Watching the World Cup isn’t as fun when the games are televised at midnight, 2AM and 5AM. Everynight I had the best intentions of staying up but I only ended up watching on a few occasions. Being on a small island there was just one spot for the public to watch the game and that was at Rus-T, an open-aired restaurant right on the ocean. It was quite an experience to watch the games, outside, with the wind blowing and waves crashing on the shore in the pitch black
darnkess as people yelled and cheered for the different teams.
Everyone would head over around 11pm to grab a spot with their blankets a jacket. It was amusing to me because it couldn’t have gotten lower than 85 degrees but these locals were bundling up for the “night air”. Since most indonesians sleep on the ground, they use these sheets that are like a sleeping bag but with a hole in the bottom. So they all wear them around their wastes as they walked to grab their spots.
Everyday someone would approach me to ask if I wanted to bet on the games that evening. And everyday I said NO! They couldn’t understand how I could watch the game without betting…..what was the fun in that? “What was the fun in losing money”, was my response to them day in and day out. But this didn’t stop them because everyday someone from the island would approach me and say……”so you bet with me tonight”? At one point one of my friends had lost his phone because he lost so much money betting that he had to use that as collateral and ended up losing (he eventual won it back). The betting was small like $5-10 bucks but still, that is pretty significant for people that only make $50-$100 a month. One night my friend Ari, talked me in to partnering up with him and we each bet $10 bucks against 2 other people. I couldn’t stay awake that night but checked the score first thing in the morning and we had lost. I REST MY CASE! As my brother Anthony always said, “betting is like taxes for stupid people”.