Finally on the internet, here are the happenings from the past couple days:
October 24, 2006 00:49
It is now 3:49 California time, so it was almost 24 hours ago exactly that I was leaving Harriet’s house to drop-off my car at the Daggett’s and head to SFO. Ten hours to London and a couple more to Stockholm, then immediately to practice!
The first leg of the flight was actually pretty productive for me… I slept at least a little bit and had an awesome time reading Willard’s The Great Omission. I journaled some thoughts and questions, though I wished I had someone to share these reactions with. I watched the Lake House with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. Nothing special, but the architecture in the movie was pretty unique.
Anyhoo, when I landed in London I had less than an hour between my schedule arrival and departure. As I was trying to get through to security, I was stopped and told that I could not carry both my backpack and a computer bag, that I must exit the terminals and re-check-in because only one bag was allowed on flights. What?! I initially listened and headed off to go through passport control, then I thought that was crazy and that I would definitely miss my flight if I went through everything all over again. So as the security guard was distracted by some other people, I snuck right behind him and got through with my two bags. Yippee! I could make my flight. Good thing I made it through the second time because my flight began boarding before I even made it to the terminal. Short flight – about 2 hours – to Stockholm. The guy next to me was totally Swedish. It was sweet! He spoke English and was writing an essay in English on his computer called “The Evils of Google.” That’s as far as I got to read before I felt too snoopy. Wonder what he wrote.
For most of the flight to Stockholm we were either above the clouds or it was grey outside, so as soon as we descended below the clouds and I could see the ground… I became SO excited! This was it. I’m actually here (almost!). I’m in Sweden to live for the winter. Wow.
My head coach, Anders, wasn’t able to pick me up at the airport because the timing was cutting it to close with practice time. Hannah, a girl who works in the office at 08, picked me up and we took the speedy 20 minute train from Arlanda Airport to downtown Stockholm. A five minute taxi ride to the gym and I had finally made it. Anders was waiting at the door. He pleasantly hurried me down to the locker room and I quickly changed. Only two minutes late for a 7 o’clock practice. Not too shabby.
Practice was terrific! It was really pretty intense (much more intense than I was expecting!). We did a bunch of full court warm-up drills, spot shooting, played continuous four-on-four for a long time, put in some offense, and scrimmaged full court at the end. The girls were all really nice and welcoming. I was impressed by how much they talked on the court. Tara always said we were too quite; well, I think she would be quite pleased with the communication of this team.
The coaches brought me and my bags to my apartment. Then Anders brought my out to MickyD’s (I guess that’s one of the only places open late on Monday night). We talked for quite a while about basketball, the team, competition, oh a bunch of different topics. Some guys was rolled out of the restaurant on a stretcher to the ambulance. We have no idea was that was all about. Hopefully he is ok. Anders walked me back to my apartment. He’s going to pick me up tomorrow morning for practice.
The apartment didn’t get completely furnished in time today, but it’s close. And, I’m happy! To start, it’s way bigger than I expected. Now don’t get any grand ideas, but it’s three rooms if you count the bathroom. Want to know one of the best parts of it… my sheets are green! And not just forest green, which would have been totally great, but they are lime green. Yay! And though I don’t know my address, I am located right in the most popular part of the city (at least that’s what I’m told, and I believe it). There’s shops, stores, restaurants, and more all along the road. I’ll investigate more soon and see what I can find.
Well, I unpacked and showered and it is now late here. My eyelids are closing so I better let them rest. I feel so blessed to be here. I am so thankful for this opportunity. Shooting practice tomorrow morning at 10am. God natt!!
October 24, 2006 23:50
Hej! That’s how you say “hi” in Swedish. I’m trying to learn more words everyday, so ja (yes) I can say more than just hej . For example, tonight I visited the akutmottagning. Sound it out and see if you can figure it out! I’m learning that lots of Swedish words actually sound sort of similar to English words, they’re just spelled differently. So akutmottagning is like combining “acute” with “meeting.” I had to go the emergency room! And no I was not shadowing a doctor there as I would have preferred, rather I was the patient. Nice. Tonight in practice I was playing defense and the player I was guarding squared up strong because I was, as instructed, defending her tightly. When she squared up with the ball her elbow met my eyebrow… pop! It hurt some, but it sure was bloody. Just like when I broke my nose, all my teammates gathered round and looked awfully concerned. I never actually have to see all the blood, but they do and they freak out. The trainer taped up my eyebrow after cleaning up my face because it was pretty much painted red. Then I went to the akutmottagning with my assistant coach. There was really no wait at all and I was in the room and numbed up with an anesthetic within 45 minutes of the accident. Fyra (four) stitches because the slice was so lång (long) and I now I am ready to play in the game tomorrow. “Valkommen till Sverige” (welcome to Sweden) joked my coaches.
