Thursday, February 3, 2011

Eisstockschießen!

Yesterday, I went curling!
No, it's not actually curling. It's similar. I think. It's called eisstockschießen. It's mysical Austrian curling. Cause they're awesome like that.

Well at first we couldn't even find the place. My host parents were taking me, and we had no idea where it was. We ended up pulling over and asking for directions. Turns out it was about 200m down the road.
As expected, it was cold. I mean, you can't have eisstockschießen in 20ºC heat. Not that 20ºC is hot. Rumour has it my dandy hometown has been getting temperatures around 38ºC. Luckily, one of my German teachers in Australia gave me an amazing long red scarf, which proved to be world's most helpful red scarf ever. So warm. Turns out we also play it on a lake. Or something like it. A frozen over pond of large proportions? Met some really cool Rotarians and also caught up with Pierce and his host parents (Pierce is also an exchange student here).

For reasons far beyond my understanding I was wearing slippery boots. By slippery boots, I mean that they're fantastic in snow, but put them anywhere near ice and they lose all traction. I end up sliding all over the place and end up in hysterics over thinking I'm going to fall and break my wrist. Adding to the not so much comfort, was the ice. You could see the trapped air bubbles. I mean, that's fine, but I was just not comfortable on it. My only experience of sporting ice in Australia has been of ice skating in ice skating rinks, which of course don't have unfrozen yet freezing water underneath the ice on which you stand. I made Pierce hold my hand when I walked anywhere in case I fell over. I also looked ridiculous. I don't know why but I leaned forward a lot when I walked. I think it was so I fell forward if I slipped.

Pierce, was not entirely helpful either. I could tell he was getting a twisted joy from my nervousness. Joking about pushing me over and the MASSIVE cracks in the ice (which I was trying so very hard to ignore) and pointing out areas with water instead of ice. *twitch*.

We took a few photos with the teams and while holding the stock - the thingy you slide across the ice. Then the game commenced. Pierce and I talked to some people and just chilled (did you get my joke? Cause it was cold? So we chilled? ... ... I'm sorry. I'll never make that kind of a joke deliberately again). Actually, Pierce did. He was losing heat from his chin (don't ask me how, but he was), toes and fingers. I just had cold toes. So then it was our turn. Pierce managed really well. He slid it a bajillion miles away and it got pretty close to the thingy you have to get it close to.
When I went up to the ice thing, it was just embarrassing. We have a special ditch in the ice where we put our foot, from where we then swing the stock and release it across the ice. I walked like an idiot to the ditch, and put my foot in it. Everyone kept saying "wrong foot!" so I turned and put my righ foot in it, preparing to swing the stock with my left hand. I was right the first time, I just had the wrong foot in the ditch. We're supposed to stand with our right (if you're right handed) foot in the ditch, and have your left foot closer to the thingy you're aiming for. It'd make more sense if I had pictures of it.
I said something about "Dieses ist peinlich! Ich bin schlecht!" which is probably incorrect, but I said it anyway. I swung back, swung forward, swung back, swung forward, and released.

It was absolutely pathetic.
It didn't even reach 2 metres of the thing we were aiming for. Probably only got two thirds of the way there. I was ashamed, but laughed at myself anyway. Everyone else did, so why not?

They played again and stuff and did pretty well. It was our turn again. Pierce had been telling me about how he'd somehow bent his knees backwards and steps were kinda painful now. I was a little confused but I did my best to be understanding. When he went for his second 'slide' he swung it back, and slightly clipped his knee as he swung it forward again. His leg gave way and he kind of half collapsed on the other one, which slipped out from underneath him, landing him not-so-elegantly on his backside.

The little person in my head was rolling around laughing, while it's twin was shaking it's head saying "That's you in about a minute".

I once again hobbled over to the ditch in the ice, planted my leg, and went to swing. A guy was taking a photo and said "Don't be scared. It's fun!" and as the person in my head wiped the tears from her eyes, she said "Until I let go of this thing". As I swung it forward, I think I held onto it too long. My arm stretched slightly painfully, and the weight of the stock kind of carried me forward a little bit, throwing me off balance, at which point both my legs slipped in awkward angles, my arms flailed and I too ended up on my backside. I laughed off my shame and was kindly helped to my feet by two men. Unlike my other turn, this actually reached the area it was supposed to. I guess there are advantages to looking ridiculous.

In addition to this, our team won. HUZZAH!

Walking back to the car, my host mother asked if I was cold. I said just my toes were cold because I wasn't wearing any socks. Apparently socks are supposed to be worn at all times for the sake of keeping feet from freezing. Or so my host mother seemed to be saying. I was thus named: CWS. (Clare Without Socks).
I'm actually a fan of the name. Except for the fact it makes me feel so very "Country Woman's Association"...ish.

Was also lucky enough to have magical hot chocolate and Milka when I got home. Yay! ^^

Clare
xoxo

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