Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Football Fanaticism

  Before I narrate my trip to Koh Chang, let me recap a pre-trip event. Last Thursday I traveled with the Thai teacher soccer players to a tournament at a Catholic school a few hours away. It's kind of funny how it worked out because I accidentally joined the team. A few weeks ago a few players from Chelsea FC came to St. Gabriel's for reasons unknown to me. Naturally, I got my hopes up and fantasized about what star football celebrities would possibly come to the school.  That morning I called my supervisor to ask her about helping with the program so I could interact with at least one of the famous players. After some investigation of the school grounds there were no famous footballers in sight, so that was quite a let-down. Only a few unfamiliar subs or B-team members showed up. Too good to be true. But so many unbelievable things have happened here already that I was caught up in the moment. Anyway, I have been playing pick-up games a few times a week after school (foreign teachers versus Thai teachers). So when I was talking to my supervisor I guess I phrased my question in a misleading way, so a miscommunication lead to signing me up to join the Thai teachers for a soccer tournament! Due to another schedule change, my Thursday became free of classes. I dragged myself onto the bus at 6:15am to go to St. Louis School, which is a few hours outside of Bangkok. The school is much bigger than St. Gabriel's and coed.

  Our first game was very exciting. Our faulty keeper let up two easy goals in the beginning, but we managed to score one before half time. In the second half we came back and scored two more to make the score 3-2. That didn't last long because the other team tied the game 3-3 on a lucky free kick right before the final whistle. We narrowly lost in penalty kicks, but it was a great game. I didn't play during the first game because it was so intense. I played most of our second game that we won 4-1. Running in the brutal heat when you're out of shape is just miserable, yet I was happy with how I played considering the circumstances. Our team placed third in the tournament and was awarded a baby trophy at a post-game dinner ceremony on the campus. We joked about cutting of the top of the cup to take shots from it. A few of the teams attended the dinner to feast on the plethora of Chinese/Thai dishes and to receive their trophy. The food seemed endless. The highlight of the meal was shark fin soup, which is an expensive delicacy in Thailand. It was great to try so many new foods and meet new Thai friends. We all had fun singing drunken Karaoke throughout the dinner. The drinking didn't stop there...the bus ride home involved road beers and learning more Thai phrases from the teachers. It was a long day that turned into a long night because I had plans to leave for the beach early Friday morning at 7am. I got back to St. Gabriel's around 11pm and immediately proceeded to pack my bag for my trip. Instead of leaving campus at 5am on Friday, I hopped in a cab with my friend around midnight on Thursday to stay the night at ABAC (Assumption University) with other Loyola friends. I was absolutely exhausted by the time we got to ABAC, so I passed out quickly. Waking up at 6am (again) on Friday was aggravating, but I did my best to sleep during the five hour van ride to the beach. By the way, we did not have school this passed Friday and Monday because of midterms and a holiday. 

  Song of the Day:
This song is a one-hit wonder like most great 90's songs. Somehow the song popped into my head the day before we left for the tournament and became one of my pre-game pump-up jams. I'm so glad my brain resurrected this forgotten treasure!
Wiseguys - 'Start the Commotion'

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