Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What’s That Smell ?

That flight sucked ! And the air I had to breathe when I got off the plane sucked the life out of me . Thought I was gonna puke ๐Ÿคฎ. It’s the smoggy stench of death that slaps you across the mouth that gives you your first impression of India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ but honestly I haven’t really smelled that smell again so I don’t know if a) I grew accustomed to it or b) it just smelled bad in that spot .... regardless I was dead beat and a bit drunk when landing . Guess all those extra glasses of wine I was given helped ease the pain of flying Finnair . I know I was complaining a bit in my last post but before you pass judgement on me I need you all to realize that their shot service was extended to 4 of the 5 other team mates travelling with me . 

When we got off the plane we had to go to the e-visa counter to get through customs which was no problem and next adventure was getting our luggage . I found my bags first then I went to the carousel and my team mates showed up and the bags were already through but their bags were nowhere to be found . Yeah tell me about it ! Here in India I don’t expect things to be as on point and organized as things usually are , I mean it’s India right :) only my bag myself and Philip had our carry on because we had backpacks while the rest had small carry on luggage which Finnair wanted to put under the plane . I specifically heard Timo asking if the bags would go through to Delhi and the guy said yes .... unfortunately that didn’t happen did it ? Nope ! I felt bad for everyone and things got pretty testy with the gang being sent from one desk to another we quickly realized that things were gonna be difficult here . It was pretty warm out and I’m sure we all needed a shower and at least a nap but that had to wait as we had to catch a taxi to fit all our bags in . 

Of course we got ripped off by the taxi , pretty standard in every country around the world as we all know the majority of taxi drivers are pure scum :) I said most as I do know a few that do have some morals lol ๐Ÿ˜‚ Rainer made a deal with the first driver and paid for both taxis and before the second one left someone came to the car and said we must pay 1200 rupees which we did no problem and we tipped the douche after too hahaha . Oh yeah can’t forget all the helping hands around that helped put one of our hockey bags on top of the taxi who wanted to be paid .... I refused that as I know better and let’s face it , wtf are you doing helping people at the airport if you don’t actually work there . Get a real job wanka ✊๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ
This is nothing new in any 3rd world country . People are looking for a handout for offering help that is never asked for or really needed . It’s a total scam . 

A bit stressed ,tired and now after the wake up call with bag going missing I am not drunk but feeling hungover . I know , poor me right ? We got to our Ibis Hotel in Aerocity and I didn’t want to go through security without seeing my bag enter the scanner first , call me paranoid if you will but that bag means more to me then most other peoples lives , don’t take it personal ok ๐Ÿ‘Œ. When we got our rooms I just wanted to go upstairs and shower and take a quick nap before Onsey and the rest of our English team mates arrived . So I was a bit angry and got my room first and went upstairs and when I was in the washroom I felt dizzy like the building was swaying or something ??? Has anyone else had this ? No joke I thought I was dizzy and I almost fell in the shower and my brain was telling me it was an earthquake or something . Apparently a couple other guys felt this way too and it was only for a spare moment or two . If you have a theory as to what this is please comment below and let me and my friends know ! One of the guys said this happens to him whenever he is in Asia or the Middle East but I don’t think I ever remember experiencing this . I did get an hour nap in and then Onsey (Nick Onslow ) arrived at the room and I wasn’t about to stay in bed so I got up and soon after we went to the mall for a look round with Darrel Allen who is a Small Heath supporter of all things but he’s an alright bloke :) all my Villa mates will have fun hearing that hahaha . We grabbed a bite to eat and right off the bat here I am in Delhi breaking the golden rule of only drinking bottled drinks and not drinking ice as I had this sugar drink that came in an open plastic cup with ice in it .... I drank it then realized what I had done as I ate my veggie Indian food which was alright but not really my thing . All I can think of is Delhi Belly .... 

