Last week I had my first taste of gambling. I’ve been to Vegas a couple times but the all I ever did was the slot machines and that was nothing more than a flurry of button pushing until the lights stopped flashing and the machine said I didn’t have any more money. This time was a little more refined.
My friend and Japanese teacher Nagai took some friends and I to boat races in the next town over. The boats race and people bet on them just as you would bet on a horse race. The boats are tiny, not much bigger than the person that drives them and they race on a pond in a stadium. Watching the races were pretty fun, but betting on them made it so much better.
Like I said earlier I have no experience betting, so the bets for my first race were randomly selected. Later on we met an old and very experienced gambler and he told us how to read the hand outs we were given and make a more educated guess. My bets were all 100yen ($1) each, so I wasn’t exactly a high roller.
Having money on the race made it even more fun to watch. I didn’t care just about who came first but the first 3 spots were on the line. I was clinging to the rail shouting at the boats as they went by.
In the end I ended up winning (!!!!!) one race and got back 240yen. Not exactly beginners luck, but things could have ended up much worse. Had I more time in Kagawa I might have even gone back.