Oct. 27, 2011
It’s always difficult to adjust to a new setting, as P.E.I. Rocket Czech rookies Matěj Beran and Tomáš Pavelka know all too well.
The two friends from the Czech Republic are still getting used to life here in Canada. The duo still have their struggles with learning English, but after living here for a couple of months they are making great strides.
They are learning not just English, but they have also been learning about what is popular in Canada. They may not enjoy some of the popular things on P.E.I. like country music. Beran says he hates country, but Pavelka says that it’s all right.
They have the same billet family, so they can help each other out since they don’t speak English.
When they aren’t playing or practicing for the next game, they are in school learning English or playing video games. They like NHL 12, FIFA 12 and racing games. Matěj prefers playing on the Xbox 360, while Tomáš prefers playing on the computer.
They enjoy playing against fellow Czech and European players.
They agree that having English speaking teammates like Ben Duffy and Josh Currie has helped them out a lot. They also have watched movies in Czech with English subtitles, and English with Czech subtitles.
They enjoy movies like Fast and the Furious and Pirates of the Carribean. They watch comedies and don’t like horror movies.
They haven’t seen much of P.E.I. yet, but they have been to Stratford and Charlottetown, and they haven’t had any trouble finding their way around town. Most importantly they say that they know where the fast food places are.
They are looking forward to their parents visiting the Island. Beran’s parents will be visiting November and December. Pavelka’s family will visit in January. It is common for the European players’ families to visit at some point in the season. Usually the Quebec players see their parents in a road game.
They like their teammates a lot. They find the French players are the funniest though because of the funny things that they might do between periods
They enjoy a lot of the food in Canada. Their billet family has made a lot of pasta, barbecue and various other Canadian food. Alex Noel from the Rocket has a chef for his billet family, so sometimes he will make some Czech food for Beran and Pavelka.
This summer, the hockey world was shaken by many deaths, most notably the plane crash in Russia that killed an entire team. Beran and Pavelka were no exception, especially when they knew some people who were killed on the plane. Beran is still angry with Russia and the quality of their air travel, which he says is pretty bad.
“We knew the Czech players, one was a good friend. He had a wife and two kids. It’s terrible. F…ing Russia (air travel).”
Pavelka wasn’t sure what to think about it.
“I had a hard time thinking, I just couldn’t believe it.”
They have taken a tragedy however, and turned it into motivation. They have taken the plane crash and used that to play their best for their friends who died so young.
“First two games we played, we played for them,” said Pavelka.
During the offseason when they are back in the Czech Republic, they meet up with their other friends who play across the CHL and they will hang out and have a few drinks. (The drinking age in Czech Republic is 15).
Pavelka will work on finishing school in the summer and spend the summer with his girlfriend and family. They both will spend it with friends and family.
Pavelka and Beran love it on P.E.I. They are meeting a lot of new people, and they are bringing their talents to a very young P.E.I. Rocket team.
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