Anyways, I am going to fill you in on some of the differences I have found between the hockey and lifestyle over here. First off, practice times are alot different over here. Most of the Norwegians on our team have day jobs, ranging from a couple times a week to full time jobs. So, we practice around 6:30 most nights of the week with the exception of Fridays where we practice at 2pm. In the states, we usually had 10am practice and you were done by noon. I can't complain though, we can sleep in as late as we want most days.
As for some of the other unusual things I have found, one of them is the bathroom facilities in all of the rinks. There is only one toilet, instead of the standard two toilets and a couple urinals in most locker rooms in North America. Even our own team locker room has just one toilet which is basically in a closet. So as you can imagine, hockey players with only one toilet to access, there is generally a wait and very often accompanied by an unpleasant smell... The one thing I do love about all the toilets in this country is that the water pressure is great. So, there is never really a back up... if you know what I mean.
Enough about toilets, but I couldn't resist. Moving on to one of the stranger things I have seen in hockey games over here. We recently tied a team in overtime, which meant there would be a shootout. Now in North America, the home team gets to pick first if they want to shoot first or second. Well not over here. Being the captain on out team, I had to meet with the other captain and referee to deicide who would shoot first. The referee wanted to flip his whistle to decide, but the other captain said we should play paper, rock, scissors. I agreed, so we played. (after that we played duck duck goose and capture the flag...well not really but you get the idea of what was going on in my head) I ended up beating him with scissors... and picked to shoot first. We ended up losing the shootout, but I found that to be a pretty humorous way to decide who would go first and now Laura and I have been practicing everyday, so I am ready for my next paper, rock, scissors duel.
Last week we had a practice in another town about 45 minutes away. Our rink was being used so we went to another rink in a town called Gjovik. This was where one of the hockey pools were played in the 1994 Olympics. The other was in Lillehammer. The rink in Gjovik was built right into the side of a small mountain/hill. They used dynamite to hollow it out and when you walk through the main gates, you walk through a hallway surrounded by rock. You can also see the rock surrrounding parts of the stands where people sit throughout the rink. It was a really cool thing to see.
|Walking into the rink|
|Inside the rink|
Now, I want to brag a little bit about my driving skills. The cars we use over here are pretty much all stick shifts. I hadn't tried driving one since high school with Casey Green. He was trying to teach me, but at that point in my life, I was hopeless. I kept stalling and pretty much gave up forever on them. When I got here, I was a little nervous about my 2nd attempt. So, I went to YOUTUBE to watch an instructional video. It did wonders for me. I may have a future as a Nasacar driver now with my stick abilities.
I want to brag once more about Laura.(It's a long year and I need to butter her up every chance i get) She has been making a lot of world class meals since we have been here. She is like Martha Stewart in the kitchen just a whole lot cuter. Last Sunday while the North American guys got together in my room to watch the NFL games and have a few beers Laura and the other "Real Housewives of Lillehammer" made sushi while drinking their wine up in Justin & Blair's apartment. They made California, Philadelphia, and Shrimp Tempura rolls. They were really good. Some of the other meals she has made are coconut encrusted salmon, baked ziti, and even Lutefisk... Well not so much on the Lutefisk. We did see it in the grocery store, but I think we will stay away from that.
|Laura rolling sushi|
|From left to right (Blair, Jillian, Laura, Kyla)|
|From left to right (Evan, Justin, Scott, Gino)|
I hope all is well back home. I miss everyone and am always looking forward to seeing everyone in the spring. Otherwise, see you on Skype.