Today a went to the tennis club again. I woke up at 7 O’Clock and appointed with Fumi (the graduated Yamanote student) to walk together to school. He is very nice but speak zero English, so it is very hard to communicate. The tennis club is practicing daily, on Sunday and during holidays too! Today it was raining, I knew that beforehand but I wasn’t sure if they were going to practice when it rains. But they did.
We started at 9 O’Clock with a warming up in the old part of the school. They took old football nets upstairs to practice and a mini tennis court was created in the corridor to practice volleys, and act swift at the net.
But first of all it was stretching time, something I really don’t know how to do that so I felt pretty stupid.
After stretching I started with practicing hitting the ball. In Holland a teacher will teach you how to hit the ball but here to all help each other, for example by explaining how to improve your technique. We do have a tennis teacher, but he is only there at the start and the end of the lesson. He is very kind but I think he worries pretty much about me (since I am the only girl). Fumi is actually the ‘real’ coach and he is sooooo good!
About 13:30 we finished and had lunch, on the floor. Everybody shows a lot of interest in me and make me feel completely part of the group. The other clubs, like the brass band, volleyball, rugby (the boys) and football club are all extremely surprised I joined the tennis club.
But they think it is very sturdy although they preferred it if I join their club. About 2 O’Clock several boys left and they asked me if I had plans. I explained that I would go to Sapporo Eki (central station) to get sports cloth the same brand and color they wear. I actually wanted someone to join me because I didn’t want to search for sometimes I most probably wouldn’t find by myself. I gave them a hint by asking them “Where can I buy this sportswear” when Sumi sempai said: “Let’s go together”. So we went by foot to Kotoni Eki, a 35 minute walk and finally I went shopping with Fumi and Takahaski (We call him Donkey, because he was carrying all our stuff). It was quite a walk and we were pretty exhausted.
In the shop, a kind of mini warehouse, we started to look for Yonex, the brand they all wear at the tennis club. Fumi and Takahaski helped me selecting a jacket, a pullover and pants. I told them what I liked and don’t like. Finally I bought a pink jacket, a black pants and a blue pullover, and yes it does along very well. Now I have the sports outfit I am really part of the club!
In Japan it is pretty normal to go shopping with boys. Most of them care pretty much for their looks and cloth. It was funny they went searching for me and took time to help me. In Holland that’s unthinkable!
About 4 O’Clock I went home. Takahashi took the same train back home so it was nice. We did not talk that much since my Japanese is not that good yet, but it’s getting better day by day!
When I came home I noticed I forgot to bring my keys. I finally went to Sato-san who is always at home. Luckily she liked it very much that I came to visit! They are so kind! I stayed at Sato-san for 45 minutes and then Okaa-san came to pick me up.
The rest of the evening in short: dinner, showering and working on my blog, and then sleeping!
The following days we practiced in the school one more time and the other days we practiced on the courtyard outside.
When it rained we practiced more than playing tennis. Practice is for example: a relay run through the school and stretching. They also suddenly started doing a handstand against the wall and were challenging each other for the longest handstand. These guys are good in every sport, sometimes it is a little freaky.
I probably did something wrong this week with the result that both my legs hurt pretty much and I can’t run anymore. So it is somewhat painful to play tennis and therefore I have to take it easy for a while. Next week I will see a physiotherapist to check if it is nothing serious.
This post is also available in: Dutch