The No Fun League lived up to its name the other morning.
For Super Bowl Sunday (my Super Bowl Monday morning), I rose in time to catch the 2nd quarter, ran downstairs and turned on the tv hoping to be as lucky as I was for the baseball playoffs. But it was not to be my day.
The gods were not on my side. 3 stations, I repeat 3 stations, were playing the same British cricket replay from the previous night - 1 in Hindi and 2 in English… ESPN, was digging so deep in their programing that I kid you not, they had one of the hobbits narrating the best English Soccer Premier League saves of all time!
I turned to my last chance, the BBC, hoping by chance that I would find refuge and that there would be some cross cultural exchange going on. But as I feared, it was just the news. I proceeded to watch the ticker at the bottom wanting to find out at least what the score was. I waited through the endless riveting Premier League scores of 1 – nil, 2 – nil, and nil – nil, then the cricket scores from the night before only to discover that America’s biggest holiday was not even to be mentioned. Obviously someone is still holding a grudge after the Revolutionary War…
Although this was a major setback, I had prepared a backup plan and dashed out of the house with my emergency backpack in hand.
I sprinted down the hill past my neighbors doing morning prayers. Past the Gurkha soldiers practicing their marching. Past the two-size, too-small Angry Bird t-shirt wearing bus conductor who has to this point yet to realize that the pin stripped suit wearing white person he sees every morning and yells at to go to Kathmandu actually lives here and is not modeling off some new North Face formal trekking wear.
Just as I arrived to the hotel, sat down, got out my laptop and was ready to watch the game, the all too familiar grown of the shutting down of electronics and the quick fading of the lights occurred. As previously described in a blog post, this is one of the more inconvenient things about Nepal, but I was prepared to wait it out.
When the power finally came back on, it was well into the 3rd quarter and I scrambled to find a feed to watch the game. I navigated the labyrinth of a website and enrollment process NFL.com has just to watch their “free feed” passing their Terms and Conditions page which resembled in size more a West European County’s constitution than a disclaimer telling me they would sue my ass if I reproduced any of it.
After all that, my dreams of seeing the red and gold were abruptly crushed when I was informed that only two levels of quality were available, 3D and IMAX. Or, at least with my bandwidth connection, they might have well as been.
But all hope was not lost. I could still listen. I repeated the labyrinth of a registering process, but this time for the radio broadcast. By this time a good deal of PTSATD (Post-traumatic SAT Disorder) was setting in. When I reached the end of the forms a pop up appeared asking me for my credit card for the $14.99 fee! With a subtitle stating “includes all playoff games live!” Does it include a time machine? With only one quarter left in the game, no guarantee of actually being able to work, and unemployment looming 3 weeks away, I passed on the splurge.
For some reason SFGate would not load and for some even more inexplicable reason I chose as my back up the LA Times’ live game summary. Whoever was writing it was obviously a Dodgers fan and hated everything about the bay area. They made the 49ers triumphant comeback sound as interesting as the time one of my co-teachers read a passage about the beauty of Nepal to the class spelling out each letter as he read: “T-H-E ,The B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L, beautiful…” Acting as if the scoreboard was just malfunctioning.
I do not need to relive what happened in the game next, but as I sat there in anguish and disgust the manager of the hotel, a friend, and whose kids I teach, approached me, asking me if I wanted to try some new tea they just got.
“Sure” I said, “What type?”
He replied, “English Breakfast.”
“On second thought,” as I began to pack up, “I’ll pass.”
Justly confused he asked, “Why?”
“They know what they did to me.”
In other news... After seriously considering skipping school, I dragged my body down to the campus only to find that the majority of my students had red powder covering their faces and most of their clothes. Were they all 9ers fans?
It was actually the last day for the teachers in training and the students were giving them tika to give thanks. I only realized this when I entered my 4th grade class to teach them time telling when I was surrounded and pinned to the wall as they attempted to spread this powder on anything that was mine.
I can only imagine what will happen when I actually leave. Two weeks left….
Tomorrow I head out to a village, about 5 to 8 hours away depending on how harsh a toll the recent rain did to the roads, to conduct a teaching training for a primary school that is switching to English medium.
The lil' man throwing up the gang signs has better dance moves than you.
The teachers in training. I have, no exaggeration, over 50 variations of this photo.