Did You Say Zucchini Toss?

The first weekend in Finland was anything but uneventful. I am a sucker for the quote section in Pinterest (super soft confession), but one of my favourites is the quote that goes something like: “you should do something for the first time every single day.” I have rollover first-time-somethings for the next couple months. I’ll try my best to give you the best, most efficient recap that I can!

First, on Friday I moved into my apartment. Ville took me to the apartment, I dropped my things off, then went to lunch with my coaches, team manager (Marina from the airport), and another practice player who is also named Ville.. (I definitely could have heard that wrong, as I have heard many wrong things these past couple days). This lunch was one of the most overwhelming things I have experienced as my coaches speak Italian, Ville and Ville (I’m sorry that’s super funny to me) speak Finnish, and Marina speaks Croatian, so there are a ton of conversations going on around me that I cannot understand at all.

After meeting the team, I realized that many of them speak a minimum of 3 languages (Finnish, Belarusian, and English are pretty common), so I told some people I speak Spanish (which I kind of do, but am not fluent in any regard) to fit in. So far, they buy it. But, the team was very nice when I met them and I felt super welcome. Before the sauna party, there were a ton of speeches (all in Finnish) and they all helped translate for me, which was super clutch.

I am going to go on a tiny tangent, because this is just one of the many little stories that are hilarious to me. So, first, this man is taking all these pictures of me, but seriously, he is maybe 6 inches from my face. He just kind of walked right up and held the camera up and asked me all of these questions in Finnish, I think for an interview, so if he posts it to Facebook, it may just be me smiling and looking really confused (the translators weren’t there for this). Then, this other man starts telling me this time next week he is going to be gone, and I ask him where he is going and he says what sounds like a zucchini toss. I thought of Spain and that holiday where they throw the tomatoes, so I am very interested, asking if they throw zucchinis at each other! (In my head I am thinking that this would hurt, but it may be a thing in Europe) It took me 5 minutes to figure out this man is going to Zakynthos in Greece. First impressions are my specialty, people.

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A Classic Mixup

I have finally arrived in Hameenlinna, Finland. There is something incredibly fun to me about being completely clueless and just figuring out a new place. Clueless is/looks like: 1) Thinking coffee is self serve in the hotel you are staying in, only to find out that you are in the back where only the employees are allowed and you are kinda stealing coffee (I paid for it after I figured this out), 2) Tying all of your suitcases together using your jackets you packed because you didn’t know who would be at the airport to help you and now you are moving at the speed of a 100 year old turtle, or 3) Forgetting everything is in kilos here and wondering how the hell you lost so much weight overnight. I was worried that today went too smoothly and I wouldn’t have anything substantial to put in the blog, but the tables have turned!

First, the flights were awesome. I got these super strong sleeping pills to take (I am terrified of flying and have to physically shake myself in the seat to avoid feeling turbulence, better known as twerking in a seat next to someone you don’t know.. just don’t make eye contact and you’re good..), but they worked for maybe the first two hours. SO, Lufthansa hooked it up with free wine and I was out for most of the flight. I watched Bend It Like Beckham for a little female athlete inspiration and then I was in Frankfurt. Made my flight to Helsinki and then drive to Hameenlinna with Marina who spoke awesome English and was really helpful. I am now in a hotel and tomorrow morning I will move into my apartment! 🙂

Last on the agenda of the day was to meet with my general manager, Ville. Now, I was really nervous about this because I had recently posted a picture with a beer in it and Ville commented saying girls get sent home after a week for breaking drinking rules. I go to meet him (at a bar, ironically) and he asks if I want a beer to which I reply no, because I wanna get out of the dog house ASAP. He tells me that it will help me sleep better, so I get a beer with Ville. He is awesome. His English is really good and I can understand him perfectly fine. It took me a while to bring up the Facebook post, but when I did he told me don’t worry he was just joking (which sounded a little like choking, so it took me a while to figure it out) and trying to be funny to scare me (it worked). They are really honest here, so he had no problem telling me that my hitting was pretty average, but I was lucky I could pass to make up for that. He also told me about the town called Rovaniemi which is the official Santa Claus Village (I will be going there to play, so pictures will definitely be attached to that post). He explained in detail to me that the Finnish Santa doesn’t go down the chimney like the USA Santa does, and he also broke it to me that the USA and Finnish Santas are not real, to which I responded by tearing up… Joking, I didn’t do that. I keep thinking to how freaked out I was that I already messed up the drinking rules, that I couldn’t believe I was getting a beer with Ville. Conclusion: Ville is a jokester. And not going to send me home.

Finally, as I head to bed, I am across from the nightclub of the town called “Up,” and they are blasting Avicii and some Rick’s American Cafe tunes, so its not much different than trying to sleep on Arch St. while the White St. houses blast their music the night before Ally and I have to wake up for serve and pass.

Pictures of the bachelorette pad and the city to come soon! Hyvää yötä!