Sunday, April 28, 2013

Full Fan Experience

I could kick myself because I don't sit and write things as close to when they happen and then the details get lost in the hustle and bustle of the week. For instance, last Sunday at Brandon's game I had a very interesting and blog worthy post to write. In fact as the game was playing out, I was writing the post in my head because I knew those were memories I wanted to capture. It would probably be easier to video blog this one but I'm not and it's a little lengthy so hang on.
Sunday: I mentioned before game days are a little hectic and this week I wanted to make sure I left the TV on the right channel. I made my train, even a little early, collected my ticket and made my way to my seat. I usually don't go to the games unless Brandon is pitching so I have only had less than a handful of times where I have had to locate my seat but I'm getting better. When I arrived at what my ticket said my seat was it was already occupied. Back home I would have sat in an empty seat close by but I didn't want to run into a Japanese person who woke up on the wrong side of the bed ready to chew an American's head off so the attendant helped me and moved the guy out of my seat. He apologized, several times, "Saw re!" Roll your 'r' go on and try it.
It was an aisle seat so him and his three friends were in and out in front of me several times, all with the sorrys and samisens. While they were gone, only one of his pals stayed behind so the seat between us was empty except for the guys jacket and his cheer sticks. The buffaloes were up to bat and this is the time when the cheer sticks get used the most. So no need to be wasting perfectly good cheering instruments, I stole them. His buddy then started laughing and put his finger to his mouth meaning, I'll keep your secret.

When he returned, he looked confused for a second and then quickly realized I was as thief. I tried to return them and he threw up his hands pushing them back on me. Okay fine... I'll keep them for now.
Then he asked if I liked the Orix Buffaloes and I explained that I was married to the pitcher. When I say explained I mean got out my phone and used the three Japanese apps I had to get the point across. Their eyes lit up and then they asked if they could have their picture taken with  me. Sure, sorry guys but you just had your picture taken with a normal, nobody, American girl. Jokes on you. Then the questions started, which I couldn't understand so we spent the entirety of the game, both using modern technology to try and communicate with each other. There was so much misunderstanding but understanding at the same time.
Then they start getting food out of their cooler and without any hesitation offered me their snacks. Skeptical me couldn't just try it I had to ask what it was and then we had more difficulty translating. It had hit me earlier that week that it was time to start fully embracing the fact that we live in Japan, food and all and this would be my first true opportunity to test that out.
Their first snack was chicken...with a bone in it. Lord help me, I already tired the raw egg, now I'm supposed to each chicken with a bone in it. So, as I promised myself, I picked the smallest piece of chicken and bit straight into it. They quickly began apologizing as the look on my face must have given away that I didn't particularly care for it. There were no napkins and I didn't have anything to dispose of it with so I took a huge drink of water and swallowed it, whole. Their next snack I immediately recognized. They told me chicken but I could see that it was cooked skin. It was chicken skins and I gave myself a free pass that time because I had just eaten a chicken bone y'all.
I think I needed to get the chicken bone thought out of my mind so I reached into my purse and got out a bag of pita chips my mom had sent in an AWESOME care package a few weeks back. My new found friend asked, "cookie?" "Chip," I said. We had lots of one word conversation but chip didn't mean anything to them. As kind as they had been to offer me their food, I returned the favor. I guess they liked them, I don't know? They then asked me if I made them. I told them my mom sent them from back home. Then they thought my mom lived here too and more phone translation came in. I kept my chocolate covered pretzels for the train ride home I was not even about sharing those. Sorry guys.
The game was passing pretty quickly and each time Brandon did something well his new fans started cheering super loud. They told me that they are his new fans and they will always support him. I believe the exact translation on his phone said, " Tell your master that we always are in support of him," or something close.
I had seen them play a game of rock paper scissors which I had assumed they were trying to figure out who was going to buy their next round of beers. When they returned they had actually went to get the celebratory seventh inning stretch balloons and before I knew it he was handing them out to all of us, including me.
Let me just say a few things, I had been wanting to buy my own set of cheer sticks because my hands were getting a little stingy the first few games from clapping but I just hadn't. The fact that I got to use a pair was kind of a highlight for me. I felt like a true Japanese baseball fan with them. However, the balloon tradition I was FINE not participating in. But, when my new super kind friends showed up with a balloon for me, I knew that I was not going to be able to get out of this one.
They even gave a balloon to the cutest little Japanese kid that kept climbing up the stairs towards us. It was so cute. Japanese = friendliest people ever.
Not only was I blowing up a giant sperm shaped balloon they were laughing at me because I couldn't blow it up the whole way. I know, shocker, me lacking hot air.  They cheered me on saying, "one more time," about six times and at this point I think everyone around us was laughing.
There I did it. I can officially say I've participated and hope that it is the last time. Or maybe secretly I loved it and want to do it again every game, but probably not. :)
And then they got out more food. I still tried my hardest to ask first before I tried but at this point the translation was not getting me anywhere and I just caved to trying something new again knowing I could always just swallow it whole like before. The one guy told me all the food he brought his mother prepared and sent with them which I thought was pretty cool.

I opted for the bean looking item. It tasted pretty good. Still not sure what it was. I tried it and I liked it and that was probably enough for me that day. There was another suspicious looking piece that I wanted to try, the square pieces in picture, but I didn't want to ruin a good thing.

We had to take several more photos them telling me I made their day and they will, "always have memory of day." I tried to return the set of cheer sticks that I stole but they refused telling me to keep them so that I had a memory of that day.
It was quite the fan experience and I love that I got to sit by such supportive, friendly, and fun fans and I'm super excited that I finally have my OWN cheer sticks. 

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