That Time When A Certain Volley Ball Hit A Certain Someone's Face

Summer Camp 2018

I am sitting down, sipping this unsweetened, horribly sour but icy lemonade, trying to think of all the myriad ways I can shove this blog into your thoughts. Writing is such a powerful tool of expression that most people don't even realize that people can change their personalities just by reading something someone, very far, very distant, wrote. 

If they are reading, that is. 

It's safe to say that the blog has somehow been going through an identity crisis of sort. In seven years that I have been typing shit on this very platform, I have gone on to write reviews, personal anecdotes, breakup and makeup stories, beer guides, game reports, interviews, engineering guides and even about what I think about homosexuals to why Christians should leave me alone. Today though, I will be steering the wave back to my everyday life here as I haven't really got to talk too much about what's it like to be in Japan, doing PhD things and stuff. 

My lab has an odd 40 something students from across the globe which makes it very different to the lab I was accustomed to at Seoul National University in Korea. Back then, we had like five people max loitering around, going on dinner lab "dates" all stuffed into our Professors car to get drunk. Summer Camps were called MTs (Membership Training). I don't even understand why they call them MTs. There was nothing about Membership or Training. Training to drink loads of soju, perhaps? but that was it. The whole point was to drink your way through all. f**king. day. long.

Not anymore though. 

The lab's summer camp had to somehow transport all those kids to a remote place in Oita Prefecture. That meant rows of those micro-bus styled vehicles without conductors. The nearest 7/11 or combini- as they so conveniently call here-  was 30-40 minutes drive away. If you didn't bring your brush, well, you better just not bother to brush. 

The days were highly structured with lectures from every Senseis (Professors) and staff. To be fair, they were all light. Maeda Sensei talking about Investment. Kate talking about crypto currency. And yours truly having to present about Nepal's education system. I was perhaps the last person on this planet to know anything about the system. Everything I presented, I learned it from Wiki. Let's just say that there was a lot of "oh really?" "didn't know that" coming from my mouth as I was making that presentation. All went smoothly. 

Except this one time when things couldn't have gone any worse. After BBQ, and slightly tipsy on the light adjunct booze, we all followed my advising Prof to the gymnasium where he started teaching some of the kids how to do the tango, or salsa, or whatever the moves are called. A few of us on the side started out a impromptu match of volleyball. I would have loved to have said that my 3x swollen wrists were worst thing that happened that night. But unfortunately, the volleyball I struck so sweetly with my right foot, curled and curled even further, away from the pitch, right onto my Professors unsuspecting face. 

Juan's facebook had this

Time, my heart, my odd-looking mix-max volleyball team and every soul in that room seemed to have sit still for what felt like hours. Of all the 1000 people who were moving and walking and dancing, the stupid ball had to fly and hit my advising professor perfectly flat on his face. He seemed to be OK. The whole team bowed in unison to apologize. I was just there with my mouth open while trying to comprehend and decipher what I had just done. 

We also went fishing by the way. Here's my Prof. catching a fish before all that unsuspecting thing happened. He looks quite pleased.

All smiles after the catch

Leaving for Nagasaki tomorrow for a real weekend MT, need to get that bag ready and rolling.


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