Khoa and I have been playing soft tennis every week for the past year and a half. We didn’t really start playing by choice, but since everyone on the island plays soft tennis and we wanted to do things with the community, Khoa and I landed up taking up the sport. Soft tennis is just like regular tennis except you play with a soft rubber ball instead of the traditional green furry one. I feel like it’s a watered down version of the original…which is why I was so furious to find that for the first three months I completely sucked at playing it.
We’ve been using two rackets that belong to one of our friends, but we thought it was time to buy our own…borrowing something for over a year is a little too long. So we consulted with the tennis coach at the junior high and he helped us pick out the most suitable rackets for our level (and got us a 30% discount, sweet!). The two brand new soft tennis rackets totaled around 30,000 yen (about $375 USD) and they were sent to us in the mail. We don’t have a credit card (just like many people in Japan), so we weren’t able to pay for our rackets before ordering them. But in Japan, that’s no problem. We ordered the rackets without paying and they were promptly shipped to our island. The rackets even came with a few added extras for free (extra grip, protective stickers on the frame…and some socks). It also came with a receipt and instructions to pay for the rackets at the post office. That’s right, we received our goods (with free extras) before we even paid for them. Talk about trusting! Khoa and I have paid using COD or post office payment before, but the goods never exceeded $150. We were both shocked that the company would send us $375 worth of goods on good faith that we would later pay for them. I’d like to think that the US could handle this method of purchasing goods, but I think I’d be sadly disappointed.
…I’d also like to think that these new spiffy rackets have improved our game, but that might be a stretch. Either way, we have rackets that we can call our own and a new hobby that we can continue to play whenever we wind up back in America.