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The Italian experience !
So tell us, How was Italy ?
We all have preconceived ideas about Italian people: they talk way too loud and with their hands and they are very trendy. I have to agree with the speaking too loud with their hands part. But as for fashion it really depends, there’s something for everyone ;). The Italian are very welcoming. I didn’t know anything about this country but I can say today: I love it!
Areas where you adapted fast?
I adjusted to the playing style pretty fast. I arrived one week before the first official game, but I got the feeling I’d known the team for a while.
At the beginning it was very hard for me to communicate with the coach because he only spoke Italian. And truly no one speaks English in South Italy. It wasn’t easy to make myself understood everyday…
In Taranto, I absolutely didn’t suffer from the cultural and climate changes. It was right on the coast, the weather was really nice throughout the year, a real pleasure to play there.
What was the most complicated thing to adjust to?
The language! But I took some Italian lessons and after two years I could speak fluently.
What about the playing style itself?
I do think the Italian championship level is a bit inferior to the French one. But what’s dangerous about is that any team can beat any other team.
As opposed to France, the center area in Italy is much weaker, so sometimes they have a much faster playing style and they shoot a lot from outside and drives.
What would you say the Italian playing style brought you?
I don’t think you need to adjust to any type of game in particular but to the style of your coach and the composition of your team. You need to understand and know who you are playing with, their qualities and flaws.
How did you get along with Italian players?
My relation with my teammates was really awesome. I was lucky enough to speak good Italian which really helped. I have to say I spent much more time with my Italian mates than the foreign ones particularly with Chicca Macchi and Kathrin Ress. When the team played in Euroleague, we spent most of our time together because we were often away from home. We managed to eat together during the week. However I am more of a loner type, so when I had some free time I would go hiking in the mountains to stay by myself.
Were you in touch with your relatives on a regular basis?
I did get in touch with my parents and my brother at least three times a week through Skype. When I was away I used Whatsapp. It is really easy to stay connected nowadays.
How did you stay close to your home country ?
I listened to French music and at the moment I’m more into Stromae and Zaz. I framed pictures of close friends and family members. Regarding food, I mostly cooked Italian food since good products were hard to find compared to France.