During my ten months at the Indian Indian School, Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), my lunch time routine was set – the moment the lunch bell rang, I would run down to the basketball court with about 20 others, munching my tuna sandwich lunch. One of the gang (on rotation) would have a coke can which he would finish quickly while the others waited impatiently. He would then proceed to crush it.
Voila! Our football was ready. There would be 30 odd groups like this one on the basket ball court. That was the marked territory of the 4th and 5th grade. We had more than 30 sections of 40 students each in every class. I think the court was larger than normal size but in the 45 minutes that followed, it didn’t matter. Neither did the heat (it is a desert, after all). We were just young boys looking for an outlet to our energy as we didn’t have the opportunity to play outside of school. And boy, did we have fun.
I learnt a few very important lessons from this experience. First, if you have a goal that you are dedicated to, all the noise around you just didn’t matter. In this case, all we could see was our coke can. (On occasion, we did splurge on a tennis ball…)
Second, a big part of great memories comes from making the most of meagre resources. The senior boys monopolized the football field and lack of pocket money meant we almost always didn’t have the right “equipment.” So, we made do with a coke can – who would have thought?
Finally, fun can be extremely low cost. As we grow up, we often get caught up in the right place, right food, right drink, etc. If you’re determined to have fun, you will.. the choice is ours.