Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Coming to Kouvola...uh, I mean Myllykoski

February 21:
Today was pretty boring but noteworthy because I have now arrived at my next trial with MYPA (mee-pa).  The club is located in Myllykoski, which is part of a group of towns that form Kouvola.  Of course, things being the way they have been thus far in Finland, I had no idea that the club was not in the center of Kouvola.  What that meant was that instead of staying and training in a relatively good sized city (Kouvola’s city center is upwards of 50,000 people in a space about the quarter the size of Indianapolis or Tampa’s downtowns), I was staying in a village of what can’t be more than a couple thousand people.  Myllykoski is by far the smallest town I have visited in my time here.  It makes Valkeakoski seem like a metropolis.
That said, at least I’m here.  After waking up and schlepping my luggage to the rail station, I took three trains and six and a half hours to reach the Kouvola train station.  There I awaited my ride…and waited. 

And waited. 

After two hours finally, mercifully, a player came to the rescue and picked me up.  The player was really nice though and put my mind at ease.  That is, until I got to the place where I’m staying.  It’s an apartment that is connected to the club office and it is a nightmare.  In stark contrast to the nice hotels I’ve been staying at up until this point, this place is more or less a dump.  The electricity isn’t even working is most of the rooms.  I’m writing this blog post from the kitchen, since the room I’m staying in has no lighting whatsoever and the plugs in the room don’t work.  My room doesn’t even have a door.  If I had a normally functioning laptop I could just charge it up and then work from my room, but like a big dum dum I bought my laptop on craigslist and therefore it carries no charge and shuts off the second it’s disconnected from the charger.  Oh well…

Complaining aside, I’m ready to get this trial going.  Tomorrow probably won’t be much as the club just played a match today (they won, 2-1).  Maybe the sun coming up will give me a sunnier disposition.  I hope so, because the way I feel now makes me wonder if coming to Finland was even a good idea.  I had a lot of optimism in traveling over here, but a series of bad things happening has made me wonder if maybe success here just isn’t in the cards for me.  I was a starter with a contract at Haka and they let me go, then I played well and was dangerous in a position of need for Jaro and they let me go as well.  Hopefully MYPA will see that I’m good enough to help and offer me a contract based on that, but even then I don’t know if I even want to stay here.  If I get an offer I guess I would have to take it since there are no others, but I have to weigh my unhappiness against the small salary and relatively long odds of moving to somewhere bigger and better.  But those are tough decisions that professionals have to make.  And I’ve got a ways to go before I can even get to that point.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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