THE TENNIS TOURNAMENT....
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
This was my first “Calcutta”, and I really had no idea of what to expect. Being the good sport that I am, I decided "what the hell, it’s only twenty pesos to enter (about $6 US) and it’s a social event and should be fun."
The way it worked, is that we had forty-six entries. Then at a local bar during happy hour, the better players’ names were placed in one hat and the rest in another. Each of the twenty-three teams were decided by drawing one name from each hat. My partner’s name was Chabello, who was not present, and whom I’d never met, nor seen play!
BILLY AND TEAM OWNER, JACKIE, ACCEPTING HER PROCEEDS FROM RUBEN
Once the teams were selected, and a few margaritas later, the teams were auctioned off starting at 30 pesos, and with one team going for as much as 140 pesos. All total, 1300 pesos were collected for the 23 teams entered, with the “owners” of the winning team collecting 40%, second place 25%, 1st place consolation round 25% and second place 10%.
A few margaritas more and a lot of jaw-boning by excited participants, it was time to go home and mentally prepare.
Remember, I said I’ve never met my partner, so it’s set up for me to play with Chabello at 7:00 a.m. the next morning; of course this arrangement is all done in Spanish. So I show up at 7:00 a.m. expecting to “workout” with my new friend, and a couple of other Mexicans whom I’ve never met.
We play one set and Chabello and I win 6-2. So I say that’s enough as we have our first match scheduled for 11:00 a.m. and I want to rest my legs and be fresh. “Wait, wait,” say the Mexicans, “you can’t leave -- it’s two out of three sets!” I try to explain but they tell me this IS the tournament!! Well, I get completely revved up and Chabello and I win the next set 6-0.....Mexico, you gotta love it!
Many similar events happened with the other ten matches scheduled for that day; Mexicans showing up late and teams and times being all rearranged. The organizer of the tournament is about to throw up her hands in frustration, especially after her team, one of the favorites, was knocked out in the first round, by a “dark horse”, none other than our housemate Paul Terhorst and his new “ringer” partner, Les.
Billy and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their world travels.