Monday, September 29, 2008

9/30/08 Tournament Days

Friday was a nice time for me and my fellow ALTs. No classes were scheduled due to the tournaments held in school gyms all over the city, in every sport available. I enjoyed watching the kids strive for success after practicing so hard every day. I particularly enjoy watching the sports that aren't as common in the United States. The kendo in particular is fun to watch. The bamboo-sword-swinging action, combined with the little war cries from the kids make quite the spectacle.

A girls kendo semifinal match.

On the way back from watching a bit of basketball, these flowers by a little stream caught my eye.

These are quite bright and exotic looking. I have no idea what they are.

After watching several different sports, Zishan, Clarence, and I went to a city called Hanyu. It is fairly nearby, about 30 minutes by train, but I hadn't been there before. Nothing's more fun that checking out a new city. We strolled around on foot for a while, eventually ending up at the Aeon Mall in Hanyu. The same brand of mall exists in Sano and Ota, but this one was a huge version of the malls I'm used to seeing. We were there the rest of the day and probably saw only half of it.

After a week or two of making calls and taking tours, I finally took the plunge and joined the Gold's Gym in Ashikaga, as did Zishan. It was constructed during my time here, which makes it squeaky clean and nice inside. Another gym that I was considering informed me that because I was a foreigner, that I needed to know someone who was already a member at the gym who would vouch for me. Wow, I'll vouch for the fact that they can bite me. I signed up for an extra little boxing club plan, only to discover that all the boxing gloves offered were too small for my hands. Now I get to make a trip to the big sports mart and hope I can find something. Its hard having cannon balls for fists, ya know? Heh.



  1. Nice flowers. Did you get some for me?

  2. Ha, you finally joined Gold's Gym. Now we'll see how motivated you are to ride there during winter. hehehe

  3. Yeah, its a solid 25 minute bike ride to the gym from my house, including a rather unfortunate incline up a bridge. I'm often already sweating when I walk in the door. The people that work there probably wonder what's wrong with me.

  4. As for the flowers, I have a quote from the first year students' textbook that applies.

    Paul: Look at this flower. It's beautiful.

    Kumi: Stop!

    Paul: What?

    Kumi: Don't pick the flower. Take a picture.

    Paul: I see. We live with nature.

    Kumi: That's right.

    They make the American in these stories look like such a selfish moron.