Sunday, November 16, 2008
Volleyball done gone and over
I wore my Motley Crue t-shirt with the skull and crossbones. This being Japan, there was of course someone else with an even trendier sparklyskull and crossbones, which kind of took the wind out of my pathetic attempt at rebellion.
Why does Japanese elementary school PTA make me feel like I'm back in school?
I can't say I enjoyed it, sorry, if anyone was thinking I might end up back here saying 'Well, all that worry for nothing, I just had a great time!' Yeah right. I had a headache instead. I played the first game, did lineswoman duty for the second game then played the third. Then waited around redundantly for the next three games, thrilled to hear that we had no time to play the final.
There were all sorts - the sporty types, who scare me. The bitch who mocked me in the class meeting. She was the first in line, I was second. Quite naturally I talked to the woman on the other side of me, only noticing later on that I'd left miss 'mock the foreigner's accent' out all by herself. Honest, I didn't intend it! But I'm not sad about it. Skinny ones in full make-up (she turned out to be really good!), fat ones like me trying to melt into the walls. A couple of Dads, who were as useless as the Mums, though slightly more likely to slide all over the floor. The first grade teacher who cringed every time the ball came near her. Just like me!
I was not the worst player there. That honor goes to the other first grade teacher. I was surreptitiously bad, keeping out of way, avoiding the ball, she was ostentatiously bad, wearing serious-looking knee-pads and yelling out 'hai' then missing spectacularly. I hit the ball once over the net and felt quite invicible for about three seconds. I hit it once into the net, but I was only taking my turn losing a shot in a team of people who consistently lost shots so nobody noticed.
I managed not to embarras myself. That honor went to the Mum who managed to hit HERSELF in the face with ball. I'm still not quite sure how she pulled that off. Backward spike toward the net - and into the nose.
The girls were great. Amy especially - with me busy for three games in a row, and Lena escaped off to the kindy playground to play, the bulk of the babysitting fell to her, and she did a wonderful job, secretly feeding her cookies, keeping her away from the ball. She had the help of three older students who crowded around Erica, playing with her and doting on her. I had to hold her a little while doing line duty, then for the first half of the last game, until I went on court.
After that Erica kept me busy, gutting my wallet over and over, while standing on a window seat and providing me excellent cover to whip out my book and read away at least one whole game. The team went on in rotation, 12 people for 8 court places, so everyone had a turn serving, a turn in the centre, a turn by the net. I managed to get myself last or nearly last in the line, so I could wait out a lot of the game. Of two games of two sets each, we won one set, and lost overall.
The Rules. Just to make sure everyone officially has fun within established parameters.
Warm up. Note lack of participation on behalf of mother, who finds photographing cute kids far more important
Isn't she cute, though?
Several older kids from the school thought so! No shortage of babysitters, worst luck as it meant I had to play the whole damn game.
Random Odd Japanese Thing. Yes, they are sweeping the dirt.