Thursday, May 01st 2008
Again another slow morning. This day was going to be a special day for Bear. Bear and OP were invited to a suite at the Rangers ballpark in Arlington to watch a game of the Texas Rangers. OP has a friend, Jonathon, whose father ownes a suite there and sells Baseball Diamonds, custom made jewelery. This is why Bear and OP were allowed to come in that day and so Bear could watch its first live Baseball from a suite. It was a big suite with huge comfy chairs and sofas and a big telly. One could either watch the game on that telly or go out onto the balcony and watch the game from there. Or one could go around in the stadium and watch it from anywhere. Bear and OP also got some free food and drinks there. Bear thought such a suite is a nice thing. OP's friend Jon was very gentleman-like and asked Bear if it needed anything and if he could bring Bear anything.
Everyone told Bear to be prepared for a very long game - probably about 3-4 hours or even longer. Also did they tell Bear that the Rangers had not won for quite a while and maybe won't this day either. So, actually everyone did tell Bear that it might not enjoy itself. But Bear did. Bear likes Baseball.So they sat on the balcony for some while and OP tried to explain the rules of the game to Bear. Lots of rules in Baseball. Bear did not understand them all but tried. Bear did understand one rule: stealing the base. And suddenly Bear realised: *That is the reason for the really long games!* Bear just wondered why nobody else had that idea before?!
Jon also gave Bear and OP binoculars and they talked to a nice couple who were sitting next to them. OP always told everyone that it was Bear's first time in the stadium. The whole ten days everything was always the first time for Bear... Anyway, after watching the game for a while from the balcony, OP asked Bear if they wanted to wander around a bit. So they got their free tickets (if you're in a suite, one needs to get some tickets to be able to leave the building - where the suites are - and re-enter it to be able to go to the tiers), Jon asked OP once more if he remembered the rules ("be back before some inning" - forgot which one) and off they went. Before re-entering the building on the other side, they had a cigarette and then went around. Underneath the tiers there were booths with food and drinks and souveniers. Bear quite liked the earrings with the Texas Rangers' "T" on them, but Bear thought they were too expensive. On the other hand, Bear should have bought them, they were really nice and Bear couldn't find them anywhere else anymore. That's what OP called the "Vatican Syndrome": if you see something you like, get it and don't think you might come back or get it somewhere else, because you won't. True.
Bear and OP went around, Bear took some pictures, until they were at the seats right behind the catcher. They asked a security guy if they were allowed in and have a seat (as there were not too many people around anyway) and he told them he would make a picture of OP and Bear if they wanted to. After that picture Bear and OP sat down and Bear wanted to take some more pictures as everyone around suddenly stood up. So Bear decided to take some pictures of the audience instead when OP suddenly told Bear that the game was over. The Rangers scored and so the whole thing only lasted about two hours. And Bear hadn't payed attention! Because Bear was watching the audience instead. BUT the Texas Rangers won. Actually the Rangers did win for the whole week Bear was in Texas. Call it what you want, but Bear seemed to be a good luck charm for the Rangers...
Bear and OP went back to the suite where Jon was already cleaning. They stayed watching Jon working, talked to his father, had some more food and decided to get Jon to the garage to get his car later.
At the garage they had to wait for some time because Jon's car was not ready yet. So OP decided to let them do something on the Mystery Machine aswell - there was time enough. Jon showed Bear a gameboy game called "Pita Pong" or "Pongo Ping" or "Pita Pata" or whatever - Bear can't remember. When Bear read some magazines in Spanish about Texas' men and women (No, Bear can't read nor speak Spanish), OP played that game. Bear was a bit bored. Then three friends of Jon's arrived. And so it was six people waiting for the car getting ready.
All of them were OP's ex-students and all of them 18-20 years old. The girls first were a bit uncertain and reserved towards Bear, but not for a long time. They did then ask what nearly everyone asked Bear when they found out that Bear was European: if there was a big difference between Texas and Europe, if Bear liked Texas, if Bear could live in Texas, if Bear had already been to the US before, ... And they also told Bear that it had an accent - kinda British but not quite. Bear took that as a compliment. Better than having a German accent.
Finally the cars were ready. Jon and the girls asked wether Bear and OP would like to join them going to the mall. Bear wanted to visit a proper American mall anyway, so they decided Jon would lead in his car and the girls and OP would follow in their cars. Well, that was the plan. Jon obviously did some illegal turn somewhere and of course the girls and OP did not do that too, so they lost him. The girls turned round, OP followed - and lost them. But of course OP did find his way and arrived wayyy before the girls did. When Bear and OP arrived at the parking lot, Jon sat in the rear of his truck, eating the pasta he brought from the ballpark with chopsticks.
They had to wait quite a while for the girls who had obviously lost their way completely. Finally they arrived, having a few bites of the pasta aswell and then they all went off to the mall. There was an ice-rink inside and the whole mall was pretty huge. It was not very different to the malls in Austria, but of course a lot bigger. If Bear had been alone, it would have lost its way after the first turn. They went into a funny shop with lots of punky and gothy clothes in it and Bear found a T-Shirt that said: "I don't have ADD, I just ... oh look, a bunny rabbit". Bear loved that shirt! Bear should have bought it.
They wandered around a bit more until they found a souvenir shop for Bear called "Texas Treasures" where Bear bought some magnets and postcards. Later on Bear got caught by a girl that had a booth for cremes and things and who put some creme on Bear's hands and did something to one of Bear's nails which made it really shiny. Of course that girl wanted Bear to buy one of these things, but Bear didn't. Although Bear just couldn't say "No, thank you" and leave. That girl also told Bear that Bear had very beautiful eyes. Funny because that girl itself was extremely pretty and had lovely black eyes. She was from Israel which OP guessed within the first minute, so while she caressed Bear's hand they talked about Israel. Finally Bear had the guts to leave.
Bear was told that the plan was to go to Amber's place because she had just got her own flat and wanted to show it to them. So they all went to their cars and headed off to Ambers. Amber had two cats, a huge fury one called "Fuzzy" and a small one called "BeeBee". Bear immediately fell in love with Fuzzy. Bear loves huge cats. Bear also got to see some real yearbooks and when a few others arrived Bear managed to take a picture of someone carrying a beercan wrapped in a brown bag. Since one is not allowed to drink alcohol in the American public, one has to wrap it in a brown paper bag. Just like you always see it in the movies. Well, it's true. It was a long night. People were really nice. There was a lot to drink and a lot to talk. At one point in the night they got really philosophical. But at that time Bear couldn't follow the conversation anymore. It was way past Bear's bedtime. But it would take a lot more time until Bear and OP finally did drive home... But that's another story :-)