Since I realized that the Pan American Games were going to be hosted in Toronto during the summer of 2015, I made an immediate realization that I would have to go, given that opportunities to see sporting events that I’m interested in doesn’t come very often. I resolved to buying tickets online at decent rates, which I imagine was due to the fact that most people coming to Toronto to visit the games would be strapped for cash, coming from less developed countries in many instances. As a result of this I obtained tickets for my first event: badminton.
As a I commuted to the location at the Atos Markham Pan Am/Parapan Am Centre in Unionville (Markham), it took me about an hour and half to get there from my living location. I thought, this is fine, and despite being 5 minutes late I entered into the location. There weren’t crowds of people, and despite being decked out in PanAm colours and signs, it just didn’t feel like I was there apart of something larger.
I sat in the uncomfortable stands and watched a bunch of singles, doubles, and mixed matches. I took some photos to show to my students to motivate them, and then I was on my way after the short 3 hour session. It was a bit underwhelming, but still a cool experience to witness Canadians in a Canadian hosted place, who were passionate and welcoming to their athletes. As I went back home and stopped for pizza I wondered whether or not the rest of the game would be equally as underwhelming to my expectations. After all, the only thing I could compare this to would be the little brother of the Olympics, but so far it didn’t seem to be a little brother; more so an infant baby in terms of size and hype/excitement.
It was an interested experience and a nice way to get integrated in, but going by myself was very underwhelming.
Excitement in the city of Uppsala continue, and after having met some hallmates of my friend Arash, we seemed to bond in some ways. I met someone, named Emil and we spent the afternoon laying in the sun, and we ran into a cultural festival. It was really exciting, as it’s a surprise for everyone. So after getting groped and having a nice fika at Norrlands Nation, I went back to the place and I chilled. I really have difficulties remembering what happened, but it was all good.
It all involved champagne, Mr. Happy making some sight-seeing and then eventually after remembering how important being beautiful is, Cecilia and I did face masks to make our skin nice and moisturised. This was followed by the most amazing badminton playing known to mankind, well at least at that moment in Uppsala. Cecilia had asked to go and have some fun doing that, and I said okay and we biked over. The air on my skin was a strange feeling, but once we got there we flirted a little bit with the guy at the desk, and got in without having to pay. I kicked some butt, and then let Mr. Happy play a little bit; it was fabulous! He’s a true star!
Knowing that in a few days I’d be off to Finland I pressed all of the effort of my soul into the world. What did this included? Well I helped with the waffle and pea soup night at Upplands Nation, and then the following evening I was in the kitchen helping out at Upplands party, and so I was a barman for the first time in my life too timid to do anything or learn how to make drinks. The subsequent days involved chatting with Arash’s friends, Vera, Daniel, et al., and meeting some lovely people like Jana, a German who speaks Swedish too, as well as some bitchy Stockholmers. All in all, it was a lovely time but I needed to get out, especially to find my friend in Finland!