Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Another yucky flight

Well that was a rough ending to another solid trip but what can ya do ? After that skate in Senden we got back to Rainers as I mentioned in my last post .... took my gear to his basement and prayed it dried which of course it didn’t .... I booked a flight to leave later in the morning from Stuttgart and had to get up around 6:30 am to shower and get ready . Nothing worse then flying a full day and being smelly and stinky and shweaty :( so that shower is much needed . I wish everyone else felt that way but that’s not the case is it ?  Rainer graciously drove me to Stuttgart from Aalen in the morning and that was around 1.5 hours with a slight bit of traffic and when we got there I didn’t really wanna say bye , we had a good trip together and I already missed him before leaving . We really are family ! Anyways I took a couple of his sticks with me to fly home with and left one of mine at his place for future use ... we will see each other in Montreal in a couple months and he won’t have to pay for his sticks this way but unfortunately I have to ... or was it the overweight bag that I had to pay for ? Not too sure but at the airport I paid about $150 CDN for my bags which could have been worse but the woman at the Lufthansa counter was much friendlier then the horrendous Finnair people we met on our other flights . Still haven’t heard back about that complaint . Great service , won’t be using your crappy airline again . 

So as I said I left Rainers around 730 got to the airport at 9 and was on my flight by 11 which was due to land in Frankfurt at the same terminal that my next flight was leaving from to Toronto . That flight was a bit late and it wasn’t bad or full or anything so it was nice . Just kicked back and started thinking about having to play for my Ghetto Blasters club when I arrived and it was tiring thinking about this so I squeezed in some zzzz’ .... when I got to Frankfurt the plane didn’t pull into the terminal and we got onto the bus and headed to the terminal where I dreaded having to clear security but thankfully I didn’t have to and did a bit of a sprint to get to my flight on time with just enough time to buy myself a bottle of scotch for my collection at home . Of course there was that couple that was crying that their flight was boarding in 10 minutes that needed to pass everyone meanwhile my flight was boarding in 5 .... the family in front of me had words with someone trying to create their own line which was responded with a “you could have said that nicer” .... now hold up , you are trying to bud in and you expect people to be polite to you ? What the F ! Anyways I sides with the family and we chased them off :) when I got through security I did get my bottle then I got into the boarding area which was utter and complete chaos .... and for some reason I felt like I was flying back to India and not Toronto ? And everyone was pushy and everyone felt as though they were VIP’s and honestly people suck .... they really do ! What happened to consideration ? Etiquette ? And common sense ? Are these diseases today’s people try to avoid ? I mean c’mon ... wait your turn and line up and be polite and we can all get to our seats that are assigned ! Or maybe is it that person that has 4 bags and a jacket that needs to hog the hole overhead compartment .... I think so . And why don’t the airlines make these people follow the rules they state ? Is it that bad that you have to put your second bag at your feet instead of making someone put their only bag at their feet so you can be comfortable ? Think about it , you’re a selfish pig if that’s you . And I don’t mind telling you so :) anyways yeah I saw a lot of that . 

When I got to my seat there was a guy in the aisle and I had the window then this fat slob of a man comes to sit between us and immediately legs wide open fighting for knee space leaning onto me ... I’m not using his arm rest but he’s so fat he turns and put his back up against me and it was a constant battle for my own space .... I wanted to choke this guy and the guy in the aisle looked at me while this guy was gone for one of his walks and said this is gonna be a long flight .... he was right . The flight was delayed and we arrived more then 1.5 hours late in Toronto and yes this dude in the middle was a stinker .... he obviously doesn’t have the same beliefs I mentioned earlier . Showering must be a weekly thing for this person :( yuck ๐Ÿคข anyways when we finally arrived in Toronto the plane again didn’t pull up to the terminal and we had to get on a bus and our luggage arrived over 1.5 hours later . My game was at 930 and I was supposed to land at 430 and in my head be home by 6 that night .... instead the flight landed at 6 . And I got home by 8 .... I got a rentagoalie for my squad because there was no way I would make it home and even my taxi home sucked because apparently those $40 rides I took for years turned into $55 rides ???? No clue why but I think I got ripped off so no tip for you and honestly after this trip .... tips are earned and not just given away anymore , I’m sorry if you live off tips but you have to do something to get something and this world of take take take has to end . Now ! 

