When cultures collide….


…. it can be a LOT of fun! 

On March 17, 2011, I woke up here in lovely, downtown Jocotepec, Jalisco, Mexico, and dressed in my green shirt in honor of Ireland’s St. Patrick.  A few hours later, I settled in on the couch and turned on the Japanese made TV to watch American college basketball on a Canadian sports network.  After the clock finally passed high noon, I broke out the Guatemalan beer.  Internationalism can be a wonderful thing.

As noted above, it’s March Madness time in the US, and in the barbabode, as well. 

I was never much of a basketball fan until I started college at Indiana University in the early ’80s.  It’s hard to live in Bloomington, Indiana, particularly with a son, and not become a college basketball fanatic.  And since we all know I have no willpower, I became addicted to IU basketball almost immediately. 

Those were the Bobby Knight years, so IU almost continually wound up playing in the NCAA tournament.  And I wound up watching as many tournament games as possible.  I dutifully filled out my choices on my bracket sheet, chipped in my couple of bucks to enter the office pool, and away we’d go.  By the time I was in graduate school, I was taking vacation days so I could sit home all day and night watching the tournament. 

And this year I can do it here in Mexico!  I’m a happy woman. 

I was a bit concerned that I might be missing a lot of games, since I have a basic satellite dish package that originates in Canada, where my landlords live.  I knew I’d be able to see the games on CBS, because I get the American network channels out of Seattle.  But I’ve always enjoyed non primetime games the most.  The ones that not all America wants to see.  The ones that in the past were shown on ESPN or ESPN2. 

But I don’t get any US sports channels, so I figured that I’d be more at the mercy of the network programmers.  But NO!  Turns out I get TSN, the Canadian sports channel, and for the first time ever, it’s carrying all the games! 


Yesterday morning at 10am Joco time, the games began and oh, what games they were!   Squeakers, nailbiters, and upsets.  The only thing that could make it better was beer.  Beer and college sports just go together.  So, although I normally don’t drink beer anymore, I went out to purchase some on Tuesday for consumption during the games. 

Mexico has a lot of decent domestic beers:  Sol, Pacifico, Modelo, and Corona, for instance.   But for whatever reason, the cheapest beer at the local grocery store was an import from Guatemala:  Gallo.  [No, that’s not Gallo like the wine; that’s gallo like Spanish for rooster.] 

So here I sit in Mexico, drinking my Guatemalan beer, and watching US college basketball on a Canadian sports network.  And if that’s not a minor collision of cultures, I’ll eat my pizza!


About Barbara

in april of 2008, i moved from the united states to mexico. during my working days, i held lots and lots of jobs....almost all chosen because they were fun or interesting instead of how much they paid. when i started thinking about retirement (in my 40s), i realized that i would never be able to retire to a country where english was the native language. and although i had traveled to every state in the US -- and lived in lots of them -- i had never been outside the country with the exception of canada and mexico. and since you now know that i could never afford to retire in canada (even to the french-speaking area), mexico won by default.
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2 Responses to When cultures collide….

  1. Joe H says:

    You still have a TV made in Japan! Wow! The games are on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV here. If you go to the CBS Sports or maybe the NCAA site online I think you can watch all the games live.
    Didn’t you win the basketball pool one year in Death Valley? If I recall you ended up with both teams in the final with I think Arizona winning. You know, I still have that same 1 in 8 chance of winning pool going. There have been years where it was run in two places. For the last four years I added a women’s pool but didn’t this year because of the disparity of talent (you draw Connecticut, you won the pool). I have been doing this since the 1988 NCAA Tournament and have entered every one. I still have not won the damn thing! I had Butler last year and I think that is the only time I have even been in the final game.

  2. Barbara says:

    joe, perhaps i misstated when i said my TV was made in japan. it’s a fairly new panasonic flat screen, and i know panasonic’s headquarters are in japan. but it’s probably made somewhere else, eh?

    i think you’re right about the death valley basketball pool! this year, however, has been a tough one as far as bracket busters go, but a thrilling one as far as upsets go!

    from my original picks, as of saturday night, march 26, i have only kansas. but what a tournament it has been!

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