Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Greeks + rugby = flying umbrellas

I love watching sport, at least all the usual South African suspects. I am however a KAK fan because I do not own a TV. I have had no TV since I was 18, which was a long long time ago.

Before that I watched whatever my Dad was watching, even golf if I was really bored, even freaking formula one if there was nothing else. When I was small I liked to watch Manchester United. No worries, I am now safely cured of such foolery. I was very small.

But my Dad was mad about rugby and cricket, so I became mad about rugby and cricket.

Now, back to my kakness. I have sadly lost track of the goings on of sport in recent years and I am ashamed of this. But the benefits of not having a TV outweigh this abject sport situation. Like, I actually leave the house.

There are times when I must draw the line at this ignorance, and the recent World cup Rugby tournament was one of them. It was vital that I get to see the games. The key to this was making a friend, and the sole requirement of this friend was that it have a TV. Boyfriend and I achieved this, and proceeded to watch the games.

It was somewhat trying considering our new friends included a horde of Frenchies, an Englishman who hated England and supported France EXCEPT for when we were watching with the Frenchies; and when England played against South Africa he supported England (to piss me off), and a Chilean, who according to national pride hated the Argentinians, but when against South Africa, supported the Argentinians (to piss me off). Nice.

At some point it occurred to me that we would be in the final, and that during the final I would be on a work trip with my English boss on a remote island in Greece. We were off to do work of a biological nature. (I know what you are thinking. No. NO. I did not do anything biological with my boss, in or out of nature. Think bacteria. No, not that kind of bacteria. Oh gods, I will shut up now).

Now, the Greeks are famous for many things. Their yoghurt is quite tasty, and their feta cheese. Some impressive architecture. BUT. The rugby she is not so beeg. I had a feeling that finding a place to watch a rugby game at the end of tourist season on the island of Milos, town of Adamas, population 1000, was going to be like getting a certain Health minister to give up garlic and ginger. Mos difficult.

I was correct. My boss was not that interested in the game himself, but on behalf of me who had ants in her pants, he enquired at our hotel of the chances of us seeing said game. The lady at the desk and her family were watching TV at the time. The lady thought that no, people here watched football, it would be unlikely that such a thing would even make it onto TV. I am not sure she had heard of rugby. Surprise surprise.

Suddenly the old man sitting weaving a fishing net spoke up. "Who is playing this game?" We informed him that it was South Africa vs England. He told us that he had lived in Joburg for many years and would be interested to see the game.

Are you seriaas? I was doubtful that he could actually do anything, I had a feeling he had not watched one rugby game since he had left SA. He mentioned something about a digital chip for the TV that he could borrow from a friend, so there was some hope.

On the night of the game there was an almighty storm that blew umbrellas and small children all over the show and caused many temporary blackouts. Nevertheless the locals were out in full force. We walked from bar to bar. They all had huge screens and on each screen was a different soccer game. Waaaah. We went to the hotel to see if our friend had found that chip thing. The desk was deserted and dark. It was late and we figured he had forgotten and gone to bed.

We went back out on to the streets in the barrelling rain, and asked in at some places if they were interested in watching a rugby game, or if they had access to it. Ever heard of rugby? Nope.

We swam forlornly back to our rooms. I surrendered, it was not to be. I sat on the bed in a puddle, flicking sadly through the channels, hoping for a miracle. No rugby to be seen. The time for the start of the match came and went. No chance. I sms'd my boyfriend demanding frequent score updates.

I kept flicking half heartedly. Suddenly I saw - was that- I flicked back. Yes, yes N-B-Yes! The rugby! There was a violent pounding upon my door. My boss was standing in the rain, jumping about like a Mexican bean trying to tell me that the rugby was on, that he had gone downstairs and the Greek man had been there and he had found the chip and tada!

Ok, the commentary was in Greek (you could hear very faint Afrikaans under the Greek commentary, cos they were speaking over a Supersport broadcast) and there were occasional losses of signal due to the general onslaught of rain and umbrellas and was that Mary Poppins? but we still got to see it. The TV blacked out completely in the last 4 minutes of the game but came back on for me to watch the joyous awards ceremony (boss not so joyous. Haha. Hahahahaha).

I was a very happy microbiologist bunny in Milos.

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