Went back to hotel and met the rest of the gang and had a few bottles of beer and then went back to the mall to show them around and I had myself a small chicken wrap . The food at the Ibis is ok but I’m not about to spend all my time there . Evening soon came and it was time to go for dinner so we all decided to go to the Marriott Hotel where Rainer is actually staying but never came downstairs as he was wiped out too . Food was great but a bit pricey . I had a water buffalo steak ๐Ÿฅฉ. Not quite need but it hit the spot . Time kinda flew as all 10 of us there were having fun chatting away as most of us know each other and haven’t seen each other in a while . Good times but tomorrow is another day so we had a stroll back to ours and had a couple beers before calling it a night . Tomorrow is tourist day and it’s time to catch some ๐Ÿ’ค ‘s . 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Flying with Finnair

What can I say to start this off aside from Finnair .... you have shite service ! Hope someone reads this from corporate office .... as you all know I’m on my way to India to set a world record for hockey game or tournament played at the highest altitude and I flew to Germany to meet my friends to jump on a flight with them to India after a weekend of good times . Yeah sometimes I can be a bit of a complainer and you probably can tell where this is going right .... stay tuned :) 

In the morning Rainer came to pick us up and we headed to Munich Airport to meet the rest of the gang and we jumped on a plane to Helsinki and on that flight we had two full rows beside each other and that was fine and dandy and then we got to Helsinki and we got pretty drunk in the lounge . That was fun too but then we boarded our flight to Delhi and I got to my seat and there was a child sitting in my seat and I said you’re in my seat . The kid moved and I realized this is a full family I’m sitting with .... my team mates that I spent thousands of dollars to fly here with were separated from me . That’s two strikes for me :( so I asked the stewardess if she could move me before we were finished boarding .... she said she would see what she could do . The woman across the aisle from me had a blank screen and she was moved immediately after she told the airline her screen wasn’t working and I sat there watching this happen ? That’s sucks right ? Is it just me being a baby ? I felt like they made me feel that way and I asked another attendant if I could be moved and I said I was uncomfortable , she went to ask the same woman if I could move and returned to let me know that they had no empty seats yet the seat in front of me had a bit of extra leg room but I would have to pay €60 to sit there .... I hesitated and complained some more and through this whole ordeal the original attendant never came by and never tried to move me so in my angry state I paid and moved immediately . 

I am going to try to find out her name as she still has not come by to talk to me and she never did anything to help me yet as I said the woman that was sitting near me was moved immediately . Is this some form of favouritism ? Is this fair ... I don’t think so .  I am actually still on the plane using wifi that was given to me to make me feel better I guess but this again occurred after I paid €60 to not feel uncomfortable . Now the attendant that dealt with me was actually friendly and I can’t blame her for anything as she was nice and I felt bad complaining to her but she was thrown under the bus by her colleague who I actually the pursor on this flight AY121 . How is it possible that this woman is actually the one responsible for seating on this plane and she doesn’t do her job ? I really hope to get her name so I can post it and maybe Finnair can have a word with her . Maybe then she will do her job ? 

The plane is almost in India now and I’m dying to get off . I will never book a flight with this airline again , I am quite upset the way I have been treated and I think it’s disgusting that she didn’t do anything to even remotely try to remedy the situation . 

Just spoke to the attendant who is being helpful and I asked her for the pursor’s name and she said she can’t give out the name for safety reasons but she mentioned to say it was the older woman . So if you are Finnair reading this please note that your employee is not very good at her job and I would love to formally file a complaint directly against her . I promised myself not to complain about this stuff but it’s really all I have to write about now . I can’t wait to get off this plane and I’m not looking forward to flying back to Germany on Finnair in a couple weeks .... 

Hoping that things get better when I leave this plane ...

Sunday, January 28, 2018


This morning I had a tough time getting out of bed ... stayed up until 5 am and woke up at noon . We were supposed to meet Michael Wolfe aka Wolfey in Augsburg for lunch around 12:30 and that got pushed to 1:30 and that didn’t happen either . I wasn’t really hungover , more tired then anything . Yeah poor me eh hahaha ! I haven’t had more then 5 minutes to chill since I left Toronto and have been constantly on the go since I arrived in Germany . Don’t get me wrong , I’m having the time of my life but at some point I will hit the wall and I think that is today (now) . So wiped out .... eventually we got our ass’ in gear and we jumped in the car and got from Fussen to Augsburg in less then 45 minutes  mostly because we were going around 180 km on the autobahn :) yeah that’s always fun !

