The Ultimate College Experience

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This blog entry about the events of Saturday, February 26, 2005 was originally posted on March 08, 2005.

DAY 497:  “This is probably the Vancouver experience,” David Sebastian said as we got ready for the activity of the day.  The activity at hand was the quintessential Vancouver sport of Ultimate, a.k.a. Frisbee Football, where each of two teams advances a plastic disc towards its end zone in hopes that Janet Jackson’s boob will pop out at half-time.

“Have you played before?” my host asked me.

“Yeah, I love Ultimate,” I answered.  “I used to play in high school.  I got an A plus, the only time I ever got an A plus in gym.”

“When was the last time you played?”

“In Tanzania.”

Playing in Tanzania was a casual friendly game with locals and ex-pats, and no one really cared about winning or losing — just how we played the game.  This was a bit different in Vancouver where David Sebastian was captain of a team in the Vancouver Ultimate League (VUL), a competitive collection of teams, each with quirky gimmicks and names like in the movie Dodgeball.  Our team:  “The King’s Pirates” — as in David Sebastian King (his last name).  Our gimmick:  talking like swashbucklers of the sea. 

ARRRRR! 

In fact, Captain King had pink uniform t-shirts made up for his Ultimate crew, printed with a crowned skull and crossbones above the word “ARRRRR!”

“Peach, not pink,” he said.  (It was the cheapest color he could find.)

With my peach t-shirt on, I was already a member of the team as a substitute, which was a good thing because some players of the team couldn’t make the game in the beginning and we needed subs anyway so that players could alternate between the game field and the sidelines to rest. 

“Have you played before?” teammate Kelly asked me as she was tossing a Frisbee back and forth for practice.

“I got an A plus in high school Ultimate.”

“When was the last time you were in high school?”

“Uh, it’s been a while.”

It doesn’t matter, I thought.  We’re all amongst friends here.  It should be fun.  But later I learned that these were not Captain King’s regular friends, but a random band of lads and lassies of varying skill levels put together at random (like all of the teams), to work out their differences and learn to work like a team.  All of them expected me to have some sort of skill, especially with my A plus of a former life.

“These are my Ulti-mateys,” Captain King said.  Amongst the members of the team were skillful beginner Kelly, fast and furious Ancilla, speedy Gene, smartly intense Jackie, 31-going-on-22 Mel, Captain King, and me — clinging onto a former high school glory like Al Bundy on Married With Children.  Everyone was in uniform and gearing to go pirate style; even the idea of getting eye patches was made, but having no depth perception in a game of Ultimate probably wasn’t a good idea.

For me, I think I was more excited about the prospect of talking like a pirate a whole 203 days before International Talk Like A Pirate Day, than actually playing the game.  The pirate exclamations started with our opening huddle cheer as we held our hands on the disc and rotated it around (picture above) yelling in escalating volume:  “P, Q, ARRRRR!  P, Q, ARRRRR!!!  P, Q, ARRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!” 

I learned fast that competitive Ultimate really has nothing to do with pirate lingo at all, but a lingo all its own.  Suddenly the team was yelling crazy foreign phrases like “Pop up!” “Cut!” and “I need a dump!”

I need a dump?

“Erik you’re a popper.  Me and you, we have to bounce, this way.  Like a triangle,” Mel told me.  “You can’t stay in sidelines, ‘cause then they have nowhere to go.”

Huh? 

This wasn’t high school Ultimate at all.  Mel, Jackie, and Captain King tried to coach me, but it was all in one ear and out the other.  What about talking the pirate talk?!  Like “Shiver me timbers!” “Walk de plank, matey!” and “ARRRRRR!!”  But it was all plays and jargon with dumps and pops and confusing phrases of that nature: 

“Gender across!”

“[You have to block that side] because then you clear half the field.”

“We’re poppers.  Our job isn’t to score, it’s to tire them out.”

Et cetera, et cetera. 

“Did you get all that?” Captain King asked me.

My head was spinning with the barrage of new terms.  First things first.  “Uh… so you’re name is Dave, huh?”

The opposing team, named Urine Trouble, soon took the lead and it was evident they were the stronger team, even without a uniform.  Every time they’d score in the end zone, they’d yell “You’re in!” — which of course sounds like “Urine!”  — and the urine gimmick continued whenever we’d score; a little Urine Trouble kid would come over with a bottle of what looked like piss for us to drink.  Rumor had it that it was actually beer, but I warned it was probably beer that they pissed in.  ARRRRR!

We played two games that tiring afternoon, first with Urine Trouble and then with FIVE™, who were both better than us band of pirate misfits.  On the field, I ran around like a chicken with its head off, following my “marker.”  Ancilla, a short little Asian gal, yelled at me a couple of times for being in the wrong place.  Clearly I wasn’t worthy of another A plus — more like a D minus.  I can’t even tell you how confused I was every time coach Jackie came up with a new play after analysis of each teams patterns.

