On many occasions since living in Turkey, I have had to pause in whatever I was doing to ask myself, “is this real life?”
A couple times it’s been because of supernatural surprises. Other times it’s been for the sake of measuring how far I’ve come in culminating to cultural normalcies. But then, there are the times that I am hit completely out of the blue with something I never in my wildest dreams could have conjured up.
The most recent occasion was a trip to Mars (metaphorically speaking).
I’m still in a state of subliminal shock that it actually happened. Really, it was so jaw-dropping unbelievable that I don’t think it ever fully sunk-in.
Wanna know what the fuss is all about? Well, picture yours truly in a cosmic bowling alley, co-hosting the 2013 Open International Bowling Tournament. Oh yes, somehow I was chosen to MC this spectacular event.
First things first: the parade of teams. Nine different teams marched around the bowling alley, strutting their colorful jersey-knit uniforms and mentally preparing for the games ahead of them. Intensity was in the air. It was obvious that each team noted the seriousness of how their lives could change once they won the coveted Championship Trophy… Each team but one.
In lane number 7 resided Team Gutterballs. Very much resembling their name and lacking both official jerseys as well as skill, the Gutterballs stood out like a tall American in the Philippines. Oh wait, we were tall Americans. From the sheer ethnic make-up of the other teams, it felt like we had transcended geographical barriers and were indeed bowling on an island in Asia…
Complete with the Filipino National Anthem as well as a live intermission performance of “Baby Baby,” the finishing touch that best capped the tournament’s overall dynamic was when “Gangnam Style” came over the loud speaker; not a single person was left standing still.
After a special thanks to the sponsors and announcing the highest scores (Gutterballs strongly coming in last- although might I add that my last two bowles were strikes…), I was dismissed of my MC duties and handed in my bowling shoes. Leaning back against the counter, it was as if I saw my surroundings for the first time; the pause was inevitable.
Consequently, that pause brought forth that most familiar question: “is this real life?”
Mundane, ridiculously fun, and humanly uncharted… Yupp, looks like real life to me.