Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Travels. Germany Vol II.

Moin Moin, (A little bit of Northern Deutch slang to get us started)

It’s been a while since you’ve all heard from me, and my reasoning for being MIA is my current Internet situation.  It is not ideal to say the least!  I will not bore you all with details, but within the next week or so with a top-notch wireless connection. 
I moved into a new apartment 2 weeks ago.  It blows my old apartment out of the water but it is still a work in progress.  My daily essentials are available to me but not much else. I’m learning a great deal of patience in my travels and also that relying upon others is the worst!  Everything that I need or ask for is available the only problem is it takes time.  Stuff usually comes from a players aunt, who got it from their best friend from work.  The process is long and sometimes painful, BUT I end up getting free stuff, and my current favorite European # is zero.  As soon as I get my flat (European terminology) pimped to the 10th degree I’ll email over some pictures.  A responsibility I have decided to take on is… Owning a plant, On top of that, one that is not fake.  It’s a small step, but I feel that it is a step in the right direction!
I never got to explain to everyone what my job is in Deutschland. My place of employment is call “DAS STICKWERK” which in English would be roughly translated to “The Stitch Factory”.  I am doing a lot of silk screening and printing on garments, which is right up my alley.  I’m very excited because the job I lucked into here is something that has always interested me and I’ve always considered as a possible career choice in the future.  I am gaining very valuable experience that I will be able to bring home with me and will no doubt point my in a very positive direction.  I lucked into this opportunity big time and I will ensure not to waste it.  Basically during the day we may have 3-6 orders and we print off the decals, peel them and then transfer them to whatever garment the design is associated with.  The best part of my job though is that Andre (my boss) and I are designing a line of clothing for the SEALS football team.  We have a catalogue that is approximately 10 pages deep with T-shirts, Polo Shirts, Sweaters, and Hoodies etc.   I actually get excited to go to work because I get to work on wikkid clothing, something that has always been of interest to me.  Even though we are a fourth division team we have the largest collection of clothing available for purchase of any team in all of Germany.  Attached is a design that Andre and I worked on a couple of weeks ago. The inspiration behind the design is Lubeck itself, as well as the Marines.  The anchor symbolizes Lubeck as well as the Seals, and football laces, to help Europeans recognize that the Seals are in fact a football team, outline the crest!  Eventually all of our clothing will be available on a website.  I will make sure to email you all the link and you can check out what I’ve working so diligently on, and maybe even buy something because we offer worldwide shipping. Oh, and also, the second best part of work Is that I am fed lunch every time I’m there, which is AMAZING.  I have my boss, whose English is very choppy saying AMAZING all the time now, helped me realized that maybe I overuse that word. What’s really amazing is Schnitzel, I could eat it every day cause it’s that good.  Fun fact: German people eat absolutely humongous lunches, like so big I finish mine and need @ least 2 coffees to keep my eyes open, but they barely consume anything for dinner.  It’s such a strange cultural difference.  They also bike EVERYWHERE and in ANY weather.  Maybe that’s why their all so skinny as compared to us portly North Americans.
My good friend Andy rolled into Lubeck a week ago today.  He had been in India celebrating a friends wedding for 3 weeks and planned on spending 4 weeks in Europe cruising.  For those of you who know you can probably imagine how he got from India to Lubeck, and for those of you who do not know Andy I will paint a vivid picture for you.  Andy is the least organized and logical human being on the history of the planet.  We had emailing back in forth while he was in India, but very spareingly, and last Thursday I received a call while I was at work from a man with a very thick German accent.  Andy had showed up at my apartment and made friends with my non English-speaking neighbor Andreas.  He kept Andy sheltered until I could scoop him up after work was done.   We had a great time while he was here.  We got to see lubeck, We went to the A1 (the disco) and we went to Hamburg.  This was the first time I had been to Hamburg to visit and it is an absolutely spectacular city.  It is the second most populated city in Germany and has more canals than Venice and a lager red light district than Amsterdam.  I have attached some of the pictures that Andy and I took while in Hamburg.  We visited a parliamentary establishment as well as some churches, and couldn’t keep ourselves from doing a little bit of shopping.  We then traveled to the Repparbahm, which is the main drag in the red light district.  It was quite the experience to say the least!  I think that Andy and my view of the whole situation were skewed based on the fact that we were in the red light district @ 5 in the evening, while it was still light out, on a Monday.   There were sex shops beside gun shops that were beside grocery stores and churches, it was like nothing I had ever seen before.  I would say that Hamburg was the highlight of Andy’s trip and it was great having a familiar face around.  I dropped Andy at the airport on Wednesday morning, late of course because he insisted on packing in the morning instead of the night before. 

In terms of football not much has changed since my last email.  We have been putting in offensive plays and are just trying to hammer away at everything so that it becomes second nature.  Our skilled players are great and have a lot of dedication to learning and getting better.  Our biggest issue is our offensive line, they are a very rag tag crew.  If were going to succeed they need to start coming together as a unit, because without them performing at a high level we won’t have an ability to showcase the strength of our skill players.  Our other player, and my new roommate will be coming over on the 27th of March.  He playes tight End and is going to absolutely dominate in this league, on top of that he will make me look like Joe Montana!  He is 6’6”, 256 lbs and can run. I’ll just have to lob it in his direction and he’ll be able to do the rest.  I’m excited to have a room dawg as well, someone to roll with to the gym with and share groceries with.  I’ve been doing a lot more coaching than I had initially anticipated doing.  I’ve gained an immense amount of respect for coaches and the act of coaching. (Compliments towards you coach Cummings) Language barriers don’t help, but some people are just bad listeners. The youth team is fun but out of 20 kids, about 5 have some athletic ability, the rest look like they sit at home, play dungeons and dragons and watch dragon ball-Z.  It’s hard not to get frustrated when teaching a basic football fundamental and no one can grasp the concept of what is being taught.  I’ve concluded that instead of worrying about the little details the most important thing to o is make football an enjoyable experience.  The only way to keep these kids coming back and consequently have them improve is to make sure they’re having a blast.
I was in the newspaper a couple times in the last couple of weeks, which is pretty cool.  Our organization really works diligently to get its name out and be visible in the community.  This is hard work because we are a fourth division football team in Germany, but the effort is there, and so are the results.  I have attached the website link of the press clipping:
This article also ran in a couple of newspapers. I know, I look young, I can’t help it.  On a related note my facial hair situation has grown in leaps and bounds recently, can’t really explain why, but I’m not complaining.  If I’m talking about my facial hair I’m getting the feeling it’s a good time to sign off. Once I again I appreciate all the love I’ve been receiving and keep it coming, it’s always nice to have your inbox inundated with emails.

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