Sunday, 31 March 2013

Future in BK, Paddy's Day '13 and Easter

I started teaching here in September 2011 and at the end of May I will be finished. It was only a 2 year teaching course and I was lucky to get the second year in the same place to be honest. I would like to stay here and am currently looking for other jobs, specifically with something to do with languages or teaching. If I can't stay here then there are plenty of other opportunities in Deutschland especially in cities such as Frankfurt, München etc.

I could move back to Ireland but I don't think there would be many job opportunities and if I stay here I can keep improving my German. You can never be too good at a foreign language, there's always room for improvement.

In my last blog I talked about St Patrick's Day 2012. Well this year's Paddy's Day was also a huge success with everyone having fun, drinking Guinness and listening to Irish music.The party lasted just as long as last year's. I just hope I'll be here in BK to celebrate it in 2014.

The football is going well also. After two draws in our first two games of 2013 we needed a win which came yesterday against the team in 3rd place,TSV Nordheim, which lifts us above them and another team and into second. We are three points off the top and have a big derby tomorrow away to FC Thulba who are 1 point behind us. We are three points off the league leaders with a game in hand. So there's still a lot to play for between now and the end of May. Our aim at the start of the season was promotion and to achieve that would be brilliant. The league season for my U9's starts back again in the next few weeks once the sun comes out, which as always will be enjoyable and here's hoping there's a few mini Keith Fahey's in the making!

I'm currently a week through my 2 week Easter holiday and it's still snowing,although it reached a sweltering 9C at one stage last week. After spending most of the holiday either training, watching Father Ted or roofing it will be nice to get back to the teaching again. 

After last summer's footballing holiday at Euro 2012 it will be another summer of football again as Ireland's European Club are once again in the Europa League. I'm praying for a team in mainland Europe so I can just hop on a train and to the match. Somewhere like Luxembourg would be ideal, but we'll probably be drawn to a team from Iceland...again. Last season's draw away to Hannover was perfect. 4 hour train from here.

Anyway, have a good Easter and don't eat too much chocolate, like I have. I got a pack if six crunchies in the post off my 2nd favourite Aunty, Maureen. 4 of them eaten already. Have to do with German tea though, ran out of my box of Barry's which lasted well over year. German tea just isn't the same while dippin a crunchie in. (I think it's only an Irish thing to send chocolate in the post!)

Friday, 15 March 2013

Saint Patrick's Day Party 2012

With Saint Patrick's Day coming up I'm going to have a look back on last years Irish holiday and how I celebrated it in Deutschland.
Being an Irishman it was only appropriate to have a Saint Patrick's Day party. Last year it was on a Saturday, an ideal day for a party (when isn't an ideal day to be honest).

We'd had a game that afternoon and were ready to celebrate Paddy's Day in our clubhouse. The room was decorated with mini-Irish flags and balloons. A few Irish friends were at the party too, namely Guinness, Jameson, Bailey's and Kilkenny. They had a good time.

Preparation for the party started a week before. We bought the drink from an off-licence, in the shop they were looking at us like we were mad, because I don't think anyone buys crates of Guinness from there, usually just German beer. We then had to come up with our own price list. €2 for a Guinness or a Whiskey with Cola is a bargain in my books. Maybe we made the prices too cheap because 3/4 hours into the party everybody was enjoying themselves alot. 

Everyone was wearing green,  not necessarily anything to do with Éire, like the Deutschland away jersey, but still green, except for me in my red Saint Patrick's jersey. I tried to ban Shamrocks from the party because of their link with a certain League of Ireland team, but easier said than done. At least we won't be seeing any Shamrocks on the continent this year, after a 4th place finish.

By around 2am there were a few of us left, so it was off to the Disco in our Paddy's day costumes. Alot of people inside didn't know that it was Saint Patrick's day so didn't know why we were all wearing green and had tri-colour wigs on and an inflatable "Hammered by the Irish" hammer.

After the disco it was back to where the party had started to finish off what was left of the Whiskey. The next thing I remember is waking up on the table to a knock on the door from one of the guys on the second team asking if we can play for them because they are short on numbers. We decided to play, which was the worst idea ever. The room was in some mess the next day with the music still playing and green confetti and balloons all over the floor. All in all everyone seemed to have a great time drinking the Irish brew while listening to songs by the Pogues, Paddy Eccles and the Dubliners for the night.

We are having another party this year to celebrate St Pat's Day 2013. Although Paddy's Day is a Sunday we are going to celebrate from Saturday night into Sunday morning. For one night in the year only Bad Kissingen is Irish! Like last year, we have the drink bought and the decorations hung up. There's no football this weekend because of the snow so tomorrows party can start early afternoon and finish early into the morning, and hopefully this year I get a bigger table to sleep on. Then Sunday (the actual day Paddy's Day is on) will be a day of Lent in which I won't eat anything.

