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Friday, February 16, 2018

Spa Day



Both myself and Rainer are beat up from this trip to India . I can’t stress how rough that experience was and I mean in every aspect . Physically I am still blowing chunks of dry blood from my nose and I still have this hacking cough , mentally I still can’t believe that people live in such horrible conditions and the more I think about it the more I know there is no way in hell I ever would want to step a foot onto Indian soil again .... for the most part it’s not soil anymore anyways . When I got out of bed to go take my morning leak I got a message on my phone from Rainy  who is in the next room and he wanted to see if I wanted to go grab food for breakfast .... of course I did ! Got my clothes on and met him in hallway and we went into the city center to grab some food to bring back but when we passed the first cafe I had a hankering for some coffee . I quit drinking coffee like 4 months ago but I couldn’t resist and I just wanted a cappuccino . Rainer was game so we went to one of the better cafes in town called Bakery Mack , they had these interesting cheese buns filled with sausage or pepperoni and it looked appealing enough to order and we never took food back to the house and instead ate at the bakery and chatted about our trip to India which seems to be an ongoing discussion . Let’s just say we both agreed that we won’t go back lol . 



After the bakery we headed back to Rainers and just chilled for the better part of the day . He had to wait for his phone to come in the mail since he lost his in Delhi :( it’s probably been stripped and sold off by now and there is no chance of retrieving it . When the phone showed up we went out again for a late lunch .... we wanted to grab Greek food but that place was closed and we went to a Serbian place for chevapci but that was closed too . Schnitzel was our other option so we went to a place called Bierhall Aalen which apparently used to be a brewery or something but now it’s a quaint little restaurant . I ordered a schnitzel with pommes and a salad and we had a beer to accompany it .... the beer was ok and the food was pretty good . Then Dimi which is short for Dimitri ( I'm pretty sure ) came by to get us to go to the spa . We had a quick beer and headed back to Rainers where we packed up some shorts and flip flops and headed over to the spa which is up the road from Rainers family orchard/farm . I’ve been near here before but never went to this spa . 



They had some coupons and it was only something like €10 for 3 hours which included sauna and pools . I had to rent a towel too but that was only €3 with a €10 deposit . The place is really nice and very well organized , there are people of all ages there relaxing and all I am hoping for is that my lungs get cleared out of all this yak shit I breathed in while up in the Himalayas (lol) . Would be nice if I can clear up this dry blood issue and get the feeling back in my toes again .... damn I’m in rough shape . After we got dressed into appropriate spa attire we went over to the jacuzzi and those jet streams were awesome :) even got a bit of a ball massage on one of them hahaha . All three of us were laughing like a group of kids in the water . After that we hit the warm pool which goes outside where there is still some snow but it’s raining today . You couldn’t feel the rain coming down on you as we paddled our way around the pool to the water faucets that poured onto our heads like water falls . It was really nice there . The spa is called Limesthermin and it’s situated on a fresh deposit of spring water . Then we hit the sauna downstairs and there are two smaller ones and a larger one that is filled with people constantly ! We did the two smaller ones then tried getting in the big one but it wasn’t possible without waiting ..... we went upstairs and hit another jacuzzi then back down for another stab at the big sauna . This time we waited and got in .... ahhh ! Too bad I’m such a wimp and bailed within 10 min as I was sweating my ass off big time . Jumped directly into a cold shower then went to the chill out room upstairs and reclined on a chair with Rainer beside me , Dimi hit the pool . We totally passed out zzzzz! When our three hours were up we went to the change roooms and got ready to leave . On the way out we stopped for a beer at the bar then said by to Dimi . We had to go pack up for our road trip to Denmark which we were embarking on around 11 pm .



