The boyfriend keeps telling me to write something really happy about Australia, because all I seem to write about are bar fights and dumplings.
However, things are a little stagnant at the mo, what with the rain and the shortage of funds and the whole waiting-for-my-visa saga.
I spend most of my time with my dear friend Mac, working online, studying online, and generally living a cyber life until better times. The only reminder that there still is a world around me is the occasional “thunk . . .thunk . . . thunk” that I can hear from outside.
The boyfriend’s sister happens to be a super-cool b-ball player, and when she’s home from uni, she livens up the place with her “thunk . . . thunk . . . thunking” with the ball out back. (Or is it “dunk . . . dunk . . . dunking”?)
Either way, her b-balling reminds me of when I was a basketball star, way, way, way long time ago in the land of England . . . . . . .
It my first term studying abroad in Sussex, and I momentarily found my athletic calling ….basketball! (This was before I discovered yoga.)
One evening, myself and two other chicks ventured into the school gym. Myself, my roommate Di and neighbor Jen decided to play a game with about 8 other guys.
Or actually, they were playing, and we three just jumped in and assigned ourselves to teams without really asking. They let us, but I think really because they all liked to play with Di because she went to Basketball Camp and was really good, and Jen and I were with her, so it was like a package deal.
We played until midnight – but this was only the 2nd time I had ever actually played a proper game with teammates and rules. The players were nice and threw me the ball anyway.
I took the ball and dribbled all the way down the courts, so excited to be moving with the ball in the game! But then I had to turn and dribble all the way back to the other end as I realized people were shouting, “wrong way!” at me.
For twenty minutes after that, I bobbed around the court and ran with the crowd and tried to pretend that I knew what was going on. I shouted encouragement, and understood when they ignored my shouts of “Over here!” and threw to someone else instead.
Finally, they threw me the ball again! Hurray! I dribbled and ran along the side all the way down the court – no one was around me, and I was thinking “Alright! I can do it! I’m a basketball star!!”
I looked and following me on the other side of the court was Di all by herself so I became really excited and made a GREAT pass to her – forgetting for a moment that she was my roommate not my teammate. So then they got a point when she made a basket from the ball I threw her.
That’s ok. I helped.
It’s at this point that I began to think I had sports ADD. I kept forgetting to pay attention to what was going on. I would be with the players on the court and looking around, but not always following the ball. I was just looking around in general as everyone else ran back and forth.
Twice more they threw me the ball. Once it hit me in the shoulder, and once it bounced in front of me. The unfortunate teammates of mine realized that they needed to get my attention before passing me the ball. So they started to call out my name when they were going to throw me the ball so I would know to stop and think “HEY! A basketball is being thrown AT MY HEAD! LOOK UP!” and I would look and I would catch it!
It was nice of them to be so considerate, but then as soon as the other team heard my team kindly call my name, my opponents all clobbered me at once and I would get scared and lose the ball.
To remedy this, my teammates then began doing “Christy fake-outs”. They would call my name and I would look up all excited because they still wanted to play with me, and the other team would head in my direction to try to steal the ball, but then my teammates would throw it to someone else instead of me!
That’s ok. I was part of the plan.
But, through all of this confusion, I did manage to make some baskets and score some points. FOUR of them! The first time I was on the side of the basket up in the front corner and someone passed it to me, and they shouted, “Shoot!”
So I did, but at the same time my arms were shooting, my mouth was saying, “I can’t shoot!” But I MADE IT ANYWAY!!! I was SO happy! I said “YAY!!!” and they all said “YAY!!!” But I think they said it in a sarcastic Christy-is-retarded kind of way.
But that’s ok. It was a positive cheer.
I can’t remember which team won. But I left the court feeling like a winner.
I don’t know how my teammates felt. I’m sure they felt like winners too.