Michael Sullivan Online


Week 10: Some Beer, Pool and Hockey

CANBERRA AUSTRALIA - 10 July 2000 - Mike spent most of this week recovering from last weekend but he also enjoyed a couple nights out. On Friday after work, Mike and Dave went over to the University Bar where they were met by Danne and later Steve and Stacey. They played some pool and had a few drinks. As usual, Mike struggled on the pool table but had fun none the less. One of these weeks, Mike expects to finally play some decent pool. After beating up on Mike at the pool table, Dave headed home and the rest of the gang went over to Little Saigon for dinner. After stuffing themselves, they wandered over to a coffee shop and discussed everything from aboriginal issues to pick-up trucks. By the time the talk died down, it was 11:30 and Steve and Stacey gave Danne and Mike a ride to their respective homes.

On Saturday, Mike worked into the middle of the afternoon, then went with Steve to see an ice hockey game. In Australia, field hockey is called hockey and this gives you some idea about where ice hockey rates. Another indication is the fact that there is only one rink in the entire city. Mike and Steve showed up at this little rink that probably seats fewer than the Anoka High School arena to see the Canberra Knights take on the visiting Adelaide Avalanche. While waiting in line, a woman dressed in snow pants, winter coat, and a blanket asked if that's all they were going to wear. They sort of looked at each other and said, "Yeah". They were wearing light jackets and weren't too concerned about the cold. After their response, the woman asked, "Do you know how cold it is in there? Last week we nearly froze. You're going to wish you had more clothes by the third period." Mike and Steve laughed and said they'd be fine. The game itself was okay but the teams played a bit cheap. This made for a reasonably fun game to watch especially considering the boards are only about four feet (120 cm) high most of the way around the rink; this is really interesting as people get checked and almost knocked out of the rink. A highlight of the night was probably when an Avalanche player got thrown out of the game and stormed to the locker room, banging his stick on whatever he could find. Once he arrived in the "locker room", a walled off corner of the arena, everyone watched as he took a swing at the light which prompted the announcer to add to the penalty call "and restitution for any repairs to the locker room". The game ended in a 5-5 draw. There were a couple of rules that seemed unique to Australia. One was the running time in overtime; the clock didn't stop for face-offs. The other mystifying rule was the "intentional off-sides", which resulted in a face in the other end of the ice. On another issue, Mike couldn't help but notice how cold everyone seemed. It was cool in there, probably a bit below freezing, but everyone needed heavy coats and lots of blankets and still they were cold. All in all, Mike and Steve had a great time.

On Sunday, Mike did exciting things like grocery shop and work.

Here ends Mike's tenth week in Australia.

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