When we got back to Rainers I took a nap . Oh that was so nice but I needed to take a longer one so I could keep Rainer company as he drove through the night . When we left Rainers we had to pick up a few guys on the way to Denmark . A few of the guys were already waiting for us but we were in no rush to get going and stuck with the plan of leaving at 11 pm .... damn I’m tired . Let’s see how the night goes :) 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

I’m going back to Aalen



Surprisingly when I woke up at the Ibis hotel near Erding I didn’t have a killer hangover ? I drank a ton of food Helles bier and I’m guessing that I didn’t get a hangover because a) I didn’t mix drinks & b) the beer is so damn good ! Regardless I was happily surprised because taking the train to Aalen would have sucked with a bad hangover and trust me the day before I had absolutely zero concerns about what was to be the next day lol ! I can’t express how much fun I had with The Tanzmanian Devil :) I barely slept and that kinda sucked , still blaming jet lag for waking me up at 4 am for absolutely no reason at all . Trust me I tried to go back into my slumber but it just wasn’t happening . As I laid there in my bed dreading having to go take a train then having to switch en route .... gotta be sharp and pay attention or I may end up back in India hahaha .... that’s the last thing I want ! 



Andi came by to pick me up a little before 11 am which is also my check out time . . I don’t have anything booked so there is no rush and we went to McDonalds to have some lunch . I had the chicken wings which were pretty good , kinda wish they would start making them back home also ! Andi had to go to work which kinda sucks cause he was hanging a bit , regardless he drove me into Munich tonthe train station which is apparently on his way to work .... buddy thank you for everything ! It was really awesome hanging out with you the last couple days in Erding , hope to see you soon .... maybe in Toronto ? At the train station I lugged my giant goalie bag over to the booking area and grabbed my ticket to wait in line to be called to the counter . When I got my ticket it was around €40 and yeah there was a connecting train that I had to catch in Ulm . No biggie , I’m feeling on point ! Went to my train then decided to get something to drink for the nearly 3.5 hour ride . Kinda budded in line to pay for my Fanta but not before someone saw my bag and was intrigued enough to ask for a photo . Fair play , big smile and on to the train with the area for bicycles .... plonked my bags down and I sat in one of the uncomfortable bench style seats .... soon after an older couple came on the train with their small carry on luggage and looked confused/pisssed off at me and even asked if I belong on this train but kinda in German which could be lost in translation but regardless it’s a big long train so why don’t you go find somewhere else to sit kinda thing ? I even showed them my ticket and they left .... always the same bullshit on trains where people think I should have this bag in my lap or something . I don’t get it . Anyways they found seats and left me alone :) the train departed and soon after that woman that was intrigued by my bag came over to chat me up .... she introduced herself with her full name and I wish I took notes like she did and I’m so bad with names but I’m gonna take a stab at it and call her Christine , she is an educator in Beijing and from what I gather a very intelligent person . We had a great chat about sports psychology and how her daughter is room mates with a female goalie in the USA , she’s from California and a very interesting person . It was pleasant to be able to have an intellectual discussion with someone of a higher education . The time flew and next thing you know I had to get off the train as I appproached Ulm .... if you’re reading this it was very nice to meet you and I hope the rest of your travels are as pleasant as mine .... and sorry if I got your name wrong :) 



Dragged my bag off the train and down the steps and up the steps and onto the next train which is smaller which means more dirty looks .... thanks for understanding if you were one of the few that didn’t look at me like you wanted to spit on me hahaha ! This is the reason I prefer bus’ , you can always put your bag under the bus in an area where people don’t want to sit . Anyways I’m pretty sure I got on the right train , just need to map it out and see if I’m going in the right direction . Didn’t really doubt myself and for once I can say I didn’t make any mistakes .... I know you are probably expecting to hear that I got lost or something happened but no , not this time :) when I arrived in Aalen the sun was shining so I didn’t care that Rainer was running late . It’s been a few years since I’ve been here but nothing has changed . It’s nice to be back ! We dropped my bags and first thing first we have to go for the kebab platter down the road near the Irish pub which is now closed :( kinda made me sad since I had so much fun drinking there over the years . Anyways that kebab platter almost got demolished but my stomach is not used to eating so much after being in India and not really eating the last two weeks . I knew the toilet would be calling after this stuffing hahaha ! We strolled around town after and went to see Rainers buddy in the casino where I had a couple espresso shots then we scurried back to his place for a quick nap before hockey .... 



