In July, on my first day at the office, I was asked to present a paper at a conference workshop in Indianapolis. What a great way to start a job!
It was my first time in the United States, so I had to see something other than the conference hotel. With a couple of extra days before conference duties began, no NASCAR races during my stay and without a long list of things to see in Indy, I decided to see if I could join a game of Ultimate Frisbee. After all, the game originated in the USA and it’s played by fun people.
It turned out there are plenty opportunities to play pick-up games. I ended up in a garden at Butler University, where people regularly play pick-up games. It was hot, humid and great fun, even though the four-person team I was in lost all games.
As expected, players were fun locals, one of whom agreed to give me a ride and eat something American in a place I wouldn’t have discovered myself: nachos deluxe with a club sandwich on the side at the Old Point Tavern. I could tell him we speak Dutch in the Netherlands, and we discussed some of the cultural differences between America and the Netherlands. Being used to drinking good quality Dutch beer from only a couple of brands, it was good to know that in Indiana(polis), or maybe in all USA, good beer is brewed in small local breweries. Homebrewing, which is rare in the Netherlands, may happen more often in the US. In fact, someone at the pick-up game needed to get rid of some old stock of (mostly) Belgian homebrewed beers. Lucky me 🙂
(Some photos will go here, but I realised I didn’t ask for permission to publish the group photo we took. Coming soon, I’m sure.)
And to finish off this post, a situation of coincidence: tonight I learned that just hours after I played in Indy, someone from Indy (well, Bloomington, “around the corner” from Indy) played in The Hague – she actually knew the game at Butler University. Haven’t asked if she had a sister that I had talked to on the bus to the game. Based on looks I’d say it wouldn’t be impossible, but how much coincidence can you handle?