The Overseas Lifeline
The computer: A player’s most important possession.
by Kevin Owens
Tonight I feel full for the first time since arriving in Estonia. You see, I am not much of a chef; however, fellow import Charron Fisher’s mother is. She is visiting her son here in Estonia and has graciously invited me over for some home cooked meals. Any night I don’t have to whip together some shoddy meal to avoid starvation works for me. It’s also a good opportunity to talk to my fellow imports Charron and Josh Akognon about the ins and outs of life in Estonia.
Any time I talk to an import about the most important possession they bring with them overseas, the answer is always the same…a computer. I honestly can’t even fathom being in a foreign country without a computer. It becomes your lifeline; your only connection to home. I don’t know what I would do without it.
I have had some close calls over the years with computers. When I was in Australia, the Dell computer my wife and I used daily suddenly exploded. I was on the internet and felt it getting hotter and hotter. Suddenly the interior of the screen exploded. Although there were no injuries, the computer was deceased. Luckily we had an extra laptop we were able to use for the duration of the stay. I just recently read an article about the biggest recalls in American history and Dell made the list. Fortunately upon returning home we were given a new laptop for our troubles.
If I did lose computer access in Australia, I would have been able to manage. Cairns, AU was the most beautiful place I have ever been. There was always something to keep my mind occupied. But my next close call was much more panic inducing.
When I was in Kosovo I used the computer for everything. I talked to my wife and family back home through the computer program Skype. It was my DVD player, my music player and my video game player. So one evening I returned home from practice to find a blue screen. Now, as everyone knows, a blue screen is the worst possible thing to see on any computer, let alone my prized possession.
I went into total panic mode. My friend Jeremy is an IT director at a local firm, but since I could only communicate through email, I was doomed. I did what any calm, collected person would do. I shook the computer like it stole something. Suddenly the battery popped out. Not wanting the computer to win on a technicality I popped the battery back in and ‘Viola’ it worked. So whenever someone tells you that physically harming an inanimate object won’t get you anywhere…I present this case.
I think computers are a lot more advanced than we think. If Hollywood has taught me anything, it’s that in the future we will be in a war with either aliens or robots. In my mind I believe that computer was testing me. It was trying to see what the human race is made of. I am glad I showed that thing who is boss. It sets a strong precedent moving forward.
Cyborg-Human wars aside, I think that as an overseas athlete, having a working computer is a must. It keeps your mind occupied during the long lonely days and nights. Luckily here in Estonia they have a good cable television package. Back home some of my favorite channels are National Geographic, Animal Planet and TLC. Estonia has them all. I spend most of my time here watching Little People Big World and L.A. Ink.
The one thing that surprises me the most about European television is the obsession with the show According to Jim. I definitely don’t have anything against it. Courtney Thorne-Smith was my first love during her Melrose Place days, but I have never seen the show once on American television. Yet in my European experiences, it is as common as the news. It just goes to show you how well the comedy of Jim Belushi can translate from continent to continent.
Kevin Owens is a veteran of overseas professional basketball who currently plays for Kalev/Cramo in Tallinn, Estonia. Owens also writes for Waiting For Godunk and Hugging Harold Reynolds. You can also catch him on Twitter @Waiting4Godunk.