Bo Knows Soft-Tennis

I suppose I could be processing images right now, but I’m entitled to a lazy moment or two aren’t I? Instead, I’ve started up a game of chess and, for some reason, the computer seems to be taking an age to make each of its moves. Really, I’m not that good; it hardly needs that much effort to best me.

So, that affords me the opportunity to write a few lines in between turns (though, I suppose I could be studying the board – but like I said, I’m not that good). Again, I have lapsed in my journal scribbling duties and this will be yet another half-hearted attempt to repent. Though, in truth, I wish the computer would just hurry up.

Here’s a quick rundown of last weekend. On Friday, Kurt, Racheal, Sarah and I headed downtown to partake in some of the yumminess that is the Paper Moon Pizza Company. We chatted the evening away while celebrating Sarah’s birthday. I’ve had a lingering cold and on Friday, it was consistently keeping me coughing, so I decided against continuing the evening after pizza.

On Saturday, I woke up late and had trouble gaining any momentum. I was originally thinking of a more ambitious trip, but my slow pace suggested a relaxed day of shooting photos near the river. I wandered there and found some kids, an old man, some ducks and crows to snap then started ambling South. There was a great stretch near the river where dozens of small gardens nestled together to form a small community farm.

Once I crossed the river, I found a Russian Orthodox Church. I don’t have a clue what this thing is doing in Ichinoseki, but there it was. I then followed the sound of some loudspeakers and reached the previously unexplored (by me) Ichinoseki Sports Park. Yasakae Junior High was playing a baseball game, so I challenged myself to try a bit of sports photography.

A few of my students from Ichinoseki elementary were there and said hi. Then a few students from Hagishou arrived and said more than hi. They were rather chatty and we passed the Japanese phrasebook between us a number of times to facilitate out communication. Their school played in the next baseball game, so we watched that for a while, then they invited me to go play soft tennis with them.

The three girls and lead me to a couple guys from the school who were to be their tennis partners. We gathered under the lights and started smacking that bizarre little ball around. Why they don’t just play normal tennis is a mystery to me, but this was plenty fun once I got used to the ball. After a bit of warming up, I was even able to blast one colossal serve into the opposing court much to the delight of my students who quickly dubbed me “The Rocket.”

On Sunday, I went up to Hiraizumi to catch the temples in their fall colour glory. The day would have been great if it weren’t for the people. I just don’t get it – everyone took an inconsiderate pill and the active ingredient was highly effective. I don’t feel like getting into the methods used by everyone to treat me like crap, but suffice it to say, jerks the whole lot of ’em.

Sarah and Hannah happened to be on the same train back, so they invited themselves over to my place to watch BBC world. Sarah also cooked dinner for us, so I think I actually came out on top in the deal.

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