Over time I got the hang of it though — popping, bouncing, and cutting and all — and I even scored a touchdown and made a key interception, both times by pure luck.  In the end, our peach-colored uniformed team lost both games, but as Kelly optimistically pointed out, “At least we weren’t shut out.”  Non-Ultimate-related fun continued at the end of each game when the teams did impromptu cheers to each other, chanting a phrase three times in ascending volume.  For example, when we lost against Urine Trouble, we cheered, “When you’re stranded on an island, you drink you’re URINE!”  When we lost against FIVE™, we chanted, “Five cheers for Five!  Five cheers for Five!  Five cheers for Five!  Five cheers for Five!  Five cheers for FIVE!!!!”

“And one for the wenches!” Ancilla added, representing the pirate wenches on our team. 

The King’s Pirates are nothing without the wenches.


AT THE END OF THE DAY, my entire body was sore, but feeling pumped.  It was completely drained from nutrients — and what better way to fill it up with the standard college staples of boxed instant food and chips!  That sort of cuisine wasn’t exactly the guys’ style; they were actually pretty health conscious, with a box of fresh fruit at the door for quick, nutritious pick-me-ups, plus they had salad at almost every meal when they took turns making dinner in the week.  But that’s not to say cheap just-add-water food from a pharmacy wasn’t available, and by my request to have a nostalgic “ultimate college experience,” David Sebastian made us macaroni and cheese with powdered cheese goodness, followed by instant noodles.  Aye!

Later on that night, the “ultimate college experience” continued when David Sebastian went on a “date” (quotes intentional) and Aviv and I went out to the 24-hour coffee house Calhoun’s, a local UBC haunt where students studied and did homework after the Sunday night live jazz set from what I’d say is the best high school jazz band in North America.  They performed covers of everything from J.Lo to the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” — familiar songs that didn’t come out of no where like most of the Ultimate lingo that confused me all day.  I was thoroughly impressed.  This is a high school band?  Well, blow me down. 


You can follow the standings of “The King’s Pirates” on the VUL website.  Also, don’t forget:

SAVE THE DATE; INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY IS COMING.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2005.
CLICK HERE TO FOR MORE INFORMATION.






Next entry: The Island

Previous entry: The Canadian Identity




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Comments for “The Ultimate College Experience”

  • There’s more where that came from… Please be patient and STAY TUNED!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  03:12 AM


  • CALL FOR PHOTOS!  Anyone else with DAY 503 digital photos, please e-mail them to me!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  03:14 AM


  • CHRISTY:  Sorry for the delay; I lost my notes on this one and had to reach into what’s left of my memory to reconstruct the day’s details.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  03:16 AM


  • primero, saludos desde Peru!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  03:18 AM


  • Wow! Now that you’re back I can celebrate talk like a pirate day too! Arrrrrrr!
    By the way, you know what’s still really really funny? The Diarrhea song…..
    Like “When you’re sliding into third and you feel a little turd…diarrhea! diarrhea!”
    -or-
    “When you’re climbing up the ladder and you feel a little splatter….Diarrhea!Diarrhea!”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  03:51 AM


  • Do you look a little cold in your Equatorial attire?

    The nice thing about Vancouver is you can play sports like Ultimate year round…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  04:36 AM


  • Ultimate players are a little wacky - and very committed to their sport… and I think that players in the PNW are even weirder (and I do think that Vancouver is the PNW)...

    Moelicious - you did NOT start that… that’s so funny and reminds me of what, 3rd grade?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  04:38 AM


  • Erik from Vancouver - I was cold in the moderate climes of Los Angeles when I returned from tropical Thailand - and then to go to NYC - it was murder… Seattle/Vancouver woulda been brutal to me!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  04:41 AM


  • When you’re sliding into home, and your pants are full of foam…

    I tried Ultimate in my high school days too… and failed gloriously.  In MI something called disc golf is apparently popular… some vague hybrid of golf and frisbee tossing…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  12:17 PM


  • Speaking of poo…...I sure hope there is some reference to “it” before this blog is done.  I will be very disappointed if there isn’t!

    When you’re sliding into first and butt is going to burst…....diarrhea!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  12:48 PM


  • I need a dump?  WTF!?

    What about I need to take a dump…OH NO…it’s diarrhea!

    when you’re sliding in the first and you feel something burst! diarrhea…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  01:30 PM


  • I love all the team names… “Suck it Trebeck!” is my favourite.

    When you’re shoping at the MART and out pops a big ‘ol SHART… diarrhea… diarrhea…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  01:38 PM


  • I love the names of the teams, especially urine trouble!  Is that my cheese?  No, Nacho cheese.  These are mine, they are nachos!  And Suck it Trebek, that’s great.