When I got home coughing and choking from the lung infection I picked up in India I decided to order some Swiss chalet and call it a night .... not even sure if I made it to 10 pm .... do the math though .... I left Rainers at 7:30 am and arrived at my house at 8:30 pm which if you add 6 hours is 2:30 am the next day which is a total of 19 hours in transit !!!! Yeah that sucked but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to make these trips happen . 

Before I close off this chapter of my stories I want to thank my hockey family for having me with them especially Rainer Schmid and the Rainman Allstars .... Timo Korner for being real , you can call me a douche if I deserve it buddy :) and Andi Tanzer for showing me a good time in Erding ! Fasching will forever be in my mind Daddy Cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž . Can’t forget the peeps I met in India that we battled our way through adversity to attempt a world record .... notice I said attempt ? It’s not official yet . Thank you Hockey Foundation for letting me be part of your great event ! And before I close this off I would like to say shame on all the people trying to steal others glory !!! You know who you are you lying scum bags . Tell the truth and stop claiming our glory , we all know the truth .... especially the people that weren’t at the event that wanna claim they are world record holders . I won’t even mention your names because you are not worthy .  Fake news is real and that’s all I’m gonna say . 

Last but not least .... congratulations Germany on beating Canada .... boy oh boy did I get ripped into on what’s app that day lol ! ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Gorillas Ice Hockey

Kinda fell behind on my posts and this actually happened on Monday .... what else is new eh ? We got back to Aalen around 4:30 am that morning from Denmark and we were both wiped out . I had some issues walking with some deep bruises on my left knee and we didn’t even bother pulling our bags out of the van . We have an ice time at around 9 pm in Senden which is about an hour out of Aalen . When we woke up it must have been 2 pm or something and we went straight out to eat at Duran Imbiss and I gobbled up that full platter of kebab ! Can’t help it I love the food at this place .... it’s my go to when I’m in Aalen and it’s right beside the old Irish Pub which is closed and it’s odd not going in there to see Servet but that’s the reality of life .... miss it there and it looks like it’s getting renovated to be reopened so hopefully the next time I’m there it will be there . If it was open I’m sure I would have got drunk there as I did quite regularly over the years visiting . After we gobbled our food we walked into the city centre to grab some Aalener Spionle cakes .... translates to the Spy of Aalen which is a great story if you look it up . The cakes are a must to bring home and on most of my trips I would be packing around 6 kilos of chocolates but this trip I decided to come back healthier instead of coming home and gobbling chocolate bars for 3 weeks and regretting the 10 lbs I have to shed afterwards lol . We went back to Rainers after and took a 3 hour nap then woke up and went for a coffee to wake up and head out to meet the Aalen boys coming with us in the van to Senden . 

This game we were invited to was between the Tussa Ice Eagles who I have skated with before a few times and the University of Ulm Gorillas . My good buddy Anton Fetzer is usually their goalie and let me have the honour of playing on a team that can’t play defense as he jokingly put it .... I found out he wasn’t joking really lol . The Tussa guys have all the Aalen boys except for Rainer who thankfully is on my team . When we got to the rink everyone was happy to see me again ... Ralf Dreiseitel it was especially nice seeing you buddy . Anton was the ref on the evening and we were all having a good laugh about India in the room ... everyone loves yak shit hahaha ! A few of the guys follow my stories so it made for some funny conversations with some good questions asked . This arena here in Senden is beautiful ... it has no walls and is exposed to the elements and it snowed a lot so the backdrop of trees dressed in snow was absolutely breath taking . That’s why I wanted our photos taken with the trees in the background as you see above . 

When we got on the ice we had about 20 minutes of quick drills and I was feeling the power from the altitude training which is great and I hope it never goes away but at the same time I was feeling all the bruises on my body .... I’m littered with them and will definitely look into upgrading some gear when I get home .... Toronto Hockey Repair will definitely get a visit in the next week or two lol ! After warmup we did the traditional greeting as you do in Europe by lining up tapping sticks and waving them in the air then we got the game going . I made a few nice saves and the squad was playing quite good in the first period . I think we were tied 1-1 or something going into the intermission .... we played 3 - 20 minute run time periods . The second period you could tell the youngsters on my team were either tired or lost their concentration or maybe just the Tussa guys woke up but I would say most of that period was in our zone chasing and having defense trying to play goal and not generally moving .... it was stressing me out as I was left totally hung out to dry and we went down 4-1 with hardly any possession outside of or inside of our zone . I tried communicating with my team but they weren’t understanding and they weren’t pressing their forwards and doing a lot of flat footed standing around which in turn makes them pylons :( Anton saw my frustration and laughed at me and it made me feel good and I’m sure it made him feel good seeing that he isn’t the only goalie that plays frustratingly with this group . He told me that since they are all students they have never time to gel as a team . Which he could be right and he also reminded me that this was a big challenge for them playing a team that had been around together for years so if you accept that we actually didn’t do so bad . Skating back to the bench between 2nd and 3rd we spoke and he told the Gorillas to stop trying to play goal and to start moving .... 

