I made it to Japan. I arrived in [town eradicated] late (Thursday morning in the U.S.) and roughly 24 hours after I left Newark. , I rode with Terrence's BJ league basketball team to another Japanese town, which is where I am now - about six hours from his seasonal home. The girlfriend of one of his American teammates is also visiting (from Los Angeles) so it's nice to not be the only girl on the team bus. It was a beautiful drive north along the coast before we looped south around a chain of enormous snow-capped mountains. I do also have to mention that the Japanese coastal tunnel system is quite impressive. I took lots of pictures, of course.
The team had a game yesterday, which they won. Their fans are amazing. I was surprised at how many of them made the six-hour trek to support the team this weekend. You cannot miss them because they were dressed head to toe in fan gear and were waiting at the arena to welcome the team when the bus arrived for Saturday's game. I don't think I have seen anything quite so adorable as watching Japanese fans, dwarfed by the American players, asking for photos and autographs. Some of the children are as tall as Terrence's knees and stand with pen and paper in outstretched arms with their heads cocked so far back that the backs of their necks disappear. After the game, they waited around the bus to take more photos, get hugs and then stood waving until the bus pulled away. I have always thought it to be corny when entertainers and athletes tell their fans that they love them, yet - even though their fans had absolutely no interest in me whatsoever - I felt something like love watching them interact with the team. The sincerity of their admiration and the pride in their smiles were so genuine and warm.
There is another game tomorrow at 2:30pm before we head back. The day after Christmas, we leave for another Japanese city.
A few initial notes on Japan:
- The Japanese definitely have the cleanest genitalia in the world. I find the toilet posterior shower and bidet spray quite refreshing.
- When I arrived, I noticed that random people were wearing surgical masks. The American in me assumed that these random Japanese were phobic of other people's germs or air pollution, but Terrence told me that they wear surgical masks when they have a cold or other contagious ailments because they do not want to infect others - something I could never see happening in the U.S.
- They have squid jerky here. I took a few pictures.
A Year Ago Today:
What I Love About New York
Two Years Ago Today:
Morning Star Sighting