Big in Japan

August 20, 2014

Lock legend Andries Bekker is living the dream in Japan at Kobelco Steelers Club. His wife Elaine and daughter Mila have settled in and are enjoying the way of life that has been synonymous with players plying their trade in this beautiful and honourable country. The big guy has an enviable reputation at the club and so does fellow Bok team mate and best friend, Jaque Fourie.We chatted to Dries about his new adventure in Typhoon alley.

I believe there was a typhoon recently near your home. Can you tell us what that was like?

The Typhoon was nothing scary really. We are used to heavy rain and wind in Cape Town as well so cuddling on the sofa with the family was super relaxing.

Your best & worst moments in Japan so far?

Best moment of Japan so far is definitely making new friends and learning so much of the Japanese culture and the way they do things. It’s so different than what we are used to but such an amazing experience to share it with my family
– Worst experience will have to be getting injured last year and having to go for an operation. Getting the operation here was bit scary.

How are your Japanese lessons going?

Japanese lessons, well thats going ok. We are quite sorted on all the basics so moving around is not that difficult anymore. Elaine is a bit more motivated so she has two lessons a week and she is very good friends with a Japanese players’ wife so that helps a lot

Your beautiful daughter, Mila, when will she go to creche and how do you think she will cope?

Mila will probably go to creche when she is 3. She is getting better with strange people so hopefully she wouldn’t be too rough on them.

The apartment building you live in has incredible facilities can you tell us what there is?

The place we stay in is very family friendly. We don’t need to go far for anything really. We have in walking distance anything from a gym and pool to restaurants and coffee shops to schools to grocery and hardware stores. We are very blessed with the comfortable living style here.

What is the elusive Kobe Black card?

Sorry ha ha

Has Elaine been on any Karaoke evenings with the team mates’ wives yet?

She is very keen on the karaoke evening as it is massive over here. I will rather stay home and babysit as I have the singing voice of an Ostrich.

It must be reassuring to have your best mate, Jaque Fourie, in the same team and building as you, but, we know he is a legendary prankster. Dish the dirt what has he been up to?

Old Mossie has got his special moments where he will climb out of his skin and entertain us for the whole evening. Its great fun to be at the same place as the Fourie family. He has many talents for entertainment so listing all of them will take a while. Just give him a good old afrikaans song and laughs will start immediately.

Who does the food shopping you or Elaine?

We will do most of the shopping together if I have some free time, otherwise Elaine will be the one shopping.

What reactions do you get when you walk around the city?

Mila gets much more attention in the streets than any of us. They love a foreign baby so its very easy for me. Family time is much more private as well. People wont really bother you as much as back home.

Bekker family enjoying Japanese beachesKobe beef braaiDries & Mila in the snow
Fellow team mate Dries with his scrumhalf Dries with fans Dries for Kobe Dries Elaine & Mila Dries with Japanese fans Dries with fan club Eating competition Dries at an event Footprint tradition


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