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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

An Epic World Series

SAMOA | Thursday, 3 November 2016 | Views [300]

They did it!!!

They did it!!!

As I continue to create my own world series, I had my eyes on the World Series. I’ve never been a fervent baseball fan and I find it rather painful to sit through nine innings of a baseball game, either live or on TV. The Chicago Cubs remind me of myself: they were not supposed to win much like how I was never supposed to travel or succeed. Like myself with travelling, the Cubs made it to the World Series the hard way.

This morning I got my gear ready and had one final breakfast with Tausala and family. Matthew made his first carrot cake the other day and his came out better than mine. Extra cinnamon really helps. As Jo would say, "it’s a beautiful spice." What I planned on being three days with Tausala, Fa’amanu and family turned into 13 days and I enjoyed my time with them so much I’ve created a geocache and named it after them. With virtually no place on Savai’i with SkyTV I wanted to watch Game 7 of the World Series in Apia but I had a much bigger reason in mind: Tokelau. If you think getting a visa for China is complicated, the permit for Tokelau has been nothing short of a nightmare. A boat left on Tuesday and when I called the Tokelau office Monday they said they’d heard nothing except for one response from Fakaofo (one of the three atolls), saying that no applications can be assessed until their "general meeting" is finished on 14 November. The next boat after that leaves on 22 November. Robert called them and got tough saying "they shouldn’t accept visitors to Tokelau if it’s going to be this complicated." With Tokelau on the back burner again I put American Samoa on my radar. This morning I found there’s only one ferry a week and it leaves tonight at midnight, and I had to purchase my ticket by 4 PM.

Getting a lift quickly I made the 10 AM ferry as I planned. To my right were Manono and Apolima: two far-flung outposts of Samoa I aspire to reach. They are an alternate option if I don’t go to Tokelau or American Samoa in the coming days. On the boat I immediately got a lift in the back of a ute to Apia. My list of things to do in Apia today was lengthy: visit the Tokelau office, inquire about tickets to American Samoa, grab a good lunch, get to the Sheraton for the free internet, catch up with Robert, and figure out where the US embassy is (to see if I can vote in the upcoming election). I was dropped just around the corner from the Tokelau office downtown (there are two different offices), and I met Joe, the general manager of the Tokelau office. During a brief chat he asked if I was doing research but I explained that I’m a freelance writer with a keen interest in remote, off-the-wall places. Joe said firmly "get to the boat early Sunday, and I’ll make sure you’re on it" and then said to his boss "will you put Chris down for Sunday’s boat?" She needed my passport but it was locked up at Robert’s work so I made a B-line in a taxi but he wasn’t there. Fortunately, Robert showed up quickly so I got my passport and quickly make a run for the Tokelau office. Joe’s boss told me to check again tomorrow but it sounds confident I’m in! When I spoke with Joe on Monday he told me to get to the boat, so I thought I’d try getting to the office and the boat. When I’m there I’ll scream out "Tokelau at last!" Tokelau and the Chicago Cubs have two things in common right now: it’s the nearest I’ve been to Tokelau and the nearest the Cubs are to winning the World Series but I’m not celebrating either until I’m on the boat and until I see three outs in the ninth inning, respectively.

Everything sorted with Tokelau, I feel more confident than ever that I’ll be on the boat on Sunday. Failure isn’t an option now, but it was time to relax, order a glass of wine, and watch the Cubs go for their first World Series title in 108 years. Baseball is America’s pastime but travelling is America’s "anti-pastime" as Americans prefer sitting on their asses to seeing the world. Through seven innings the Cubs led comfortably but the Cleveland Indians would come back to tie the game with the Cubs only four outs away from a World Series victory, and that’s where the nail-biting and heart-beating would begin. So badly did I want the Cubs to win that I thought of this story during the game. Through nine innings the game was still tied, and in the 10th inning the Cubs scored twice. As it started to cool down, the Cubs led by one run and when they threw the ball to first base to give the Indians their third out in the 10th inning, I celebrated! The Chicago Cubs are World Series champions! Why would I watch baseball in Samoa even though I’m not really a baseball fan? This World Series was one for the ages, and I’m all about the teams winning that don’t normally win. About two years ago in Queenstown I met a guy from Chicago with a Cubs cap on and I said "I predict the Cubs will win the World Series within five years" and he replied "ah, I don’t know about that." I wonder where that guy is now as much as he’s probably wondering where I am now. Much bigger than baseball in Samoa is American football; a Samoan is about 40 times more likely to make it into the NFL than a non-Samoan. I wasn’t up for a victory drink, but instead for a victory pizza. In all, it was a great day today. The Cubs won, and Tokelau now looks more promising than ever. Much like today, I won’t be celebrating until it’s all said and done.

Tonight I planned on staying at Annabelle’s Lodge again but I got a call from Lagi, a lovely lady who picked me up near Saleapaga a couple of weeks ago just before leaving for American Samoa. She invited me to stay at her home for a couple of nights. Last night I didn’t sleep much but tomorrow I have to get up early again as I’m looking forward to Friday morning yoga. The Chicago Cubs are World Series champions!!!! And I aspire to continue my own world series in reaching Tokelau. One has happened, and I reckon the other shall!

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