Mike goes to China #2
I’m sure if you ask any professional basketball player from Europe or Asia what the two most important things are while playing ball abroad are, you will definitely get these two answers: Internet and food! Sometimes finding the exact food that you love may be a problem depending on what country you are playing in. Luckily I have not really ran into that problem during my seven year career as a professional basketball player.
During my time as a pro ball player, I have been blessed to play in so many different countries. I started in New Zealand, then took a trip to Africa with the Nigerian national team. Once my time with the Nigerian team had finished, I headed to France for a short stint and then left to go play in Switzerland for two and a half years. From Switzerland I headed back to America to try my luck with the NBA, so I played a season in the NBA D-League. The summer after my D-League season I went to the Dominican Republic to play for a couple of weeks and then headed to Russia for the European season. I stayed in Russia until December of the 2012 season, and then moved to the Czech Republic for the second half of the season.
Out of all the countries that I have visited, I would most definitely choose Lugano, Switzerland as the best place for food! Lugano was a 40 minute drive from Italy, so you had a great variety of different cuisine. I fell in love with Italian food during my time in Lugano. My favorite dish was definitely the freshly made Italian pizza! I would devour 2-3 pizzas a week while playing out there.
The toughest place to find the food that I really liked was in Vladivostok, Russia. Luckily I had my girlfriend with me during my time in the freezing cold of Vladivostok. Since there weren’t too many good restaurants to go to, my girlfriend would cook for me almost every night. If we did go out for food, it was to a small sushi place that we happened to stumble across one day while checking out the city.
The food here in Chengdu is amazing! You can basically find the same type of food here that you can find back in America. Since I’ve been here I’ve had some great dishes such as, pasta, french toast, steaks and seafood.
Before I moved to Chengdu I was with the team out of Urumqi, Xinjiang (China); which is a heavy Muslim cultured city. It was very hard to find pork around the city. We had a personal chef on that team, so I was eating a lot of different Chinese dishes everyday. While in Urumqi I tried a couple of weird dishes that were actually surprisingly pretty good. The weirdest dish to me had to be the sea turtle I had at lunch one day. It tasted like a weird fish/chicken combination to me. My coach insisted that the turtle was very good for my health, so I gave it a try.
Well I just got back home from a long road trip and I’m totally drained. I’m going to head out to get some food and then relax the rest of the day. Until next time folks!
Money Mike out!