The third period started off better and the guys/gals were moving more and I was trying to communicate with them more . It helped but still I was left with 2 skaters open in my crease battling on my own at times and having 2 d getting trapped behind my goal ? This stuff frustrates me but I did what I could and made some nice saves and did my best to keep us in the game but with not much offence it was hard to get back into the game and I think the final ended up 5 or 6-2 . Not sure what happened to that first period team but I did bite my tongue and didn’t want to be the grumpy goalie and we all took some nice pics and all the pics in this blog are courtesy of Anton Fetzer who is such an awesome guy . We had a few laughs and then headed to the room , I think we were on the ice for close to two hours and I wasn’t really tired . We had a couple cases of Wasseralfinger beer in the room and I chugged 3 or 4 .... Rainer didn’t drink and was responsibly waiting for me to get dressed but we were all busy munching on pretzels drinking beer and having some good laughs . I always feel so welcomed in Senden with these guys and look forward to going back hopefully in the near future ! Thank you Anton for giving me the opportunity on my last night in Germany to get on the ice with you guys and it was an honour playing for your Gorillas squad for the first time .... they are good kids and I’m sure you can show them how to play a bit smarter with your patience :) and you were right , they don’t play defense lol ! As usual it was great being on the ice with Tussa again and I think that’s like the 4th time over all the years that we’ve had the honour to skate on the same beautiful ice rink together . You guys are very welcoming and I already miss you all . 

We had to get going because we thought McDonald’s was closing at midnight and we were all hungry . We got our orders in by 11:59 pm and I even ordered a hot dog .... had to since I’ve never had a McDonald’s hot dog ... it was ok at best and we all chatted about which fast food joint is better and the guys all seem to like Burger King more .... I told them about Harvey’s and how they grill the food in front of you and they were quite intrigued :) hopefully someday you guys will be here in Toronto and I can take you to try it out . We ate within 20 minutes and jumped into the van and had a few laughs on the way back to Aalen then said our good byes and when we got to Rainers I had to dry out my gear in his basement as I have only 6 hours before I have to repack and head to the airport .... we didn’t stay up much longer and hit the sack .... is there a better way to spend my last night of my trip ? I don’t think so , good people , good hockey , good beer and great atmosphere . Hope to see you all very soon and thanks to all of you that were there .... even the guy I won’t mention because he snuck out of work or something lol ! You know who you are buddy :) 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fatboys Championship Game

We celebrated like we won the championship already but unfortunately we didn’t . When I woke up around 9 am I could hear Rainer outside my window and I knew deep in my heart that he was just coming back to the hotel .... the truth is that yes he was lol ! Apparently he walked back from the city centre after a crazy night where he lost his sweater and his phone (again) like I always say , he brings two phones .... one for using and one for losing ! He only had that bloody thing for 2 days maximum after losing his other phone on our first day in India . Somethings never change and that’s why we love you buddy .  My room mates where in  fine form , Vess was totally sober and Andi took it like a man and battled but young Mikey was in rough shape but decided drinking more would be a good remedy DOH ! Not a great plan buddy :( 

We left the hotel at 11 am as it was checkout time and our game was not until 2:30 pm which gives everyone ample time to sober up ? I was ok even though I drank my face off until 3 am but I’m used to it and I know my limits . Some guys are not as seasoned as I am and couldn’t even play in the final which sucks especially when it’s your top forward and defenseman . I saw the Swedish team that have to play that morning at breakfast and they looked fine .... I highly doubt they went hard like we did . Oh well if anything we definitely won at the bar hands down . We are here for fun but I always have this burning fire to win . The reality was that we would be playing a much soberer team with more skaters then we have . Those Swedes won their game and got to play us in the final . Deep in my heart I know I had to perform a miracle to win this game . The other matches were all on and one by one I saw the teams from our group lose to the other group and you could definitely tell the other group was much stronger . 

