backstop diaries – miki talks rounders

ah, rounders. that time honoured sport, loved by all, played by british schoolgirls everywhere. played all over the world, famous as its…

wait, what?

no one knows what it is?

let me explain.

wikipedia says rounders is a ” bat-and-ball game played between two teams. Rounders is a striking and fielding team game that involves hitting a small, hard, leather-cased ball with a rounded end wooden, plastic or metal bat. The players score by running around the four bases on the field. The game is popular among Irish and British school children.” it’s pretty similar to baseball and softball – i say rounders is the teen mum of baseball and softball (more of the similarities between softball and rounders later), cricket being the awkward, gangly father.

but that’s not what it is to me, and possibly many, many other girls like myself around the country.

rounders is standing as far away from the posts as you possibly can, trying not to humiliate yourself in the pouring rain (it’s really just liquid sunshine). rounders is a barrage of rules, one weirder and more complicated than the next. rounders is being unable to hit that bloody ball with that beat-up little bat. rounders is being unable to bowl that bloody ball to the smug bats(wo)man (it’s usually a girl, boys here don’t play rounders at all, preferring instead to play cricket). rounders is actually smashing that ball far, far away..into the hands of the smug a-team deep fielder and being caught out.

i think you can tell that i’m not very good at this.

there aren’t that many positions in rounders, really – only nine people are on a team. my usual position, when i’m playing with my beloved d-team (the bottom group, comprised entirely of kids who would really like to be anywhere else), is backstop. this position equates roughly to catcher in baseball and softball, except i don’t get a nice mitt and usually just stand back looking scared, instead of doing any catching. i was backstop for house rounders this year – we’re hoping to come second, due to some miracle in which we beat two of our three teams we played against. all this despite a mortifying mistake in misinterpreting the bowler’s (pitcher’s) hand gestures, and my absence of rounders rule knowledge. it was okay, i guess.

if i was in america (gosh! imagine that…an american miki. that’s extremely weird and i don’t wish to delve deeper, although i will probably do so in a post very, very soon), i would probably be doing the same, except in softball. recently myself and my friend mila were messing around on instagram, and managed to find a softball account, dedicated to the wonderful sport of softball (obviously), not unsimilar to this one. we found this hysterical – what weirdo dedicates themselves to a sport? they talk so passionately about it – softball is love, softball is life. it got me thinking as well – are there accounts like this dedicated to rounders? rounders is pretty unintense – we have no safety gear, no national tournaments, no proper teams. it’s just pathetic stick-bat-hitting-oh-you-got-a-half-rounder. it’s only played by bored schoolgirls in p.e lessons, really. there’s a women’s college world series for softball, for goodness sake. if anybody over the age of 15 plays rounders seriously, i might just die of laughter.

did anyone here play rounders as a child? did you find it as horrible as i do? has anyone outside of the uk ever heard of it in their life? i’d love to know ^^

~miki ♥

Advertisements

one and a half

i’ve always been interested in immigration and the people who choose to make a foreign country their home – probably because i’m an immigrant myself.

i came to england from burma with my mother when i was 6 months old, joining my father who had got a job here a couple months previously. he was present for my birth, then jetted off on the boeing to start his new life. i like to call myself a 1.5 generation immigrant – i wasn’t born in england, but i’m too young to remember burma (and my burmese is downright pathetic now – my parents see this as a good thing though, since we are living in england).  my parents and i are pretty well assimilated into british culture – my dad’s english is pretty perfect and my mum’s is wonky, but good enough for people to understand the gist of what she’s saying. a while ago, i found a hilarious, but extremely bittersweet blog post about being an ‘engrish’ to english translator – a mortifying experience i, and probably many other children of 1st generation immigrants have had to face. my parents have also been pretty stereotypical 1st generation asian parents too – amy chua describes them perfectly in her description ‘on generational decline’ in the (in)famous book battle hymn of the tiger mother:

“The immigrant generation (like my parents)  is the hardest working. Many will have started off in the United States [or whatever cushy first world country] almost penniless, but they will work hard until they become successful engineers, scientists, doctors,  academics, or businesspeople. As parents, they will be extremely strict and rabidly thrifty. (“Don’t throw out those leftovers! Why are you using so much dishwasher liquid? You don’t need a beauty salon – I can cut your hair even nicer.”) They will invest in real estate. They will not drink much. Everything they do and earn will go toward their children’s education and future.”

in comparison, the second generation (i include myself in this – 1.5 does round to 2) is described as floating on the success of their parents, also working hard, but probably not as hard, as them. they simply don’t have to. and their children after that is the one chua “lies awake worrying about” – the third generation is born into the wealth of the upper middle class and knows that their rich parents can provide everything they need and want without having to work for it. a study somewhere shows that third generation asian-americans score about the same as their white counterparts in maths tests, despite the stereotype that all asians are amazing at maths. scary.

for some reason, as soon as i started secondary school i managed to find myself in a friendship group full of mixed-race, immigrant kids. we’re all smart girls, with perfect english, and quite a few of us have scholarships. but if the bnp or any other scary far-right political party takes over the uk, then 7 out of the 8 of us would probably be deported. the latest immigrant is blanche, a perky half-german, half-english gal, with a bit of french in her as well,  who speaks perfect german and perfect accented (it’s not a german accent, but not an english one either – a lot of people think she’s american) english as well. she moved to the uk with her mum and older brother when she was 5 years old.

any of you guys in the covey immigrants, or mixed-race? do you have any interesting experiences of culture shock to share? i would love to know ^^

~miki ♥