It’s hard to believe a quarter of this adventure has been already lived and spent. In taking stock, here’s a look back at the last month:
- Two multiple-night trips to cities outside Bangkok (Chiang Mai and Ratchaburi).
- Innumerable new people with whom I’ve come into contact or with whom I’ve begun friendships – everyone from elite businessmen and professionals, travelers like myself, friends at the church I’m attending, other coaches, referees and basketball officials, journalists, players both from the U.S. and around the world, plenty of fantastic Thai basketball players ranging from middle schoolers to professionals, and more.
- More crazy weird foods than I can count (and probably more than I’m aware judging by the number of times I’ve eaten something I couldn’t identify). The current list-toppers include lobster blood, fish spines, curried snails, lots of squid and octopus, and cooked chunks of fish skin.
- Six practices with my team to date.
- Several good opportunities to work with and observe other teams, including an all-boys high school, the Under-18 national men’s team, and several youth tournaments.
- Two tryouts that I conducted for the selection of the U18 women’s national team.
- A bike, affectionately coined “my Harley” by my assistant coach, complete with basket.
- Many of the simple and almost nondescript amenities that make a place feel more like home than a temporary abode. Things like knowing where to go to do laundry, having a cooking apparatus in my apartment, enjoying inside jokes and history with the people in the Basketball Division office within the Sport Authority of Thailand organization (where I spend a lot of time), my own shower, a cleaning routine on the weekend, and a couple favorite restaurants have made the last couple weeks feel much more comfortably mundane amidst all the craziness.
We are finally getting to the point where I will be working with my senior team every day (hopefully) from here on out. Solidifying details and things like schedules is still like trying to catch some elusive mythical creature, but now with a bit of precedent and more relationships with more people in charge, I at least have some semblance of what to expect and how to move forward which is comforting. The challenges are going to shift from figuring out what and when and how the heck I’m supposed to be doing to more tactical and coaching-related quandaries, a change that will be more than welcome.
There is always much more I want to tell, but we practice early tomorrow morning (tonight for you all in the U.S.), so I’ll have to wrap up. For now, enjoy the latest:
June 29th: In which we ride my bike through the backstreets of Bangkok (this video isn’t very exciting like I hoped it would be, but hey)
July 5th: In which you get to experience my culinary endeavors