We drove directly to Timo’s flat where Wolfey was waiting for us and we jumped into his car and went for pizza . Can’t rememeber the name of the joint but I’ve been there before when I was here last time which is around 4 years ago . Pizza was great and it was great hanging out with Wolfey but he had to jet to go watch his team play in another city and we had to get going to Curt Franzel Stadion which is the home of my favourite DEL club ... the Augsburger Panthers !!! DEL is the top German league and is full of North American hockey players . The level is quite good and very entertaining but unfortunately it’s hard for me to watch games from home because of the time difference and the fact that I have to find dodgy streams to watch them play ... regardless I do keep track of how they are doing and this year they are not doing so well :( 

Today they are playing the Straubing Tigers and they are the last place team . The season is winding down so this is a must win for Augsburg . When we got to the rink I went to the fan shop to buy myself a new hat . I almost forgot to mention that two of Timo’s buddies joined us at the pizza place and we took the transit together .... unfortunately I totally forgot their names and we didn’t see them again after the game but if you guys are reading this , it was nice meeting you both . So yeah we are at the rink , I bought my hat and we were now grabbing a couple beers before getting to our seats . We were sitting near the away supporters and they were all having a good time . 45 seconds into the game Augsburg scored ... kinda flukey goal off a rebound it was batted out of the air and off the goalie while he was repositioning . Not the goalies fault . Soon after Straubing ties it up :( the pace made me believe that I would probably see a fight as a few players clearly were not getting along . 

Second period was absolutely boring . Had more fun hearing the kids behind me swearing in German and I caught myself dancing to the beat of the other teams drums which I thought I shouldn’t have been doing since they are cheering for Straubing so I stopped myself and next thing you know the second period was over . Two beers in , time for a whiz :) then we grabbed this pork sandwich which was really really good and another beer ๐Ÿป. I’m not planning to get drunk but it’s honestly hard to say no to a yummy pint of good lager .... yeah I’m not drinking IPA’s here as it’s not really a thing here . Third period started and we went up 2-1 and then one of the Augsburg defencemen accidentally swatted the puck into our own net to tie the game up and minutes later another bad defensive play lead to another lucky goal putting Straubing up 3-2 . Not looking good . Losing this game will definitely destroy any chances of a playoff spot . It’s too bad they didn’t come back but the last play of the game was a good one but luck wasn’t on our side and we lost .... seasons over if you ask me :( 

After the game we sat around waiting for the crowd to thin out then we started walking and went by the outdoor rink beside the stadium . Really nice ice which was very well lit and the glass on the boards looked brand spanking new . I wanna play on this ice next time I’m here !!!! Timo will sort it out :) I’m sure of it ! We thought about going by the brewery but we are both wiped out so we decided to head back to Timo’s place . Time to do some laundry and repack my bags .... have to be up at 6 am to catch my flight to India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ can’t wait ! Usually I write my blog posts the day after but tomorrow I probably won’t have any time to do any writing so this is in real time . Its around 9:30 pm and I should probably close my eyes in the next half hour . Just waiting for my laundry to be done and I can hang dry my stuff overnight near the heater . 

Today was a good day and this whole weekend being here in Germany has been fantastic . Thanks to everyone involved over these days ! Hope to see you all again . Cheers ๐Ÿป 

Is it fondu or fondue ?

And I got wasted again ... end of story ? Ok I was gonna leave it at that since I slept until noon and I have to get to Augsburg to watch a game . I will spend some time so you can hear about my awesome life . Am I being a dick ? Who cares , I got you hooked already . Take the bait and enjoy my story ok ๐Ÿ‘Œ 

Yesterday we decided to acclimatize for our trip to the Himalayas by going to the highest point in Germany and drinking beer ๐Ÿป hahaha ! No really I’m not joking . We went to Zugspitze which is right on the border of Austria and Germany and what a beautiful view . Couldn’t have asked for a better day , sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in sight which made the view just amazing ! It cost around €27 to take the cable car up and that was a bit cheaper because there are prices for locals and then there are prices for tourists .... good thing I didn’t do tha talking eh ? The ride up is fun and kinda freaky cause it is quite the drop if that cable snaps !?!?! I’m not really too scared , if I die I die what can you do right :0 