Man that food was good ! I could go for another today but I’m sure something else will come up . Anyways we chilled out for a minute then headed to the rink to play with the local trouble makers hahaha . The rink is now indoors ina tent , last time I played here it was outdoors but I have skated on this ice before .... I remember rescuing a young child that fell on his face and needed an aambulance .... wonder what happened ? That was 4 years ago when I was over for Christmas ! Nobody will remember so it’s not worth mentioning . We got to the rink late and had to get dressed quickly . When I got on the ice I stretched out and the guys did one or two quick drills before playing some shinny . Thankfully I ended up on the stronger team which kept the other goalie busy , he is very reliant on his hands and doesn’t use his legs or lower body much , very much like an 80’s style goalie :) he played well but let a few shitters in . I played well and felt good and I’m pretty sure we stayed on the ice for 2 hours , the net I was in had extra netting hanging off it and I kept getting tied up in it hahaha . I took it easy and made routine saves and let a couple by me .... there is a new kid in Aalen that’s a Canadian . His name is Logan , good kid from Edmonton . He seemed confused to see me there and was wondering how the guys all knew me but I didn’t live in Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช. I explained it to him over a few Wasseralfinger Biers (love this stuff) . I think he will fit in with the guys the more he shows up and if he starts making some nice passes I’m sure he will be accepted . Nothing worse then a guy that doesn’t pass ..... if you ever start skating with a new group as a player you should always pass to make the boys happy . Trust me ! I don’t need to pass but letting a couple goals in doesn’t hurt either .... after all it’s just for fun . Don’t want to be a vickser! Had to throw that word in there , it’s a German word ..... that’s all I’m gonna say lol . 



It was great having fun with my brother Rainer Schmid and we were a bit tired so we only hung around for like an hour and a half after the skate . It’s always fun hanging out with the guys here in Aalen ! Pretty sure we are meeting a few guys to go to a spa today to hang out and drink some beers in the sauna . It’s so good to be back in Aalen . 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Fasching



Yesterday I woke up just outside of Munich near the airport pretty much in a town called Erding where my good friend Andi Tanzer lives .... he is better known as The Tanzmanian Devil lol ๐Ÿ˜ there is a carnival in town which I think is happening all around Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช it’s called Fasching and the idea is that people get dressed up to scare the ghosts back into the swamp or that is what I gathered that the tradition is like that here . It’s basically like Halloween . Erding is a small town where everyone seems to know each other which makes the experience even better because you know there won’t be any bullshit or anything . 



I guess around lunch Andi came over and we headed into town first for a quick bite to eat . I had McDonald’s for breakfast and opted to have a nice salad for lunch , nothing too heavy as this was gonna be a beer filled day .... a really good beer filled day at that . The sun was shining and the beer was flowing as I had my first pint with lunch , that was a nice darker Erdinger which was quite smooth and the waitress gave us a peach schnapps after we paid our bill which was very nice . Can’t remember the name of the place we had lunch but the service was obviously excellent and I was happier then a pig in shit hehehe . When we left we went to drop Andi’s car at his moms place and he put on his monk costume which was funny to see .... I dressed up as Marcus Mooseder :) wore his jersey basically . I know he will get a kick out of reading this and knowing I told people I dressed up as him . Moosey!!!!! 



One of the traditional things going on is that the people wearing the cool costumes that are parading back and forth down the streets are putting green paint on everyone . In the pic at the top of the page you can see me getting my paint job unsuspectingly . It was really nice to see kids and adults all having fun and getting cozy with either a gluhwine or a nice pint ๐Ÿป I prefer beer and am not a fan of this heated wine but that’s my personal preference . We bumped into a few of the locals that Andi knew and I generally met some good people . Oh it was so nice to be drinking on the streets in the sun but when the sun started going down it started to get cold so we went to this bar called Mamma’s which had a wall full of bras . Things got messy there ... 



