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Cultural Differences part 5: Aim below the screen 10.07.10 at 8:31 am ET
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PRAGUE — While taking photos in the bathroom may be the weirdest thing one could do, I had to after coming across this in a restaurant. In the states one considers it swanky if there’s a TV in the bathroom, and in rare cases one can find monitors on the wall above the urinals. Not in Prague though. It’s all the same machine.

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Scoreless after one… Scoreless after one?/Cultural Differences Part 4 10.02.10 at 2:59 pm ET
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BELFAST — Not that too much should be drawn from the Bruins’ exhibition with a squad made up of Elite League All-Stars and members of the Belfast Giants, but one probably wouldn’t have guessed the Bruins wouldn’t be able to pick up a goal in the first 20 minutes.

The reception from the fans here at the Odyssey Arena was quite remarkable. They seemed to lose their voices cheering each player as they were introduced, though they were able to reach back and get noticeably louder for Mark Recchi and almost deafening for Zdeno Chara.

Once the puck was dropped, the Bruins were in the offensive zone for the vast majority of the period, but were unable to get one by Stephen Murphy. The Scotland-born Murphy is in his first year with Belfast. The Giants actually had a couple of real scoring opportunities themselves, only to have them foiled by Tuukka Rask.

Thanks to twitter follower “batterupbruno” for reminding me of the following: I definitely picked up another cultural difference while mulling around during the intermission. They don’t have fans throw foam pucks on the ice or give away t-shirts over here. Instead, some lunatic with a giant gun disguised as an Italian sub wreaks havoc on innocent fans by shooting subs at them. They are of course wrapped, but the gun, which they call the “Subway Sub Cannon,” sounds more like a lawsuit than a fun time.

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Cultural differences Part 3: Weird Gatorade 10.01.10 at 8:28 pm ET
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lucozadeBELFAST — I ventured into the Belfast Giants’ locker room Friday to chat with Brett Hemingway, a forward for the Giants. I had gone to college with Hemingway but had never met him, so having the city of Belfast described in terms relative to Durham, N.H. was something this scribe could get on board with. The conversation revolved mainly around hockey and Jose Bautista (Hemingway is a Blue Jays fan), but one thing I had to bring up was what the guy next to him was drinking.

I had noticed this weird Sunny Delight-looking stuff that some of the Bruins were drinking when they were on the ice and later saw it in the team’s refrigerator next to Zdeno Chara‘s locker. Hemingway said it’s a drink called Lucozade, which is “like Gatorade here.” He did point out that though there is Powerade, Vitamin Water, and other American beverages in Northern Ireland, he had never spotted Lucozade. Not sure it’s worth trying. Still kind of looks like weird Sunny Delight.

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Cultural differences: Part 2 at 5:08 pm ET
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BELFAST — Yield =

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Cultural differences: Part 1 09.30.10 at 9:46 am ET
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BELFAST — I was champing at the bit to make up a “cultural differences” series when I saw this poster outside the playhouse in Belfast. You know that really popular play “Movin’ Out”? You know why it’s set to Billy Joel music? Because Billy Joel sings everything. Everybody knows all his songs. He can play “Zanzibar” live and everyone in the house will know every word, even though the song was never a single. He definitely has enough hits to last an entire play.

Well, our first cultural difference encountered has a lot to do with that. This is a poster for the play “Sunshine on Leith.”

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The Proclaimers. Even a bad music aficionado couldn’t name five songs by them. Must be a short play. Off to practice now, check back here for some interesting stuff.

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