When we got to the top I thought I felt alright then I had a dizzy spell and I really felt the altitude . Zugspitze is just a few meters short of 3000 metres which is about 1200 shorter then where we will set the world record . We walked around and the more I moved the more I realized how tough it was going to be playing at this altitude . We decided to spend a few hours up there and time really did fly as we took photos and just enjoyed every last second we spent up there . It was Timo and mamma’s first time visiting there also so it was nice to see the locals in as much awe as I was . Seriously if you are here you should check it out , can’t promise that the weather will be as good as what we experienced but regardless the view is spectacular . Before we left the mountain we had a bite to eat and I had kaese pressknodedl which is a soup with a meat dumpling with a bunch of cheese ... apparently yesterday was pretty cheesey :) It’s a local delicacy in Tyrol . I would totally eat that again . 

We probably stayed longer then planned and yes I got a wicked buzz from the beer I had up there . That’s all part of the training program lol ! The ride back to Fussen was nice . Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great on the other side of the mountains ⛰.... oh well . Timo had a neighbour that invited us over for fondu ? Or fondue ? You decide and let me know what is proper spelling ok . More cheese for my belly :) so we went over to Claus and Insa’s place which is across the road from Timo’s and we were greeted with some nice beer and yummy food ! It’s been years since I had fondu ( I’m going with that spelling ) so that in itself was an experience . We brought over the Gretzky’s whiskey I brought and sampled it with Claus and next thing you know we were tasting a few bottles of scotch and whiskey topped off with a shot of grappa .... let’s just say I had a good buzz . Thank you so much for having us over for dinner .... it was great meeting you both ! 

We went back to Timo’s and the night began .... smashes a bottle of beer while we were joking and having fun with Timo’s hockey equipment and I have no clue how much we drank but I’m pretty sure we called it a night around 5 am or 11 pm on my clock lol ! Blame it on the jet lag hahaha . So much for being in Augsburg to meet Wolfy for lunch :0 . Tomorrow or I should say today now we are going to watch the Augsburg Panthers in DEL action . Go Panthers ! 

Saturday, January 27, 2018


Well here I am in Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช:) arrived yesterday morning from Toronto . Took awhile to get my hockey bags when I arrived . I am pretty sure my bag was the last to show up from my flight and there was even a moment where I went to see if it was lost ! How could you lose a bag on a direct flight though ? I’m sure it’s been done lol ! When I finally got my bags and cleared security I met up with my good buddy Timo Korner . It’s been a few years since we’ve been together but time has not changed us too much and we had some good chats about everything under the sun . When we got to the car I saw mamma :) timo’s mom was waiting there and we all made our way from Munich to Fussen . 

On our way we decided to stop to eat and of course the decision was laid upon my shoulders over what to eat .... Greek food ? Or schnitzel ? Well I’m in Germany so schnitzel it is ! I mean what better way to start off my stay here . Oh I forgot to mention that there was a beer waiting for me in the car too ... almost forgot that you can drink in cars here ... stupid liquor laws where I’m from have stained my brain hahaha ;) the food at the restaurant was pretty good if you ask me and it filled me up enough for our hockey game , yes I’m playing hockey not even 8 hours after landing . That’s just the way I roll ....

When we got to Timo’s place we chilled out for a couple hours then headed to the rink . The other day before I left I thought about getting new laces and I wanted to go to Toronto Hockey Repair but for some reason I was lazy and thought they would be fine for the duration of the trip .... fast forward to last night and I’m in the arena getting dressed and I went to put on my right skate and of course the lace breaks !!! Damn you karma ! What do I do now with no extra laces and this is my first day on the road :( grrrrr !!!! Well I dealt with it ... obviously I had no time since I was on the ice in 5 minutes so a Macgyvered the laces to what I thought was something that would work ... got on the ice and nope ... it was super loose . Time to adjust I guess . 

