Like most Canadians I am an AVID – and by avid I mean INSANE hockey fan. When I moved to Bali last year I thought, “Trying to watch a hockey game in Bali is going to be really really hard”. And then the most brilliant thing happened, the 2012-13 NHL lockout. This meant that there was going to be no hockey until the owners and NHL players could come to an agreement and as any fan can tell you, it could and did take a long time.
I can pretty much guarantee that I was the only person that was happy that there was a lock out. I thought, “This is fantastic. I don’t have to miss any hockey this season because there isn’t a season.” Cue maniacal movie villain laughter. MWAHAHAHAAHAHAHA….
Then on January 19th, my luck ran out. They came to an agreement and decided to have a shortened season. Now what was I supposed to do? I needed to come up with a plan now. Shit. There are some problems with Bali when it come to watching hockey in Vancouver or North America in general.
1) Vancouver is 16 hours BEHIND Bali. This means that a 7pm game on Wednesday in Vancouver is on at 10am on Thursday in Bali.
2)The internet in Bali is the worst internet that I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with. For example it took my 15 minutes to load Gmail the other day. Not loading anything special on Gmail, just trying to open my emails. So you can imagine that trying to stream a live hockey game would probably use the entire internet bandwidth for all of Bali, if not Indonesia.
After a moment of blind panic I realized these might not actually be problems at all, they might actually work to my advantage.
1) The time difference- the fact that Vancouver home games would be on in Bali at 10am meant that I would be at work, a bad experience for some Canucks fans but for me, I work as an English teacher and I teach most of my classes online- leading us to ‘problem’ number 2 -shitty internet.
2) Working in an office where the internet is the life blood of the company. They spare no money to get a decent -note I don’t say excellent- internet connection.
This meant I can at least get the box scores updates from Canucks.com while working and updates from the venerable @CanucksGame twitter account. This twitter account is live play by play feed from every Canucks game no matter where they play. If you ever read this blog – Thank you Derek Jory, you are my saviour.
I’m also not going to leave out Team 1040 internet radio, radio is apparently a form of technology that my parents used to use to listen to music or sports. I didn’t even know that they had the internet in the 60’s. Huh. I’m kidding. I am actually sitting at my desk at work listening to the 2nd period of Nucks Vs Colorado Avalanche right now just willing my next student to not show up. *Fingers Crossed* Well the crossed fingers worked for something, Nucks just scored. Hahaha.
Last but not least I must mention ASN (Asia Sports Network), they are the only 24hr Asian sports channel and they actually play hockey…sometimes. But I have managed to watch one Canucks game and that was the greatest moment in Bali I have had so far.
This day proves how popular hockey is in Canada. I was sitting in the bar and three people walked in, I heard them talking and automatically picked them out as Canadians. I said something about the game and the guy turned around and said “You from Canada?”. He, his girlfriend and her mother were walking past and saw that a hockey game was on and made the girls come into the bar and watch even though it was 11am and they were only in Bali for 3 days. He didn’t even care what team it was, he just wanted to watch hockey. We did have a friendly banter about the fact that as a Calgary Flames fan he actually hates the Canucks.
Sometimes it’s really hard having an interest in something that no one else around you is even remotely interested in. Hockey doesn’t have a big following in Indonesia or Australia (where most of my co-workers come from) so I get blank stares when I even mention the word hockey. Then have to call it “ice hockey” so they don’t get confused with “field hockey” , which is infinitely more popular for some reason.