Friday, October 11, 2019

Team Building

Yesterday I got to spend the day with my Slovakian team mates that make up the better part of the Fox ๐ŸฆŠ Team that Stefan has put together to play in his tournament here in Almaty,Kazakhstan . The plan for the day is to go up to the mountains in Medeu where I’m pretty sure the Asian Winter Games took place at some point . First things first and I need some breakfast and I have no interest in any horse meat at the moment so some fried eggs and borek will do quite fine . Just so you know ... borek is a pastry filled with cheese or spinach or meat and I like them all ๐Ÿ˜† after my belly was filled I went up to my room and got ready . Had a shower and contacted the concierge asking if my laundry was ready . Had to get a load done since I don’t travel with a luggage full of clothes since my one checked bag is my goalie gear which is above the weight limits . Backpacks full of clothes don’t last long ๐Ÿ˜ข the hotel is nice but the service is lagging a bit . It took them two days to come pick up my laundry and thankfully my room mate Walter had a tshirt to give me .... 

When I got to the lobby I was wearing shorts and everyone else was wearing winter gear ? I guess I’m going to a ski resort lol ... I actually thought it would be like my visit to Kok Tobe the other day where it was nice but I was quickly told it would be much colder and there will be snow where we are going so I ran up to my room and got changed ! When I got downstairs and met the team we called taxi to get to Medeu and from there we had to take a bus to Shymbalak (?) which I’m possibly spelling wrong but it is the name of the ski resort but before we do that why don’t we drink a bottle of Slivovic which is always a great way to start the day ๐Ÿคช once we caught our bus we had to then take the ski lift ๐Ÿš  to get to the top where we searched high and low for some beers ...

I am pretty sure the pic above is just the height of the first platform we reached and the peak was roughly 3200 meters which is about 1000 meters lower then where I helped set a world record for highest played hockey game . 3200 is no joke either and all of us were labouring as we walked around up there . We were really lucky because the weather was fantastic and the views were amazing . I told a couple guys that where I live there are no mountains so seeing these amazing natural giants is always an eye popping experience for me . As we wandered from bar to bar that don’t serve beer we came across a yurt ⛺️ where there was this little old lady and a bunch of beautiful huskies chained up outside that were so friendly so we had a tea and she let us try on the local garb and take pictures and we all had a good laugh . After a while we had decided to head back down to grab some lunch , I had a pasta with chicken and mushrooms . It was nice to be able to order what I want as the last few days someday has been making those decisions for us ๐Ÿ˜ค 

The guys were all giving their best effort to speak English with me and I honestly am having such a good time with this team . We were all joking and messing around throwing snowballs when we were at the mountain peak . When we went to catch the bus back down there was a massive lineup so we waited for a bit and when we got down to Medeu we found out that our taxi app was not working in that area as no taxi wanted to make the 15 minute trek so we had to take the local guy who is charging double the price which still amounts to nothing when exchanged . The guys have all caught on that it is my birthday and all these small gifts like not paying for bus and taxi start popping up and it’s beginning to make me blush a bit and it’s so thoughtful of my new friends to be so giving . Our driver was a maniac behind the wheel and squeezed that car into every nook and cranny he could to get us there as fast as possible ... thank god we didn’t crash . 

When we got back to the hotel a few of us hit the sauna ๐Ÿง–‍♀️ and oh it felt sooooo good ! We were joking around there also and really wanted to have some more beers , too bad they don’t allow alcohol in there . After sauna we went to the Asian restaurant next door and everyone came by and we feasted and then a birthday cake ๐ŸŽ‚ arrived and it caught me by surprise !!! Then another cake showed up ๐Ÿคช wow ๐Ÿคฉ! Of course the guys wouldn’t let me pay for my dinner as it seems my birthday has begun a bit early and now it’s time to go up to the bar to drink more but our captain put the idea of switching to gin and tonics in my head and we switched it up and began enjoying our evening as the live music kicked in . The tunes were good and the drinks were strong and overall the mood was excellent and next thing you know we are on the dance floor enjoying the surroundings . I had so much fun last night ... and to think it’s not even my birthday yet lol ! 

Today the tournament starts so I should finish off what I’m writing and thank Stefan and the whole team for being just simply amazing people that made this Canadian boy feel like one of them for the day . Hopefully I can return the favour with some stellar saves , wish me luck ✌️

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