Monday, 12 September 2005

Joshua's Leisure Time

Germans play some interesting sports such as table tennis, handball, soccer/football and tennis. Table tennis is a rather unserious leisure sport that we play during the break at school. There are four big slabs of concrete on concrete stands with a steel net and white lines marked on the concrete slabs. These are our tables and are situated in the school grounds. We play a version of table tennis which can involve up to 15 people. You stand in two lines at the sides of the table with the person at the front of each line standing at an end. One of these first people will serve and once they have hit the ball they will run around the table and join the next line. The person on the other end will return the ball. The next person in the first line will run and take the place of the person who served and hopefully keep the ball in play and so on. It very fun and very energetic once you get down to four people. This game is called 'rundlauf' (literally translated as 'run round'). In this game you commonly have two 'lives', a zero and a nothing. When you fail to keep the ball in play two times you are out. When the final two people are left they will play a short match to two or three points to determine the winner.

Handball is really fun because you are allowed to knock people over, at least if you are defending. It is a mix between basketball and indoor soccer. If you want to know more about the game go here. Last school year I played a handball tournament which our team won and I scored the goal that got us into the final. I did not really know how to play handball but my friend told me 'Get the ball. Dribble round the court. Don't step in the semicircle and throw the ball into the goals'.

As you may well know, Germany is hosting the 2006 soccer World Cup. Soccer is a very dominant game over here. Every little kid plays soccer and the sport gets serious very quickly. Sometimes kids are not allowed to take excursions with school or family because they have soccer training. I believe that often soccer players fake penalties to receive free kicks. I don't really want to go into the theory of why they fake or how they seem to fall down so much and dramatically.

A few months ago, my family, some friends and I went to see Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. It was in English with Dutch subtitles which were very funny. There were Dutch subtitles because it was a cinema in Holland. Last Friday evening my siblings, the same friends and their father and I went to see the movie 'Madagascar' in German. The voice dubbing was OK and the movie was still pretty good and I understood pretty much all of it.

At home we receive television channels in Dutch, French, English and German with the majority in German. We watch 'SpongeBob Schwammkopf' almost daily which is almost as funny in German.

I have finished the new Harry Potter book twice and I have just started to read books I received for past Christmases. Our Playstation still seems to be in working order and lately we mainly play 'Gran Turismo 2' and 'Mission Impossible'. Elijah has taken a liking to 'Gran Turismo 2' because it includes his favourite car, the Audi TT Quattro.