January 25, 2011

New Kind of Clean

Today was spent doing quite a bit of research on my travel situations. Thank you, Mom, for reminding me of Rick Steves, as his website is super detailed and it might take me the rest of the spring to get through Belgium now. I only have 2 1/2 months left to do as much as possible, so I need a GREAT plan! I did plan a trip to Trieste, Italy, in a couple of weeks, so that is random and awesome. I literally just searched every city from Brussels-Charleroi during a free weekend on the airplane website, and 5 cities in Italy were the cheapest options.

So while, yes, I did have Milan and Venice as options, I chose Trieste. I looked up all the average temperatures for the time I'll be there, and Trieste had the highest. Plus, it's on the beach, and it is not the place every tourist will go to. Which probably means not as many people speaking English, but the art of mime is universal.

Tonight we went to Namur to train with another team, and that was fun. A couple of the younger girls were really excited about asking me questions in English. They wanted to know if I played on the national team in the USA - so tempting to say "yes." One of the girls wants me to help her brother's report on the Mardi Gras, and she also wants me to edit her papers for English class. The team had Polish, Czech, and Belgian players on it, so it was cool to see even more cultures interacting with each other.

After training, typical showers were in order. Except this time, why was I coughing?! Oh wait, that's not steam, that's SMOKE! The Polish women enjoy a cigarette after training, and why not, considering the mix of water, steam, and smoke makes for a killer combination. It was my first time cleaning myself with secondhand smoke, though, so for that new experience, I thank them. Then 3 of the women wanted to get dropped off somewhere, so the 5 of us got into our 2-door awesomeness of a Euro car. To put it into perspective, I was the smallest; by height at least 3 inches, and by weight, at least 40 pounds. We had so much space, we did not know what to do with ourselves.

Tomorrow is my first driver's training with Martina. My goal is to only stall a maximum of 10 times.

There is American and/or music in English everywhere. The warm-up music is the same as any USA college team. When I feel like the only American in the world, I hear my famous pop star friends talking to me. Taio and Ke$ha - thank you for your great wisdom and attentive company. The DJs speak French, then Taylor Swift comes on. Then after Taylor, Nicki Minaj.

But don't forget the ever-present techno; it peppers itself in here and there between the American hits. On the way to the game, I heard my new favorite song on the Belgian radio. I dare you to enjoy it as much as I did. Or to at least ask as many questions.