Monthly Archives: March 2011

Updates: Des Moines 101

“…or how I got a job, got a car and got desperate…”

Ok. So I got a job, here in the US of A, the Land of Opportunity, the place where dreams are made, the place where you get to make a lot more money than you care to spend, etc. Well now that I have blurted out the reason why 99% of Indians come here to do their Masters, lets move on.

Yes, I have a job here and I have a job in Des Moines, Iowa. Don’t worry, I hadn’t the slightest knowledge about the existence of this place either. In fact, when I first applied for this position online, I thought IA referred to Indiana and was harbouring thoughts of watching the US F-1 Grand Prix sometime in the future. So when I was contacted and asked “Are you still interested in this position at Des Moines, Iowa?”, my immediate response was : “When on earth did I apply for a job in Iowa? What was I thinking?” (The fact that I got that job should make it clear that I did not actually say that out loud).

And so to anyone whom I shared this news with, their immediate response went something along the lines of

“Iowa? Dude what are you going to do in Iowa?”

But at that moment, I was just friggin’ happy that I had a job and didn’t care a damn about where I was headed.

So I arrived in Des Moines on a bright and sunny day. The next day I would realize that that was an anomaly. Cloudy, gloomy, cold, very cold, extreme cold and snow…lots of snow- now that got people to feel more at home. (Just suffice to know that I am not a big fan of snow). Well eventually, I got a place to stay and that too pretty close by to the work place. But perhaps the most significant part of where I am staying is that I now get to watch Premier League, Serie A and Champions League matches on a TV in my room. No more streaming issues!

And yes I eventually got a car too. And got a mega-awesome deal at that too. Brand  new 2010 Toyota Corolla! The biggest handicap of my past 1.5 years was now taken off of me. I was now able to actually go places. Well I didn’t really go anywhere initially. But at least I knew I could go somewhere if I wanted to.

Well that was about as excited as I got for the first few weeks in Des Moines, because after that, the reality of the place began to hit me hard. For some vague reason, and I noticed this only after 2 weeks in Des Moines, I had not met a single person who was older than 6 years and younger than 35. This appeared to be a very dangerous trend and it became even more scary when it eventually became the norm.

I found myself ‘hanging out’ with Indian families- people who had gotten married a few years back and had a toddler in their hands. – on weekends. Now don’t get me wrong. They are all nice people who helped me a lot in settling in here. But it is hard to miss the part wherein I DONT get drunk and let myself loose on topics which would perhaps give rise to an awkward silence among the ‘family’ members- you know..the kind of stuff guys of our age tend to talk about.

And its also hard to miss the WTFness in my thoughts every time it is drilled into my head that

“Des Moines is the best place to start and raise a family! You should really think about getting married soon!”

Thanks for the information. But I think I will pass on that one. No offence meant.

The way I see it, in all seriousness, when I was studying, I had all the freedom but no money. And when I get married, I will have money (or not) but (and) no freedom. These few years in between are the only times I get to have both money AND freedom. And I plan to make the most use of it.

And so my hunt to meet new people began. Initially, it was in slightly optimistic places such as bars. The closest I came to meeting somebody new this way was this very lively bartender at a British pub. (Not a good sign). Then it went a notch lower to just waiting to be introduced to some people of my age by the few people I already knew. And then when that didn’t work out, I hit the lows of desperation a.k.a online forums.

And trust me. That was NOT a good experience. It is really scary the levels to which people are desperate. Every time I realized that, I wanted to take a gun and blow my brains out point blank. It was almost like every time I looked at some person’s profile, some of my self esteem was getting sucked out. And so I put an end to it pretty fast.

But I was still desperate. Never had I drunk so many beers alone without anyone to talk to. Nobody to even have a normal conversation with. For someone who was surrounded by people of my age all the time for the past 6 years, it was a really scary picture that I was seeing myself headed towards. But in all honesty, there are a few things here in Des Moines I would not trade for anything. First up, the cost of living here is simply put, Dirt Cheap. Ok may be not that low, but definitely low enough for me to spend less than 1/3rds of my income on all my needs.

Which gives me a lot of money to go somewhere AWAY from Des Moines and have some fun. And which is exactly what ended up happening in the past one week. One week where everything went from rock bottom to super awesome and more! All that in my next Updates post. So keep reading….

Breaking News: Arsene Wenger wants 1-Team Tournament to end Arsenal’s Trophy Drought

Unable to end his 6 year trophy drought with Arsenal during the Carling Cup final against Birmingham City, Arsene Wenger has mooted the idea of a 1-Team tournament exclusive only to Arsenal. Speaking to reporters just hours after his side were defeated to an Obefami Martins goal, Wenger said, “This is getting more and more difficult day by day. I have come to realize that if we are to give our fans what they deserve, then we have to think in different ways.”

Arsenal have not won a single trophy since the 2005 FA Cup, having come close on many occasions such as the 2006 UEFA Champions League final and having stayed in contention for the Premier League title during most of the seasons as well. The fact that Arsenal have not won the Premier League for a long time despite being title contenders most of the seasons have led some critics to brand Arsenal as “the perpetual title contenders.”

Arsene Wenger is finally looking forward to a new trophy.

When a reporter asked the Arsenal manager about his thoughts on the comparison, Wenger said, “I know we have always been strong contenders for the Premier League- always. Whats so new about that? Didn’t you already know that?” When pointed out that the comparison was supposed to be treated as a mockery, he quickly responded, “Oh! Is that why Sir Alex Ferguson starts laughing every time I remind him that we are still in the title race? Next time I will be careful.”

