Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Free shoes and an expensive blister

At the foot of my bed there lies a treasure trove of discarded belongings from Backpackers who have passed through, or set up their lives for a few months. I have the joy of staring at the clothing, books, shoes, Christmas decorations, and knick knacks they have thoughtfully cast off (or forgotten).

Hidden within this accumulation of goodness I struck gold and found a pair of gently used (kind of falling apart) soccer cleats (Futbol boots), which just happen to "fit" me. I located some long socks and shin guards among the undesirables as well. There I was, dressed to the nines with no date in sight.

Until I casually mentioned my former futbol career to one of the hostel managers and he insisted I play with the local women's league, whose season was conveniently starting in the next couple of weeks.
Okay, alright, sounds fun. I can play a casual game of soccer with a few locals. Maybe I should break in the shoes a bit and try to remember what kicking a futbol in cleats feels like. Dear God, is this really how big a regulation field is? I'll just jog it a few times with the ball. What happened to my lungs? Have they shrunk to make room for the abs I've been hoping to acquire? Or to accommodate all the boredom snacking I've been doing? I should really consider portion control. Wow, four times down the field and this is not looking good. I'll try to juggle for a bit. Oh yeah, I've never been able to juggle. Was I ever good at soccer? 
After a week or so of occasional attempts to reacclimatise to a soccer field I was feeling less than confident in my abilities. Kicking the ball with my left foot felt similar to what I imagine tying your shoes with no thumbs feels like.

And then I went to practice and remembered what it feels like to actually sweat. I thought, surely I can rely on my right foot, but my newly inexpandable (not a word) lungs are preventing me from getting to a moving futbol. I acquired several blisters and if I want to play any games have to pay. The upside to waking up in the night feeling like I was hit by a bus is that my roommate told me I look skinny today. So that's nice. Also,

This is what WWOOFers look like watching a futbol game:

L to R: Asako (Japan), Naoko (Japan), Martin (France), Mareen (Germany), and ME

Saturday, March 5, 2016

That time I became a keg washer again and almost overdosed on Aoli

I am struggling from what I can only refer to as a food hangover. It is filled with regret, heartburn, waking up at unreasonable hours, and continues to flavour my day with reminders of my foolish choices. The amount of regret is unfortunately on par with the amount of acid reflux.

After 21 days of a rather strict paleo diet, and intermittent fasting, I made a huge mistake. I thought I could get away with a bit of sugar, fried food, and copious amounts of Aoli. no. NO. 4:30am is when regret began to set in. March 5, 2016 rapidly became a day of combating waves of nausea and self loathing. The day, however, is not without victory. I did this:

Look I'm on the Centre of New Zealand

Keg washing.

I was told it is the worst job in a brewery. I'm not sure I agree because I once attempted to shine the canning machine with a can of Twinkle and suffered far more. (Mostly from the ridicule of Dustin). Nonetheless I am proud because someone thought me capable of doing a difficult job. I like surprising people and I like doing things well, so when I can surprise someone by completing a task well then its a double whammy of satisfaction on my end. (This was not the case with Twinkle)

I was blessed. When I learned how to wash a keg everyone was way too nice to me; my mental and physical stability was frequently monitored. I learned how to do a difficult job in a place where difficult jobs are recognised and appreciated. I learned how to do a difficult job in a place where doing a difficult job felt like doing something worth while. So at Founders I asked if I could do a difficult job.

So today at 7:30 am- suffering from my questionable choice of sustenance from the night before- I rode a bike to Founders Brewery and went back to skilfully peeling stickers and mouldy onions off of kegs, recognising the sounds of a cleaning cycle, and wearing boots that only almost fit but not quite.

New perks: Overalls and a barista.
Down-side: It is the law to wear a hat, and my hat is lame.

Alas, I must suffer for that which I love. Which, oddly, is anything involving the creation and distribution of craft beer.