I am proudly from Michigan. My whole family lives in Michigan and it was the only place I knew. When it was time to pick a college I chose Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Moving to Wisconsin was hard for me. Not only was I 360 miles from home but I had to get used to funny accents as well as people using words like "soda" instead of pop and "bubbler" instead of drinking fountain (I still don't understand that one.) I felt like I was in another world when I saw people wearing green and yellow Packer gear and thinking it actually looked good. I think Honolulu blue and silver look a whole lot better!
If moving to a different state was hard for me then moving to another country was even harder. Simple acts like going to get a haircut were a big ordeal. I just stopped going one year because the girl I went to could never get my hair the way Bob could. I found myself using sign language as much as possible and even acting deaf once just so I didn't have to talk to someone. True story.
Going to the grocery store is quite the experience. Not every product has a picture and the words on the label are in a foreign language. You just kind of have to rely on looks but this is not always the best thing to do. On my very first trip to the store I could not find milk for my cereal. I asked one of my teammates and he had to show me where it was. I was expecting a 2 gallon jug in a refrigerator but instead I saw a pack of 4 one liter boxes sitting at room temperature. Definitely very different.
This brings me to my first story in the Adventures of the Boss. I have a teammate who is in his first year of playing basketball in Europe and going through all the same things that I went through. I try to help him out as much as possible but sometimes I'm just not there. I won't disclose his name here but for the sake of the story I will just call him the Boss or Boss for short.
I will preface the story by saying The Boss is very intelligent and graduated from an Ivy League university. This could have happened to anyone, but probably not. Boss doesn't speak any Italian and had the same difficulties I had at the grocery store. As anyone knows, when the weather starts to get colder, your skin starts to get drier. Well, Boss's skin was getting dry at the first sign of cold weather so he decided a trip to the store was necessary to get some lotion.
Now, the Boss doesn't know how to say lotion in Italian so he just went off of looks. He knew what a bottle of lotion looks like in the states so he bought something that looked similar. When he got home he rubbed the lotion on his face. This was a daily procedure but something was going wrong. After 3 weeks his face was starting to burn. To fight off the burning, Boss put more lotion on but to no success. The burning was getting worse and his skin was starting to crack.
Something had to be done. The Boss jumped on Google Translate to find out what the heck was going on with his lotion. The translation was not what he expected but he was relieved when he found out. Instead of using lotion, the Boss was using hand soap. He was just relieved that his face wasn't melting off.
It just goes to show you that living overseas is not as easy as living at home. Here is the soap bottle that Boss thought was lotion.