As I said before, the traveling has picked up immensely since Israel. We left Sarajevo, Bosnia on thursday the 23rd to travel to Targoviste, Romania, by way of Munich, Germany (yes, this was a long day). Luckily we had the afternoon off. One of the Globetrotters played in Romania for a few years so he took us out to see Romanian night life ("Rare Air" is his nick name, he used to play on the "And 1" tour). Rare (as we call him) took us to a night club called "Bamboo." The club was probably one of the craziest places i've ever been. They had a performer, dancers on stage, flashing lights, chest throbbing music, it was simply crazy.
Targoviste was very neat city with many casinos, big office buildings, many American restaurants like Pizza hut and McDonalds, and tons of stray dogs. One downfall about Romania that we all quickly found out is that they do not have laundary mats. Instead they only have dry cleaners (very expensive), meaning all of my clothes are getting washed by hand!!! Anyhow on Saturday we played a game in Targoviste. The crowd was slim but everyone really seemed to love to show. Luckily we did not have to travel the next day, meaning we could sleep in a little bit. The hotel that we stayed at was very nice (a 5 star) with a casino in it. Many of the players and staff stayed up most of the night gambling, ha. On Sunday we relaxed most of the day before playing another game that night in a near by town called Ploiesti. The crowd was HUGE. I think we have gotten the biggest reaction and excitement out of the Romanian fans thus far. After the game we all went back to the hotel to get some rest, as we had to leave at 8am the next morning. Monday morning I woke up very early (around 6) to allow myself some time to eat the complimentary breakfast before getting on the bus (I forgot to mention that the complimentary breakfasts around here are not the typical cereal and toast found at hotels in the U.S., instead they consist of an omellete station, eggs benedict, bacon, ham, sausage, fruit, all types of bread, cereal, hashbrowns, you name it they have it). Our bus ride to Lasi, Romania was all of 8 hours. After arriving at our hotel we only had about 30-40 minutes before we had to get back on the bus and go to the gym (although going to the gym extremely earlier can be tiring, I kind of enjoy it because the coaches will drill players that want to workout and it gives me a chance to improve my basketball game). The game that night was just as thrilling as the night before as fans went crazy over the gags and jokes that the globetrotters do. After the game we signed a few autographs and went back to the hotel (Don't misunderstand me on the autograph signing. After the game the globetrotters stay on the court for about 30 minutes to sign autographs and the generals are not allowed. Our stardum comes from the fans who hunt down the bus and wait until everyone comes out of the locker room. Nonetheless, I feel great everytime I sign an autograph, even if I think the kid has no idea who I am, ha). The next day we had yet another long bus ride (6 hours) to Brasov, Romania. We stayed at another 5 star hotel (there was a ferrari, bently, Rolls Royce, and Range Rover parked out front). The game that night was very exciting as we played in front of a packed house with many young Romanian kids who seemed to love basketball and were fascinated with the show.
Today we had an 8am departure. After eating my usual delicious breakfast, I got on the bus for about a 4 hour bus ride to Targu Mures, Romania. We just arrived about an hour ago at a nice hotel. I just found out that there is a sauna, a pool, and a work out facility, so I may try to make use of it before we leave for the game at 5:15pm. Hope everyone is doing great back in the states!! We leave tomorrow to head for the Canarie Islands I believe. The Egypt portion of our tour has been cut out so we play in the Islands and then head to Morocco before heading home. Hopfully i'll be able to keep you updated on my last week or so.
Go GUilford BBALL!!!