In our last blog, Tina talked about our new kitty Šimon. He has been a lot of fun. He is a very active little kitty! He also poops a ton! We aren’t going to feed him as much because he doesn’t know how to control himself. We had to leave him for a day or so when we left for our trip to Vienna, Austria. He was not very happy with us when we came back. All he did was meow at us. Tina and I felt horrible. It was almost like he was yelling at us for leaving him so long. I never knew a cat knew how to work a guilt trip!
The trip to Vienna was a lot of fun. Tina and I made cookies for all the girls to eat on the way there. The bus ride took about 7 hours with a few stops in between. We drove past Budapest which was beautiful! We thought we were in Vienna because Vacki, one of our teammates, told us we were in Vienna. It was very dark so we couldn’t tell. We thought, “wow that was a fast trip!” Then she said, “Oh sorry, I was just kidding.” We were so mad ;-) Vienna was 2 ½ hours past Budapest. We got to Vienna really late. Tina, Vacki, and I were roommates. We laughed and talked for a bit then went to sleep. Someone woke me up on the middle of the night with her snoring and it wasn’t Tina! (SMH) We had asked her if she did that kind of thing and she said no….
The next day we woke up for breakfast. I had a couple pieces of bread with butter on it. The European style breakfast has been a little different compared to the US. There is always coffee, tea, ham, cereal, and warm milk. Sometimes there are hard boiled eggs and jam. I was still hungry after breakfast, but I heard there was a McDonald's in town so I knew I wouldn’t be hungry all day :)
We went to the gym next for a short practice. This was the first time we ever had practice or a “shoot around” before the game. I’m glad we did because Tina and I got use to the slippery floor and worn down WNBA balls. Shoot around was interesting. We played a game of 5 on 5. Each team had to play zone. I didn’t want to get worn out before the game, but as soon as he said, “No dribbling,” I knew I wouldn’t be tired at all. Just frustrated.
After our one hour practice we had to leave the hotel by 12. The game wasn’t until 6:30pm, so we had a lot of time to kill. We ate lunch at this restaurant in the gym and then we were off to see Vienna. Vienna was a pretty city. We saw their Parliament, Center, and different markets that they have during Christmas. It was a nice city, but I wish we would have had a chance to see other parts of Vienna. We looked up so many beautiful buildings before the trip. We thought we would get to see most of them, but only saw one. It was still nice being in a different country. The people in Austria speak German. It was a good thing we had Vacki with us because she studied and played in Austria for a little bit and learned the language. To kill time we went to good ol’ McDonalds, a very cool park for kids, and talked with different people who spoke English. After all of our different adventures we took a tram through the city back to the gym.
We were so tired before the game from walking and site seeing. Tina and I were thinking, “hope this doesn’t affect how we play.” It didn’t one bit. What affected us the most was the refereeing. Before the game, one of our teammates told us not to talk to these refs because they were bad and would give us technical fouls. We were thinking, “uh oh.”
The other team had two American players and one player who played in America but was from Slovakia. Tina and I both were excited to play against other Americans and to speak in English during the game with them.
The start of the game was crazy! The ref blew his whistle at least 5 times in the first minute of play. Travel…carry…travel…foul…carry… We didn’t know what to think. One girl was literally walking and dribbling and the ref called her for carrying. I have never played in a game before with horrible refs like this. I know we all complain about calls sometimes, or think it cant get any worse, but I mean it when I say, THEY WERE HORRIBLE! Six people fouled out. Six others had 4 fouls. We would talk to the other Americans during the game and ask what was wrong with their refs. They would reply…I don’t know they hate us! We would laugh at almost ever call and talk about it. The fans were going crazy because of the lack of basketball knowledge on their part. My coach got a technical for saying, “Hey, Hey, Hey!” haha Tina and I laughed a lot during the game. I have never felt this feeling in a game before. I actually felt like the other team was sort of a part of our team, and we were all playing against the refs. It was like one big joke on everyone in the gym put on by the refs. I really wish we could have won the game, but it was completely out of our control. Even the other team felt as though they lost. I’m shaking my head right now thinking…. “I don’t ever want to play a basketball game in Austria again.” After the game we laughed and shook hands. I told the Americans on the other team to not worry about this game. When they come to Slovakia they will be able to enjoy the game and maybe have fun. I’m not saying our refs are good, but after experiencing those refs, let’s just say I’m thankful for the ones we have.
*Jen and Tina
Sometimes in life we want things to go our way, but we need to remember that God says in Proverbs 19:21…"Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails."
Pray for God’s plan for your life.
If you want to see more pictures of our trip to Vienna, just copy and paste the following link: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2176041&id=4709921&l=078bb9d371