In addition to an eventful practice, I had shooting practice this morning, visited the And 1 warehouse to choose a pair of sportskar (I picked some grey and white ones), ate lunch in the cafeteria (fisk, boiled potatis, and snap peas), and took the tunnelbanekarta (subway) home to Slussen. It rained all day. And I think if I listen carefull it is still raining now. Best be getting to bed for my first game tomorrow. It’s a home one too! Go 08!!
People I met today: lots, but here is a sampling
- Lauren and Landry. She is from Nashville, went to school in TN (I think), and was the SID at Davidson (in NC). Landry played at 08 and now works in the office/coaches (?). They invited Erin and I to dinner with them on Friday after practice.
- Leila. Used to play, but now works with their outreach program to schools that promotes the 5 core values of the club.
- The trainer who taped me up.
- A woman with two kids: A_ _ _ and Mad_ _ _. I met her husband too.
- Some nice girl in the office who taught me how to say, “how do you say” (I forget though; I better find that paper she wrote it down on for me).
- Met some more people… but can’t think now. Good night.
October 25, 2006 22:28
First game tonight! I’m not even sure of the name of the team we played. I think they had to ride sex hours on a buss to get here. Erin and I took the tram to the game. It was at Alvik (one of the tva clubs that make-up 08; the other club is Frysuset). The court there is like blue rubber and the nets are funny on the ends… sorta frayed so that the ball drops straight down and the net doesn’t catch up on the rim if there is a swish. The uniforms are sweet! They are black and white with sponsors all over. There is one sponsor that is written in red, but the two other largest sponsors in color is written in green! Yay. That makes me happy. Since it was a home game (or at least that’s what I gather), the whole team was announced in numerical order. They turned off the lights and some young girls who play for the younger club teams made a tunnel of sparklers for us to run through. As for the game itself, Anders called me to him during warm-ups to let me know I wouldn’t be starting. There are a couple of the guards that are very good and have been on the team for a long time. Totally fine with me. I feel better about it that way anyhow and am happy he didn’t start me. We played fyra tio-mineuta (four ten-minute) quarters. I didn’t have a very good first half – lots of missed threes. Argh. The team didn’t do great either. Our help defense was horrible. Defense in general just wasn’t good. We were tied 35-35 at half-time and it had been suggested that we should maybe win my 20 points. The other team had one American and a very good shooter. Of course, everyone else was very capable too. Anders was not so happy at half-time, as would be expected. He told us we all needed to step-up and take responsibility. We came out fired up in the second half… Jenny, Mollen, Erin, Agga, and I started the third quarter. We went on a 24 – 8 run (I think that’s what Ander said after the game). We ended up winning by maybe 25 points or so. I actually don’t know the final score. It was so much fun to be out there playing again. The fans were very enthusiastic and all the little girls came running up after the game asking us for autographs. 08 wasn’t so great last year, and Anders said this was the first time in a couple years that everyone watching the game was so enthusiastic and into it. I’m glad we were at least somewhat entertaining. Hopefully they will come back and watch more games .
Tomorrow we have the day off. Erin and I are meeting up with Anders to take a walking tour of the part of Stockholm we live in. I am one subway stop away from Gamla Stan (which is the “Old Town” Stockholm). I haven’t really had much time at all to explore outside around my apartment yet, but supposedly it’s a really desired area. I have a grocery store right between the subway station and my apartment… which literally is located not even a half block away. It’ll be fun tomorrow to explore around the area more. I am going to try to go to bed soon and get on a better sleep schedule. I’ve been not waking up till tio in the moron (10am). I generally love the morning, so I want to change that around. Hmmm. What else. It was cooler today. I had some gloves and a hat out, but I didn’t use them. The cool air felt nice after the game tonight. Oh, I got a cell phone today. Only bought a Swedish plan, so that I’ll have to talk to everybody back home via Skype (go there now, skype.com, and get an account. It’s free and then we can talk! I need to get internet in my apt though, right now I have no tv and no internet). Alrighty, that’s all for now. God natt.