Saturday, August 14, 2010

On to the Next One…

Wow, this post is LONG overdue. I apologize for my tardiness. Originally I had intended to publish my last entry about Luxembourg once I arrived on Canadian soil. However, this did not happen. As soon as I landed in Vancouver, I was immediately sidetracked and delightfully overwhelmed with catching up with family and friends. A lot has happened in my life since I departed Lux. It’s been a busy, eventful summer full of sun, fun, travel and basketball – and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Bre Dub’s Blog has been inactive for much too long and its resurrection begins now…

So without further delay, below you’ll find the annual list of Pros and Cons for my 3rd season playing abroad in Luxembourg…

PROS:

• Travel – Lux is essentially in the middle of Europe and was a perfect place to travel out of. With so much free time, I was able to visit most of Western Europe and enjoy the culture and values of new cities and countries every other week. It was awesome.
• Pastries – everywhere you turn in Europe, there’s a bakery filled with fresh baked goods. The smell, texture, taste…you can’t walk by without buying one…or two…
• Champagne – I mean Crémant…it’s not just for celebration anymore. In Luxembourg this is a drink of choice, just like sipping on wine or beer.
Bercherovka – Slovakian liquor shared amongst close friends, almost always leading to a fun filled night. Committee!!!
• Hummel Burger – best burger in Lux, or dare I say Europe??? Extra andalouse please!!!
Andalouse – period.
Raclette – cousin of the fondue. A fabulous melted cheese, family style dish enjoyed amongst friends. Very tasty and a great way to bring people together.
Clausen – one of the coolest nightlife areas I’ve ever experienced. The atmosphere is amazing and I always had a great time whenever out in this downtown area of Lux.
Remich – beautiful wine country region in Luxembourg, which sits on the Moselle River.
• Boating on the Moselle – no better way to spend a beautiful day with good friends. Great memories.
• Dudelange morning shooting – perfect way to get some shots up while socializing with friends. Shoot, hang, grab lunch, repeat.
• B Team Ballers – our men’s 1st division team was full of great guys. But the 2nd team were my boys! Every time I hung out with these fellas it always led to an eventful night. Thursdays aren’t the same without you! Miss you all! (Marc, Yann, Gerard, Edmond…etc)
• Concerts – big names in small venues. Affordable tickets and a great atmosphere. I was lucky enough to see Rihanna, Pink and Timbaland in close quarters.
Handball – an extremely physical sport that I gained respect for and became a fan of. Allez Red Boys!
• Visitors – the most that have come visit in a season yet! Mom, Auntie Karen, Lindsey, Kyle, Masumi and friends. Unforgettable weekends.
• Esch bar – by far, the best bar in Lux! I became very close with the Slovakian bartenders and often found myself spending the night on a bar stool just to spend time with them. Esch bar was where the dance party was always on! Great food, great drinks and a fabulous environment. Never a dull moment with Otto and Dana.
• Road trips – anywhere and everywhere within driving distance. Jordan and I took trips to Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Ke$ha kept us company and essentially cemented our friendship.
• The people – Gaelle and Gilles, Michelle and Edmond, Marc and Tanja, Mae and Peter, Otto and Dana, Marc, Yann, Gerard…the list goes on. I can’t even express how thankful I am to have had these people in my life. They are good friends and wonderful people that made my experience in Luxembourg. I have never felt so welcome in a country. I miss you all dearly. ♥
• Mon petit frère Ben – my little brother from another mother. Ben and I became extremely close during my time in Lux. Though only 10 years old, I really do consider him my friend. I attended his games and he mine. Though we didn’t share a same language, we were still always able to communicate and enjoy each others company. I love him and miss him SO much!
• Jordan – I don’t even know where to begin on this one. So I’ll keep it short. I wouldn’t have survived Luxembourg without my fellow party girl. Even as a rival import player from a neighboring town, Jordan and I became fast friends. The two of us straight up left our mark on Lux. I love you J-woww. Vegas was sick…and it’s just the beginning! Miss you my friend!

CONS:

• Competition level – as a competitive basketball player, each year I have hopes of moving up to a more competitive and challenging league. Though Lux had its moments, it was not the strongest league I’ve played in.
• Only import – most European teams employ 2 or 3 import players (North Americans) every year. However, in Lux you’re only allowed one. This was a difficult adjustment. It’s tough going through the ups and downs of a season in a foreign country alone. Especially when you have no one to bounce frustrations off of.
• Losing the finals. Twice – self-explanatory. We lost the Cup Finals and League Finals to the same team. It’s never fun losing, especially a title game.
• Extended season – this year was the longest time I had spent abroad. I didn’t get home until June 13th! Most European professionals arrive home at the end of March/April – thus the last 2 months were a real mental and physical grind.
• Computer crash – when you’re abroad, your laptop is your link to home. My computer decided flame out with 2 months remaining in the season. Talk about feeling lost and disconnected...
• Expensive – us North Americans used to joke that it cost money to walk on the sidewalk in Luxembourg. The country is very affluent, thus the standard of living was quite high. However, it was a very nice place to live.
• Injuries – this year I experienced the most injuries I’ve ever had in one season. I think it was a combination of playing 40 minutes every game and the length of schedule. I received stitches under my eye, sprained my right ankle 3 times and sprained my MCL. I’m back at 100%, but physically, my body just broke down.

I’m so thankful for the memorable 8 months I spent in Luxembourg. I will always have fond memories of this unique, welcoming country that I will keep with me for the rest of my life.

Lux Life 2010!

-BW

Sidenote: Check back in the next couple days for an update on summer hoops and the championships my best friends and I won this summer!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good to have you back. Very interesting blog. You seem to enjoy experiencing different cultures.Have another great year.

A UW fan

Kirsten said...

Bre! It's so fun finding your blog and getting updated on your life - good for you girly - sounds like you are doing so well for yourself! Send me an email if you have a minute, I'd love to catch up: kirstenreinhard@gmail.com xoxo, Brock

Jordan said...

B Dub, I will def miss my other half this coming yr, go get em in Spain I'm so excited!!
Some people you meet overseas and just can't quite stay in touch with from there, but great news is we're friends for life =) I will hold the Lux life memories dear to my heart but the exciting part is there's so many more yrs of memories to come.
Hoping to get out there mid-season and support you, let's skype often.
know you have a cheerleader back here in the states...and I'll be here in Chi waiting to pick you up in my pink Cadillac when you get out here to visit next summer
abrazos y besos(hugs and kisses ;)
your partner in crime, J Dub