It was a Friday afternoon when I promised to go to the boys practice baseball game. Before that there had been several games that I have attended if there is time during the weekends. What makes this impressive is that I also travel to see these practice games as well. Very few people do that.
The promised game was to be held in Tokuyama, about a 45 minute train ride away from Yanai. I checked with the coach on Friday about the place and time of the game. He told me that it would take place at the University at 10:00 am.
First of all, no one had ever mentioned there being a University in Tokuyama. I was rather surprised I hadn`t heard of it before hand. Second of all, where the heck was it?! Being the person that I am, I hopped on my computer to find out more information. I was not going to ask anyone for information. I knew I couldn`t trust the information they would give me, since my teacher rarely take public transportation. Example: I asked the coach if there was a bus to the University, he said no. I found out later that was a lie.
Pulling up google maps I searched for the best walking/train rout to the university. I decided to take the train to Kushigahama and leaving me with only having to walk 40 minutes to the university, instead of a daunting 1 hour and 45 minutes from Tokuyama Station. So I knew how to get there, the next part was to actually get there.
The sun was hot upon my skin as I walked down the heated pavement to my destination. I was smelling of sunscreen, becoming a total sweat ball with each step I took, and looked like a total tourist with my huge sunglasses upon my face. I got strange looks from the locals as I walked through the tiny maze of roads framed by their homes. I was loving the attention.
Though it was hot I knew I had enough water and tea to keep me hydrated. I used google maps to help me find the University with no issues. The problem was on my arrival, I had no idea where the baseball field was located on the campus. I had left early that morning so I would have extra time for situations such as this. I gave my self time to be lost. Okay, I wasn`t lost I knew where I was, but still didn`t have a clue where the field was.
Gathering my courage I asked some college boys who happened to walk past me. They must have been on their way to the soccer field for practice because they had been dressed for the sport. I tried to explain more than I should have, but in the end I got to the main point, “where is the baseball field?” The look the three Japanese guys gave me was not a good sign. It was as if I was growing a second head as I spoke the question. Meaning I wasn`t going to like the answer they would give.
It turns out there in no field at the university. Only two tennis courts, a soccer field, and a gym for basket ball. This left me with a very difficult question. Where the hell was the practice baseball game being held in the large city of Tokuyama?
Not having either of the two coachs phone numbers, I tried to contact the second year who is the main student manager for the team. I assumed she wouldn`t be able to respond until way after the game. Having her cell phone on her person would be considered breaking the law as a student, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to get an answer.
I thought to try my luck and walk all the way to the baseball stadium I had been to once before, but I was not looking forward to that walk. What would I do if they were not there as well. Do I risk it? While questioning what I should or should not do, I found myself waiting at a bus stop near the University. I got on the bus to find that it was bound for Tokuyama station. I was defeated and at a loss. Thus my mind was settled, I chose to return home.
I would later find out that the game was in fact at the stadium I was thinking of. The stadium is not only closer to the train station I had first arrived at that morning, but also a more shaded and less of a walk that to the University. I guess I need to look on the bright side, I got some sun and a nice walk for exercise that day. I also know more about Tokuyama area and the University.
Still, I have to tell the boys why I missed their game. I can already see one of the baseball boy`s surprised face. His eyes will get all big and bug eyed. He will also have on a really pronounced EH?! face. I just hope what I envision comes to pass. If not I am still going to be beating myself up about missing the game, even if it was just for practice.