Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hit the bench kid

Another rough and tumble week in Trondheim. I somehow lost my mind and decided that it might be fun to join the Nordic soccer team for their winter indoor soccer practice. This "practice" vaguely resembles soccer in that it involves kicking the crap out of a soccer ball and running around like maniacs in a tiny gymnasium for an hour and a half. Being somewhat fragile and of an age where brushing my teeth can cause an injury, I knew my chances of surving even one practice were slim at best. I did however think that I might last more than 3 minutes before I had to stop due to excessive bleeding. There were some wooden benches lying on their sides pushed against one side of the gym. I was vaguely aware of them when we started playing, but I really got to know one when I ran backwards into it, tripped and turned over just enough to do a perfect faceplant right onto the edge of the bench. My chin took enough of the blow to keep my front teeth from being knocked out, but I think the amount of blood caused some concern amongst the remaining healthy players. Lasse went and found some paper towels, and after a few minutes I was able to get back out there and play. We only had 6 people to play 3 on 3, so I knew if I didn't keep going that the other guys wouldn't be able to play an even game.
I actually did pretty well after that, considering my age and the loss of blood and all. I scored a bunch of goals and actually had fun. I looked like I had spent a few days in police custody the next day though. I have a nice row of bruises from my chin down to my knee on every body part that landed on the bench. I'll try again next week and hopefully I won't be as clumsy this time.
The next day was my birthday (47), so Joel and Leif and Cletus and the crew from work took me out to a bar down and Solsiden for pizza and beers. We had a lot of fun, except for Hans, who had to wait about 40 minutes for his pizza bread to show up. We told him it was because they could detect his Swedish accent, but that could just be a coincidence. I wandered home way past my bed-time, but I still made it to work almost on time on Friday. Friday night was another pay-day beer night courtesy of Nordic, so I went down the micro-brewery and drank even more beer for the 2nd night in a row. I hate to give up any opportunity for free beer here, especially if it is someplace that doesn't serve Dahls...Today I am just trying relax and recover from the birthdays and beers and bruises.
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Back to Spain

I was back in Málaga Spain again last week for work. This was my 2nd trip to visit the same company there so I have the routine down. I had the same flight schedule, the same flight attendants, stayed in the same hotel on the same floor. I can recommend the Barcelo Hotel to anyone who visits Málaga. It's a beautiful hotel build a couple of years ago right on top of the central train station. The bottom picture here is the inside of the train station taken from the 2nd floor of the hotel. The middle picture is part of the lobby of the hotel, which is decorated in a very modern design. (check out the metal slide that goes from the 2nd floor down to the lobby :)
Málaga is only about a 2 hour drive from Gibraltar so if I go back again I would like to make a little side trip to see Gibraltar. I've read the whole series of Patrick O'Brian "Master & Commander" novels, and Gibraltar plays an important role in many of the sea stories so I'd just like to see it sometime.
The engineers at AT4 wireless take great care of me when I'm there. AT4 has the most female engineers I have ever seen in one place in my life. It was somewhat distracting but somehow I managed to focus long enough to get my work done :) They even found a vegetarian restaurant in walking distance of the engineering building that we went to for lunch both days. I didn't get to walk around the city as much this time as I had a bit more work to catch up on than last time. I did go for a nice run along the beach boulevard in the evening the 2nd day I was there. There is a very wide sidewalk that goes for several miles along the beach which is great for running and walking and cycling.
On the last evening I was there I stopped at a place that had outdoor seating and a menu that said "pizza" on it. Seems simple enough. When the waitress came I ordered a beer and then I asked if there were any pizza's with "no carne". "No" she said at first, then she pointed to a "4 queso" pizza on the menu. I said "Oh - OK I'll take one of those." A few minutes later she comes back. "We don't have that one". I was a bit confused, thinking that a restaurant that advertises pizza doesn't need to HAVE the pizza - you MAKE the pizza.
So I couldn't figure out how they could make a pizza with meat on it, but they couldn't make one without the meat. Then my pea-brain decided that they must be selling pre-made or frozen pizzas of some sort, so after another minute of gesturing and pointing I gave up and left without the beer or the pizza....I'm starting to figure out that in places that have a lot of tourists like Málaga, you have to go off the main streets to find the places that will actually try to serve you decent food. The busy places in the tourist areas will just basically throw anything out there figuring that you won't be back anyway. And usually they're right!
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