Wow! Three teams in less then three months, I’m trading teams faster then Michael Finley chasing the NBA championship (he got his ring so maybe that will mean good things for me). I’m pretty happy to get out of Hungary, where I felt like I might be kidnapped and sold like the movie “Hostile” (a horror movie based in Eastern Europe where people paid to kill Americans in unique ways).
I can’t begin to tell you how unprofessional that team was. Starting from day one, I could tell it was not going to be the best situation, when they dropped me off at a restaurant to eat with two players that were on the younger team and spoke very little English and said “you know how to walk back to your apartment right?” I was given no schedule the whole week I was there, also no advancement of money to get drinks or snacks at the apartment. I was beginning to understand why the other American started acting crazy and was released. There was not even a weight program; the coach came in and said “do whatever, we leave in 45 minutes”. The town itself is not a place you would aspire to live (No offense to the Hungarians making a living there). It is a very small, two stop light town (After eight PM comes a two yellow flashing light town). There is a fog that moves in every night but smells more like a burning forest. They only have street lights on the main roads, so I got a good view of the big dipper every night (well when the smoke/fog/smog was not too heavy). It was defiantly a good learning situation coming from France to Hungary. Next time I come to a place like this I will be out of there faster then the cubbies freefall out of the playoffs.
Of course my trip to Kormend would not be complete without a messed up story. Can you guess what they took me and the other American to Budapest in? (if you said a mail truck then you are right). Yes, a three seater TNT global truck filled with boxes. They could barely find a place for our luggage. At least this time I was able to speak to the person next to me. I stayed one night in Budapest in a 36 Euro room that was actually really nice. The desk also catered to me by hooking me up with internet. I walked down the block to a family restaurant, and ordered a steak. The steak did not arrive until I touched down in Sweden, but it was worth the wait (sarcasm mother). It was a very inexpensive meal as well. I had 2 teas, soup, steak, and a pancake dessert all for less then 15 euros (I would have included bread since I ate like 5 big pieces, but I think that was complimentary).
The flight to Sweden was short and sweet. The airline did not offer any free beverages on the two hour flight (I was a little parched). When I arrived in Sweden I was welcomed by the sight of my own breath. It is flipping cold here already. I know some of you wish it was that way in US, but I’m not ready for this much cold yet. I need my nice, chilly but mild autumn night. After the hour trip to Saudertalje, I met with the coach. He is a really straightforward guy witch I respect. He explained to me the tax laws in respect to Americans in Sweden. He talked to me a little about the system and that I had two days to show him what type of player I am. He is looking for someone who will fit in his system, but not complicate other pieces he already has. It is a very complex situation with Americans playing in Sweden. They can only have Americans for less then six months in order to avoid paying more on taxes then they actually pay the player. This would mean if I make the team I would actually fly home until November 19 and then come back in hopes to finish off the run and get the team to the championships. I have practiced well and I feel this is how the situation will end up. This situation would be nice, Sweden is a nice country and everyone speaks or at least understands English which is a major difference from the other two destinations. There is another player in Sweden from Butler, Thomas Jackson. He graduated two years before I attended Butler, but I have played with him in the summers. He is a very good player and person so hopefully I will be able to meet up with him sometime. I have contacted him to see if we are close at all.
Of course I have been way wrong before and if I am again, then I will see what the next destination in Europe will be.
Loren had already changed his plane ticket to France and now is arriving in Vienna. He turned around and bought a ticket to Sweden. He is arriving on Saturday and will be here for a week. So no matter what happens I will have an opportunity to do some sight seeing with him for a week, which will be kind of nice. I would much rather be playing on a team, but you can’t beat free vacations to Europe. There are a number of options we are considering, and with him being a world traveler already we should be able to do and see some sights pretty in expensive.
There seems to a pretty good chance of me coming home for a little bit, which would be nice for me as I would be able to set up some things for the tournament I would like to put on in the summer. Plus I have some other things to get which would help out over here. Sock cap and gloves are on the top of the list (team issues a jacket). Plus I would be able to see a couple Butler games and eat some Halloween Oreos, not to mention seeing the family and girlfriend ;)
This is BC gone for now, But may see very soon