02.25.08

Soccer&Sjoelen (English version)

Posted in Uncategorized at 19:53 by laura

Because we felt that this post could be interesting for people whose Dutch skills are not quite up to par, and because the humour of Google’s translation can sometimes be tiring, we’re providing a hand-crafted (lightly edited) translation For This Time Only! Buy Now! Ahem.

Because we’ve kept on bragging that our basement is so large that you could play soccer in it, we felt we needed to prove it. So last week, we sent an invitation to Erik’s colleagues asking if they’d be interested in coming on Saturday to play soccer and sjoelen.

In the morning we had some problems: the vacuum cleaner gave up the ghost; after trying fruitlessly to repair it for 20 minutes, Erik went to our neighbours to borrow theirs; then when everything was finally clean, I broke a vase.

So when our first guests arrived at a quarter past one we hadn’t finished all planned preparations for dinner, but after ten minutes or so we started the first few rounds of sjoelen. We’d played sjoelen before, and our Canadian friends seemed to like it quite a lot; see our earlier post Sjoelen. We had received a sjoelbak from the Netherlands as a gift. For the experts: it’s not an official size sjoelbak, but a slightly smaller one.

At a certain point, there were enough people to start our soccer tournament. Our basement is essentially square with a wall protruding from one of the sides, along which the stairs come down. This creates a sort of thick U-shape. We had created a goal on both sides of the protruding wall; so the goals were back to back, and to get to one from the other you had to go around two corners. This was considered hilarious by our guests.

The first match was Karishma, Josh and Myriam versus Halle, Mathieu and Erik. The rest stayed upstairs and played some more sjoelen. Soon they heard a sort of explosion of noise, shouting, banging and laughing. I peeked around the corner once, it was hilarious to see them play and they clearly had a lot of fun. The carpet was maybe a little slippery, especially combined with socks, so that was an extra factor in the fun. And because we have a low ceiling, lots of wall area and a light ball, the movement of the ball was very hard to predict. They clearly had a lot of fun. After about 15 minutes (twice five minutes playing and five minutes rest in between), Karishma and her team had won despite the other team having been in front till about one minute before the end.

Then it was the six others’ turn: Austin, Jennifer and me played against John, Clare and Karen. The six earlier players decided it would be fun to watch, so they sat down on the stairs. This was very interesting, because they could see almost the entire basement, except the two goals. So every time the ball went out of their sight they yelled asking if a point had been scored. It was actually fairly cold in the basement, but after half a minute we at least did not notice anymore. The best thing really was that everybody was so enthusiastic and really put their energy into it. It was very tiring but a lot of fun although my cheering after a goal was not always appreciated, sorry John. And we won the game.

Erik and I decided to propose another loud and chaotic game, which Karen had played with us before: the Beursspel (sold here as Pit). So we moved the sjoelbak to the living room and set up the Beursspel on the table in the dining room. It’s a card trading game without turns; all the players are constantly shouting what they have on offer. This game was also liked fairly well; it fit into the theme of the day, but didn’t require all that tedious running about.

Then the two winning basement soccer teams had recuperated enough to play the finals. Karishma had made it her sole goal to block me whenever possible, but poking in her sides a few times made short work of her. Despite that solution, Karishmas team won. It was a good game, although later one of my team members said Karisma and me were like canonballs. Now I know I am short and fairly round, but not Karishma… Don’t know what he could have meant.

After all this soccer playing, it was time to play a somewhat more quiet game. John and Jennifer had brought the game Kill Dr. Lucky, a sort of inverted version of Clue where you want to kill Dr. Lucky and the other players keep preventing you from doing it. Meanwhile a few others and I finished preparing dinner.

Fortunately we had exactly enough chairs and also the table was just big enough to seat everybody. People liked our food. Of course it was too much, but that should not come as a surprise to people who know us. And, well, we now have easy dinners this week. We closed the day with some chatting, a few games of sjoelen, vodka and listening to live piano music. Victor loves to play the piano, and after eyeing the piano for a while he simply had to start playing and he plays very well! And he also got Clare to play afterwards.


All in all a great day (and night because we went to bed late). Worth doing again. And if anybody still had any doubts: our basement is definitely big enough to play soccer in!

Finally, here are the statistics:

Winning basement soccer team: Karishma, Myriam and Josh.

Sjoelen high scores (all scores over 100):
Victor: 131 points (only 4 discs left!)
Mathieu: 123 points
Austin: 116 points
Erik: 108 points
Josh: 103 points

Beursspel winner: Halle, with 20 points.

1 Comment

  1. Ria said,

    February 26, 2008 at 15:09

    Great this stonecole English, but the most interesting part is that Joost who is sitting at the table wright now with his laptop and also reading this blog was wondering why I laughed so loud. He had namely the dutch version?????
    How come ???? I must say I like this version. What a nice day you two offered these people.
    Big Kiss Ria