Sunday, October 7, 2007

Uni games is by far, the best thing since sliced bread

Hello all!

I have not fallen off the face of Australia. I just got back from what maybe the best 10 days EVER. I don't even really know where to begin, so Ireckon I should start at the very beginning, a very good place tostart...(continue singing if you so desire)

Uni games this year was at the Gold Coast in Surfer's Paradise, which isabout an hour south of Brisbane in the state of Queensland. Uni games is anationwide university sports competition with sports ranging from soccer to rugby to ultimate to badminton. I drove up with some of my teammates. Sincethe day we left fell on Yom Kippur I fasted the drive up to Coff's Harbour and listened to Yom Kippur prayers on my iPod, which miraculously my friendhappened to have. It was pretty terrible since we kept stopping for snacks,but I made it up to Coff's where I broke fast with a candy bar and then wegot some dinner at a pub. I had chicken stirfry, but unfortunately could hardly eat it since fasting had shrunk my stomach.

We stayed at a trailer park in a mini caravan. It wasn't much better thancamping other than the fact that it was raining, so we stayed dry. I smelleda bit dodgy though considering it wasn't the cleanest of places. We did afood shop together and that was entertaining. I rode on the back of atrolley (shopping cart) up and down aisles and then we sat on the minimerry-go-round and my buddy Mrinal may or may not have broken the seat. Needless to say, we hurried out of the supermarket very quickly.

Upon leaving Coff's, we passed a giant banana, which read "Big Banana" on it. Clearly, I took a picture. I took a picture of everything. We tossed a disc around this farm and poor Famous Damous had to get the Frisbee from some cows- he looked petrified. And then we got in trouble since we were on private property. We drove some more and missed the exit to Byron Bay, but we did make a pit stop upon entering Queensland and threw on the beach. Then we drove to Surfer's Paradise, where we were staying in apartment. The apartments were incredible. They overlooked the beach and all you had to do was walk out the front door and cross the street to get to the water. I went for a swim once and it was great. I was mentally exhausted from the waves though. It's pretty tiring.

We were at the fields from like 8-5 and then weall wanted dinner so we didn't beach much. The one sunny part of the day wehad off from games I slept and by the time I wanted to go to the beach, itwas time to cleat up for the quarter finals.We played a total of 12 games. The ladies had one sub, and since myhamstring is injured, we really had no subs. I played the first five gameshard and then the trainer (we became the best of friends) told me if I wantto play in the semi finals, I needed to rest and then he'd tape me. So Iwent in for a few points here and there when the girls needed subs. It wasreally more mentally challenging than physically challenging since my mindwanted to play despite my injury. My coach and teammates yelled at me fromthe sidelines not to run- to save myself for the big games, but it was hard.

During one game, my girl was cutting in the endzone for a score. I decided Iwanted to get a lay out D on her. It was pretty sweet; I'll give myselfthat. I sprinted as much as I could on a bum leg and made a beautiful lay. Iwish someone had taken a picture. My friend Abra was sitting on the sidelinethere and said I was about three feet in the air and was angled upward(something only really good guys do and girls almost never) and d'd the discright as she was closing her hands. I was pretty stoked- as it was right onthe endzone line. And then my coach called a time out and told me to call aninjury and sit on the side. But I got primetime player of the day for it.We won the quarter finals pretty easily, but unfortunately something wentamiss for the semi finals, which were on Friday.

We played University ofQueensland, and we really should have won. I think we had a tough timepulling ourselves together and playing with flow. I think individually,everyone played well, but as a team we had a missing link. The score waspretty close though- 12-9 was the final. It really hurt. Abra and I had agood cry together afterwards. Me because I was the last person with the discand turned it to give UQ final possession and Abra because it was last unigames and he had turned it several times on the endzone line. It hurt a lot,but we got amped up to play for 3/4 place. We played a Victorian team, andour coach got us sooo pumped up. He got into the middle of our huddle andstarted shaking a can of Victorian Bitter (pretty cheap beer). I thought hewas going to shot gun it, but no. He open it up and sprayed it on all of us,saying that the team we were about to play is as crappy as this beer.Needless to say, I've never been more pumped for a game or a race oranything before. We crushed Monash 15-6 or something. Bronze felt good, butit stung a bit knowing we should have been in the finals.

The party scene at Surfer's is pretty crazy. It's kind of like a toned downLas Vegas, but only toned down in the sense that there isn't thisridiculously gaudy architecture. Everynight uni games had a different venuefor the party. Most of them were good except the last one, which apparentlya Frisbee kid had all the ultimate people go there, which was cool but itwas really sketchy. If you weren't ultimate, you were either white trash,goth or thug. Each night was also a theme. The one night I decided to dressup (all white), I was given my primetime player of the day award, which wasmy team got to dress me up in anything except white. I was in the mostridiculous getup EVER. It was pretty classic though. A few random peopleasked for a picture with me. It was a good time. The last night we wore ourmedals, which felt really great. A very proud moment.

