September 12, 2006 It’s hard to feel anything but great when our arrival at the dock in Kobe is greeted by a local brass band playing John Phillip Sousa marches at 8 am. Oh, and did I mention we were escorted into the harbor by a fire-boat spraying a decorative fountain?
Finally, Mary and I set off to explore Kobe. Mary has set her sights on finding “Oh The Places You’ll Go”, a Dr. Seuss book, in a public library in each port. We hopped on the Portliner, an elevated people mover a lot like the one in Indianapolis, to the subway station, where we caught the next train toward the library. And even though the Kobe Central Library catalog was in Japanese, Mary matched the characters in the call number with shelf labels and found the book in short order. Impressive!
Japanese baseball has a few quirks. Each team has a designated cheering section separate from the regular ticket holders. When their team is at bat, the cheerers wave flags, endlessly pound their equivalent of thunder-sticks, and in unison sing a unique song for each batter. The cheerers stand for their half inning, then turn the cheering over to the opposition cheerers. The regular fans never stand to cheer. And although we guessed the crowd at 40,000, there was never a boo or a hiss.
So to summarize our first day in Japan using the lingo of our student friends, it was like awesome.
Yours in like closing,