Wednesday, October 13, 2010

german ultimate frisbee - so fun, so weird

through a connection from DC and the magic of email, i am on a traveling frisbee team composed of english speaker expats living all over germany, and anyone else who might want to play with us, we're not fussy.
our team entered a tournament south of frankfurt. i was going to take the train, but the captain sent me a phone number of some other people coming from berlin if i wanted a ride. i called ben, who rented a minivan and said i was welcome to join as long as i have a driver's license. i love driving in germany, hell yes!
so i meet ben in front of a budget polish car rental place and slowly more and more people show up...all i could think was, wow, these guys are exceptionally tall. so i ask, what team are you on?
"vat do you think?" one answers in a low grumbling voice
i dunno, The Giants?
"you are correct."
we pile into our tiny kia van and they all fight over who doesn't sit in the middle. i don't even get a choice, i'm in the way back back with the luggage while the first guy drives.
i got to drive for a bit but the guy who traded seats with me wasn't happy. we get to the tourney site and people just stare as i let 6 giants out of this clown car. we have a couple of beers and set up our tents.
i meet some friendly people from my team, and we see on the schedule that our first opponents are PUF, from holland. hehe buncha stoners, we all laugh.
um, but they were anything but. they were the rare non-smoking dutch people who ran laps around us the next morning, and i kept on having to guard some guy with smelly dreadlocks and the whole game was a catastrophy. more and more games followed in the same manner, miserable loss after miserable loss. it wasn't just bad, it was blooper reel awful.
my team was composed of mostly over 40 english and american expats, who as it turns out couldn't run much, so there weren't many people available to score. there was barnie, the 50 year old who looked and sounded exactly like the "inconceivable!" guy from the princess bride. before our third game barnie lit up a big joint and as he blew smoke into my face said "you can take the guy outta california..."
the next game, barnie was the first, and only person to score.
we then had a big pause and i was invited to play with another team that needed girls. this team had all the the hot guys from luxembourg and even though i was tired, and on my third beer, and a stomach full of bean chili there was no way i was saying no to the hot luxembourgers.
and maybe because they were hot and i was trying to impress them but i think i played the best frisbee of my life - diving for stuff, not throwing the disc into the ground, it was amazing. they also lent me one of their amazing silky red shirts. so silky.
barnie was cheering me on, "go hot luxembourgers! and aurelgrooves" for the rest of the weekend, i never said no to the luxembourgers and that is how i came to play 13 frisbee games in one weekend and lost all feeling in my legs and feet for 2 days.
The Giants were doing really well, and during their breaks they would sometimes mill around me and say hi. for whatever reason they became known as "my" giants. hey aurelgrooves, your giants scored another point! i loved my giants. we were watching them play a point when barnie said "you know, when they're not standing anywhere near normal sized humans, they don't actually look that freakish."
after our games i had to ask one of the giants if i could take the car to drive my team to a mexican restaurant and ben pointed his finger to me said "no drinking and driving, only driving while drinking" and then dangled the keys above my head while i tried to jump for them. i finally caught them and said "thanks DAD", and one of the eavesdropping guys from the under 21 team asked puzzled "wow, really that's your dad?" barnie blew smoke into my face and hugged me and said "no, she's the daughter i never had." under 21 one kid walked away perplexed, with his juicebox. "you people are strange."
at the saturday night party i was surrounded by giants, like my own team of bodyguards. as soon as they left to sleep (i think giants need a lot of rest to power those gargantuan bodies) i was left to my own defenses. my irresistable charm attracted a series of weirdos, and all i could do was call "foul!" whenever they got too close, just like in a game.
these guys were all the leftovers, because the girl with the wolflike dog came and had sucked all the hot luxembourgers off the dance floor. they were all around her, petting her wolfdog. that's when barnie agreed "yeah, you need a wolfdog." we then made a bunch of jokes about the twighlight series, and moonlit yoga circles, which wolfgirl is probably into. stupid luxembourgers.
i then went to the bar and decided to play my luck at the frisbee wheel.
spin the wheel of misfortune
the frisbee was divided into 6 sections - 2 areas for a free beer, 3 spots for 1x the price, and one area for 2x the price. spin and play and pay (or not).i figured those were damn good odds and somehow managed to hit the one 2x and had to bum the extra coins off of barnie.
"thanks sugar daddy" and high five barnie when the matronly woman behind the bar asks "vat eez a sugar daddy?" and so i explain it's when a young woman gets an older guy to pay for stuff and barnie adds "yeah, well where i come from the older guy gets a in return" and i'm laughing and spitting beer out my nose and the woman asks "vat eez a ?" and the captain of the team, a respectable english bloke catches a whiff of the conversation and is agast "what are earth are you fools talking about?"
on the way back to the campsite we find that someone tried to get their bike through one of those metal revolving door fence things, like the ones at entrances of stadiums and metro stations. the person had just abandoned it there, giving up. it was a really nice bike. but it wasn't budging an inch. but it meant we had to climb a giant slippery metal fence to get back to our tents. not fun.
anyway, our team continued to lose on day 2, but managed to squeak into next to last place in a one point sudden death against some high schoolers who had never played frisbee before. whew!
so, the absolute weirdest thing about the whole german frisbee is the co-ed shower at the end. i managed to bathe the first day in the handicapped stall in total privacy, but after the tournament was over, barnie told me the luxembourgers would be there in the shower too so i joined the team in the locker room. it was all a ruse though, it was just our team and some of the less hot dutch guys, but we all drank a beer and i put all my concentration into "look at them in the eyes when they speak to you" that i washed my hair with shower body gel.
we bid our adieus, sadly no luxembourger phone numbers (what is their country code?) and i drove most of the way home. sitting in shotgun was the singing giant. he put in his mix cd and we got to sing the meatloaf paradise by the dashboard light duets and guns n roses harmonies.
we stopped at a restaurant with a plaque saying that it won the prize for best rest stop in Germany, ever. i totally agree. the bathroom stalls were all themed. i peed in an honourable shrine to einstein.
as we got to berlin i got tired and didn't want to have an accident so i switched with the other guy, who managed to hit a phone pole and destroy the front bumper right within minutes of taking over the wheel. ...whoopsie. i said goodbye to the giants, and the endearing end to the weekend was when one of them hugged me and said if they form a "Giants and Dwarf" team next year that i could maybe join. maybe!