It was still daylight out but the party was already kicking off and man those beers went down fast ! By the time it was dark the bar was rammed and the German music was jamming . Then the DJ played Daddy Cool and I hit the dance floor . I went buck wild and had so much fun . Everyone started talking to me since I guess I was the non German guy dancing like a mad man . Damn I love that song .... my guilty pleasure is listening to Boney M :) good party music . Not too sure how many beers I drank but I know it was loads . I’m still feeling the effects of jet lag and still have this crazy cough . Regardless I was hammered and Andi completed his mission to get me wasted in Erding . Thanks buddy . Somehow he got me in a cab and I got my ass over to McDonald’s for a late night snack , ok more like a pig out but I don’t remember much . The evidence was there today .... sitting on a train now writing this ugh ! 



Anyways I wanna thank Andi for showing me a good time and getting me on the ice here in Erding . I would highly suggest staying at the Ibis near the airport also which was suggested to me and all I can say is Erding was fun . It was nice to meet some new people and I hope everyone’s hangover is not too bad . Things got crazy for a school night lol ! Prost ! 


And Elvis is still alive :) he’s in Erding ! 

Heading Back to Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช



Man oh man I could not wait to get out of India . Let’s just say I won’t be going back .... and you can bet on that . I hated it there , big time . There is nothing really positive I can say about that country and I would be surprised if anyone in the group I’m travelling with would want to go back ! Actually I would be shocked . No offence to anyone that I know that’s Indian , I have nothing against you ,so that morning we were leaving I was happy , really happy and looking forward to getting over to Germany to play some hockey with my buddies Andi Tanzer and Marcus Mooseder . Anyways that morning at the Holiday Inn I found bacon at breakfast which made me really happy and finally I had a meal that didn’t taste like curry and wasn’t spicy . Most of the gang stayed up all night partying and some looked worse then others . I was glad I went to bed at a decent hour . Unfortunately I didn’t get to say bye to my friends from Sheffield so here you go lads .... was great spending time with you all , hope to see you in May if I get my ass over to blighty for a couple Villa matches . 



We got a couple courtesy vehicles to stuff our bags in and head to the airport and when we arrived we had experienced possibly the worst customer service in my life . The woman seen in the picture above was not in a good mood that morning and she took it out on us big time . We approached the Finnair counter and I was laid back with the loss of my voice and I just let everyone else handle everything , she needed to see proof that I was leaving Europe and things got weird . Now I didn’t yell or swear and in fact I did not disagree or say anything directly to her but for some reason she called the guy with the big head over and he told me they were going to call security to have me arrested and he threatened that they would not let me board the plane .... I have no clue why as I was told my bag was heavy and I would have to pay and I didn’t even complain about that . While I was paying I called him over and asked what the problem was and he said that she told him I was swearing at her which is an absolute lie . I told him I didn’t say anything to her at all in that manner and he believed me then said that I said some thing like all Indians want is money which was another lie .... what I did say and not to her but to Timo and Rainer was that all airlines want more money these days . I had to pay €100 to get my bags on and I didn’t even complain about that ?!?!? Now I would like to send this post to Finnair to see how they like it when they are questioned for their behaviour :) these two people should not work in the service industry and I’m telling you they both made me very nervous ..... even when my baggage was going to oversize I felt the threat of being arrested because of these two Finnair employees . When we were going through customs we were approached to go somewhere with another employee and that was weird and uncomfortable . I had no clue if I was gonna be taken in but what I do know is I can’t wait for this plane to leave . I hope Finnair can fix this issue because it really was not a comfortable experience and when I was boarding the plane I had to see this woman who caused all this controversy one more time and honestly I hated having to see her again at the boarding gate . She had some evil intentions . 



The 6.5 hour flight was crap as I had a small Indian fella in front of me with his chair fully reclined into my lap and my knees were crushed but he didn’t care . Philip was in front of him and he barely reclined so this guy was a massive douche and massive douches get massively douched by me ..... I opened the air and pointed it on his head , he didn’t like it and tried to close the vent and I slapped his hand away :) if you don’t care then I don’t care either ! Have some etiquette next time , and if this happens to you remember that this air vent can be your weapon to battle these dickheads :) he had to put his hoodie and blanket over his head and I didn’t give a shit . You get what you deserve . The headphones were pretty crap and echoey and the movies I watched were kinda painful but I survived the first flight to Helsinki . When we arrived we saw Arri one last time , didn’t say bye and ran to Burger King for some food .... pretty sure we jumped the queue but who cares we got that beef we had been dying for weeks to have . The next flight was to Munich and it was delayed by 45 min but it didn’t matter as I slept through the flight upright in my chair . No reason to bother the person behind me .... 



