It’s amazing how quickly being abroad makes me feel like an American. Before, I was an Oregonian, if anything. Here, though, surrounded by not-America, I’m very aware of my nationality. Which is why I stayed up till 3 am to watch the Superbowl this year, when I’ve barely cared about football before.
It was my team, though (Go Seahawks!), and, well, my country! So a few of my flatmates and I sat up and watched the game. Earlier that day, we had watched a game of rugby (6 nations: Scotland v. Ireland), and the inevitable comparisons came up: padless, helmetless rugby, the real sport, happened in real-time, whereas American football paused every 15 seconds for a replay and another commercial.
Being the resident expert on football for the first and last time in my life forced me to focus on the game better than I ever have in a lifetime of being around the TV when football is on.
Everything was different: Instead of chips and dip and Dad and my brothers yelling in the background, I had a Scottish flag hanging from the wall, a bowl my mischievous flatmates attached the Superman logo to (Super…bowl, get it?), and weird British commercials and commentators.
I guess this proves that sometimes just sitting inside on a rainy Sunday and watching TV with people can be a cultural experience!