JGP Slovenia: Secret Society Dinner

U.S. ice dancer Daniel Klaber is sharing his experiences from the Junior Grand Prix event in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Murder Park and Secret Society Dinner

48 hours ago we set out for the airport. Bags packed full of Cliff bars and game faces, we made our way through security and plopped our butts at the gate. Holly tapped away on her iPad and Greg wandered for some food as I buried my face away into a book(one of two books I brought with me and both of which I have already finished).

I didn’t realize how long it had been by the time I finished my first book and I started watching the second Hobbit movie. Unfortunately for me, it ended abruptly just before the part with the dragon as we began our landing. I can say that I’ve never seen someone try to leave their seat during a landing. However, due to this flight I’ve now seen two people do it and seen it happen at least three times.

Our layover was short, as was our next flight. The bus from the airport to the hotel was not. It was long. It was accompanied with some great views though. To our right was corn, to our left was corn, in front of us was corn as was behind us… And did I mention there was corn?

Registration was quick and painless.  We checked in quickly and scurried down to lunch (may I add, we left 2:30 on Monday and it was now 1 pm on Tuesday and I had slept for one hour). Pretty much everything was good. As normal, I threw a little of everything on my plate until I reached the end of the buffet and caught myself face to face with a dead fish giving me a stare to rival Barbara Fusar-Poli’s Italian stare down. I quickly ran away and alerted Holly of the terrifying ordeal only for her to waltz over, throw one on her plate and begin to tear it apart.

After lunch, I thought it would be ok to take a short nap. Normally, I old stay up ’til bed time in order to adapt to the time change, but I was getting border-line Tangry(tired+angry). So, down I flopped and so did my eye lids. By the time I woke up, it had been five hours, my team leader had accidentally slammed open my door, my roommate had completely unpacked and my phone had rang four times… Oops.

Well after that I figured it was time for adventure. I began texting Julia and Holly repeatedly until they replied and told them to meet in the lobby. We all did as planned and set out. Damian lead us across the street before he admitted that he had no clue where we were going. We tried to gather our bearings on a bus map, decided to head south and began walking north. Oops again.

After about ten minutes we found a sports center and poked around. The place seemed like it was tennis courts and stuff so we casually made our way next door where we could make out the top of a bouncy house. A small carnival was being housed in the courtyard with go-karts and bumper boats and inflatable race courses. Unfortunately, when we forced Damian to ask, it turned out that it was only for twelve year olds and under. The lady did point us in the direction of a nice little park though.

Little did we know that this park looked like something straight out of a horror movie. Only one parent and their child were present as the swings and they seemed to simply disappear away we approached the place. It was mainly made from stone and there were small tunnels for kids to run though. So of course, we had Julia crawl through one. Immediately after, she informed us it smelled like a dead body inside.

The merry-go-round sat in one corner spinning lazily and creaking, so I couldn’t resist getting on and spinning until I felt sick. After discovering that the sand box filled with stones was shaped like a coffin, we decided we were creeped out and left.

Our team meeting that night was like most, if at most team meetings your team leader talks about falling a sleep on the toilet because the sink makes a nice headrest, or don’t drop the soap because when you go to pick it up you will bump the tap and make the water boiling hot. So yeah… Normal.

Today we had quiet for awhile before we actually had to head to the rink. We drew second to skate in our draw. The rink is pretty nice. It stadium style and has special features like the natural fog and the indoor rain from the ceiling. But the ice felt great and that’s really all that mattered.

After our practice we ventured down to old town. We passed a festival in the town square and started hunting for restaurants as Holly’s Hanger (hunger induced anger) began to show up. We ran up and down the street trying to find menus until we settled on the first place we saw.

It was until we reached the place did I realize that their symbol vaguely resembled something that Edger Allen-Poe would use in his tales for a secret society. A tree with two keys grown into the roots and a Slovenian saying in a very fancy script underneath, but I forgot all about my crazy idea of secret societies when our food came and I basically licked my plate clean. I’m not sure what happened after that as my tiredness has been uncontrollable tonight, but I think we caught a cab back to the hotel. Well, I’m here and none of my organs are on the black market so I guess I can sleep easy tonight and not wondering who will have my left kidney tomorrow.

~ Daniel