Andi picked me up at the airport and got me to my hotel which is an Ibis and it’s not bad at all , very clean and new looking and right across the parking lot is a McDonalds :) you bet I did ! Don’t even question it .... every meal is there from here on out . First things first though , I have an ice time with some hobby league guys in Erding which I’m not sure if I’ve skated there before but it does seem familiar . When I got on the ice I felt like super man ! No joke I felt like I was on steroids or something which I guess is from being at high altitude for all those games . Wow !!!! It’s an incredible feeling . I played pretty awesome too and robbed a few guys before tipping a puck into someone’s face :( it made me feel bad and I couldn’t concentrate for a few minutes but the old guy was alright thankfully he had one of those old helmets with the mouth guard built in . That probably saved his chiclets . After the skate I had a couple beers in the room and then we went to an Irish pub ..... that’s when the jet lag kicked in and I had to go to bed . Marcus drove me back and I said good night then headed straight to my bed . What a crazy long day . 2 flights , 2 continents , 3 assholes and a hockey practise all in one day . 


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Last Day in India



Woke up that day in Agra and I am pretty sure we were all fed up with India by this point . Just get me out , who cares what we do and it doesn’t matter were things I was hearing amongst the group I was travelling with . I was fed up too and was just going through the motions of getting the heck out of dodge . When I went downstairs I had a bunch of buttered toast as the food was less then appealing , my roomie Nick had an omelette and of course it was spicy . Really do people just have bleeding ulcers here , is this bloody normal ? Enough with the spices ! He took one bite and got turned off and had toast with me . We then  went upstairs to grab our belongings and the weirdest shit happened and not only to me .... when I came out the room the cleaning dude was standing there with his hand out asking if he cleaned the room well and he was looking for a tip . I wanted to tell him to fuck off but instead played dumb and said thank you and left . Really ? They are just as bad as the beggars . Oh yeah the beggars were waiting beside our bus and one of the guys gave them food , we watched them peel the wrappers off the food and just throw the wrappers on the road ? I’m sorry but these people are destroying their country and our planet ! It upsets me that people really don’t care here and that is why India is a giant dump ..... piss , shit and garbage everywhere . Good luck with that :( 



We climbed into our spots on the bus and PK was there probably hoping for a big money making day and he offered us to do some bullshit in Agra with lunch instead of going out of the city to visit this palace which nobody gave a shit about anyways . When the offer went out we all said no and he put his head down and left , we didn’t tip him and we left .... oh yeah everyone expects tips here ... everyone ! We were all fed up . We took off and left PK in our dust ..... honestly we just wanted to get back to Delhi to eat what we want and have a few bevs before we left , that is what I gathered . There was beer on the bus and we were feeling a bit better . My voice is gone and I’m finally keeping food in my stomach :) oh and by the way the name of the place we went to visit is called Fatehpur Sikri which was about an hour and a half drive out of Agra . When we arrived we were greeted by our new tour guide and nobody cared about this guy lol . Didn’t even catch his name and I don’t think many of us paid any attention to him or his boring stories :) it was raining and for once the air felt nice to breathe . Instead of taking a history lesson we made this into an adult playground but first we had to fight our way through the hawkers who continually tried to sell us the same useless shit . I tried to find a flag patch for my bag and once again had someone try to take me for a ride which I was not about to go on .... when he got me to his store I told him he has 15 seconds to produce the flag and he still tried to sell me some hand crafted garbage ... 15 seconds passed and I left . Does this sales pitch work on anyone ? It must since they keep selling this crap ๐Ÿ’ฉ 



