, when the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks team were playing, well hosting, another team.
Leslie is a big baseball fan; the San Francisco Giants. I am not! I have been to a couple of games in Korea and I confess, the atmosphere was good. So were the kebabs…and okay, it was cheap and they served cold beer. And the stadiums are cool, particularly the enclosed Yahoo Dome in Fukuoka. But as a sport, are you serious? The genuine sporty action combined amassed about five minutes, and was as entertaining as watching paint dry…gray paint at that…and the crowd weren’t even into it, which at least they were in Busan. The highlight was when a 127 year old Mr Miyagi look-a-like bought us a slush puppy each…okay, it’s an exaggeration, he looked nothing like Mr. Wax on, wax off, but he was at least 127.
I still don’t know the result to this day, but at least I can say I tried…again. It’s just…how can I put it? It’s simply…well…it’s just not cricket! And remember, Mr. Miyagi said “Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything.” Oh yeah! So why do baseball players need such big gloves?? Three hours and exactly zero home runs later, we were once again sat riverside justifying the $12 each Asahis, and looking forward to flying to Hiroshima the next day aboard the bullet train.
One of the Softbank Hawks actual players…look at that thing…’case rested.’