Friday, October 7, 2011
Hallo! Please forgive me for not posting anything sooner! It’s been a bit of a whirlwind few days, but I can finally say I’m in Austria and I’m doing well!
I feel like I have so much to chat about, but would make this post ridiculously long. So I’m going to try and overview the last few days.
I’ve had to say goodbye to my family quite a few times over the past few years. My initial departure going to Seattle was pretty miserable. Actually it was really miserable, one of the saddest points of my life. Thankfully that all turned around and it became the best experience of my life. Saying goodbye to everyone at college was very, very difficult. Probably the second saddest point in my life. Both times, I cried an amount that I really don’t want to disclose for appearances sake.
This goodbye though, for some reason was a bit more bearable. I was trying to downplay how big a deal leaving the country is and I think I fooled myself. I stayed focused on this next exciting step and how awesome I was hoping it would be. My family had a ‘Thanksgoing’ Dinner since it is one of my fave meals (based solely on mom’s stuffing, delish!!) which was so great! Leaving didn’t really hit me til my last goodbye with Mom at the airport. Having to hug someone then go through airport security makes things so much more dramatic I think. Plus after spending so much time with my mom this summer, we are bffs for sure, it was fitting that she was last. However, I did not cry! I may have had to compose myself for a second, but I felt like a big girl now- I can handle this!
Don’t Mess With Jet Lag, You Won’t Win
My flight left DC at 5:25pm and landed in Vienna at 8:30 am local time. That is 2:30 am on the east coast. Normally, if needed, I have the ability to stay up until 2:30 then pass out, but I am very poor at going to bed early. So, I formulated a plan to try and beat this thing called jet lag, knowing that sleeping on the plane would be unlikely.
The night before I left I stayed up really, really late. LIke past 3:30 am late. And woke myself up around 7:15. My whole reasoning behind this- if I have lack of sleep early, I’d be more able to fall asleep early on the plan.
The plan BACKFIRED. Terribly. I could not get one ounce of decent sleep on the flight. For a good hour an a half I put on lullaby music and folded myself into all types of positions looking for comfort, but to no avail. So now, at 8:30 am I have to do my best, per dad’s instructions, to stay awake as long as possible so I can try to sleep through the night. Not an easy task
After getting through customs (which gave me a mini heart attack only cause I didn’t know where to go) I met our technical coordinator Mathias Klems who is an older man that has a ton of energy. He was so welcoming and his English was very good, thank goodness. We went straight to the club’s stadium where he got me a bunch of gear then headed over to my apartment. This is the first time in my life that I’m living All By Myself! (cue music) It’s a cute little studio. When first entering, you walk into a little kitchenette room. To the left is the bathroom, and straight ahead is my room. It’s a little bigger than my first college dorm, but I don’t have to share it! That makes a big difference space wise. I came in with really low expectations so I am quite pleased!
The rest of the day I got to rest. I went to the little grocery store below my building with Mathias. I’ve never had to look closely at the pictures on food labels before! We also went to lunch… at a CHINESE restaurant. I thought that was humorous. Apparently the team eats there 2 or more times a week. I did a bunch of unpacking and tried to get settled. Once I made my bed though, I just had to lay down for a second… and that’s all it took. I was out cold for about 2 hours until my computer started ringing because my mom was calling through skype. The nap was probably a good thing. I ended up going to sleep sleep around 9 pm and slept all the way through 🙂
Unfortunately, I had to wake up early to go get my paperwork stuff done for my working Visa here. After 3 different stops and a couple hours of waiting, we had it all taken care of, and I can officially work in Austria! That afternoon I headed to my first practice! They were actually a bit hesitant to let me play knowing I may still be very tired which could cause injury, but once I got on the court my body luckily listened to what I was telling it to do! (for the most part)
The craziest thing about practice was it’s all in German. The assistant that has taken on the head coach role while Jamie Morrison (our American head coach) doesn’t know much English. So she tells everyone what’s going on and then one of the other girls will tell me, haha. All of the girls seem to know a pretty good amount of English, hallelujah! It’s crazy trying to communicate with people during and in between plays. And they’re all very good volleyball players. Even if we can’t connect completely through speaking, people know good volleyball, and good volleyball is fun!
Day 3 is actually pretty uneventful. We had a passing practice in the morning then had lunch at a restaurant that’s part of our training facility. We came back to our building, I rested and watched the last episode of GLEE 🙂 then went back for our second practice in the afternoon/evening. And now I’m here writing this!
There are so many little things I want to share but I thought I’d start out with one big overview and hopefully I’ll be updating more often with quicker, funner posts! But so far, so good! I have not had a mental breakdown yet; I’m pretty sure some of my family members are betting on how soon I Skype them crying because I’m overwhelmed. Hope you bet longer than 3 days! 😉
Until next time, Tschüs! (bye!)