Continuing to bring you up to speed...I woke up Sunday and Linsey invited me to come along that afternoon to her ultimate frisbee practice. I have only played very rarely and am pretty terrible but apparently this was the first practice of the year when they invite all of the freshman out so I agreed to go. It was weird participating in a formal sport practice again but I was actually better than many of the people who showed up (telling you how terrible they were, not that I was good by any stretch). I played for the better part of 3 hours and despite getting schooled for most of that time by the people who actually knew what they were doing, I had a blast.
Time for the more interesting part. Just next to the piece of pitch we were practicing on I noticed 10 Scots playing american flag football. What?!?! My general impression was that everyone in Europe hated american football so I sauntered up to them to see what was going on. Turns out they are all natives who just happened to pick up the game for on reason or another and play in the park every Sunday. Not only did they invite me to join in, they invited me out to watch some of the NFL games that night (sadly, no Steelers game was on). I was floored. When I had asked my flatmates earlier in the week whether any of the pubs in the city would play NFL football on TV they laughed at me and said that was the most ridiculous question I could have asked. A bit nervous about fitting in with a huge group like that, I still went out to a pub called the Pear Tree.
Here's the part where I describe one of the biggest revelations of my travels so far: dudes everywhere hang out in exactly the same way. From the time we are little we compete in every way we can come up with, for stupid reasons, and when we're not competing we interact with each other solely by ripping on each other in the most brutal of ways...and we love doing it. I walked into the pub having come straight from a store I was passing (not having a car has made me have to be ab it more organized about my trips out) and so I had my bookbag with me to carry the groceries. I hadn't even said hi when Steve, the guy who had originally invited me out, goes "There's Jason the American, got a big night of studying to do in the pub, do ya mate? I don't know how you do it back in the states but here we take our sports seriously and don't allow distractions. So help me God if there are books in that bag you better turn right back around". It was a great ice breaker and said in a friendly way and while the ladies might not understand this, to have him jab at me made me feel like part of the group immediately. I spent the rest of the night bantering with the group, making fun of them for everything from drinking wine in a Scottish pub while watching the NFL to actually considering buying a Vick jersey's and was ripped on in turn for my ridiculous American accent. Who would have thought that less than a week in I would randomly find a bunch of Scots to watch the NFL with every Sunday? Bloody Brilliant.