    Yeah, Erik, I think there are going to be some disappointed people if we don’t see a poo picture.  I sense some anticipation and suspense!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  03:17 PM


  • LOL. looks like a lot of disappointed fecalfeliacs are getting antsy….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  05:20 PM


  • You guys crack me up!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  06:24 PM


  • Maybe there should be a support group for everyone after the blog is finished…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  08:39 PM


  • A support group might be good, or we will all end up as TGTS’s (The Global Trip Stalkers)......we’re coming to get you Erik!!!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  08:49 PM


  • Ahhhh….. macaroni and powdered cheese from a box, my second favorite meal…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  09:21 PM


  • We do need a support group…....or at the very least our own chat room! It’s going to be hard letting go.  I will miss you guys and your crazy comments!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  11:44 PM


  • Im sure it tastes better when the box says fromage.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  11:45 PM


  • maybe one of us should travel the world and keep a blog now, and when that person comes home . . another goes . . . ha

    Posted by Alyson  on  03/10  at  12:52 AM


  • Can we do fundraising for that kind of thing?? Who can we ask first? HA HA HA!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  01:21 AM


  • I’m heading off RTW in Sept 05, gotta blog but it’s not near as great as Erik’s…especially at the moment, since I’m only in the planning phase..
    it’s
    http://blogs.bootsnall.com/kailani

    But I warn you, I am not a great writer..like Erik!

    Posted by Kailani  on  03/10  at  03:09 AM


  • it’s okay, we just want a blog to comment on and maybe a few pretty pictures.

    Posted by Alyson  on  03/10  at  04:07 AM


  • Noelle: ha. not sure. it was hard enough to ask people for money to do a missionary trip.
    not sure they’d give me anything to go on an extended vacation.

    maybe we can get a corporate sponsor.  wearing a coke shirt the whole trip is a small price to pay.

    Posted by Alyson  on  03/10  at  04:09 AM


  • I’m so used to looking here after studying at night and finding a new entry. I’m definitely feeling the symptoms of blog withdrawl. Keep them coming Erik….just a few more!!
    when you’re looking up high and feel something slide down your thigh….(you all know the rest!!)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  04:21 AM


  • I’m up for a Canadian experience of my own this weekend.  Yeay!  Stupid wine.com doesn’t deliver to your area in NJ.  I’ll just mail the booze instead.

    Posted by ravissant  on  03/10  at  05:34 AM


  • my name is SIM and i’m a blog-aholic ... who’s in this group with me?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  11:48 AM


  • hi SIM, my name is scott and i too am a blog-aholic

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  12:20 PM


  • Hi, my name is Leah. It’s been 8 hours since I last checked the blog. I too am a blog-aholic.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  12:26 PM


  • Hi my name is Kailani and I too am a blog-aholic…
    but I am proud to say I have taken the first step in the Blog-Aholic 12 Step Program.. I am
    admitting I am powerless over the blog and that my life has become unmanageable because I’ve spent hours every day reading the Blog. I am now on my way to freedom….
    haha smile

    Posted by Kailani  on  03/10  at  12:41 PM


  • wow good job kailani!  i was trying to convince myself that there is a higher power than the blog but i guess i am still in denial :(

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  12:58 PM


  • I’m a blog-aholic too.  Yes, someone please go on another trip so that we can all post comments.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  01:43 PM


  • Hi Sim, Scott, Leah, Kailani, and Sara.

    My name is Td0t and I too am a Blogaholic….

    It has been 16 months since I first tried Blog… I thought, ok… a little harmless fun, it’s not like I’m going to become a junkie or anything. Little did I know how much blog would affect the course of my life. I spent hours away from my family and friends reading the blog. My working life has been affected. I?ve declined social invitations. I developed acute carpel tunnel from clicking refresh 70 times a minute in hopes of a new entry. And I?ve wasted hundreds of dollars in a failed pilgrimage to the source. Still after all this I can?t stop! I?m falling to pieces just like the guy in the Velvet Revolver video!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  03:01 PM


  • Hi, my name is Christy…. and I’m…. a blog-aholic. It’s only after your admissions that I’m willing to face the awful truth that I too am adicted.

    Now Erik needs to become our leader/redeemer and save us from our mindnumbing jobs with a BOOK!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  03:19 PM


  • CHRISTY:  First I need a nap!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  04:24 PM


  • Erik - napping is apparently not allowed with this blog-a-holic crew.

    Hi, my name is Noelle and I am a blogaholic. I am willing to also admit that I am addicted to The Global Trip’s blog. So much so that I joined the blog at not only ONE point, but two, in two separate locations!

    *sigh*

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/10  at  09:28 PM


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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today, RickSteves.com, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.


Next entry:
The Island

Previous entry:
The Canadian Identity




THE GLOBAL TRIP GLOSSARY

Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.




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