Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Staff Bowling Competition

I took part in the staff bowling competition on Monday, which, by all accounts, was a lot of fun. I was completely rubbish of course, but as they say, it's the taking part that counts. I'm also starting to suspect that they train Japanese people to bowl almost immediately after birth - some of the teachers were frighteningly good. In fact, the Japanese take their bowling pretty seriously as a whole: the woman on the left in the photo below had actually hired out a lane for herself so she could practice. She even had one of those weird bowling gloves.

It's all a bit strange to me: try as I might, I just can't take the sport of bowling seriously. On the one hand it can be a lot of fun with a group of people, and absolutely anyone can play it. But on the other hand, once you've rolled a few balls down the lane it starts getting very, very repetitive. I imagine the woman in the photograph below is the kind of person who could quite happily sit opening and closing the fridge door for hours, flushed with a little spark of joy every time the light inside comes on.

Still, despite my cynicism and appalling lack of skills, the bowling competition was a good laugh. The organisers spent the enkai (office party) fund on some pretty funky prizes (such as halogen heaters and cases of wine), and they had a very fair system for handing them out. In addition to the main winner and the individual lane winners, there were prizes for finishing in random places, such as 11th, 23rd etc, which made it more interesting. Unfortunately I just missed out on the booby prize (yes, there was someone who was actually worse than me), but hey, there's always next year...


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