When we showed up to Rome, we became joiners. We said yes to every invitation and sought out things to sign up for. (I highly recommend this tactic for meeting people and making new friends.) One of the things we signed up for was Bowling.
So, check it out, remind you of anything? Like … every bowling alley you’ve ever been to in the US? Yeah, me too. It’s kind of hilarious how just like home it is. It’s Brunswick, there are lots of bright colors, and fluorescent bowling balls. There’s beer, and pizza (although the bowling alley pizza here is better than every piece of pizza I had the entire time I lived in Virginia) … and when it’s Embassy Bowling League night … everyone speaks English. Well, except if you have to go up to report a problem, then you have to figure out how to say complex things like “I’m Kate, and I accidentally bowled for Paolo … so, I got a strike, but it wasn’t my turn, and we need to erase that score, and put it under mine because Paolo went outside to have a cigarette, because apparently the Italians aren’t particularly focused.”
Aside from the usual language barrier issues, we’re having a pretty good time with bowling. On week two, I (Kate) had the top score for three games combined including handicap … of course, I don’t anymore. And one time I beat Ryan in a game – which is basically downright ridiculous. I know, I know, I’m amazing.
Actually, I just had to tell you about my minor achievements first, because Ryan’s achievements are actually major … so if I told you his first, mine wouldn’t be interesting anymore.
So, Ryan has been a repeat member of the 200 club, bowling over 200 at least 4 or 5 times already this season – without a handicap. And a few weeks ago he bowled a 600 set, which is pretty amazing. Almost every frame was a strike or a spare – in two games he only left a pin on the very last ball. Excerpt from the bowling coordinator’s email:
“The last time we were together, Ryan Reading completely killed the high scratch set with a very consistent three games (all over 200 pins!!!) of 221, 213, and 206 with an outstanding 640 set. I have been bowling for four seasons and I don’t recall anyone ever having over a 600 scratch set! Hats off to Ryan for an outstanding achievement! He also has set the bar pretty high for the high set with handicap with a 715. Great bowling, Ryan!!! Congrats!!!”