I’m just back from Texas after competing in the event that’s currently on there. Unfortunately I didn’t have the best result there losing to an English player, Emma Beddoes, but I did enjoy my stay there nonetheless. As Nicol is still playing and can talk you through the squash aspect I thought I’d take some time to blog about my stay there.
Having never been to Texas before I readily believed the stereotypes: 1) everything is big, big, big – food, cars and land and 2) cowboys roam the street in plaid shirts just like in the 80s Dallas TV series. So, touching down in Dallas Fort-Worth I was mildly disappointed that I wasn’t met on arrival by a troupe of Stetson wearing line-dancers with horses in tow. Putting that behind me was made easy when I met our promoter, Sanjeeb, who’s ran everything like clockwork, made sure we all felt at home and assured me there were some cowboys out there somewhere.
Usually, on tour in the States we tend to confine our travel to hotel, club and mall. Plano, Texas was no exception. However, the exception here was the luxury of these three new temporary homes. The Nylo Hotel was the first mod boutique-type hotel I’ve come across on tour, very trendy and cool. Likewise Lifetime Fitness where we played was this fantastic (and yes, huge!) centre which catered to basically everyone, climbing walls, basketball courts, treadmills as far as the eye could see and an extremely helpful staff. As for the mall, well, like most U.S. malls it was vast, complete with all the brand name goods and this one had the added bonus of having a Cheesecake Factory. This eatery is not for the faint-hearted. Thinking I was being healthy I ordered the Cobb Salad. What arrived on my plate ten minutes later could easily have kept a small family fed for a good 2 weeks I reckon….I declined their famous cheesecake, with those portions not even a tough 5 setter could burn off the calories in that!
So, an enjoyable if short stay in Texas but I’m sure I’ll be back. After all, I need to see some proper cowboys, Stetson and all!
Next stop for me is Egypt where I’m playing in Alexandria, a town a couple of hours north of Cairo. Until then I’m back training at my base in Amsterdam which I’m looking forward to having been on the road for a good while.
‘Til next time