I left an Aston Villa Toronto Supporters club on the back of the bus that drove us around in Fatehpur Sikri and then got on our bus back to Delhi .... our driver offered to stop for lunch and as soon as we pulled up in the middle of nowhere to another tourist trap lunch stop everyone started yelling NO !!!! That shit ain’t happening again and we instructed the driver to stop us at the next place with multiple restaurants so we can grab snacks .... I don’t think anyone wants a curry at this point hahaha ! When we did stop I bought some pop and a pack of gobstoppers and that made me feel sugar happiness and then I fell asleep on the bus and next thing you know we were back in Delhi .... oh yeah that last tour guide had a moment of awkwardness as he stood saying bye and zero fucks were given and just as many tips . He left dejected too . Fuck him ! Lol . Sorry for all the cursing but we are all fed up . At the end of the bus ride we did tip the bus driver and his little gimp hahaha .... remember the guy that pulled my bag off the bus ? Yeah those two deserved a bit . I tossed in 170 rupees and I’m sure they collected a nice littl haul from us and I’m sure they aren’t sharing it with anyone but honestly I will never see these people again so who cares ? 



At the Holiday Inn I was separated from Nick Onslow :( miss ya buddy ! And I ended up sharing a room with Philip and Arri , they put us in a room with a king size bed ? Just one bed ! I wasn’t having this so I went downstairs and had to explain that I wasn’t interested in having a threesome with 2 other men and they switched our rooms while we began to have a few pints in the hotel bar . After a bit we moved to the Italian restaurant where I had some gnocchi which wasn’t spicy and was quite ok and I shared a bottle of white wine with Arri . Jacobs Creek will do and when that was done I used up all my rupees and we moved back to the hotel bar ..... before I left I paid for a round of beers with my credit card and snuck off to bed .... apparently shit went sideways with a few others and they pulled all nighters . I’m glad I called it a night after the Hamburgers left to catch their flight . Nice meeting you all ! See you in Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ. Had a nice chat about the reality of India with Philip and then we both passed out . Tomorrow we fly back to civilization lol ! 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Taj Mahal



Got up bright and early and met up with the gang in the lobby to get on our bus for a day of tourist activity . The main reason we started so early was to see Taj Mahal at sunrise which we came close to but it was a few hours after .... we are a dysfunctional bunch and someone is always going missing :) isn’t that right Hamburgers ? Lol ! It’s ok you have time to smoke hehehe , I once was a smoker too so I can understand . We are staying about ten minutes away from this great monument to love ๐Ÿ’• if you’ve been there you know what I’m talking about . Can’t remember if we met our tour guide yesterday or today but regardless his name is PK which is fitting in more then one way as these two letters together in Hindi is sort of a slang for drunk guy and as all is hockey players know what the other meaning is ... PK Subban :) I don’t know if I trust this guy ? I do have trust issues with anything to do with tourism anywhere around the world as it seems this industry brings the slime balls out to make money .... everywhere ! 



After fighting our way through the beggars at the front door of our hotel trying to sell us everything under the sun , we get to our coach and head off through the very filthy disgusting streets of Agra .... I’m not gonna butter this up . India is disgusting . The people don’t care about the environment at all .... piles of garbage everywhere . I mean everywhere .... then you get to the gates of the Taj Mahal and everything seems a bit cleaner . Monkeys all over the place grooming themselves and generally not giving a crap where they are , they really rule these streets here . Some look more human then humans to be honest . Going to the Taj Mahal was definitely one of the highlights of the trip so far and PK was very knowledgeable and wasn’t boring in his descriptions . We took our sweet time there meandering around in awe of the beauty and there was no one around to hassle us which made the experience even more pleasant . I was hoping to get my gear on and sneak a pic here but it was impossible ! Only real chance would have been on the other side of the dump of a river where homeless people seem to rule . Not happening :( I wasn’t upset or anything as I was kinda told this is the way it is .  So don’t expect some crazy pic of me to go viral this week like that pic in front of the Pyramids of Giza . 