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Summer Holiday: Euro 2012

After spending 9 months in the hustle and bustle of Bad Kissingen I decided it was time for a nice, relaxing, quiet summer holiday and no better place to spend it than in Poland at the European Championships. It was the first time that Ireland had qualified for a tournament in a decade and I am living in the country beside where the Euros were being hosted so I really had to go. After getting tickets with help from my good friend and father, John, I was ready for Poland except without accommodation. Then a fellow Supersaint by the name of Alan Brady came to my assistance and said that he and his brother had space in their campervan. So there would be five of us in a four man campervan for 16 days travelling around Poland watching football. The perfect holiday. As well as having tickets for the three Ireland games, we also had some for Czech Republic vs Russia and Czech Republic vs Greece.

I went by train up to Leipzig a day before we had to collect the campervan, and stayed with a friend, Matt, who's also a English Language Assistant in Germany. The next day the journey to Poland would begin....

On the outskirts of Leipzig two of us collected the campervan and were to meet the other three lads in Poland. I'm glad I wasn't driving because that campervan looked impossible to drive and on the wrong side of the road aswell. After travelling across the border into Poland we realised that it would be too late to find a campsite so we pulled into a petrol station and stayed in the car park for the night. There were a few dodgy looking lads loitering around the garage but despite them we eventually got some sleep.

The next day was the Czech Republic - Russia game. We hung out with some Czech fans before the game and had a few beverages. A Czech guy and I noticed that he had Czech flip flops on and I had Irish ones on so we decided to swap one. I still have it now but it's way too big, which means there's some poor lad walking around Czech Republic with an Irish flip flop on around 4 sizes too small.  The game was very enjoyable with a good atmosphere. Here's a picture of us with the Czech fans before the game. (With a Saints flag of course) But that atmosphere was nothing compared to what we were about to witness in Poznan...

We found a space in the Carlsberg Campsite in Poznan along with half the population of Ireland and some of the campervans were quality.  Lads in a campervan beside us had a paddling pool with them, tennis equipment, giant beach balls etc and the party had really started.

Apart from losing, the whole match day was brilliant. The entire day all I could hear was "Team of Gary Breens" "I've got Glenn Whelan that tonight's gonna be a good night" "Stephen Ireland's grandmother's alive-alive-oh" and of course "Olé Olé". After the game there was the trouble between some Croatia and Polish fans but it was a minority. Most of their fans were very friendly to the Irish. As night turned to morning we knew it was soon time to leave Poznan and travel up to Gdansk to play reigning World champions Espana. Could the highest paid international coach in the world out-master the Spaniards, we would have to wait and see.....

After waiting for 4 minutes it was clear to see that the answer was 'no' as Ireland were 1-0 down. I'm not going to describe the game in detail as we all know what happened. After the game it was time to go back into the city and celebrate. "You'll never beat the Irish" etc etc. being sung every 5 minutes but to be fair we did manage to get a few Pats songs going. Gdansk is a great place for a holiday. The beach was good craic, except I swam out too far and almost got hit by a speedboat going by.

Next it was the long trip from Gdansk back down to Wroclaw for Czech Republic vs Greece. We kind of got lost on the way down but we knew the campsite we were staying in was near enough to the zoo so while stopped in traffic one of our lads asked a Polish fella where the Campsite was. It was one of the funniest conversations I've ever heard.

Us: "Sorry mate can you tell me where this campsite is? *Gives name of campsite*"
Polish guy: "You mean Dutch village?"
Us: "What? No campsite. Football. Campsite for campervan. Football"
Polish guy: "Dutch village"
Us: "No. campsite. Where's the zoo? Animals! Where are the animals?"

Then the lights turned green and we were going again. We missed the first half and arrived in our seats just in time for the second half. We met a few Czech lads that we had seen at the first game against Russia. They were much more happy now having seen their team take all 3 points against a mediocre Greek side.

After a night celebrating, a few of us slept under the campervan for a few hours (don't ask) before it was time once again to hit the road and go back to Poznan for the final group game vs Italia. Everyone was wrecked at this stage after 2 weeks of celebrating and the day after the Italia game it was time to go back to Deutschland.

It was only really at the end of the holiday that we realised we wouldn't really be getting our deposit back for this campervan. The floor was a mess, the beds were a mess and we were missing a door. We still don't know how it came off the hinges. The campervan got back to it's rightful owners and thank Gormley we didn't have to pay anything extra.

I went back to Bad Kissingen with a sore head, memories that will last a lifetime, and a flip-flop from a Czech fan. The craic was 90.You'll never beat the Irish.