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Tomato Sauce and Line Dancing!

Well week 2 has been anything less than uneventful.

Last Tuesday night, our team manager Angie came over to talk to Shawzy and I about our trip to Stuggart, Germany to get our working VISA, which finally happened on Monday and went as smoothly as it could have.  We talked for about 30mins and at the end of ourconversation she asked us if we would like to go help Ernst (our coach) pick some tomatoes at his farm.  I guess he makes a mean homemade tomato sauce.  We said sure why not it should only take an hour.  Five hours, a few beers, 2 bottles of wine, a couple of pizzas and two different types of liquers later we get home.  We cored the middle of the tomatoes, put slits in them, threw them in boiling water, peeled the skin off and then Ernst worked his magic and we were sent home with a jar of tomato sauce.  We had so much fun that we told him we would love to come back and help out again.  He was thrilled and invited us back on Saturday to make a few more batches – 100 kilos worth to be exact!!!  It was such a random unplanned evening that turned into a great memory!

Ernst and I have figured out the language barrier situation.  It turns out he can speak some French so we now talk to each other in French.  Out of the many conversations we had that night, Ernst invited Shawzy, Angie Frautschi (teammate) and I to Oktoberfest.  For those of who don’t know about Oktoberfest, step out of the rock you’ve been living under!  Just kidding … I actually thought it was just one big beer fest, but apparently it is a huge fair (I love fairs!)  My brother went to it when he was playing in Germany and absolutely loved it!

On Thursday, Shawzy and I decided to step out of our boundaries a bit and venture on the public transportation for the first time alone to go say Hi to Angie, who works at the airport!  We both come from small towns where the only means of transportation when growing up was asking our lovely parents to drive us!  So, we assumed we would have to pay once we got on the bus, but when the bus driver avoided eye contact with us and we saw more and more people just walking on without paying or showing any form of ID, we stupidly assumed it was free.  Twenty minutes later, we arrived at the airport and went to see Angie.  We told her how easy the ride was and how amazing it is that it’s free.  If only you saw the look on her face.  She calmly informed us that there are undercover cops who ride the buses and try to catch people like us who don’t pay.  She said the fine for not buying a ticket is 80 Swiss Francs.  Ooops!  After cruising around the airport for a while, we jumped back on the bus and bought a ticket for 4 Swiss Francs!  Oh and to top it all off … when I first got onto the bus it was pretty jam-packed and I had my back to a few people.  I turned around at one point only to have a MACHINE GUN pointing at my head!!!  Thankfully, he was wearing a military uniform so I knew he wasn’t about to blow my head off, but I slyly kept moving away from him as the bus ride went on.  Apparently in Switzerland you’re allowed to carry guns around, but you’re just not allowed to carry any bullets.

I guess it would only be appropriate to talk a little bit about the hockey over here considering that is my job!  We practice 3 times a week and usually will play 2 games in a weekend.  Our seasons starts September 20th, but for now it’s just pre-season.  Once a month we have a weekend off because there are currently 5 girls on my team trying out with the Swiss Olympic team.  I actually get the entire month of February off because it is an Olympic year and there will be several girls from each team playing in the Olympics.  I picked a great year to come and play over here, eh?  I plan to do a bunch of traveling during that month!  OK, back to the hockey.  It is much different then what I am use to.  We don’t really have any systems and the stretch pass seems to be the go to break-out.  We play the majority of our games on Olympic size ice so there is a lot of time and room to skate compared to college hockey.  Practices are a lot less intense, but it’s almost refreshing to go through a practice without getting yelled at!!!  It’s definitely a different game over here, but after a mentally and physically exhausting college career, I have fallen in love with this sport all over again!

OK OK, one last story.  After practice on Wednesday, Shawzy and I went out for a drink at the ONLY country bar within 100km of Zurich, which just so happens to be right next door to our apartment in Bulach.  It is the smallest bar I have ever been in, but the atmosphere was great.  There were people line-dancing with the biggest smiles on their face just loving life.  I have two left feet when it comes to dancing, but I wanted to be those people dancing and smiling.  It just so happened that a lady named Sue gives line-dancing lessons every Monday night at 8 and she approached us that night and told us we should swing by.  I have tried to take up a new motto while over here and not say “no” to anything for fear I may miss out on a great opportunity to do something new or meet new people.   So, we told Sue that we practice until 10:30 Monday nights and wouldn’t be able to get there until 11:30.  To our surprise, she told us she would wait!  Last night was Monday and last night I learned how to line dance for the very first time.  The bar closes at midnight and Shawzy, Angie and I were the only three in there with Sue and the bartender.  They kept it open until 1am and Sue taught us two different line-dances!!!  I told Sue that she now has three new regulars!  By the time I get home at Christmas, I am hoping one of my two left feet will have turned into a right and that I will be able to teach a few moves!

Anyway, I am finally all settled in at my place.  Shawzy and I have made it feel like home and splurged and bought a toaster.  I also bought a fan because it’s been hot here and we all know I NEED my fan (I forgot my mini portable one at home!)  Everything else was included.  Fully furnished, cutlery, TV, CD Player and there is even an XBOX, but I think I broke that when I plugged it in, heard a loud pop and smoke started coming from the machine!  My parents would be so proud!



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