After we left Taj Mahal I saw my first leper :( yeah leprocy is a thing here . We all were freaked out and took two steps away from this poor fella .... felt bad for him but jeez that was a horrible sight . Next stop was the red fort (?) can’t remember the full name but it was pretty interesting learning about all the kill zones in this impenetrable fort . As we walked through PK explained everything and how people would be killed if there was a siege . Lucky them :) that burning oil is not the kinda oil I would want rubbed on me on a hot summers day . From the sounds of it not many people made it that far in to experience the giant boulders and there was even a strategically built wall to keep elephants from charging . Sounds cool ? Yeah it is ! 



There were chipmunks scurrying around everywhere and they were kinda docile. Not what we are used to back home . They aren’t darting around and they aren’t really scared of humans . We also saw some big ass ants that were pretty scary and the whole experience reminded me of something out of an Indiana Jones movie . 



We walked around quite a bit and it was time for lunch and this is where I’m pretty sure PK raked it in .... we ended up at this outdoors roadside tourist trap for a lunch spot . I knew it off the bat when the snake charmers showed up and someone was playing a sitar (I think I spelled it right ) anyways you get the drift . Some of the lads started chugging lagers and I was kinda grumpy because I’m so sick of Indian food . All I wanted was to eat somewhere with selection .... I ordered a chicken fried rice which barely had any chicken and wasn’t good at all . Pretty standard for India if you ask me . I’m not feeling well still and the dry blood is still collecting in my nose from whatever happened to me in the Himalayas . After lunch we boarded the bus and went to the baby Taj . 



It was nice there also but really not much to see once you’ve seen the real deal . Don’t get me wrong , if you’re there you should go and we did . We even took our shoes off to go into the mosque where some of the guys tossed money at some homeless people down below which is where we saw old people hitting kids for the money then grinning with all their collection of bills :( its sad and I really regret seeing that . The river behind the baby Taj is filthy yet seems to be the lifeline for many with farmers walking their sheep and cows wandering and kids playing in this filthy water way . There is not much beauty in India . I am gonna be blunt about this . Outside of the monuments all you will see is begging and garbage . That’s that . A few of us spoke about how to fix it and the only way would be to educate the people . I’m not sure they realize what they are doing to our planet . But I do know what they’ve done is probably not reversible . I don’t think people wake up and think about cleaning their yards here , ever !  They just throw garbage freely everywhere , and piss and shit everywhere . Zero fucks given . It’s horrible . 



After the “baby Taj” we were asked if we wanted to go to a market which was received with an astounding no from the better part of the group and then asked if we wanted dinner organized which got a louder response of NO !!!! I think everyone caught on to the trickery and I’m glad everyone said no . We got dropped off at our hotel and everyone went into chill out mode . I went out with a few of the group to get a bank machine across the street and that was an ordeal . Crossing this road is scary business . While I was in the bank some of my friends got us lured into a shop with the hopes of finding me a flag for my bag , I of course was skeptical and for good reason . Immediately when we got into this jewellery shop I was told that they had the patch for my bag 100% and was asked if I wanted to see jewellery and fabrics and if I wanted tea and and and ..... so by the time the flag came out it was one of those cheap cloth ones on a stick which they fully knew I didn’t want but still offered to cut the flag to fit my bag . All I said was “you want to cut your flag ?” And next thing I was bee lining it across the street to go back to my room . I’m sick of this shit . 




That night we went to Pizza Hut and yes you guessed it .... it sucked ass ! I ordered a Miranda drink which took 15 minutes to get and I ordered chicken wings which sent me running to the toilet where I gingerly made my deposit .... it’s been about 6 days since I’ve kept food in my stomach and I’m starting to lose my voice now and I’m actually spitting up blood . I neeeded some much needed rest . Hopefully I don’t have any major health issues but regardless I’m not gonna find out here if I do .... if anything I will wait until I get to Germany or when I go home in 10 days .... I told Kathleen that night that if I die to make sure to get my body home . Yes I do feel that rough :( 



