“The Super Bowl,” I said again. “It’s a big sports event. American football?”
“You mean rugby?” she asked hopefully as she twisted her hands together. I felt sorry for her 21 year-old self - they clearly had not covered this eventuality in training.
“Not quite.” I looked over my shoulder at my father. He smiled at me hopefully. I hated to burst his bubble, but even if I spoke French like the President of l’Académie Française, there was no way I was going to find him the Super Bowl on TV in Noumea.
It may not be my cup of tea, but I was of course willing to help. But who were we kidding? Visiting a French territory means travelling to a parallel dimension. The French are often unfairly accused of sneering at the anglophone world. I disagree. They aren't sneering - they just don't notice that the anglo world exists. All eyes are turned to Paris (which isn’t even referred to as Paris, but simply as “la métropole”.) A niche sport like American football was not going to make it onto the French radar.
The kid made a face. “Oooooh. That won’t be so easy. I am taking the day off to watch the game on my computer.”
As they discussed details, I shook my head internally. Surely this was only giving my dad false hope. He couldn’t realize that he was speaking to the one person in Noumea who had even heard of the Super Bowl, much less planned to watch it. But I gamely wrote down suggested websites and traded email addresses with the kid, in the hopes he could think of a bar that might be showing the game.
|Prepping for their big scene.|
I looked at him, wondering why we were going through this for a game he was taping. “Then why don’t we keep you in a news blackout and you can wait?”
“And stop talking about it,” muttered my mother.
Dad shook his head. “It’s not the same.”
“There is no American Consulate in Noumea.”
I paused for a moment. “Were you seriously planning to call the American consul to ask where to watch the Super Bowl? Really? You're not even an American.”
“Yes,” he said in a way that sounded a lot like “Duh, obviously I was!” Why else does a consul exist but to take care of such weighty matters for temporary expats from another country? The things we learn.
“Amy! There is an American bar in town! They will definitely have the Super Bowl!”
We were getting down to the wire: only one day to go. My phone rang again. “I guess you’d better call them and find out.”
Dad was taken aback. “You want me to call them?”
When I made it back into the cockpit, Dad looked optimistic. “So," I asked, "did they know anything about the Super Bowl?”
“The woman I talked to told me that, if I could find the channel, they’d play it.” My father viewed this as a positive sign. I was a little less convinced.
I shook my head. Amazing. The old man actually did it. As I put my phone away, I reflected I should have had a little more faith. Have my years on the water taught me nothing? A little persistence will take you a long way.
|My dad had a very comfortable space all to himself.|
|Success! Seattle takes it 43-8!|