Friday, July 09, 2010
4 years ago.. and now!
4 years ago, around this time, I was struggling doing my writing for my MSc dessertation. I was a night owl then, when my pace was the most optimum in the wee hours of the day.
My daily routine was (assuming my day started at night, the night owl I was) going to my tuition classes from 8.00pm to 10.00pm and arriving at school around 10.30pm. Most of the time I'd go out with some friends for some dinner at the nearby haunts and will only really sit in front of my pc around 11.00pm. The first thing I'd do is check for emails from Dr Wan (who always sent back our drafts on the same day we sent it to him) then I'd proceed with my writing. Sometimes the guys would ask me to go out for drinks around 2.30am but after 3.00am, I'd be working on my thesis till around 5.00am when I'd finally go back home, wait for Subuh then sleep away until 9.00am or 10.00am. Then I'd go back to school to finalize the draft I wanted to send and email to Dr Wan. Then I would go on to another chapter or anything related.. and my day would repeat just like that.
..until World Cup 2006!
At first it was just that the conversation during dinner would all focus on goals, offsides, defense and bla bla.. Then, since I was the one who was up all night, I became the 'alarm clock' for some friends (even those NOT in USM haha..) to wake them up for certain matches. After that, since I started Googling about the matches, I was asked about the results by those who didn't wake up despite my numerous calls to them.
Then my cousin, Jai, started telling me a few things about football and about the countries that were participating since I found a lot of countries I never heard of among the 32 teams. My junior, Pojie, also started teaching me a few basic things about Football 101 and Remy started teasing me on knowing the results way before them (Ye la, korg tido kan time tu haha..)
Midway through WC06, my thesis started to see the end of the tunnel so I didn't have to stay up so late. So one night, I went home around 3.30am but since my biological clock was reset abnormally, I couldn't sleep so I decided to watch ONE match. I don't remember who was playing, it was an Asian team (Japan? Korea?) against USA. I was mumbling to myself on what the hell did they find interesting in a team of guys wearing shorts chasing a ball, when a goal was scored! To my suprise, the excitement on the screen was infectious..
Then I started watching a few games here and then and started liking a few teams. Mind you, I still didn't understand most of what was happening but to me then (and even now), a good game is when I don't realize the time passes. And a good team (tak semestinye the greatest), bukan lah yg bnyk pemain ensem (as I thought dulu haha..), but is the one that plays with passion (at least to me la mase tu.. and with passion, I mean the look on their faces bile foul or bile dpt goal hahaha.. very like budak² okay!) and creates an entertaining game.
Well, the rest, I'd say, is history! Haha..
I still remember Dr Farhan calling me the morning after the finals when my chosen team, Italy, had won on penalties. He called around 9.00am, I think, wanted to talk about my final draft and he could only meet me that day (Sunday) as he was always busy on weekdays. Kelam kabut kaaaauuuu.. mandi cepat² then when straight to him with mata bengkak haha.. he took one look at me and asked, "Tgk bola ke pagi tadi?" Hahaha..
But no, I don't watch or follow any leagues. Its a bit hard since I only have the normal channels on my TV but even if I have Astro, I don't think I'd like following matches every week. Once in a while, I just check the papers for updates, tu kire abis kuat la tu. Champions League nye final stages pun I only followed when my usual channels were broadcasting them and Euro aritu I was lucky enough when almost all games were broadcasted in the normal channels.
As for the WC2010, I find it hugely different from WC06. Four years ago, I was membebeling at my friends for watching something I thought buang mase. I only started watching during the final stages. Four years ago, I didn't care who played or who lost the group stages or who even entered the quarter final and semi finals. Four years ago, I didn't know a thing about football nor did I know any terms used in football and I only used 'tendang/kick' to descride how you should pass the ball.
Four years ago, I didn't know any players..
..err, well, I still dunno la since I only watch the games what, once a year? Once in two years? Hahah..
But the differance now is I could actually believe it now when they say the WC unites people all over the world (dulu I thought that statment was overrated!). If only people were this united in other world issues, kan haha.. Now, Izati doesn't wanna watch football with me coz she'd turn all black and blue from my pinches when Italy loses.. and was kicked out last in its group in the group stages! Now I know you can pass a ball or cross it. You can also, literally, use your head to score a goal for your team.. and now I can even spot an offside when it baffled me before! Hahah..
Yes, I know.. thats basic stuff. Really basic stuff but for me, its a huge change.. and I'm loving it. The last WC found only me on Argentina's side while Abah, Izati, Iskandar, Sofi and Masyitah were all on Germany's side. Imagine how I was booed when Argentina lost? But for this WC, I especially like it when Iskandar and me were on different sides of the England-Germany match, and I was on different sides with both Izati and Iskandar on the Argentina-Germany match BUT the same side as Adi so we both got booed together by our younger siblings. And hey, 4 years ago, Adi asked me, tak cukup laki ke klau tak tengok bola? Hahah.. but this year, he's on Netherlands side from the start.. Go Oranje!
And no, sape cakap tak cukup laki? I know a lot of great guys who don't watch football. Fell in love with one too haha.. still remember the WC2002 when me and him were chatting while around us, people were shouting for the goal.. so know, football is not for the real men too!
Most of all, I like it when me and my students have something to 'fight' about. I laughed out loud when Brazil lost as my students were asking me to end the class early as they didn't wanna miss the game. I had told them earlier, "Korg ingt korang balik awal boleh tolong Brazil menang ke?" Hehe..
So yes, I DO enjoy myself now during football (though not much to say la during boring matches) but at least I'm not a 'closed' as I was 4 years ago. Thanx to all my friends who 'sumbat' all those great things about football in my head, I don't think I'd ever say these people are wasting their time again :)