This past week I’ve had a chance to enjoy some more Swiss culture. I guess I should start by talking about karaoke night. We all met at my coach’s house and engaged in a number of games, one of which was karaoke. First of all, I have to protest, the BEST songs we can send to Switzerland to put on their karaoke games are “Roxanne” by the Police and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” by Boy George? I mean, sure, they’re good songs, but they are not something I would typically sing karaoke to…and of course my teammates wanted to give me the courtesy of singing American songs! Maybe I should study up on Police lyrics; it was painful for ALL parties involved. Needless to say I was happy when my coach interrupted me about a quarter of the way through Boy George’s hit to put back on French songs. Now, if they had “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey I would have pulled out my dance moves and really shaken up the place!
We unfortunately lost our game in the Swiss Cup (of the Triwizard Tournament) against Fribourg. I had hoped that because it wasn’t a regular conference game we’d have an extra spark and REALLY surprise ourselves. We didn’t play badly, actually a number of us had pretty good games, but again the other team was just too strong for us to pull out a win. I’ve already talked about how different the rules are over here, but I guess I forgot to mention how TERRIBLE the refs are (and I don’t just mean the lack of calling over the backs). It’s not that I personally don’t like the refs, I just have no clue what is a foul and what isn’t (and I’m very vigilant on the court, I pay attention), they are just SO INCONSISTENT. There were a couple times in the game last night where it was blatantly obvious that the other center was locked up on my left arm, forcing me to pull down a rebound or grab a pass with solely my right – and there would be no call. However, if one of our guards so much as touched someone on the other team, it was a foul. I’ll even confess, one possession I literally just stuck out my leg because I knew I was beat; in America it would have MOST CERTAINLY been a foul, but my knee forced my opponent out of bounds and then we got the ball back! I thought ‘wow, that sucks, that was definitely a foul,’ and even felt guilty about it. I guess I still need to learn a few more tricks about how to play in Europe.