genki_rocket: (UP!)
[personal profile] genki_rocket
Life has gotten incredibly busy lately! I've been all over the place saying goodbye to friends and getting ready to go to Tokyo and welcome in new ones. This time of year is always so hectic with things to do and people to see that it's easy to get caught up in it.

This weekend Chris and I went to Miyazaki for an awesome event put on by the ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers, for those who don't know) in Miyazaki. I wanted to talk about this and knock out two 100 things topics at the same time! So here we go!

Usually, in the Moto, ALT Events are held once a month or once every two months. Usually they involve going to the city and drinking while the city ALTs stand around and act like the popular kids in high school. Y'know, because they live there.

Since I got here, it's gotten a lot better. There are several charity events that are staples every year. We have a Valentine's Day Auction where people are sold for dates and the money goes to charity. We have an awesome Halloween party in an abandoned shopping mall in the middle of nowhere (that's right, ABANDONED) and we have a big talent show every year.

There are other events that pop up here and there and they're all pretty fun but I don't find myself going to a lot of them. It just seems to be the same thing over and over a lot of the time.

However recently, a Miyazaki ALT posted on the Kumamoto group and invited everyone to an event that they were all having.

The Amazing Race Miyazaki.

Now, I've seen the Amazing Race on TV before and I think it is such a cool idea!! I say that I could do it...but I don't know. It's pretty intense. But in Miyazaki?! It sounded like a GREAT idea!

Chris and I plus my friend in Fukuoka, Kay, formed a team and descended upon Miyazaki prefecture in a flurry of excitement and competitive spirit! Kay and I hadn't actually met each other prior to Facebook, but she's an awesome girl!!! We instantly clicked right away and are totally on the same wavelength. Chris, Kay and myself were the only ones who came from outside the prefecture for the event...and we were in it to win it.

We stayed with the Miyazaki ALT who was running the whole thing. She was also hella cool! Turns out she was a MASSIVE fan of the Amazing Race and was planning to try out for it when she got back to the states.

The next day, we started the race and it was AWESOME. There were 9 teams of four to five people each. There were about 40 participants total. We were all put on the same team and a Japanese guy, Junya, was put with us. He was a Miyazaki native and he was 40 years old. Even though he looked super young!

So the race started at the prefectural park. We each had a small dish and one of us had to run to the center of this monument and, using chopsticks, had to grab a small bead (that was super slippery, might I add) and run back to the dish without dropping it.

After that, we were given a color and sent off into the park to search for 7 flags that matched it. We saw that our color was burnt orange and so I took off through the park and quickly found two flags!

Then suddenly I heard "Wait, are you orange? WE'RE orange!" Walking up to me was this girl who had a massive case of Bitchface. I then realized that we weren't, in fact, burnt orange, but BROWN. I begrudgingly gave her the flags (she hadn't found ANY) and immediately set off looking for our real color.

After collecting three, we were called in by the game masters because there were other people in the park and they were worried that someone might have taken them. We had only found 6 of 7 and were one of the last groups to be left in the park. The GMs gave us the hint that was on the 7th card and off we ran to the library.

We then had to pose like the Hindu god Ganesh (the elephant with 8 arms).

Next challenge was to go to a shrine and fold 8 paper cranes and then pose with them. We let Kay take care of this because I can't do origami to save my LIFE.

We even posed with the shrine's priest! He wasn't having the whole 'Crane Pose' thing, though hahaha =\

Next up, our clue was to go to Don Quixote (a crazy novelty store here) and find 3 out of a list of ten items. We chose: a giant bag of chips, any marijuana leaf-related product and 'Black Man' underwear.

Posing with Black Man underwear next to everyone's favorite Black Bear, Kumamon!

Next it was off to lunch! We had to take a bus and we were waiting impatiently with the other teams around us. As soon as we got off the bus, Kay and I TOOK OFF running to make it to the building.

"We're all going to the same plaaaace" a heavier ALT wheezed condescendingly as we passed. We paid him no heed and continued our sprint to the elevator.

There were too many people in, however and they rudely told us to wait for the next one. I, in a decision mostly fueled by adrenaline, decided to run up 9 flights of stairs to the restaurant that was waiting for us.

Another clue was waiting for us at the top. After our lunch break, and figuring out the right answers, we made a DASH for the next stop - a bar. Inside, the foreigner who owned the bar whipped together a special Miyazaki cocktail for us that was made up of 4 ingredients. We had to taste it and guess the four. If not, we would incur a time penalty.

We didn't guess correctly so we chilled and danced in the bar for 10 minutes.

After, we DASHED off to downtown Miyazaki city to do purikura with props. And I'm talking DASHED, we were running through the arcades and people were most definitely thinking that we were insane.

After getting our next clue, we ran to the nightlife area of Miyazaki city. There we had to find 3 out of 7 items and take pictures of them. We thought we had to take pictures WITH them. Bonus points!

'Find Snoopy!'

We waited impatiently for our pictures to send and for the next clue to come through on my phone. When it finally popped up, we dashed off to the Miyazaki prefectural office garden. Inside the small Japanese-style garden, there was a puzzle to decode. Chris almost ate it hardcore on the slippery stones and avoided falling into the cute little pond by grabbing onto a palm tree for dear life!

We decoded the clue (ridiculously fast, nbd) and then made a dash to the actual prefectural office to take a picture with famous Miyazaki masks that were in an envelope.

In true tiki fashion, I threw Kay on my shoulders and we posed epically.

The next clue came in the form of five hints. These hints were the kanji that made up the name of the "Father of Miyazaki". I can't remember his name but it was something like Yamachu...something something.

Anyway, we had to find the statue of HIM and go take a picture in front of it. Junya knew exactly where it was (as he did with all of the clues) and once again we dashed off to find it.

Kay almost knocked over an old lady on her bike, but it didn't stop us. We were hungry for the win. We weren't stopping for ANYTHING!

What? Illegal? Noooo!

We found another envelope in the palm trees next to the statue and Kay, Chris and Junya put them together. Luckily, I had brought the exact same "Miyazaki walking map" that I had picked up from the bus center the day before!

'X' marks the spot of the finish line!!! Once again we were off, sprinting toward our FINAL destination. We ran across traffic (when there were no cars, of course) and found ourselves running epically along a river.

We saw people clapping up ahead and Kay, who was in front of me, said "Other people? What? Nooooo".

Sure as shit, there was another team who had beaten us. We came in an *extremely* close second, though.

My teammates and I secretly call shenanigans...but it's okay. We won the prize for 'Most Interesting Pictures'. I have a theory that the organizers saw how well we were doing and contacted the team to skip a step or two. There was NO way that they could have beaten us. We were literally SPRINTING across the city (in flip-flops - dumb choice I know). One of the girls was in HEELS and the others hadn't even broken a sweat. Pffft.

All in all, it was an awesome time! Even two days after, I'm still a bit exhausted but it was totally worth it. I made some great new friends and got to see Miyazaki City like never before! P.S. bitchy 'We're ORANGE' girl? She came in second to LAST! Karmaaaaa

(not pictured: Junya)

Date: 2012-07-26 06:59 pm (UTC)
woolychicken: (Default)
From: [personal profile] woolychicken
What a great event! This sounds like a total riot. I've heard of that show but never seen it. Now I might have to check it out :-D

Date: 2012-07-30 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] nyappynhu
Looks like someone had blast ^^

Date: 2012-08-01 07:42 am (UTC)
rosenquartz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rosenquartz
Wow, it sounds and looks like you guys had tons of fun! I have to commend you on the sprint up all those stairs..I would have died around flight 5.. XD


genki_rocket: (Default)
Genki Rocket

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