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From far and wide, Oh Canada

March 1, 2010

For most of you, this will probably be the 500th time you’ll hear about the greatest hockey game played since. . . who really cares, the country is still reeling from it.  I read that Canada has been emboldened with a 1972 Paul Henderson moment for this generation.  For a nation whose cultural identity is so thoroughly laced with hockey, this to me seems like a pretty damned big deal.  Globe and Mail writers are heralding these games, particularly the Men’s Hockey as the games that Canada rediscovered itself.  A triumph so great the reverberations will be felt for years to come in ways we may not even realize.  Rainbows and sunshine to be blown out of everyone’s asses – or so it seems.

And I fucking missed it.

Mind you I wasn’t particularly hopeful to begin with.  I hadn’t come across a single hockey game yet and only once caught some Olympic highlights.  But it was quite interesting to read about what the rest of Canada was thinking about the games in the meantime.  Particularly in a place where many people here couldn’t tell you which is which between hockey and a fish flopping in a bucket.  All the same I was quite excited for Team Canada and looked forward to reading about the game, analysis, projections and of course cultural relevance.  And then I learned of one bar on Ko Tao that was to feature to Gold Medal game.  Sweet Jeezus, I’ll be there.  It meant staying up till 3 and trying not to drink too much and risk passing out early (which I sort of did, but hit my second wind well before the puck dropped).  The bar was perfect.  Giant wooden tables, big screens, plenty of beer and so on.  And the Canadians.  My word there were many and spirits were strong.  We must have out numbered the American crowd by 8 or 9 to 1.  Loads of white and red shirts, a little face paint there.  It really struck me sitting there with a couple friends how Thailand seemed to not really exist in here.  I could never explain here, but everyone just seemed so damn Canadian.  You know what I mean.  The “CAH-NAH-DAH” and table pounding was deafening.  I wasn’t the only one who thought so – after the first goal the managers told everyone unless they kept it down, the Thai Police would shut down the bar and start making arrests.  Talk about coming between a dog and his bone.  It became a little more subdued after that – after all, there really was no other way any of us would be able to catch this game.  The tense ceasefire never lasted and about a third of the way into the second, the projector screens rolled up, TVs flashed off and they told us all to clear off because the cops were on they’re way.  I thought there might be a riot.  What a terrible moment – my only noteworthy regret of my Thai experience thus far.  Some thought about trying to catch an online radio broadcast but Ko Tao isn’t particularly ‘plugged in’.  Rushing back to my thoughts was how many hours was it until I had to be back in the classroom, talking diving.  ‘Not many’, was the answer.  Dejected, I went home.
It wasn’t until I was getting up for work did I receive the news.  I smiled but it was then I thought to myself how much I’m missing back home and then contemplated the consequences of the inability to lead two simultaneous lives.

My life right now could be surmised into one word, paradise.  Meeting my goals as a diving instructor has been one of the greatest experiences of my life plain and simple.  All the same I miss and love my friends and family back home and it’ll be great when I see them all again.  Paradise or not, Canada is my home and I’m proud to represent it.

In other random news, a film I was a part of is earning a little attention in a local film festival.  My respect and admiration to Scott Meadows and Emily Buck for the effort and dedication poured into this project.  It would be awesome if you could make it out to Kitchener/Waterloo to catch the event – there will be loads of interesting works and talented people there.  The Facebook Event link can be followed here:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=332069662726

The festival website can be found here:

http://www.kwmcc.org/

The film itself is about a brother and sister who have grown apart as they have led very dissimilar lives, coming out of childhood and adolescence.  The film follows the pair as they try to reconnect, despite the friction and the misunderstanding of each other.  I’m basically cast as myself, but it was a great experience and I’d love to know what you think.

Thanks Victoria for the text!

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2 Comments
  1. Scott permalink

    Hey dude,

    Thanks for the shout out about the film – we’re pumped to see what happens at the festival. You’ve probably seen this on facebook, but we crafted up a poster for the film here.

    It really was a hell of a game. When do you come back home again? August?

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