Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Speeding Tickets and Concentration Camps

   We made the four hour trip to Liepzig this weekend and scraped out with another ugly win. We missed 11 freethrows and the stat crew was generous in only giving us 21 turnovers, but we still managed to rally back from 10 points down in the 4th. They missed a potential game winning three at the end and made our bus ride home a lot more bearable. 

If there was a frame-by-frame documentation of this action, it would show that the use of the knee is the best way to get a defenders hands down.

This encounter made me feel like Happy Gilmore, except the  placement of the signature was not nearly as exciting.
I celebrated my 23rd birthday last Friday, but as is usually the case for basketball players with November birthdays, it was pretty uneventful. We had practice until 10pm, and then had to meet at the gym at 9am the next morning to leave for our game, so I just grabbed a calzone and watched a movie. I received two birthday presents, the first being this beautiful handmade card and some chocolate from one of the little kids I coach.
The dunk in this card is my first of the year but hopefully a sign of things to come.

The second gift was from my coach, a bottle of detergent spray for my feet; the message was clear.
      I also recieved my first speeding ticket for driving to fast on the autobahn of all places. Who knew that was even possible? Apparently parts of it do in fact have speed limits. On the drive home we were making great time, until one of my teammates driving the team van experienced the same blinding red light of one of the cameras along the highway used to catch speeders . I joined in the cheering and taunting of everyone else in the van until the driver told me that because he was going so fast, he might get his license taken away. He then casually informed me that as an American, if I were caught with the same offense, they could still fine me, but they couldn't take my license away. I saw his grin in the rearview mirror and I and quickly put two and two together. Due to the slight difference in skin pigmentation, it would be hard to pass Marcus off as the driver, so it seems like I may be taking the hit for this one as well. Happy Birthday Blake!

      On Sunday, the clouds and rain took the day off, so I decided to drive up to a former concentration camp in Vught, Netherlands. It was about a two-hour drive, but was very scenic, and with all of the changing leaves and windy roads, it was eerily similar to the drive from Williams to Amherst (no pun intended). Vught was not considered an extermination camp, but still had some very horrible stories and conditions. Ironically, part of the camp now serves as a prison; with their cell windows overlooking the former Nazi camp, it must be hard for any of the current prisoners to complain about their situation.

There were 24 of these towers manned by ruthless guards who received payment and vacation days for any prisoner they shot near the fence.

Due to overcrowding there were often 2-3 people per bed and only the lucky ones had pillows and blankets.
Thanksgiving tomorrow won't be the same without my family and the Dallas Cowboys game, but I picked up some smoked turkey from the Deli and my mom sent me some rolls in a box to pop in the oven, so I will make do. Still a lot to be thankful for out here!

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