So I've been living in Germany now for just over a week and am just starting to get over the culture shock. I must admit though that coming into my new situation with 0 expectations has made the transition much easier. Fortunately enough I have walked into a great situation. Everyone has been so accommodating and nice. I was picked up at the airport by 3 of the guys on the team, Paddy, Knuppel and Toshy. My first bit of difficulty was adjusting to the rudimentary English that they all speak, and then I learned how often I will be staring off into space when everyone breaks off into German. By the time I return home my English will have become so rudimentary and poor that I might even need to go back to school to learn the basics (I know Grandma, it is possible for my English to get worse, and yes I am the only one wearing my pants a low as I do here! I won't be pulling them up anytime soon though!) My first night I was out until 6 in the morning, which is like noon at home though so it wasn't too bad. They through a nice party, not necessarily for me, but I did feel like the guest of honour. Everything is open so late its crazy, you can be at the "disco" until 8 in the morning, and people generally don't head to the "disco" until 2. One of the pictures I have attached is me on my first night with my new home boy Knuppel and Anja, Paddy's Girlfriend
It's taken about a week to get over the jet lag but I'm starting to get used to the time change. My apartment is really nice, although I will only be living here for another week or so. The head coach just arrived yesterday and I must admit it is nice to have English speaking company. He is from Texas and holds true to many of the stereotypes associated with Southerners although he assumed I lived in an igloo and had a dog sled as a primary vehicle. He is a very nice man and seems very serious about his football. He has planned on living here a couple of years and is Bringing his whole family over come June. Thats nice for me because come June, I'll have a secondary family, obviously they will be unable to eclipse my primary family, but they'll be my German family.
In terms of football it is pretty much what I expected. There are some really good football players, for example Paddy who played in NFL Europe, and Knuppel who played in the 1st division, and then there is a some guys that were talked into playing by Paddy while they were both hammered one night. It's a total mish mash which makes it kind of fun. I was also told that I had a good arm, so my fears of coming over here and completely flopping have been dispelled. Were practicing in a gym right now and have about 20 guys per practice. Now that coach is here we will start to get some structure and a set schedule. I wonder if after practice he will find it strange that half the guys are outside hacking butts? Or I wonder if he will find it strange that some of the guys are 18, and that our centre must be 40 years old and weight 180 pounds, or as they say 80 Kilos. We also have a dough boy for a guard, the gentle giant, who speaks less German than I do, although he is a Deutchlander. Its going to be quite the season and I hope you can all keep tabs on me on the website. I also get to coach the youth team. They're all between 13-16 and they know even less football than the older guys. They're tons of fun and have been receptive to my enthusiasm breeding enthusiasm approach.
Lubeck is a great city and I'm starting to become very accustomed to getting around. The picture of the car I have attached has been termed the "Seals Mobile" and gets me from point A-->B with few amenities. It's standard so I've had to bone up on my skills, and after a few embarrassing stalls I seem to have it down to a science. Oh and I forgot to mention that the car doesn't have power steering. I have a gym pass but with all the stairs I climb to my apartment, and all the driving with a non power steering car I'm not sure how much I will really be using it. There are no snow ploughs here so when I first got here there were two tire tracks on the roads and thats it. The snow has since began melting but there are still strange snow drifts everywhere.
|"Riding along in my Automobile, with my baby @ the wheel, I took a kiss @ the turn of a mile..."|
Needless to say I lucked into a very good situation. I'm comfortable and happy. Thank you to everyone who has been writing me and its great to hear from you all. Please keep sending the love this way as I really enjoy having my inbox inundated with emails! Talk to you all soon!