Whoop there it is...! As promised I am going to share a bit more about my year in Japan.
As I am writing this blog I am sitting at my parents kitchen table, suitcase packed and enjoying my last night with a Dutch dinner and a appelflap.
As you might have noticed when you follow me on Instagram, food is one of the things that is very different. So as I only spend two weeks in the Netherlands since the last time in Japan I am bringing Hagelslag, taai taai, and of course for my teammates stroopwafels.
Speaking of my short stay in the Netherlands, these flights tomorrow are my 14th and 15th within a year and it is my 5th flying to Japan. The past 4 months I have had 4 jetlags already and I am preparing for my 5th and 6th in the upcoming month. As much as it feels strange, and your body does not really feel so great after about 12 hours on a plane and a 7 hour jetlag, I try to just check out of the old time zone once I leave the house and just go by the numbers on the clock and tickets.
Moving on from the traveling part... once I get to Japan it feels like I am in a totally different world. This summer my parents and sister got to see where I live, what the field looks like and got a taste of my favorite restaurant in Ogaki. That did change a bit of that feeling, it is nice to know that they know what I am talking about. By the way, the National Team also held their training camp at Ogaki Minamo, so they know where I am running around as well!
What makes Japan feel like a different world? In the city me and Ellen (the Aussie on the team) live in, we basically are the only 'white' people. Being stared at by kids and looked at while walking in the mall or biking on the streets is quite a strange feeling. And on top of that obviously I can't read or understand anything that is going on with the Japanese language. It feels strange, but also very peaceful. The only information I get is the information I really look for. Of course there are the funny things like pre-warmed toilet seats, sounds that start playing once you sit down on the toilet, and a sprinkle that can clean it all once you are finished.
Okay, now a bit more about softball. The league is in it's second half now and as of last weekend we are in the 10th (out of 12) spot together with Honda. Out of 22 games, 7 more are left to play, and everyone can still look up and down in the ranking. A very exciting competition! The top 4 makes the play-off weekend, the number 11 has to fight for their first division spot against the number 2 of the second division and the number 12 is set back to the second division automatically.
Back into the Japanese rhythm! I arrive in Japan on Friday morning, September 27th. The afternoon I will join team practice, whereafter I can go do some grocery shopping and settle down in my appartement. Saturday morning we have two practice games against a second division team at their field at 10. That is going to be a hard one, getting up at 3 at night Dutch time haha, let's not think about that.
The sunday is off, so that is where I can unpack and get ready for the last 3 weeks of the season (or 6 if we become 11th, but we are aiming for 10 and higher, so not planning on that!).
And then it is probably going to be one big rollercoaster through the final games of this season. Mondays we travel or practice depending on the weekend and travel times. Tuesdays and Wednesdays we practice and do our lifting/fitness and then Thursdays are travel days again. Fridays we have official game practices at the game field/stadium. Saturdays and Sundays are game days!
I am bringing my laptop this time around so I will keep you up to date through some blogs and some Instagram posts. For now, see you on the other side of the world!