Everyone likes to have fun, whether you spend your days in an office block in the middle of a Western metropolis or standing around a well in the Saharan desert. Humans are social animals and we have evolved to laugh as a bonding exercise. One of the best ways we have found to kick back and have some fun, is to play games and generally just entertain ourselves so that we stop thinking about death, which unfortunately is something that humans are cursed with: a concept of mortality. So next time you’re feeling blue in a foreign country, why not try these local games and activities to pass the time instead.
Cardboard Tube Fighting – US & Australia
Although this sounds completely ridiculous, I am tempted to get on a plane to the US to try it out right now. Essentially, you create yourself some ‘armour’ out of cardboard and then duel another cardboard clad fighter, equipped with a wrapping paper cardboard tube and maybe a shield, if you’re lucky. I really want to try this.
Sepak Takraw – Malaysia
If I had an ounce of sporting prowess I would try this, but alas I have the endurance of a dandelion and the agility of a diseased elm tree. Have you ever played volleyball? Probably, it’s fun because you get to whack a ball over the net with your hands. Try playing it when you can only use your feet and if you use your hand you’re heavily penalised? Doesn’t sound so much fun now, does it? It is really amazing to watch, though.
Fireball Soccer Football – Indonesia
- Find a coconut
- Soak it in gasoline for a week
- Light it on fire
- Take shoes and socks off
- Play soccer football
Bingo – UK
I know bingo isn’t actually British (it was invented in Italy), but nowhere is it as popular or played like this. You find a big room – sometimes a dedicated bingo hall – you collect your card, grab a pint (or 5) and then a man, normally called Dave, in a shirt – that’s usually unbuttoned so that it is in line with his nipples – will get up on a stage and call out the bingo numbers using strange phrases that often rhyme, like so: “Two fat ladies: 88”, “Knock at the Door: 24”, “Young and keen: number 15” … you get the picture … it’s both weird and majestic to see Britons in their natural habitat.
Milk Carton Regatta – Anywhere … Apparently
According to my research, this ‘sport’ is played everywhere, though I have never seen it in my life, unfortunately, as it sounds immensely fun. You build an aquatic vehicle out of used milk cartons and then race them. You might build a mini galleon or a recreation of the Titanic. I suppose it’s better than recycling.
The Great Whipped Cream Battle – Czech Republic
People throw cream at each other … simple.
La Tomatina – Spain
People throw tomatoes at each other … simple.
Cheese Rolling – England
People chase a cheese wheel down an almost vertical hill in this old tradition from England. Having been to this hill before, I can assure you no sane person would ever want to throw themselves down it in the hope of winning the grand prize … the cheese wheel itself.
And there we have some beautifully strange and wonderfully brilliant games, sports, and activities from around the world that you should definitely take part in if you’re ever travelling to those countries … although for the cheese rolling and the fire football, you might want to just spectate.