When our game started first play of the game turned into a 3 on 0 play .... if there was a defenseman there he definitely did nothing at all to help as the puck moved between all 3 players before hitting the back of the net .... and that’s when I got frustrated . The next goal I had a defenseman standing beside me in the crease trying to play goal .... that went in also . And then more defenseman trying to play goal and screening me instead of playing defense and that’s when I finally flipped my lid and yelled at the guys to let me see the puck . This game was not even close , the entire game felt like we played short handed and when I say short handed I mean 2 men short . The Swedes dominated us badly . I was peppered with shots and at the half we were down 5-0 with 1 shot on their goalie . It was embarrassing to watch my team go from contender to pretender but as I said we still had fun . So please don’t read this thinking I’m blaming anyone for any reason because you would be wrong to understand this in that way .... just saying how the game went . 

When I got to the bench I told the guys not to give up and let’s aim to at least score a goal and please stop screening me . I can’t express how much I hate it when guys try to block shots instead of actually playing their position and honestly the guys did listen and the second period was still a shit show but I got to show my skills .... I’m not joking when I say I probably made the save of the tournament when one of the Swedes had an open net and I came diving across to bat the puck out of the air and right after that I had to make another diving save to freeze the puck . If we played like this all game the outcome would have been much more different for sure . We did reach that goal of scoring on our second shot but that small victory was still no match for the score line as we fell in the championship 7-1 .... I know the stats on the board showed the shots but I’m telling you I faced 40 shots easily and the funny part was when one of the guys agreed with the boards stats and said they blocked a lot of shots again that is not playing defense is it ? Yeah it helps but it’s much better if they aren’t getting the shots off because you are playing your position properly . I know any goalie will agree ! 

After the game we held our heads high and had the tournament trophies handed out and to my surprise I got tournament most valuable goalie which is a great honour considering the good goalies I had to face . I’m sure a few others deserved it as much as I did but I do have the bruises to prove my worth ouch ! Yeah got a stinger on my collar bone and my left thigh has a deep bruise which I’m sure will cover all the colours of the rainbow before it leaves . We were all proud to take 2nd place and then we hit the showers and got ready for our 12+ hour drive back to Aalen . The ride was pretty quiet aside from the first bit when we had a couple beers but after that it was snooze fest . Thankfully Rudy and Nobov were in good enough form to drive and they drove like F1 racers to get us back ASAP ! Thanks for driving guys .... Rainer was in no shape to drive and thankfully yak shit wasn’t shitting so it was much more pleasant to breathe lol . We stopped in Ashausen (hehehe) to grab our bags that our friends from the Night Hawks drove back for us and Mikey and Andi took off in their car making more room for the rest of us . It was a good idea that they drove to Ashausen with their own vehicle because I have no clue how we would have fit everyone and all our bags and luggage . 

Rainer drove after we dropped Bruno , Nobov and Rudy off and we didn’t arrive in Aalen until 4:30 am and we didn’t even pull our bags out of the van . We went straight to bed . Tomorrow we or I should say today we are on the ice in Senden with our friends .... sleep is needed badly . 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Fatboys Nordic Trophy 2018

Woke up feeling refreshed and ready to go play 3 games for my team which is the Rainman Allstars . This tournament is in Fredrikshavn , Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ at the Scanel Arena which is a nice complex with two rinks . One is considered a practise rink . There are also rooms to sit and eat in and the dressing rooms are nice and big . The tournament is comprised of 8 teams in 2 groups and the round robin of 3 games decides which teams cross over for placement .... so winning all 3 games should get you into the tournament championship . The games are 2 - 20 minutes run time periods and there is food provided at the arena for all the players between games . This tournament is very well organized by the Fatboys Hockey Club who are a local club . Most of the teams are staying in the same hotel called Hotel Lisboa which is about a 5 minute walk to the arena and we are able to leave our bags in the dressing rooms over the weekend which makes life so much easier . As I said this tournament is very well organized ! 

Our first game was against a club from Norway ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด by the name of Idda Hockey . We watched them practise last night and they didn’t really impress me aside from their little speedster who I knew would be a bit of a pest :) he’s not a bad guy but on the ice I knew we would have some contact in my crease hahaha . The game went really well for us as we went up 4-0 by the half . When I skated over to the bench someone said I will have a shutout !!! NOOO !!! Don’t every jinx the goalie , omg ๐Ÿ˜ฒ. That first period I might have seen 3 shots and when I went to switch ends I found out that the teams don’t switch sides after periods which is a bit odd but it’s not a big deal . The goalie for Idda was pretty good down low and his main problem was that he went down early and I let my team mates know that they should start shooting high on him and that’s when the flood gates opened up . This was obviously before the half and in the next period Idda came out strong and got a few nice wrist shots on me .... oh yeah no slap shots in this tournament . They did score a goal on a shitty play where we coughed up the puck in our end and that was bound to happen after being jinxed :( I didn’t moan or complain as we went on to win 8-1 and then went back to the dressing room for a shower before watching our locker room mates the Lunenburg Night Hawks with my good friend Karl McNelly play against our next opponent which is the host team Fatboys . If you read my blog you will know Karl is an old buddy from Toronto that now lives in Birmingham and usually has me staying over at his place when I’m there . So happy to spend some time here with him but first let’s see how our friends donin their game . 

