Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Week 3

Hello again! Today has been an epic day because my computer is working again! I had a little scare yesterday when the screen was only white. I did a little cleaning today and now my computer works!
Let me begin this third blog by discussing my weekend. On Saturday night after work, Ryan and I walked to downtown Iwakuni to check out the area. We made our first stop at the 100 yen store. The 100 yen store is equivalent to the $1 store in America, but the good thing about this store is it has 3 floors! The 100 yen store has anything you can think of including clothes, cosmetics, toys, school supplies, dishes, food, games, bags, garden equipment, bathroom supplies, sports supplies, and even souvenirs. Ryan and I started at the 1st floor and 2 hours later we eventually climbed our way to the top floor. I knew I made a mistake that night because I only brought 1,300 yen ($13) and I still had to use money to eat, and of course I needed to eat. My purchases included swimming toys that I will use for my future swimming lesson classes. Oh, and I also finally purchased a fork because only owning a spoon in your room can be a little tricky with eating pizza and microwave pasta dinners.
The restaurant Ryan and I ate was a buffet style restaurant. You were given the option to pick which food you wanted to eat. Each item of food was on a plate with a set price. The food included fish(the fish still had an attached head and eyes), fried shrimp, fried fish, noodles, fried squid, and other food I did not trust to eat. I went for the safe choice and picked the fried shrimp, salad, rice, and soup. The shrimp and the rice tasted amazing. I believe Ryan also enjoyed his food because unlike many Japanese people, he went up for seconds.
On Sunday Ryan and I traveled by train to Hiroshima for the first time. We arrived in Hiroshima around 11 am, and the baseball game we purchased tickets for did not start until 1:30. We decided to kill some time and walked around the town for a bit. Of course “walking around” meant finding a place to get food. After spending 1,000 yen ($10) at the Lawson’s convenient store, we started making our way to the dome. We eventually came across a market area where people where selling food. Right by the market there was a seating area, so Ryan and I made the decision to sit and tailgate a little before game. As we were “tailgating,” music started playing (one flute and one drum) and a lady dressed up in a Japanese custom came out and started dancing. She unfortunately didn’t dance long because a dancing dragon came out and ate her. It was a pretty neat experience watching the dancing with the Japanese music. This Japanese tailgating experience is a little different from the one I am use to back home. First, people at home usually do not grill squid to eat before the game. And 2nd, people don’t usually watch people in customs dance to one flute and a drum. I am use to Dan David’s horse song, “Jump Around” that he always plays at UNI tailgates. Overall, it was a great tailgating experience for Ryan and me.
After tailgating we decided it was time make our way to the game. The one of the many things I like about Japanese baseball games are the options of bringing your own food and drink in the game. When you get to the stadium, all you have to do is pour your drink in a paper cup and you are good to go. Once Ryan and I got to our section, I began to feel a little out of place. I did not see one American around me, and everyone was wearing a Carp’s shirt, Carp’s hat, and even Carp’s sandals. I believe in the section we sat in, 99% of people were all wearing Carp clothing, and owned two small Carp baseball cheering bats. I finally realized that Ryan and I were sitting in the Carp’s Cheering Section. This is the section in the stadium where you sit by die hard Carp Fans. Once the game started, I discovered that every time a Carp player was up to bat, our section would bang their bats and cheer in the Japanese language. At first I was a little uncomfortable being the only person without a red shirt and cheering bats, but Ryan reminded me that no matter what I was wearing or doing I was probably going to look out of place being that everyone around us was only 5 feet tall. Once I realized this fact, I began to join in on the fun and cheer with the Japanese people! I had no idea what we were saying, but I was having a great time and I really enjoyed myself. One thing I learned about Japanese people after two summers is they are very quite people until it comes to baseball games. They love to cheer and they love to cheer loud. The baseball games are quite different from American baseball games, and I hope at the end of the summer I can experience another Japanese baseball game. Next time I will bring more money, (I only brought 5,000 yen), and maybe purchase a Carp T-shirt. They are quite expensive ($3,000=over $30), but I wouldn’t mind fitting in a little more with the Japanese people.
Well, that is all for my blog today. After the four hour baseball game, Ryan and I went to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial where we saw the Atomic Bomb Dome and walked around the Peace Park, but I will tell you more about that experience in another blog. I hope everyone’s 4th

Ryan in front of the 100 yen store

     The food we could choose from the Japanese buffet restaurant  
           Me attempting to eat fried shrimp with chop sticks

                            Ryan tailgating before the game  

The Japanese lady dancing with the dragon before the game

                                  Carps baseball game at Hiroshima  

                        Die Hard Japanese Carp Fans

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