Leaving Ladakh



This is a few days back now . Time has flown and there has been barely any for personal use .... let me explain . Today is the 12th but what I’m gonna write about now is the 9th of February . That morning I woke up in Ladakh feeling like dirt and went down to the breakfast area for some fruit and juice with hopes and dreams of it staying in my stomach . All I was dreaming about was my toes getting some feeling back from either the altitude or the diamox that I had been taking to battle altitude sicknesss . We were all rallied in the front to check out and get our bus and some teams were kinda shafted by their organizer (we all know who ) and that had nothing to do with us but let’s just say someone pulled a fast one . Gotta be careful who you book trips with and if you ever want to book a hockey trip I would say that Rainer Schmid is the best in Germany and won’t let you down . When we got to the airport chaos began .... it’s the only airport in the region and due to the fact this is a disputed region there are a lot of military personnel . We had to show our passports to get into the airport with our ticket . When we got passed that we put our bags into scanners and I was asked to put my backpack through even though I said it was my carry on .... nobody cared . The bag was tagged as a checked bag even though I said otherwise . When we got to the check in counter we decided to weigh our bags and keep track of whose bags were heavy because some people decided they didn’t have to pay extra on the way in .... we know who you are :) and their bags were definitely much heavier then everyone else’s on the way out too . My bag was 2 kilos over and that is what I offered to pay on the way in .... one guy had 40 kilos but still only paid 2 kilos over . Tisk tisk :( its ok Rainer paid for you .... no complaints . 

After that ordeal we had to fill out a form to leave which all the info is in my passport anyways ? Just open the dam book lol . Next we had to clear another security and at that point my backpack was flagged as a checked bag because of this sticker on it that I didn’t notice . Security made me go back to the check in desk and there I explained my bag was a carry on and they believed me and took off the sticker and put another tag on . Back to security , they checked for tag and now I’m in the boarding area with everyone else . Now we are told to go outside to verify our bags ?? Wtf ? Ok so I went out saw my bag said it was mine and found out they wanted me to verify everyone’s bag . Hogey was out there with me and realized I was stressing out .... partially from being sick but mainly because this is absolutely ridiculous and I don’t do ridiculous so well hahaha ! I needed a coke so I went to the counter and asked for 3 for myself and a couple of the lads .... the guy wiped them down with a rag I can only say made the bottle dirtier . It was disgusting . People here don’t get the cleanliness thing we expect in the western world  .... they try but really they don’t understand to the fullest and I don’t mean to be offensive to anyone but this is a third world country and people really don’t care as much as we do in the west . Our plane was boarding (finally) and there was one last security check before we entered the bus to take us to the plane ..... let’s hope the compresssed air onboard helps with the pressure from the altitude ! 



The flight was short and simple and all our bags arrived promptly at the airport in Delhi and we boarded our tour bus to go to Holiday Inn in Aerocity to drop off some of the hockey bags before leaving for Agra . The guys on the bus had no clue how to pack our bags and left the goalie bags until last which was a bit frustrating because they wouldn’t listen to any of us and our suggestions .... and this time it wasn’t just me suggesting ok . I know everyone thinks I’m the one to complain but if things weren’t f’d up then I wouldn’t have a reason to complain :) when we got to Aerocity the same ding dong grabbed my bag out of the back and took it off the bus ? I told him to put it back on and he shrugged his shoulders .... I wanted to kill him . 



We got back on the bus and started making our way at Agra which is way further then I thought . Most of us took naps on the ride and I think we arrived there by 8 pm or so .... could have been earlier . Only thing on all our minds was getting food and having some drinks . We got our rooms and convened back at the hotel bar and chugged beers while half the team ate .... I found out there was a Domino’s Pizza in walking distance and we went over to put an order in and a couple guys jumped in a tuk-tuk and grabbed 24 tins of Kingfisher which is an Indian beer ... it’s not bad for a lager . No such thing as IPA’s in India :( can’t win em all . When we had all our food and beer we headed back through the madness and across the street over to our hotel and we had an impromptu hotel room party in my room . My neighbour was not very pleased but who cares ? It’s a Friday night ! Those pizzas we ordered were .... crap ๐Ÿ’ฉ nobody finished their food and it sat in my room for the rest of my stay lol ! The night went late and around 3 am I had to let everyone know it was time for bed . Sorry guys , we have an early tour tomorrow .