Well they didn’t do so well but my buddy Karl stood his ground and played his heart out even though they went on to lose by the same score we won by and I knew watching this game that our match vs. Fatboys should decide which team goes to the championship game . Between games we went into town which was a ghost town and apparently for some reason or other all the shops close for siesta here ???? Weird as it’s normal in southern countries with the high sun but here ??? Ok well we all struck out looking for a tourist shop to buy magnets or patches :( hopefully the town is more lively when we hit the bars and clubs tonight after our players party . Back to the rink to face the Fatboys . 

When we hit the ice there were no pucks for warmup which is ok since we’ve all played a game today and I’m feeling pretty warmed up . I was a bit nervous as I wanted to win and go to the championship game . The Fatboys came out strong and I made all the routine saves a goalie should make and my positioning was great . My team mates played really well and we went up 2-0 before the half and even with a lead you know the home team is gonna come out firing on all cylinders and they did .... they broke my shutout in a very odd fashion as there was a scramble in my crease which lead to Bruno aka Yak Shit for his lovely scented farts diving into the puck and gloving it into our own net .... now before you blame poor Bruno you have to know that the referees blew the whistle before the puck crossed the line so this 100% should have not been a goal and in fact if you ask me it should have been a penalty shot since Bruno did put his hand on the puck in our crease ..... the referee even agreed but somehow still called it a goal . I didn’t get upset or anything and in fact we responded with another goal before they potted one on me that I probably should have had . The score ended up 4-2 but not before some exciting action in our end .... gotta hand it to the Fatboys , they played a great game . Flemming is their coach and is one of the tournament organizers , he is a Leeds supporter and we got on well with our love of English football , after the game he had a great comment when he said your chest is a target that we kept hitting . I said it’s just great positioning and we both laughed . 

We were all really happy after the game and headed back to the dressing room knowing our fate was in our own hands and that if we tie or beat our friends and dressing room mates the Lunenburg Night Hawks that we would earn that spot in the final . After we hit the showers we went to eat and chilled out . The Night Hawks won their second match over Idda Hockey 1-0 in a close game . Their goalie who has only been playing for a couple years played awesome ๐Ÿ‘. Let’s see what happens next as we are losing two of our skaters who are actually Night Hawks but have been playing for Rainman Alllstars and were even in India with us .... Andreas and Stefan ! We are now down to 8 skaters and I know a few of the guys have probably drank enough beer to make this more interesting . 

We had to play on the practise rink which is much darker and the mood there was not the best . When we hit the ice my team mates seemed to take the game really lightly and we actually played garbage hockey compared tom our first two games . I was a bit stressed but then we scored a goal to go up 1-0 and soon after the Night Hawks struck back to tie it up 1-1 .... all I’m thinking is that if we lose we may blow that spot in the championship due to +/- and that would be a nightmare come true . Rainer turned up the jets and scored us a goal then we got another to go up 3-1 but we were not out of the weeds yet as we gave up a penalty shot because of some lazy play :( I thought they would let Karl shoot on me which in my mind is added pressure but instead their captain took the shot . He came in and went across the crease and tried to get a backhand upstairs but didn’t get much on it and put it into my pads while I slid across the crease . We went into win the game 3-1 but we were outplayed and outshot which was pretty bad considering the players we have on our squad . Night Hawks really played to win and deserved more then what they got but it was a good game and now I can say we have booked our spot in the championship game which we have no clue who it will be as there are two games to be played tomorrow morning . 

