Former standout UT softball player Cat Osterman is playing professional softball in Japan. She is chronicling her adventures here at BON.
Well again I've waited some time to update you guys on the happenings here in Japan. After our last set of league games, we had friends come visit, a trip the Kyoto, a few sets of practice games, tons of practice, and well just time to observe and live. I won't deny it's getting harder now. Nothing is like home. I'm constantly craving margaritas and Mexican food, or even just a beautiful day sitting outside in Austin. However, 3 more weeks here, and then I am poolside in Florida for the summer!
Kyoto is awesome! We took the bullet train, which travel 130mph or something like that. While on the bullet train we began discussing how great it would be if we had something similar in the United States or even just in Texas. Imagine a high speed train that connected Houston, Austin and Dallas. Shoot I'd pay to ride to Dallas instead of having to drive that drive! Come on America, let's get with it! Heck, building train tracks will mean labor which is job openings right?
In Kyoto we saw the Golden Temple, a geisha, another 1000+ year old temple that I can't recall the name, along with enjoying a night out! The Golden Temple is pure beauty. Every picture of it looks just like a serene postcard. Amazing how beautiful not only their temples stay, but also the surrounding nature. The geisha was an experience. We looked like American tourists compared to the nicely dressed Japanese attending this event. A geisha is basically a play spoken in Japanese for the first half, and then a musical for the second. Not being able to understand what they were saying threw me off, and lost my interest some. The kimonos they dress in were elaborate and pretty!
The 1000+ year old temple is an absolute mind blowing adventure! This particular day our interpreter wasn't with us, so we were navigating Kyoto's bus system on our own, but we figured it out! We got off the bus, unsure exactly where we were heading until I saw a sign that read " _______ Temple 6km". Well what the sign didn't tell us was it was an uphill hike the whole way to the temple. There were all sorts of souvenir shops lining the street on the way up. A big difference than the States, none of these shops were selling the same trinkets. Each one had something different. The temple itself was huge! Many different places to worship and carry their tradition. We walked around the grounds for at least an hour and half if not longer! It was a great trip!
We are currently 3-2 in league play. It's still difficult to adjust to playing over here. I had my first real "fit" with an umpire this weekend. He walked a girl on an off speed pitch that was right down the pipe! I know I made it obvious to him I disagreed, and I continued to shake my head at him for 3 more pitches after. Oops, I need to keep that under better control. It's amazing here though how the strike zone can change for foreigners at the drop of a hat. This is a general consensus, not just me being upset because we lost. Other foreigners have said the same thing. Now the Japanese pitchers get some BIG strike zones!
I won player of the game this past Sunday. They present you with a gift from the prefecture in which we were playing. This particular set of games was down south in Miyazaki. I received a really pretty doll of some sort. I am sure one day when I finally buy a house it will be on the mantel with some of my other treasures!
While we were down in Miyazaki, we played tourist on Aoshima Island. This island is connected to the main island by a long bridge, and it houses another temple. However, we went just to be able to say we were at the beach. The beach was crushed shells though, not sad. Also, the island is surrounded by what they call "the devil's washboard". Google it! It's formations of rocks that have been weathered over time resembling rows on a washboard. We walked out on these rocks, and it is remarkable how they have formed. If the sun had been out, we would have pitched camp there!
We finally get to play at home this weekend, so we will see what our area reveals in terms of support! Three more weeks, six more games... then hello America!
In the mean time, don't forget to support the Longhorn Softball team!! They just received the overall #3 seed in the NCAA tournament and host Regionals! Go out and support them! I'm dying inside knowing I have to miss it. This year's team might be one of the best teams Texas has had, so let's help them make it back to OKC! Cheer extra loud for me please!
As always... Hook 'Em!