LOST IN JAPAN
This is the 3rd time I’ve done it. I left my bag on the train. I put it up on the rack above my seat. Forgot about it. Got off the train. Sayonara bag. Enjoy your travels with your new owner. I hope he/she loves and protects you like I couldn’t. In any other country, on any other public transportation, that bag is HISTORY like some of Tiger’s endorsement deals. But not in Japan. It’s the land of unlost things. I don’t think you can ACTUALLY lose anything here. It’s amazing.
Last season, my family had a fun day-trip planned to see the sights of Japan. I forgot our bag on the train which had every necessity for our 7-month old girl. If you don’t have kids, just know that they need SOMETHING about every 2 1/2 minutes. So, going anywhere for a full day without the bag of glory would be like trying to walk anywhere minus your feet and lungs. The look I got from my wife. Priceless. You would have thought I left the baby on the train.
Do you know how many trains there are in Japan? I had a better chance of finding Osama bin Laden than that baby bag.
However, about 4 hours later I got a call. Baby bag was safe. Resting comfortably in a Japan train station not far from our apartment. Unreal.
About 1 month later I left something else on the train. My laptop. I’m officially an idiot. Arguably 100 times more valuable than that diaper bag. Some humans apparently do NOT evolve.
This time I was not that worried though. Given my case study of losing the diaper bag, I was like, “Hey no problem.” The Japanese Lost Bag Special Ops Force was even FASTER this time. 90 minutes later, my Mac and I embraced. Tears of joy. The Japanese continue to amaze me with their organization, honesty, work ethic, and planning. I’ve even heard stories where people lost their wallet and someone personally delivered it to their home 2 hours away with nothing missing. Think that is going to happen in the New York Subway System? Probably, um, never.
I’m sure I’ll forget something again on a train. Let’s just hope she at least has her name inside her coat.
BASKETBALL - THE #1 LOSER
We made the All-Japan Finals! Again! And we lost. Again.
I think Seinfeld said it best of 2nd place. “No one lost ahead of you. Of all the losers, YOU were #1.”
The All-Japan Tournament is a mid-season break from regular season games. And man, it’s a big deal. Bigger than the 7-patty Whopper recently promoted in Japan (and then recently gone). The Emperor shows up to the games. The actual Emperor of Japan. That’s like Barack Obama coming to your game. But bigger than that. Obama is just a president. This guy is an EMPEROR. What a great title.
High schools, universities, 2nd div pro teams, and our pro league (JBL) all compete. ALL-JAPAN. We played a university team in the first round and won by 50. I think the university teams should get a bit of a handicap like maybe their baskets are worth 4 and 5 points each. But a couple of the pro teams actually barely escaped from being on the wrong end of a Cinderella story. We have since resumed regular season games and are just 2 games out of playoffs with 20 games to play. Very doable.
Despite our silver medal on live Japanese TV, we are playing much better. I am playing better, too, which serves Wine to Water (www.WineToWater.org) quite well. As a brief update and reminder for those of you who missed the last shout out, I am helping to raise money for the Wine To Water non-profit which provides clean drinking water to extremely poor countries. A MASSIVE “Thank You” to those who have jumped on board to donate and help others who don’t have a magic knob that gushes out water like we do.
More points from me = more wells and clean water for people who don’t have it in underdeveloped countries. More rebounds equals the same. The best pledges were from some very creative people. One buddy, Billy, is throwing in a quarter every time I turn it over. Apparently, he thinks that a few more risky passes will transform me into Steve Nash. I hope he’s got a coin-wrapping machine. If you tell my coach, I’ll deny it to my grave.
Another pledge from an unnamed source was for technical fouls. Each one I get will raise a few more bucks. Maybe this “pledger’s” favorite player is Ron Artest or something. Why don’t I just run in the Japanese crowd and start beating up old ladies? How much does that get me?
I can only remember 1 tech that I ever received. I even got thrown out for it. But, I didn’t get my money’s worth. I mean if you’re gonna get thrown out, have at it. In a summer league game, after a series of ridiculous intentional fouls by another player on me, I had had enough. I whipped the ball at the offender as hard as I could with some choice words. Unfortunately, it did not hit him in any area that would inflict the kind of pain I was hoping for at the time. So, maybe I’ve got some unfinished business in the technical foul area this season which can land a few more bucks in the Wine To Water jar. We’ll see.
For those of you who pledged based on ACTUAL dunks, can we change it to ATTEMPTS? Or STRONGLY CONSIDERED Attempts?
Livin’ the Japanese Dream,