I’m back after a nice four days in London with Celia. I had a good time and wish it was longer, but then again I spent most of my money and now I’m in the poorhouse.
No matter what anyone tells you, holidays are a professional athlete’s favorite time on the calendar. The games are obviously fun (sometimes), but they’re also really hard work. Our weekly time off typically comes on Mondays or Wednesdays and we rarely get more than one day off at a time. Because of this, most professional soccer players never really get a chance to take a break. I know a lot of people probably sneer at that sentiment and think that playing a game for a living can’t be that hard, and they’re right; playing soccer is an awesome profession. But if you had to run and jump for two hours almost every single day you would see why 4-5 days of not doing that would be welcomed.
I’ve been to London about a half dozen times now, and every time
I go I discover some new things I like.
I’ve never been in the city when the weather’s been bad, so that’s
helped. At this point, I’ve seen just
about every tourist sight there is except Buckingham Palace which has irregular
opening dates. This trip was more about
hanging with Celia and seeing parts of London that the locals visit. Celia has a fascination with outdoor markets
which, no offense to anyone reading, must be a white people thing because it
doesn’t appeal to me at all and no other of “my people” happened to be around
at any of the markets we visited. On the
flip side, I bought something called a Tastecard for 30 pound and used it to
get half off on essentially all of our meals.
Unfortunately, having the Tastecard encouraged Celia and I to eat at
restaurants for lunch and dinner every day and I ended up spending a fortune
even though Celia paid for almost half the meals.
|me at the market. bottom right for those who don't see it.|
Of course, all good vacations are inevitably destroyed by the trip back home. And it doesn’t help when home is in small town Finland. I actually like Vaasa quite a bit, but no one can deny that there is nothing more somber than a flight from a place like Stockholm or London into Vaasa. No one is getting on that plane with a smile. Leaving Tampere to go to London was like a carnival atmosphere at the departure gate. Coming home was more of a funeral march. It didn’t help that Karsten, Grant and I booked a return journey that featured 3 flights. It also didn’t help that two of them were delayed, meaning that we had to stress our connections and didn’t arrive until about 1:45am. And then, as if SAS knew that I wrote a blog or something, my bag didn’t arrive and I was forced to go through the ordeal of reclaiming my lost luggage that didn’t conclude until about an hour ago (3 days after I got back).
But enough about me; the real long-term winner of my trip by a mile was Anthony Dafaa. My favorite roommate’s life got infinitely better because while I was in London I bought a Playstation 3. I’ve been pleading with Anthony for months to split the cost of a PS3 with me and he has denied every time. He claimed he didn’t really want a PS3. Well, now that we’ve got one there’s only one gamer in this household, and it’s not the same as the house’s blogger. I don’t say this to condemn Anthony because I like him a lot, just to note that he was the real winner from my vacation. And he also now has his own controller, given to him by his brofriend J.
Well I guess that’s about it for now. We’ve now come back and had two days of training and things improved dramatically from Monday to Tuesday. I think we’re ready to play and I’m also pretty sure that we’ll have just about everyone available for selection. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a fully healthy squad, but we’re slowly getting there. The break in games definitely came at a good time for us. We play against FC Lahti, who just hired my old Haka coach Juha Malinen. That kind of sucks for us, since the hardest type of team to beat is one who just hired a new coach. Every player will want to prove a point. We’ll just have to counter that and step our game up even more. I’m pretty sure we’ll be a better team than Lahti, but whether or not we’ll be good enough to win tomorrow is up to us. A thank you in advance to any of the Geezers who make it out to Lahti on a Thursday night. It’s far away but those guys and gals have gone further so maybe they’ll be there!