Hej hej! I hope everyone survived their week and are starting their weekends off on the right note. After returning from America, I’m now settling into the routine that I had going before the break. Our games have started up again and I wanted to give you all a quick snapshot of what’s been happening in this week’s edition of my Swedish adventure.
Before I jump into the games I wanted to talk about my time at the Bastad tennis tournament. Bastad is about a 25 minute car ride from Angelholm and is known as a destination during what people call “Tennis Week.” Bastad is a beautiful town, located right on the water, which provides a breathtaking backdrop behind the clay courts. I went with Johan and Kalle and met up with our friend Linda who had gotten us tickets. We went during the women’s side of the tournament and it was cool to see ladies from Germany, Sweden, and Spain battle it out. I had never seen professional tennis live, but I can now say I have a whole new respect for the game. Each and every point takes maximum concentration and execution. We were hoping to see Serena Williams, but unfortunately she had to withdraw due to illness. Surrounding the courts is an event in itself. Shops, bars, restaurants, and other entertainment can keep even those not interested in Tennis entertained. Other than watching the tennis, we were able to eat lunch on their yacht-filled marina. Bastad and tennis week is an opportunity for the ultra-wealthy Swedes (particularly from Stockholm) to come down and show off a little. There are outrageous parties held every night and the guys were telling me stories that people would order $2,ooo champagne bottles simply to pour them out… (must be nice right!?) Anyways, my head was on a swivel watching all the cool cars and beautiful people pass me by. It was a great time and a new experience I can add to my ever growing list.
Our first game of the second half of the season was against GAIS, away. They happened to be our last game before the break, so both teams were familiar with what each other would bring. With that being said, both teams found it difficult to break each other down and the game went into the break 0-0. The second half started off strangely, as Matt and a striker from GAIS had a big collision as Matt came out to clear a ball. After getting to the ball first, the striker lunged himself at Matt and went head-to-head in a shattering collision. Matt was fine (thank God), but the same couldn’t be said for the GAIS player. He supposedly was knocked out for 2-3 minutes and had to be taken off the field in an ambulance (ended up with a bad concussion). This called for a 25 minute break in the action, where we were forced to jog and stay focussed on the remaining time left in the match. When play finally continued, GAIS was able to break on us and draw a penalty kick and a red card on our young center back Erik. Up until that point Erik had played well for it being his Superettan debut, at just 16 years old mind you, but after a picking up a dodgy yellow card early the first half, he was put in a very difficult position. GAIS was now up 1-0 and had a man advantage. We got desperate, but couldn’t break through in the 25 minutes of extra time (Crazy right!?). It was disappointing as GAIS was below us in the table and it would have been great to get some separation from them. I picked up a yellow card in the match as well, my 3rd of the season, and thus I was suspended from or next game…
After a quick turnaround, only 4 days later, we had to regroup and focus on taking on Oster. As I had just mentioned, I was suspended, thus leaving me in Angelholm to root on the lads while watching the game on TV. We went behind late in the second half, and as a team that isn’t really built to play from behind, fell 2-0. It was a helpless feeling having to sit on my couch and watch, one that I’m not familiar with and greatly dislike. Luckily, I will be back for the next battle and hope to contribute to a team effort that warrants a good result. As I’ve learned over the years, so much of a season hinges on the word “momentum.” Getting on a roll and putting a string of results together is crucial and something we should aim for in the coming matches.
The weather here has been unreal. The past week and a half has been hot hot hot. Where that isn’t the best for soccer (there was actually a mandatory water break in last night’s match), it is ideal for the beach. I’m in a blessed position that on days that I “work” I get to play soccer and on days that I have off, I get to enjoy all that a Swedish summer has to offer. The weather had brought everyone out and about and the beach has been beautiful in more ways than one. Plus, I actually have a tan line now! I am not longer one of the pastiest on the beach! :) It’s also extremely entertaining to watch the Swedes try their best to throw an American football. Although I’m no gun-slinger myself, their efforts are extremely comical… looks like Jay Cutler out there (BURN to all those Bears fans). I’m really hoping the weather stays like this for when my parents come visit in a few short weeks.
Other than that, things have been quite tame and routine. My college teammate C Nortey has been nearby here in Sweden for the past few weeks so I really want to coordinate a time to meet up with starboy and hear how things are going. I have watched all of the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.” Lez be honest, it’s a little out there, but entertaining nonetheless. I’m looking for a new show so feel free to leave a comment with any opinions. The guys and I were thinking of renting some canoes and kayaks tomorrow (weather permitting) and venturing down the river here in Angelholm, which would be fun. As for the rest of the day, I may go to the stadium later to kick the ball around and just take it easy. For now, I’m taking the last few bites of my blueberry muffin and the last couple sips of my latte and calling it a post… thanks again for taking the time to at least browse my posts and check in. Peace out homies! *Internet High Five*