Monday, February 5, 2007

A catastrophic event

I never intended to see the Super Bowl: the Steelers weren’t in it, and I didn’t have to root against the Cowboys or Patriots, so Colts or Bears—I didn’t really care who won. However, practically every American and even a few Brits and Germans in my house were going to Varsity, a pub near the Pier, in order to watch the game. Apparently the Uni. of Sussex has an American football team, and both it and its cheerleading squad were hosting the event. Therefore, after a day of playing volleyball matches in Reading—my first outing with the Uni. Sussex women’s volleyball team!—I returned, took a shower, sat in on two rounds of Kings (a drinking card game, for those of you who do not know) on the third floor kitchen with practically half of Holland House’s residents, and proceeded to Varsity.

Being at this pub reminded me of when I was in junior high and high school: when I arrived, it turned out that I knew several separate groups of people, yet didn’t really feel like a “part” of any of them. Obviously, I arrived with my fellow Holland House-mates. However, Vikki, a girl on the volleyball team, had told me she had an extra ticket to get in (because she was a member of the cheerleading squad) and would meet me at the door if I called her when I arrived. Yet, the convenience of cell phones has still not been proven to me, because despite my calling AND texting her, she did not respond, and I ended up inside the door with no ticket. Therefore, I put on my sweetest demeanor and asked the football players manning the entrance, Did they know Vikki? The cheerleader? I was supposed to meet her. Could I go find her? One who was missing a tooth ended up taking a liking to my friend Amy and let us both in without hassle. Eventually, after leaving my Holland House-mates in a cluster near the door, I found three of my volleyball friends: Ola, Anika, and Vicky. Ola passed me the ticket Vicky had intended to give me, but I was already inside, so I merely pocketed it in case I needed it later. On the way to finding seats, I passed yet another group of people I knew from Holland house who apparently were already at the pub and usually went out separately from the group I had arrived with. I stopped and said hello and chatted a bit, but in the end, I spent most of my time with the volleyball girls. We found seats cross-legged on the floor in front of one big screen, and watched the game from that spot for virtually the entire first half.

The end of the first half marked the beginning of my unlucky event. It comprised a trip to the bathroom. First I had to find the spot and was nearly run over by the poor waitress who had been sprinting about the bar all night delivering food orders. I believe there was only one food-delivery bar mistress in the entire place, and for the amount of chicken nuggets and chips people were ordering, it was no wonder she was always in a tizzy. Nevertheless, that almost sent me catapulting down the stairs to the ladies and gentlemen’s “toilets.” (I find it so hard to ask to go to the “toilet” here—it feels like I’m saying a dirty word. But if I ask where the “bathroom” is, I always get a blank stare!) Then, once I made it into the bathroom, I was nearly smashed by the door, as I stood behind it in the queue (the British term for “line”). When it was finally my turn, I found myself stepping over the toilet bowl in order to get past the stall door and inside the tiny closet of a stall. I had my camera with me and no idea what to do with it, so I set it on what seemed to be the only flat surface in view: the lid of the waste bin beside the toilet. Then what did I do? I turned around to sit down and promptly bumped into the waste bin. Splash! went my camera.

So now I am in Great Britain, trying to travel and capture my experiences here, and have successfully rendered myself camera-less. Cheapest digital camera worth buying here? £200. That’s four hundred American dollars. Have I complained enough about being broke when I get back to the States? Let me begin again….


Julie said...

How very, very sad!

Dad said...

Just think of all the "wonderful" memories that you're imprinting on your cranium? Oh, the stories that you'll be able to tell. Hum..sounds like the beginning of a new book to me. :-)