On the very idea of the 1-Team tourney, Wenger sounded quite upbeat. “This has never been done in the history of the game! We are all very excited. Yes I know that we have just lost one more Cup final and that we should be feeling bad that we have failed yet again. But the mood in the dressing room has quickly changed! I just now informed the boys about this idea and it has gotten everyone on their feet and raring to go!”

When asked about the exact format of the game, Wenger responded, “Well we are yet to work out the exact format. But the way I see it, there will be players from only 1 team playing. We will probably play 22 players on the pitch, but all of them will be players from Arsenal. We will call 11 of those players to be from Arsenal and the other 11 players to be from Arsenal. So no matter who wins or loses, Arsenal will eventually emerge as Champions! And more importantly, we will end our 6- year trophy drought! Isn’t this a great idea?”

The Gunners manager was also showing some consideration for the fans who have had nothing to brag about for a long time now apart from their passing style of play. “I really feel sorry for the fans. They have put their faith in the club for so long now having got back nothing in return. I think it is time that we give them something back. And I think the 1-Team tournament will be the best way to go forward. I am sure the fans will love to see a new addition in our trophy collection.”

Arsene Wenger did not have to think hard when he was asked what the new tournament would be named as. “Its a no brainer really. We will be calling this tournament as The Gunners Trophy. This of course, is in reference to the fact that Arsenal will be the only team playing in the tournament! Isn’t that so creative and original?”

Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas seemed to share the enthusiasm. “I have been here in the club for so long and have worked so hard. So I would definitely like to have some kind of a winner’s medal with me. The Gunners Trophy would be ideal solution to that. I just do not know what it feels like to be lifting a trophy with my hands. I really hope this idea goes through…and I hope that it happens for more than just that.”

When pressed what he meant by ‘for more than just that’, Fabregas revealed, “Well, think about it. The main reason Arsene Wenger is holding on to me is because he believes that I can win him trophies. Now if I help Arsenal win The Gunners Trophy, then I can convince him that my work here is done. And then he can make a lot of money by selling me to Barcelona. In fact, he will make a lot more money than winning any of the other tournaments! Isn’t that ironic?!!?”

Samir Nasri, the rising star in Arsenal, chose to look at it in a slightly different way. “It will be a very valuable experience for the young boys in here without any experience of big games.” He stopped for a while to think about what he had just said. Then he continued, “Oh wait. We are all young ones here without any big game experience. Anyway, like I was saying, this trophy will give us that necessary experience and will help us mature as players with big game experience.”

On the other hand, Sir Alex Ferguson was not at all amused when informed about this in a press conference. “What nonsense is this? Manchester United is the greatest club in the world. We are the only team that should be supported in England simply because we have a rich history and we win trophies!” When reminded of the issue at hand, he then composed himself and responded, “How can a team be crowned tournament winners if there are no other teams playing in there? Here in Manchester United, we believe only in winning trophies. Trophies aren’t everything to us. They are the only thing. We work so hard to win trophies. Thats why our fans are rightly called Glory Hunters. But the only difference is that we try to win trophies in which other teams also participate.”

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti had a different view. “It is actually not a bad idea. Come to think of it, if we can implement that same idea here in Chelsea, no manager will ever get fired! I mean, all Abramovic ever cares about are trophies. If we can have our own 1-Team tournament, then we can at least make sure that we land some trophy every year. At least my job will be safe.” Then he proceeded to call his agent and asked him to begin negotiations over a new deal saying that he will definitely be winning some trophies this year.

Shebby Singh, the expert on all matters concerning football and being smug (both at the same time that is), seemed to have some very strong opinions about this idea. Speaking to John Dykes and dressed in a suit which appeared to be part of his anatomy, he said, “John I think this is a very good and a very clever idea from Arsene Wenger. It is bound to be successful on so many fronts. Firstly, it will increase the confidence of the Arsenal players who do not know what it means to win something. Secondly, this will further help in the team gaining more big game experience which will in turn help in them performing better in the Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup where every game is a big game. Thirdly, this idea need not necessarily be restricted to just Arsenal. A lot of other teams can give it a try too.”

“Also John, the manager is really brilliant. He thinks so far ahead for the club. First he invests in youth and saves a lot of money that way while making sure that he has a good team for the future as well. Now this idea of his makes his team gain plenty of big game experience so that they go on to win other tournaments as well.” he continued, not realizing that he had just repeated his earlier point.

When John Dykes asked another guest on the talk show if he found anything negative about the idea, Shebby Singh interrupted, “Yes John. Like everything in this world, even this has a good and a bad part. You see Arsenal can finally begin to win trophies. I mean, Arsene Wenger may even decide to keep 2 or more The Gunners Trophy in a calendar year and Arsenal will win all of them. Even though the club might become more successful trophy-wise, it is extremely important that they do not become complacent. If they do, they will just become engrossed in that trophy and neglect all the other ones.”

The Arsenal fans are extremely excited about the prospect of finally getting to brag about some silverware after a long time. One enthusiastic North Londoner said, “This is the best news I have had in a long time mate! Now I can finally look forward to Arsenal winning a trophy BECAUSE they play awesome passing football! Take that up your asses all you other-clubs-winning-trophies-by-playing-boring-football! Now when can I buy the tickets?”

It remains to be seen if this idea actually transpires into reality. The FA have been informed about the plans and further developments are awaited. If approved, this could potentially create a revolution in the world of football.

 

PS: My previous posts on football fake news and Arsenal can be found here.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 177 other followers