Along with the partyscene comes with various ultimate shenanigans. For example, Kangaroo (thoughit has become 'Kenga') Court puts trials on for those who have donesomething stupid/gullible/ridiculous, but also good. Our captain, Waz, wasthe judge, but everyone got a say in the punishment and the person on trialwas allowed a defense. One night, the first night, actually I was courtedfor setting of Waz's car alarm. My punishment was I had to try to set off analarm and make a big scene. I couldn't believe that I couldn't find ONE carthat had an alarm. That was disappointing. That's the gist of Kenga Court.

We also have all sorts of buddy challenges and rookie challenges. One of myteammate's rookie challenge since he's the UNSW ultimate president (he'slike 30 something), was to give a speech during the awards ceremony, writtenby Abra and Waz, who are two characters on the team. Charlie passed withflying colors. It was quite a laugh.

Once the tournament was over, my team headed back to Sydney, but I took atrain about an hour north to Brisbane, where Pam's friend Adam lives. Myfriend from Syracuse is also studying up there so I stayed at her apartment.I got up there and it got really really hot; it's a good thing it wasn'tthat hot during the tournament. We would have died.

I went to Adam'ssister's house to meet a fairly large number of family members. I met asister, a brother, two in-laws, his parents, a cousin and three of hisnieces and nephews. We watched the AFL Grand Final (Australian RulesFootball Super Bowl), and Geelong (out of Victoria) wont by like 160 points,so it wasn't terribly exciting. His nieces and nephews are adorable, andtook a liking to me because I read them books. From there we got dinner inthe Valley (and it's not anywhere near California's Valley...just theopposite). We had Chinese food and then rushed to this play called The Club,which coincidentally was about the AFL and the players beginning to be likeAmerican and play for money, not the love of the game. It was really funnyand it's worth renting the movie.

On Sunday we walked all around Brisbane. We went to the markets, which wehave in Sydney as well. It's basically just small, overly priced stuff, butwe did get three packages of strawberries for six bucks and then ate themthroughout the day. We took the City Cat, which is a water taxi, up and downthe Brisbane River and stopped at a pub for lunch and to people watch. Itried chips (French fries) with gravy...quite good actually. After that wewent to South Bank to a modern art gallery. Normally I'm not an art person,but there was some really cool stuff and Adam and I had some pretty in-depthconversations about the pieces. After that we walked around a bit throughthis archway of flowers. Pam- I've been told to pass along a message:"Aren't these beautiful?"

Once we parted ways, I met up with Sarah and a fewof her teammates (who beat us in the semis) for some delicious Subway andthen to a pub to watch part of the National Rugby League final. At least Ithink it was could have been union. Whichever the world cup isNOT. We got bored of that pretty quickly and headed back to Sarah's to watchTop Gun. I must say I've seen the movie a billion times but never all theway through due to conversations, boredom and getting distracted.

Yesterday Sarah joined me and Adam to the Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin's zoo).The stupid bus driver wouldn't wait for us as we were getting out tickets sowe hung out at a pub/casino until the train came. It was a long commute andit was so hot out. The zoo was pretty cool. It was mostly geared towardyounger kids, but it was Steve Irwin's zoo! We saw a fair amount ofcrocodiles. We fed some kangaroos who were pretty inactive. We also fed anelephant..kind of nasty and drooly. There were some nice memorials aroundthe zoo, and some great pictures of Steve and his family. Apparently hisdaughter, Bindi, was walking around somewhere. I bought a sweet wristbandbracelet that says "Crikey." That was kind of a necessity.

The way back fromthe zoo took forever. We hurried into the city to try to find thislecture/slideshow about this guy who climbed Everest and the like. We werejust on time and after banging on the front of the closed mountaineerbuilding, we found a back entrance. It was really cool and interesting. Whypeople risk their lives and die for climbing a sheet of ice is beyond me.Throughout the show though, my cold developed more and more so flying homethis morning was brutal.

Currently I'm drinking lots of tea since I'm leaving for Melbourne onThursday to visit a friend from home who's studying there. It was a reallycrazy and amazing week. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but that's boundto happen with 10 days of ultimate-related activities. After playing unigames, any other ultimate won't be nearly as fun. I've improved a fair bitthough, so that's good.

I'll be home in just a bit more than two months. I can't believe it'sOctober already. Absolutely ridiculous!! If you've gotten this far in thee-mail, pat yourselves on the back. I just wrote for quite awhile.


to add to your dictionary:

get amongst it- get with it/go with the flow
have a go- have a turn
brekkie- breakfast
French fries- McDonald's fries (all others are chips)
Maccas- McDonald's
deks- pants/underweardekking- pantsing someone
hectic- crazy (not busy crazy, just crazy)

No comments: