September 13, 2015

What happens when you drop a gaijin in a lake?

Sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn't it?  Well, what happens?  Does she sink?  Float?  Swim?  Who knows how many times people have attempted to toss a gaijin in a lake?

Today was a day of firsts.  Normally my blog is pretty boring because most days I sit on my butt and watch TV since I've spent the bulk of my cash traveling. 

Sunday (today) my husband invited me to go wakeboarding on Lake Yamanaka with a couple of doctors.  Sure, I said.  I've waterskied before (although last time I did that I was in my teens I think).  It's what you do in Arizona.  You gas up the boat and go to the lake.  I couldn't even tell you how many times I've been to the lake.  No biggie, right?  Here's some caveats you should know.  I've never been in a lake in Japan.  (I've walked around one and been on a lake cruise.)  Additionally, I've never been wakeboarding before.  Also, before today I had never met a brain surgeon.  Yeah, the doctor who invited us was literally a brain surgeon.  No joke.

Anyway, they took the boards out of the car.  It looks like a snowboard (which I've never been on either).  I took one look at that thing and I said, "Oh yeah, I can't get up on that."  I said that out loud. 

Once on the boat the doctor proclaimed I'd go third.  After the other doctor aka super wakeboarder (I was expecting this guy to do flips but he didn't), and my husband who kindly reassured me that he didn't get up right away the first time he went either.  Okay, so how bad can it be?  I received two mini wakeboarding lessons or a wakeboarding crash course.

When it was my turn, I was standing on the wooden platform strapping the board on and my husband accidentally pushed me into the water.  They tried to hoist me back up to standing, and I was just like forget it and put the board on in the water.  When they tried to run the boat nothing happened because prior to me getting in the water they had run over a buoy and the propeller was stuck and rope was wrapped around it. 

"Oh yes!" I thought.  I don't have to embarrass myself after all.  We'll all go home because the boat is broken.  Well, some Good Samaritan from a nearby boat strapped on his goggles and dug the buoy out.  Crap. 

Okay, so five time I tried to get up.  The fourth and fifth time I came close to standing.  I received some helpful advice (all in Japanese). 
"Don't try to stand up so soon!"
"Bend your knees!  Bend!"

Sigh.  On the fifth fail as the boat circled back around, I heard "last chance" so if I didn't get up I failed miserably and could suffer embarrassment for the rest of the day.

Try six.  By some miracle I got up.  Seriously, it was a miracle.  When I got up to standing, of course, everyone on our boat cheered (maybe mostly from relief), and I heard the whoops and shouts of a nearby boat which was huge for my ego.  I kindly replied back "YEAH BITCHES!"  It was glorious.  Now, I don't know if they were cheering because they witnessed the whole embarrassing debacle or if it was because I was a girl (the lake was almost entirely devoid of female wakeboarders) or if it was because I am a(n out of shape gaijin).  Either way it was nice to have fans.  They pointed and waved at me later.  "Look it's the gaijin!"  I flashed them a peace sign.

Here's a picture of me being awesome:

You'll notice the boats in the background which stopped to watch me.  Like really?  Water celebrity.

And here's the gorgeous Mt. Fuji which only appeared for about ten minutes:

This was like unbelievably fun.  (However, I guarantee you that I'd be singing a different tune had I not gotten up on the water.)  Here's the bottom line: wakeboarding is like super hard.  Especially, if you're a(n out of shape) gaijin like me.

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