For a group of 20, we hired two mini-vans to drive across Japan from Ibaraki to Nagano. There, we took part in the ALT Kanto soccer tournament. It was a very expensive weekend, but it was well worth it. You might say it was a highly enjoyable weekend. You might just.
After volunteering to play for the Tochigi girls team, who needed a couple extra players, I learnt that my true calling in life is in fact soccer. For the first time having played, I discovered I'm a natural. I was also told by one of the less intimidated girls from one of the other teams that I play "aggressively". I scored two goals in two separate games, and had a very fun day.
In the evening, everyone who was a part of the tournament partied on down and I met some genuinely cool Alts from different parts of Japan. Although I've never been a lover of sports related events, it was one of the few things that filtered out a lot of Japanophile-otaku-weirdoes, and thus left a large group of relatively normal, nice, friendly people. How relieving, a home comfort I had almost forgotten about.
Anyway, I can count on Tommy's girlfriend, Mamina, to take a shit-tonne of photographs so that I don't have to strain my precious fingers by typing words which could otherwise be told through other means:
To quote "Withnail and I"; GET IN THE BACK OF THE VAN:
Aren't road trips just the best?:
Warming-up on Saturday morning:
In the end, it didn't matter how hard we stretched. Our entire bodies were in immense pain for most of the next week following the tournament:
Riley and Yukiko lead the cheering:
The Ibaraki boys team having a meeting before their first of many defeats:
If John Dicks is there, you know its going to be a good time:
Many of the American players in our team had also never experienced soccer. luckily a photograph is something that captures a momentary still-image, creating the false illusion of talent:
Looking proud after realizing they are coming last:
Yukiko offers comfort to her injured boyfriend, AKA laurence:
Although he subscribes to the philosophy that "its the taking part that counts", his eyes say otherwise. Chris Gilbert, football hooligan:
Danyo wonders when the humiliation will be over as he looks for emotional and physical support:
well, we lost, but at least our haircuts are still great..... but were they really?:
Saitama super crew. AKA Saiborgs:
Have you heard of "zooming in"?:
After realising that he might not be able to pursue a career as a professional football, in his desperation, Gilbert turns to being a gigalo:
Everyone was pretty tired after a whole day of playing sports. We sports pretty hard you might say:
Those mini-vans doe: