I love bowling. I am a believer in Earl, the Patron Saint of Monster Truck Rallies, Trailer Parks, and, well, Bowling. I even permanently inscribed his name on the sleeve of my Vandals work shirt/bowling uniform.
Marko, one of the other teachers here formed a bi-weekly (every two weeks, not twice a week. always get those confused) bowling team. Naturally I jumped at the chance.
No, THE bowling alley, is not situated above or below the apartment of Frank “Grimey” Grimes. It is located on the third/upper floor of one of Asuncion’s more fancypants malls, for starters. It has a whopping 11 lanes. While it has a fully functional ball return, the pin re-racking mechanism is vastly different. Rather than free pins jumbling around a mechanism and being reset, these pins are all on strings. The end result is while you still have some action, you won’t get awesome “Avenging Ninja Pin” action like you might in a traditional lane. However, there was at least one case of “Avenging Guillotine String” where the moving pin missed an adjacent one, but the string basically clotheslined the last pin for a spare.
Other oddities about bowling here. You get a ticket when you enter. Or in our case, six or seven, and everything you eat, drink and bowl (you pay for time, rather than per game…) is tallied up. You pay up, they give you another card to hand out at the exit.
Shoes. As usual, you rent shoes. Hooray. Only sizes are all in centimeters rather than our typical shoe size. And over the years, some have been stretched. One week I’m a 41, the next 42.
And as far as eating goes, best bowling alley food I’ve ever had. They serve the Paraguayan fave, a parilla. A hot metal tray/skillet brimming with high quality beef, chorizo, fries, fried mandioca (a potato-like root), onions, peppers. Ridiculously good.
In regards to aiming fluid… err, drink, you get the typical Paraguyan set-up, a big bottle of beer in an ice bucket that gets shared. And in our case, because we’re bringing in 6-7 gringos every two weeks, ordering food and beer, they’ve agreed to turn a blind eye to the bottle of white russians we bring in.