Gosh, it can be quite intimidating to get a blog up and running. That initial groove that gets going when the DJ starts playing at the beginning of a party is always a little concerning when people are still sober and their dance moves are living proof! They look a lot like astronauts hopping around on Mars, you know, like bouncing Michelin men. Get some oil in those gears, people!
Once upon a time, in a distant land called Europe, I touched down on August 3rd, 2015 in a country called Deutschland. Surrounded by people who seemed like aliens, speaking German and wearing some new fashion that hadn’t yet struck the homeland; skin-tight jeans with sneakers, and lederhosen!! *gasp* I gracefully strolled, well in hindsight, I awkwardly fumbled through baggage claim after trying to drag my three super-sized, over-weight suitcases off the carousel and clumsily pushed them curbside as I waited for my new coach to pull up. Without a doubt, he probably started laughing at the amount of luggage I insisted on bringing as he drove up in his tiny station wagon.
I was set out to play for my first professional team, VT Aurubis, in the northern city of Hamburg, as part of the Women’s Bundesliga. Yes, now would be time for you to look at a map. My team and staff were from all over the world, not only Germany; some places included the Netherlands, USA, Greece, Australia, and Finland… we had the whole load of em! Thankfully it brought some ease to my preconception of having to mime to the Germans; now I got to share my adversity of only learning Spanish in school with the others who couldn’t speak German either. Little did we know that German lessons started on Monday, along with 3 hour double trainings, crossfit workouts, and conditioning every… single… day (cue the small violins).
Hamburg is definitely an underestimated and above average city to be seen. I am somewhat biased, living there for over a year, but nothing quite compares to a city that shows great love to its culture, sports teams, and preservation of its own. I’ve been witness to a number of those things all the while journeying through a career that mandates most of your time in a gym. Hamburg displays culture through the old historic tunnels like the Old Elbe Tunnel running under the river and the restoration of the Bunkers to which they’ve added living spaces, clubs, or simply kept standing for all to admire. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a sports game in Europe take it. Normally the big FC Barcelona or Manchester United games are the all jazz, but FC Sankt Pauli is like nothing else out there. Filling up to 30,000 visitors on the regular, the home and opposing teams are capsized by birthright chants and swaying sky-high beers. Goals are ripping into the back of the nets and the confetti companies display their wealth into every nook and cranny. After my first time there, I went home with a mustard, beer, and confetti covered winter jacket. Who doesn’t like leftovers, am I right?
Bouncing back to some of those silly questions in my first post about holidays; I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no such thing as Thanksgiving in Europe. I know this is the equivalent to telling a child there is no such thing as the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. God forbid us adults don’t have our main drunkenly feast-ive holiday where we can eat and drink until we look like stuffed turkeys. For starters, Europeans don’t tend to eat turkey during holidays, so that puts a minor kink in the chain. And on top of that, Mama’s sweet potato marshmallow casserole is a laughing joke to those who don’t even know what a marshmallow is! Rather, they’re starting the champagne off at breakfast so that it’s reasonable to get the rosé going by noon. Who needs the Mayflower anyway? Here’s a funny thought: imagine if there was terrible fog and a small current on the day of the landing, resulting in the Mayflower landing in Nova Scotia. We’d be a bunch of Maples!!! Maybe Thanksgiving would be consistent of ceiling high pancakes slathered in maple syrup and budduh. Thank god for whatever weather app they were using back then.
Thankfully for the Europeans, they definitely make up for what is lost at Thanksgiving in their Christmas holidays. If ya’ll have never heard, seen or experienced a Christmas market in Germany, get on expedia.com right this moment and book yourself a flight. Between the feeling of Groundhog Day, as everyone crawls out of their holes to celebrate, and the festive liquor and decor, it’s nothing less than magical. The Christmas feels with snow and twinkly lights surround you lining all the streets and markets. There’s this thing called “Gluhwein” which is hot wine that tastes like warm cider. It rocks your insides into a tizzy while you accompany that with loud christmas music, currywurst, Lebkuchen (gingerbread), pannfkuchen (crepes), candied almonds, and those little sugar powdered balls of funnel cake that I totally forget the name of, but you’re hopefully picking up what I’m throwing down, so let’s move on.
As Christmas rolls into New Years, the US might have actually managed to do one thing right; making firecrackers, fireworks, or fire popping anything illegal for all the knuckleheads out there trying to blow the heads off their surrounding friends and family members. The experience is b-a-n-a-n-a-s! I drove over them in a taxi on my way to a New Year’s party, clenching all body parts in case the “brace for impact” moment happened to occur. Then I jetted across the street as if those dodge-dip-duck-dip-dive lessons I learned from Patches O’Houlihan were only yesterday.
Before I let you leave, I want to finish off by talking to you about drugs. Now do I have your attention? Unfortunately, I am completely joking due to that fact that I would then just have to come up with an elaborate fairytale to supply plausible entertainment. In other news, I would like to share one of my favorite adventures of Germany that some may find coexistent to the topic; Lollapalooza Berlin (insert one million dancing emojis here). For all those fellow music festival go-ers, freestyle dancers, respectful music listeners, 1920s flapper appreciaters, hard core German music lovers, peaceful weekend bystanders, and any and all others in between, this is the place for you. We attended one of the neatest, yes neatest (isn’t that such a fulfilling word) music festivals that I’ve been to. And I’ve been to my fair share around the world. Anywho, Berlin Lollapalooza was at the Templehof Airport Field which is now a massive widespread, happy-go-luck pubic park. While gazing at the background of kites gliding through the sky, you got to enjoy a weekend long music venue that brought a European touch of life and music into all genres, song and dance.
Don’t you just love the feels? Those feelings you get reminiscing on good times, maybe even some sad times too, but especially when you get go through pictures. It just gets ya all warm and fuzzy inside. Well, maybe that’s also the feeling due to the fact that the bottle of Pinot sitting in front of me is now gone, but same same. With that being said, somebody grab the vaudeville hook! Auf Wiedersehen!