In the blistering heat, she steps outside with water bottle and phone in hand, knowing the journey will be arduous, long, and possibly futile…
Hey, it’s Rai. Although I originally intended for this blog just to be about anime reviews and other anime-related things, I have decided to start this journal as a side project because I have been inspired by Pokemon Go. The game has made me go out, explore, and exercise, instead of sitting at home with nothing but negative thoughts swirling around in my head. This has actually helped with the anxiety and depression I accumulated from the teaching job I mentioned in my introduction post. And I am not the only one. I have seen several articles saying how Pokemon Go is helping other people with anxiety and depression. If you are interested, here is one good article I read.
The Pokemon Go app has also helped me discover a lot of new places in my area that I never even knew existed, many of which are beautiful parks and nature trails. However, I live in a suburban area in Northern New Jersey, where there aren’t that many Pokestops. I thought this blog could help other people in NJ find places with an adequate access to Pokestops because it can be pretty difficult. I mean, look at the difference between a street in New York City and my street:
Pathetic, isn’t it?
And, without further ado, here is my very first entry in my Pokemon Go Adventure Log!
Saddle Brook County Park, Saddle Brook, New Jersey
July 26th, 2016 (Currently Level 14)
After seeing tons of Pokemon constantly appearing on Pokevision at a nearby park, I decided to venture there. And oh my god.
It is Pokestop, Lure, Gym, and Pokemon heaven. The area is a small lake with many benches, all engraved in remembrance of people who have died. These benches are all designated Pokestops and because the lake is small, it is the perfect place to walk around and pass through all of the streaming petals and Pokemon.
But apparently I wasn’t the only person to discover this secret. There were thralls of kids, teenagers, young adults, and even parents, all walking around with their phones, scouting the area. Or, they were gathered in big groups, challenging Gyms or taking advantage of Lures. There were so many people that it was difficult not to bump into someone in front of you; if you walked too slowly, people bumped into you from behind. As someone who suffers from social anxiety and claustrophobia, this was not the best situation.
However, I was able to enjoy the walk and the scenery… and of course catch some Pokemon! At this lake I caught two rare Pokemon: a Bulbasaur and a Charmander. There are apparently Dratini and Electabuzz in the area, but my phone and patience for people were dying.
Don’t get me wrong. I am glad so many people, young and old, are enjoying Pokemon and that the franchise is making a comeback, but it was just too many people.
August 5th, 2016 (Currently Level 16)
I went back to the park and I have to say that I enjoyed it much more.
To my surprise, there were still a lot of people playing Pokemon Go, but there were far less than the first time I went. I am not sure if this is because of the demise of Pokevision and the in-game tracker, or because it was morning on a Friday (last time it was evening on a Tuesday). I was glad to be able to see people enjoying the game and not have to worry about being trampled.
One of the other people playing was a boy wearing a legitimate Ash hat. I have one of those. I should dig it out and wear it, although my timidity wouldn’t like all the attention the hat might bring to myself. Other awesome people I saw were an adult couple who were playing Pokemon Go while walking their baby in a carriage. I seriously saw my future in that moment. (Don’t worry, they kept to the main path and weren’t bringing the baby to any strange places in order to get Pokemon).
I walked around the lake a couple times and was actually able to take in the scenery. It really is beautiful.
At one point I came across a Lure that was placed near an empty bench. I sat down and read my book while letting the game run, only pausing when my phone buzzed and a good Pokemon showed up. It’s funny because Pokemon Go is a type of technology, and yet it has allowed me to reconnect with nature and given me an excuse to read outside. It must be an oxymoron to see a girl with a 21st century smartphone reading a book from the 1800’s (I am currently reading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin).
While at the Lure, I caught a bunch of water Pokemon, including Staryu, Magikarp, Slowpoke, Krabby, Goldeen, and Seaking. I also caught enough Poliwag to evolve it into a Poliwhirl.
However, the rarest Pokemon wasn’t directly next to the lake. I ventured down a path that leads to other parts of the park because I was curious to see what Pokestops were in that direction. Pokestops were scarce, but, during my search, I happened upon a Jynx and captured it! :3
A Scyther also appeared on my radar, but unfortunately I was unable to find it without the help of trackers 😦 I walked around the lake so many times trying to find it and followed other trainers who were looking for it, but it was to no avail.
Although Scyther was forfeit, I was able to capture a ton of Charmander (seriously, this place is Charmander heaven!) and evolved it into a Charmeleon, which made up for the loss of the Scyther. Now it is going to take me forever to find enough Charmander to get a Charizard, unless I get lucky and find a wild one.
This experience was really fun. The nature and calmness of the area really helped to settle my nerves. I usually hate doing things that bring attention to myself and dislike when people stare at me, but I became so relaxed and content at one point that I just laid down in the grass and let all of the people pass me by, not caring if they gave me strange looks.
I hope to keep going on adventures in around my area and update things here :3
wdango. (2014, Nov 23). Stoic: No Way Home [Pokémon] [Msg 1037]. Message posted to https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/stoic-no-way-home-pok%C3%A9mon.6401/page-42