Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yu're not from around here son

I'm not quite the adventurer I used to be and sometimes I miss that guy.  He was pretty fun.  Back in the early 90's, I was in the Navy and one of the stops we made was Yokosuka, Japan.  Now I wasn't one of those stereotypical rowdy, let's get drunk, I've got a girl in every port kind of sailors.  In fact, I didn't really know many guys like that.  Sure, we cut loose now and then, but it wasn't like we were in the bottle all the time. 

Anyway, a group of 5 or 6 of us decided we would go to Tokyo Disney.  The ringleader of the group was from southern California and had a goal to hit every Disney park and I had never been to one so I was game.  It was about an hour and a half by train from where we were to the park so we headed out early.  It was actually a pretty fun day and we headed back to the boat pretty late.  The rest of the guys decided to hit a bar, but my buddy and I had duty the next day so we needed to get back and grab some sleep.  That's where we hit a snag.

Being the brains of the group, I was in charge of getting us to the park and getting us back.  I thought I had a perfect plan to do just that by "drawing" the names of the stations we used and then just backtracking at the end of the day.  I say "drawing" because I attempted to make the Japanese names of the stations.  Well, it was a disaster and could have ended badly for the two of us.  The train we were on was getting less and less crowded and finally pulled into a station where everyone got off.  We just sat there.  A very frail older lady carrying a bag of groceries noticed us and finally made it clear that this was the last stop for the train that night.  The problem was we had no idea where we were or how to get where we wanted to go.

The lady motioned for us to follow her and we thought she was taking us to some transit employee for help.  This lady looked every bit of 70 and as I said, was carrying a bag of groceries.  She proceeded down the steps of the station and down the street, two big dumb Americans in tow.  We offered to carry her bag, but she wouldn't have it.  She walked us about a mile to another station, took us up the steps and put us on the right train, making sure we knew how many stops we had to go.  We offered her money, but she just shook her head, smiled and disappeared into the night. 

It was one of the kindest, most selfless gestures I've ever experienced. 

Like a number of you, I was on the receiving end of another kind gesture from Japan recently.  Ryan from This Card is Cool sent out a bunch of packages, spreading hobby goodwill from the other side of the world. 

Ryan didn't skimp on the Japanese Yu Darvish cards.  This is a 2007 BBM card, 2nd version.  Whatever that means.  It's pretty cool to have some Japanese cards of Yu.  Not you...oh, Yu know what I mean. 

Here is the 2008 BBM version of Yu.  It must be an insert because it says Prince of Power Pitch. 

On to 2009 and the Game Masters edition.  It's big Yu vs. little Yu.  My money is little Yu.  He looks feisty. 

Ryan included a whole stack of these...umm..."hot girl who is contemplating the world" cards.  Interesting, but my wife may not approve. 

Let me go on record as saying the Rangers do not need cheerleaders at the Ballpark, but I'm not opposed to cheerleaders in general.  Like these Nippon-Ham Fighters Girls for instance. 

My first Japanese play at the plate!  I wish I could see the player coming in to the plate, but This Card is Cool.  So is Ryan.  Thanks Ryan, you rock. 


  1. Good story! Japanese people in general are very helpful, especially to foreigners who look like they need help. And sometimes to those who don't. There's a politeness that Asians find fault with. I'm sure you saw a lot of it beyond just this story. Enjoy the cards! I'm not sure what you can do with the idol cards. I have a bunch more, actually, that I might not be keeping.

    If you want more Yu, we can work out some trades. Let me know!

  2. Cool cards... especially that cheerleaders card!

  3. Liberty Call! Liberty Call! I'm so, so thankful that camera phones and Facebook did not exist back then.