Before I go on about my skates and the perils of playing with a loose boot let me tell you a bit about the guys I skated with .... Footwarmers hockey is a club here in Fussen that has been around since 1960 ! Yeah that’s quite long for a hobby league club . I actually had one of the guys as a Facebook friend for a few years but we never had met before . Christoph Weisenbach adder me or I added him on Facebook probably around the time when I went to South America with Timo and Andi and from what we gathered we had never met before . Sometimes it’s not that bad accepting a friend request from a stranger and at least now we can say we have met hahaha :) he gave me one of their team pucks before the skate and I handed out a few Ghetto Blaster stickers . Always good to bring gifts ! I mentioned that this was a game but it actually is a scrimmage amongst friends and I’m not sure if these guys play in a league or if they just play pick up once a week or so ? Regardless they can play ! 

Game goes up to 5 and I started off playing crap crap crap . Omg this skate is bugging the shit out of me and I can’t concentrate .... that’s usually when I give up those 5 hole goals :( which I gave up two of those and another complete shitter to lose the first game . I was kinda embarrassed and the other keeper was playing solid to boot . Everything is a factor for goalies ... we sit there alone and I’m telling ya ... the stuff that goes through my head almost always dictates the game for me , so obviously I wasn’t in my prime thinking about this broken skate lace . It’s not the skate laces fault in the end it’s all me . We lost the first game 5-2 and teams switched ends . Second game I got my shit together and started putting together a nice selection of crazy saves and I got much more comfortable but our team couldn’t score on the other goalie who apparently stepped up his game to face me :) we both played really well to keep the game tight and at the end when the zambini was coming on the ice we had lost the game 2-1 I don’t love losing but I was very happy with the way I played at the end . 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Bye Toronto

Bags have been packed and gear is dry but my bag still weighs a ton . Woke up today to hit the ice one last time and get some wind sprints in and spent my last day in Etobicoke with my amazing lady . She knows I love her :) the day flew by ... got my bags packed then pulled stuff out as you do ! Took my last shower before I called uber for my ride to the airport and I noticed it was a Honda Civic coming .... it’s a hatch back . When it showed the driver had stuff in the back and he said he couldn’t fit my bags . So he was supposed to cancel right ? Nope he took his time and waited it out so I would cancel and get billed .... so I called a taxi . Say what you want about taxi’s but at least when they show up they get the job done . Oh and that uber driver finally decided to cancel and tried sticking it to me .... so I disputed it and it has been reversed already . Talk about shady eh ? 

Driver was from India so he was over the moon telling me about India :) this is gonna be a great experience . When I arrived at terminal 1 I went to check in and for some reason was put into the express lane , can’t complain ? So I get to the counter , put my happy face on which isn’t hard now that I’m not working and threw my bag up on the scale ... 23 kilos is the limit I think ? Well my bag is 27 kilos :( lady at the counter was super cool and said that she didn’t know it was heavy and sent me to oversize baggage .... yeah I got lucky . Checked that in and was asked about the hand warmers ... apparently if they are not air activated they are not allowed on the plane .... thankfully mine are air activated . This is all new to me . And yes of course I’m taking hand warmers to the Himalayas ;) but I left my sleeping bag and my gloves behind hahaha ... I’m gonna rent a bag instead of carrying it around the world and I will just buy a pair of gloves and ditch them after or something ... it’s India ! Shits cheap there :) 

Now I’m chilling in the lounge thanks to Timo who I will be meeting with in Munich when I land tomorrow morning . He hooked me up with a pass and here I am writing just as I always do to start off my adventures . Things are calm with some acoustic music and all I can think is this is gonna change so drastically in the next day or two !!! I can hear thrash metal as the theme for the rest of the trip and that might be as soothing as this acoustic shit ... yes it’s shit hahaha ;) tomorrow I hit the ice a few hours after landing when we head to Fussen to play with Footworks ... don’t have too much info about these guys but I do know it’s a mixed group with a few former pros and a few beer leaguers . I definitely need to get some sleep on this flight so I don’t feel crazy jet lagged . Yeah even a traveller like myself deals with bouts of jet lag . 