We started our party in the dressing room where I must have had 5 or 6 beers before heading over to the hotel to change and take taxis to the tournament party . When we arrived we had the best seats somehow ? Closest to the bar and food area and best of all we were in perverts row for the strip show .... yes there is a stripper here hahaha ! Boys will be boys :) the food was great .... beef and chicken with potatoes and salads . All you can eat too , there was plenty to go around . The jagerbbmbs started flowing and I’m pretty sure I blew all my Danish Kroners there .... I had about $100 cdn which is 500 kroners but nothing is cheap in Denmark . To be fair they were selling liquor and beer at much cheaper rates then the Irish pub I ended up in . Remember I mentioned a stripper ? Yeah I didn’t see her as I took a nap during the show .... I wish I was joking as everyone laughed at me for taking a nap in perverts row lol ! Oh well I’m sure I didn’t miss much ? When I woke up we jumped into taxis and that was the last time I saw most of my team mates . When I got to this Irish pub I saw a guy fall down backwards like a tree getting chopped down and the bar didn’t call an ambulance when he wasn’t responding .... they dragged him by his arms on the floor to the other side of the bar where who knows what they did but I never saw that guy again !!?? I guess hey didn’t want to be responsible for serving him so much alcohol or something . Things got a bit crazy in there as one of my team mates who I won’t mention his name did some crazy things .... poured a full pint onto his own head then he tore his shirt off like Hulk Hogan and flung it onto the dance floor as me and the Aalborg team watched in amusement ๐Ÿ˜ณ before we left he attempted to eat a cigarette and it was time to get him back to the hotel . It was around 3 am when we got back to the hotel and I’m praying everyone is ok for the finals tomorrow . What a crazy night ! 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The long road to Fredrikshavn

When we left Aalen , Germany around 11 pm and embarked on this trip I had known it was gonna be a long drive but it didn’t really hit me until I put it into my google maps and saw that it was a 12 hour drive , now that’s long even for Canandian standards ! Regardless here we go :) . After we picked up the first batch of guys near Nuremberg I was fighting to keep my eyes open and I jumped into the back of the van and fell asleep .... everyone was speaking German and that made for a good excuse if anyone asked why I’m sleeping :) we kept stopping at rest stops for coffee and pee breaks which I’m assuming from the quantities of beer being drank was a good idea hahaha ! I didn’t partake in the beer drinking , just didn’t feel like it .... I would like to play well at this tournament and if I can stay sober enough I might just do that . Who knows we will see . 

Around 6 am we rolled into this small town outside of Hamburg called Ashausen .... yea I laughed when I heard the name , a little potty humour ensued as we were greeted by Stefan and Angela . We had some bread and meat and cheese which a few years back I would have complained about but in my old age I’m beginning to appreciate breakfast traditions outside of Canada . It doesn’t always have to include eggs and bacon but bacon does help hehehe . We had a nice chat about our trip to India as there were 5 of us at the table who went on this crazy trip and I would say that none of the people at this table would ever step foot in India again :) yup it was that bad . Hey if you don’t believe me go check it out .... just as everyone has said it will change your life and that’s the truth :( after breakfast we went outside where Rudy played with the very friendly dog named Jack and it was entertaining for all of us lol ! We said our good byes and Andi left his car there and threw his bag into the trailer with the Luneberg Night Hawks trailer which made sense since they have a bit of room ..... Andi and Mike jumped into the van with us and off we went on the other half of the trip . 

We had another 6 hours to drive and I fell asleep again :) I was just wiped out but I made sure to be awake for the border crossing . Always enjoy seeing that welcome sign lol . We stopped off to eat some Burger King and gas up right before the border ... I guess it’s cheaper in Germany . From there it was roughly 3 hours to get up to Fredrikshavn and our van was as definitely full of gas thanks to Bruno aka yak shit . He had some stink bombs rolling out his ass constantly :( and ever since I told the guys about India they kept joking around about curry and yak shit .... I won’t be eating either for a while and yes I pretty much ate yak shit .... remember they were burning it rink side and I was inhaling it while gasping for air , YAY ! 

We arrived in the afternoon and I got into my room with my two team mates Andi and Mike who are both Germans of Russian decent and we put on the Olympics and had a couple beers then headed to the rink to watch an IIHF women’s match between Denmark and Norway . They are having a small series of matches between the two teams here ... Norway won that match and I watched some bad officiating . The called a goal after blowing the play dead ???? Yeah absolute shambles for refereeing. Regardless it was fun watching the women go at it .... there are some gals I would gladly have on my team ! After the game I came back to my room which is now 4 men with our Bulgarian team mate Vess who has brought me pork scratchings :) yeah that made my day . When I got back to the room Mike and Andi opened a bottle of gin and I called it a night . 3 games tomorrow and I need all the energy I can get . 

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


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 !