Monday, November 5, 2012

Professional Athletes and their Third Culture Kids

Zac Lee Rigg: What it's like for U.S. soccer players raising kids in Europe
Interesting article (click on the title) about professional soccer players who are raising their own Third Culture Kids.  Nothing special about this; we TCKs are the children of all types of international types.  Government, business, missionary, you name it.  But to have a parent who plays professional soccer (excuse me, football) all over the world injects a whole new degree of "cool" into being a TCK.  

My dad was cooler than George Clooney.  
Not that I didn't think my dad was cool .. he had a passport with so many inserts he could hold it over his head and the pages would flutter to the floor.  As he was packing his bags, I would ask him where he was going "this time."  Instead of Poughkeepsie or Baltimore, it was India or Thailand.  Maybe two weeks in Indonesia or Greece. No wonder I did so well in geography; all I had to do was trace my father's travels.  And yes, I can pronounce Thessaloniki correctly.  Dad used to bring me pirated cassette tapes or American shampoo bought on the black market in Malaysia.  That was pretty cool.  

It was pretty cool that in a new post we stayed in the most elegant four star hotels for months before our furniture came.  I remember ordering champagne flavored sherbet from room service at the Okura Hotel in Tokyo.  Imagine our parents' reaction when we told them we were tired of eating veal cutlets and vichyssoise in the hotel dining room.  Can't we just have a hamburger?  Oh, wait I forgot that even the hamburgers showed up with parsley garnishes and a fancy toothpick (delivered by a guy in a white jacket).
I won't even go into the fact that we had a cook, a laundress, and a gardener, not to mention a driver.  And that mom had matching Christmas uniforms made for the maids for her holiday bashes.
Our annual home leaves usually involved a stopover in Taipei or Nikko.  Where most families aspire to a "once in a lifetime" trip to Hawaii, we stopped there every time we crossed the Pacific.  Ho hum.  We were regulars at the Halekulani Hotel.  And how cool was it that I had the opportunity to be a nanny for a British family in London, who had been our neighbors in Manila.  

Aww, Mom, the Halekulani again??

So yes, I have convinced myself, that professional athlete or not, being a TCK has plenty of cool moments.  

Hubris:  Means extreme pride or arrogance.  Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities (Wikipedia).  

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