Lets just say Spain was an interesting experience. Besides the worst case of bronchitis that came out of nowhere a night before my match and being hungry from morning till night (because we just couldn't find an open restaurant during "siesta time") Spain was nice. But lets start from the beginning.
We arrived to the first tournament in Bilbao on Friday evening. And just as we stepped outside I felt cold air. I didn't expect it to be that cold. My Google research told me Bilbao had an oceanic climate, so I assumed it was going to be hot. But the weather kept surprising me with its highs and lows in temperature, so when I got a sore throat I blamed it on the weather. Little did I know that my sore throat would become a bronchitis and would last for a month.
That Friday evening we walked to the center for a dinner. But eight o'clock in the evening is to early for dinner in Spain and the only places that were open were tapas bars.
So after 30 min walking around. I've decided to use my Spanish and ask local people where we could get good food.
Luckily for us there were lots of people on the streets because of the "Fiesta of the People", and a small flea market going on. We stopped right in the middle of the market and started to look for a person who would look "local." I must tell you that there were lots of people who were wearing same color t-shirts with a name of their groups, who looked very local but I chose to ask a couple of older men who were dressed up in suits.
When I finished my question, the men looked at each other and then spoke very fast in language that didn't sound like Spanish ( I found later it was Basque) and then told me to follow them.
We couldn't believe that these two men were taking us to the restaurant instead of just telling us where to go! And while doing it they were telling us about the " Fiesta of the people" and where is the best food to eat. "How nice are they."- I told Sascha.
Our food was typical Spanish. Big salad with everything in it and a piece of meat with lots of french fries. It was good but to much food to late at night. I don't know how Spanish people do it. They eat so late! We were always the first ones at the restaurant when it opened at 9 or 9.30 pm.
The night before my match I started shivering. My throat was hurting and I felt feverish. But I told myself I am here, I worked hard and I will feel good tomorrow. But when tomorrow came I felt the same. So after, I don't know how many Advil's and throat lozenges I went on court and pushed through it, ending up winning the match. But the next day my body didn't want to listen to me. I played against a Spanish girl who's game was to run everything down and hit it back with a lot of spin. If I would be feeling well I would beat her but I was straggling to breath.
And it wasn't only my opponent and my body I was fighting, I was also fighting my opponents mother, who would yell "Vamos" on my mistakes. And every time I would look at her she would give me " I am watching you" sign, like Robert De Niro in "Meet the parents" movie.
I eventually lost that match and gave every last drop of my energy on court.