A Tale Involving Breakdancing and Baseball

August 27, 2013

Pouring rain kept us inside for about two days this weekend. I broke out my rain boots to make the ten-minute walk to the grocery store for a bento box and then retreated back inside along with all of the other students. We bonded over cards, told stories about our hometowns and got to know each other a little better. This was all fun and good, but by the following evening, the mutual consensus: It was time to go out.


We took a bus to Hirakata Station for a little more than $2 and got some Ramen at a restaurant around the corner. On our way back we stopped at corner spot for drinks and realized too-late that it was entirely too fancy. We removed our shoes and followed the waiters a dark, secluded area in the back. I sat down criss-cross-apple-sauce style only to be told that there was an area cut out in the floor for your legs to go. My first Japanese beer was awesome- light and refreshing, not too hoppy.

After a couple of rounds, someone had the bright idea to look at a clock and we realized we had thirty minutes to be back at the dorms before getting locked out for the evening. With roughing it in the park across the street for the night as our only other alternative, we all paid and high-tailed it out of the there. At the bus station, a casual breakdancing session was happening by the bus station. Obviously, we had to join in and asked for some lessons. For about ten minutes, we entertained the b-boys by rolling around on the ground while wearing beanies. It’s all on video and I’m hopeful of our chances at becoming the next YouTube sensation.






The bus came, we said our goodbyes, talked way too loudly on the way back and arrived at our destination with four minutes to spare. I’m sure our neighbors did not appreciate the stream of American kids careening through the streets to make it back to the gate, but desperate times call for desperate measures. We made it with 52 seconds left. Our okasa, or house mother, looked at us with wide-eyes. She took in the sight of us, panting, bent-over and trying to apologize in broken Japanese.

She inhaled deeply and right when I thought we were about to be chewed out for the close call, she instead assumed the position of an umpire and proclaimed, “Safe!”

My appreciation of baseball has never been so strong.


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