[Okay, pictures, text, links and everything for the last three posts are complete. Thank heavens.]
Wednesday was a day of two events of fair significance. First, my presentation. I didn't blow it, but I looked at my script many more times than I would have liked, which will dock my grade some. Conversely, everybody else was doing that; I suppose we were all a bit nervous in front of the five native Japanese speakers we were also presenting to. I cracked a joke in Japanese, though, which was my own personal success. (When describing the picture, I mentioned, - "めがねをかけるのが私です。" - "Megane o kakeru noga watashi desu" - "I'm the one in the glasses.")
We finished our presentations around 10:30; since we had no new work to cover (everything was due Thursday), we just marked time and did busy work for the next two hours. Extremely irritating, considering how valuable my time is to me here, but what can you do? From there we got lunch and then headed to the IES Center to do homework.
That evening, some of us went to see our first Japanese baseball game! The Chiba Lotte Marines play within a ten-minute walk of Kaihin-Makuhari station, so me, Larissa, Amber, and J.K. all decided to go to the 6:10 game. Due to some communication screwups, I didn't find them until right before the game started, so I had the 'pleasure' of buying my own ticket myself. I must say that living here really is helping my Japanese communication skills tremendously, but that's a story for another day.
The Marines are the team that won the Japanese major league championship last year; they're coached by Bobby Valentine, formerly of the Mets, who also brought along middling player Benny Agbayani, who exploded once he set foot in Chiba. Both have almost cult-like status over here. Although Benny started us off with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, and Chiba made some great defensive plays, the pitchers just kept letting the team down. We lost to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, 8-2.
The game had some interesting sideshows, though. Substitute players came out onto the field in Volvos, beer girls clad in red and neon green walked through the sections, vending en masse, and perhaps my favorite part. In the top of the seventh, the fans around the stadium suddenly started taking these really long, Marine-colored balloons and inflating them. We had no idea what was going on until, in the middle of the seventh, everyone began singing the official Chiba Lotte Marines song. At the end, the PA counted down "3... 2... 1... GO!" and everybody let their balloons straight up into the air at once, in a cavalcade of whistling and crazy white things flying through the sky.
We're going back again.
Then I came back, finished my homework, got up at 6 to make my blog posts, finished at the cost of almost missing breakfast, and here I am. Hallelujah.
Oh, blast. Vending Machine Special #5. Um, two tomorrow.