As I mentioned, I had an early start this morning to play football with some of the kids from Blue Dragon. Now, I have an issue with sleeping when I know I have to be up early. So despite setting my alarm for 7:15, I was waking up at all hours and actually got out of bed at 7:00.
The usual breakfast – a loaf of fresh bread – was collected from the kitchen and I wandered round the corner to get a motorcycle taxi. I must be getting blasè, but I was motored up to the football field with one hand on the grip and the other being used to feed myself bread. Either blasè or just too tired to notice.
I got there dot on time as the children were split into two groups. Around 30 smaller kids who played 15-ish-a-side, and around a dozen older lads including one westerner. I was roped into this game to make up the numbers and swapped my Toon top for a pale blue one supplied by those nice people at Real Betis.
Now, I know it was only 8am. However, it was still well over 20 degrees (and rising) with silly humidity. The pitches weren’t small, and there was a lot of running. I am very pleased to say that I didn’t collapse at any point, though the kids ran rings round me after about 15 minutes when such things as breathing became an effort. Some of them were actually pretty good. Annoyingly they were all on the opposing team.
Sweat was literally gathering on my eyebrows and flowing into my eyes in little tsunamis. Every time I ran a step it looked like my forehead was spitting on the ground. I cannot remember ever being so hot, but it was just damn good fun!
OK, so we lost. 5-3, but I think two of their goals were dubious to say the least. One went through the netting and out the back which means it shouldn’t count (don’t believe me? It happened to Boro in a Premiership match a handful of seasons ago), and their third didn’t cross the line entirely.
Sour grapes? Me?
I got to meet the IT chap who works for Blue Dragon as he was captaining the other team. Tomorrow I’ll be collecting a copy of Dreamweaver to put on my laptop so that I can start working on some notes for the staff and children.
The only serious downsides appeared as I hobbled away in the shape of a large blister on each foot. As a result, I didn’t walk back as far as I wanted to stretch my legs, instead getting a bike ride from a man who looked surprised when I said “Yes” to his query of “Motorcycle?”.
I got dropped off at a supermarket near the lake and bought some sweeties. I made some kids’ day as well, as there was only one packet of California Starbursts left. I already had that one in my hand and she was eyeing it up (obviously not a fan of the sour ones), so I just bought them and gave them to her. Heck, I eat enough sweets as it is. Her and her sister both said “thank you very much!” as did their mum. Meh, worth 7000 Dong!
Also, due to lack of sleep, I didn’t have much of an appetite so lunch wasn’t until almost 3:00. I used one of the leaflets I’d had foisted on me to order a chicken burger, chips, fruit, garlic bread (evil!) and drink. Including delivery (which took about ten minutes), this came to 39,000 Dong. Bargain. And it was pretty decent.
Much time was spent burning CDs for people trying to make sure they don’t lose any photos. Always happy to help!
Dinner was also delivered (hamburger) and I relaxed – kind of – to watch us walk all over Chelsea and take 7th position and the Intertoto Cup slot. One quick beer to celebrate and my fatigue overcame me. Bed was inviting me and I didn’t have to RSVP.