The view from my dorm-room in Leuven
Since racing in Dublin over a week ago I have come to appreciate the smaller things in life. I have been living in Leuven, Belgium this past week or so and it marks the first time in my life that I have been in a country where I do not know the native language, this has made most things much more of an adventure. Fortunately almost everyone speaks English, but unfortunately not everything is printed in English. This makes buying groceries, ordering at restaurants, and looking for directions quite an undertaking. Every now and again things are printed in English on the labels or we can get an English menu, but for the most part its a guessing game about what you “think” it is or what you “think” a certain steak looks like in meats section. One of my biggest mistakes in this area happened during my first meal here. I ordered the specialty pizza at the Italian place down road expecting some sort of supreme pizza with local meats and veggies, but I was sorely dissapointed. It ended up being served with salami, capers, artichokes, cabbage, and an over-medium egg cracked in the middle of it. I was a little taken back at first and I hoped that I would enjoy it, but much to my dismay it did not live up to its reputation. So I ended up finishing it, cuz I was hungry, but it was not the best decision I have made. Since then I have been a little more selective in my orders and it has served me well.
As far as amenities go my dorm-room is not much to speak of, but it is complete with a bathroom, desk, wardrobe closet, shelves, and a bed. The bathroom is very efficient and useful for me, but unfortunately it lacks a shower curtain. This means that every time I take a shower water goes all over the place and it takes about 7 hours to dry out again. I have learned to cope with it and since it’s about the worst thing so far, its been a great trip.
Since arriving in Leuven I have enjoyed about 3-4 days of sunshine and the rest have been riddled with cloudy skies and rain. For those of you that have kept track of the last race I ran on last Saturday night it was in very windy and rainy conditions. This did not make for an enjoyable experience for me or any of my competitors. Although it is not that cold it still is not the most enjoyable weather to be trying to race, walk, or bike around in. Supposedly there is some better weather coming our way next week, but I’m not holding my breath.
Tomorrow I leave for my next race in Luzern, Switzerland on Thursday night. I will be racing a 3k, which is gonna be a fun experience in yet another country I have never been to. The link for the Spitzen Leichtathletik Luzern on July 21, 2011 is: http://www.spitzenleichtathletik.ch/.
There is a new page on this website with pictures and race videos from my campaign under the European Races 2011 page. I hope all is going well for everyone back in the states! Take care, God Bless, and I will be sending out a new one after the race, hopefully with come cool pix.