My flight leaves in a couple hours so I have a bunch of time to kill . I am still a bit surprised how quick I got through security and everything ... usually it’s quite the ordeal especially at rush hour times ! The lounge is getting rammed now so I can only guess that I got here at the perfect time . I guess I should eat some free food and grab a beer ๐Ÿบ.... I haven’t been practising enough for that aspect of my trip . Hopefully I can keep
up with the Germans . 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Next Adventure

Been a few months since I’ve written anything ... time flies when you’re working and saving money for your next trip . Nothing exciting to write about while I’m in this state of mind which leads me to this .... now I have something to write about . Guessing you were wondering where I’ve been and why I’ve been so quiet . 2017 was a decent year but I had a lot of empty feelings about travelling .... and honestly I missed my travel buddies which I kinda fell out of favour with but we have reconnected and now plans are beginning to come to fruition . 

You’re wondering what’s the plan . Well originally the plan was to go to Australia in December but then this fantastic opportunity arose and I was asked if I would be interested in going to India to break a world record for game played at highest altitude ? This is a one off ! Rink will be built then donated to a new arena in Leh , India . How could I resist ? The event is being organized by my friends at The Hockey Foundation . Please check out the link and if you can make a donation every dollar helps ! The boards were purchased in Europe and are being shipped over for this milestone event . The Guinness Book of World Records are sending an observer to officially set the record which is not cheap but I’m assuming it will be covered with the $750 USD entry fee that we each have to pay . Oh trust me this trip ain’t cheap . 

Everyone keeps telling me how dangerous this is due to the lack of oxygen , now I’m not gonna say I’m prepared for this and that I’m a world class athlete or something but I feel confident that all the wind sprints I did on ice over the last few weeks should help and if not I have my Diamox which is to help defeat symptoms of altitude sickness . Can’t be too prepared and I highly doubt anyone can say they are fully prepared because apparently India is a country where nothing is safe .... especially your stomach lol . I got my Dukarol for that also .... it’s for travellers diarrhea and cholera .... always wanted to say diarrhea in my blog hahaha . So I’ve done my wind sprints , got my pills , got my e-visa .... what else do I need ? Oh yeah a sleeping bag . Apparently where we might be sleeping might not be a 5 star hotel :) honestly I don’t know what to expect aside for being cold and no oxygen and possibility of stomach cramps . Sounds like a great holiday eh ? 


I’ve had some help preparing for this trip also ... my old pads were so heavy and always were overweight Travelling and let’s face it ... they were outdated so my friends at Toronto Hockey Repair hooked me up with some sweet pads which unfortunately won’t match my teams jersey but will look good with the custom paint job I got on my new mask from Resurrection Custom Painting . I highly suggest dealing with both companies if you ever need new equipment or a great paint job . It’s been fun breaking in the pads over the last few weeks and getting used to a smaller glove but really breaking them in is nowhere as hard as it used to be when I last got a new set of gear which is roughly 10 years ago . 

So you must be wondering what the plan is .... well , I’m heading to Munich this coming weekend to meet my old friend Timo Korner and we are gonna possibly go acclimatize on a mountain and play some hockey with his Eisschlampen team :) and before we leave to India we will go watch an Augsburg Panthers match . If you didn’t know it’s a DEL club which I have been following for a few years now . Go Panthers ! When we get to India everything is planned very well including hotels , meals and tourist stuff thanks to Rainer Schmid and the Rainman Allstars and after we leave India I will Head back to Munich to meet The Tanzmanian Devil aka Andi Tanzer and we will enjoy the carnival going on until I head off to Aalen to meet up with Rainer once again but this time to jump into a camper van to go to Denmark to play in a tournament there :) that will be a lot of fun especially now that I know my buddy from Birmingham (Karl McNelly) will be there also with his Night Hawks team !!!! I am not too sure if Fredrikshavn will ever recover from this disaster lol ! 

You gotta know this is really happening when your room mate is in the local newspaper in Swindon :) way to be Nick . Can’t wait to see ya and before it happens .... sorry for the snoring ๐Ÿ’ค 

Nothing in my life will top this .... for now :) looking forward to seeing most of the same Rainman Allstars that I met 10 years ago (or more ) back in Bolzano . Oh and before I forget .... really hope the Island Monkeys joining us don’t play that Taylor Swift stuff in the “dressing room “ ! I quoted that because I don’t think we will see any dressing rooms hahaha . I’m looking at you Jonesy while I’m saying this :p stay tuned as I will try to post blogs daily along the way .