From the title of this story I think you can already get a sense of how this is going to go, but please, bear with me here.
Background Info/Setting the Scene:
For those who don’t already know, I’m currently in Germany playing for the Gießen 46ers. We are currently smack in the middle preseason. For my fellow athletes, I need not say anymore, you know what that means and what I’m currently experiencing. For my non-athletes that aren’t familiar with this particular time of the season, suffice it to say that it’s one of the more challenging/grueling portions of the season, and in some cases more so than the grind of the actual season.
During this time, off days are one of your most prized possessions, or favorite past times so to speak. Usually we get one per week, and when they come about they are to be thoroughly enjoyed by doing nothing (speaking for myself of course). My off days are what I like to refer to as my Triple R day (Triple R = RRR = Rest, Recover, Recuperate). That basically means I quite literally lay on my a** all day and not do a damn thing. Even for food, I don’t cook, I order in. Full fledged bum mode is in effect all day. Only thing semi-strenuous that I do is go to the bathroom and maybe stretch but even that on some days, depending on how the previous week went, is pushing it.
The Actual Story:
About a week ago, after two back to back tough games on the road (we won one, lost one), we were given a day off. Now you can imagine how happy I am about this. I’m ecstatic. I can’t wait to get home and activate my bum mode. Also keep in mind that at this point it has been about a month since I left the crib (Houston, TX/USA), so I’m missing home very much. More specifically, I’m missing some good ol’ Nigerian food. This craving has been building up for quite a while now. So much that I found an African restaurant here in Gießen but they only served Ethiopian food which I don’t mind but definitely nothing like the Nigerian food I want.
I get home after these games, eat some leftover food I had in my fridge, hang out for a little while, and finally go to sleep. I wake up the next morning hungry as usual (if you know me you know I don’t play with my food). However, at this point, I think it’s too early to start ordering food so I decide to kill time doing other things. To help keep me from going crazy from hunger I eat a Twix bar, a couple of Twizzlers, and cookie. As time passes, I start to peruse my little food delivery app; seeing what restaurants I might like and what I want to order. Is it going to be Chinese? Indian? Pizza? Or even some German spots that I hadn’t tried before? Then it occurred to me that I’m still craving Nigerian food.
The lightbulb went off in my head at that point. I started to think if Gießen, a relatively small city, can have an African restaurant with Ethiopian food, then Frankfurt a very large metropolitan city, and a world hub for that matter, definitely has to have some Nigerian food. After-all, we Nigerians are everywhere (no joke, not bragging either, we really are everywhere). Next step was to fire up google and do some research. I proceed to open google and do a simple search for “Nigerian restaurants in Frankfurt.” Lo and behold, the hits came pouring in. Ok I’m lying it was only about 3 but still, that was more than I had bargained for so I’m gushing at this point. I can already feel my mouth watering...
Let me preface this by saying this is no way shape or form a complaint.
Ok I’m lying it is a complaint. However, it’s not a complaint about my life and what it entails. It is a complaint about the stereotypes involved with it.
Today’s post was first inspired by a conversation I had a with a friend a few months back. They found out I was in Japan and as soon as I told them, here came the onslaught of questions...Where have you been? What have you seen? How was Tokyo? How’s the night life? Did you visit this? Did you take a picture with that?
Those were all valid questions but I had to find a very polite way to bring them to the simple realization that as much as those were valid questions I wasn’t in Japan on vacation. On that day, I decided that I should make a PSA and it would be done via a blog post. The blog post would be about being overseas and what people automatically thought when I told them what part of the world that I was. Suffice to say I hadn’t gotten around to writing it or it would have been up before now. Then last week I saw an article online in which someone had so eloquently described the very sentiments that I felt about this topic. While reading, it was like the writer was in my head and then left to go write it, then didn't tell me about it. So instead of paraphrasing, or summarizing or just flat out repeating what she said in the article, here’s the link.
The Truth About Playing Overseas by Tiffany Clarke.
It is written by a fellow blogger and overseas hooper. I’m sure all my other overseas athletes can thoroughly agree and identify with these sentiments.
Read, enjoy, and feel free to share your thoughts and opinions as well.