Alright, maybe "hate" is a bit strong, but yeah, essentially, i hate soccer, or football, or bola, as its colloquially referred to here. (jom, main bola....more often than not refers to football, rather than say, tennis, or golf). Anyway, here's the scoop. Firstly, I am a genetic time bomb. My grandfather had a stroke, my grandmother was diabetic, my dad has/had high cholestrol & subsequently a heart attack (his cholestrol now is of a 16 year old, with the help of lipitor), my mother is shortsighted, (which she has rectified with lasik). Now, the other genes I COULD have inherited are : my grandfather was a talented musician; could play by ear, almost any instrument he picked up; my dad is an accomplished sportsman, played hockey for sandhurst, played ping pong for state, played tennis for university, received the sporting blues for hockey, and toured europe....
but what do i inherit? the high blood pressure, the high cholestrol, and the shortsightedness.

To cut a long story short, the first sign of this unfair genetic distribution manifested itself in standard 3, when i had to start wearing glasses. By the time I was in form 3, i think i can be categorised as B3. (my blind masseur tells me there are various degrees of blindness. B3 is if you cant see without glasses.....urm, a bit like me, and evil twin). I'm not complaining okay, I am extremely thankful that I CAN see at all. Anyway, coz of those thick chunky glasses, I always had this phobia of balls, the size of soccer balls, slamming into my face, shattering the glass and leaving shrapnel of broken glass lodged in my eyeballs. Hence, began a lifelong phobia of soccer.

But phobias arent really hatred. Aha, then, I was thrown (like a person is thrown in jail) into this boarding school, (i shall not mention which one, but it's NOT a posh, private, british type one.....in fact, quite the opposite) or sekolah asrama penuh, as they're referred to here, at form 4. Alas, one's self worth in this place like it or not, IS measured more by your sporting abilities more than anything else. And that culture permeated into the subsequent vocation that this school prepared us for. (as in, a carpentry school produces carpenters, a convent produces nuns, etc etc).

It was easy enough to escape in those early years in school, coz EVERYONE was eager to show off their soccer abilities, (which in reality, were non existent for most, but well, kudos to them who tried, better than me), so there was never any shortage of players. But, a few years later, when school and university were behind us, and we had been enlisted into that aforementioned vocation, (hint, think GREEN), again i was faced with that same old nemesis. Still, it was fairly easy to escape; UNTIL......

In 1990, i had to attend a course somewhere down south. There were 13 of us in our course, of which, 2 were ladies. So how many men does that leave? The MAGIC NUMBER for a soccer team. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

I remember the day. I had no choice, had to go and buy a pair of soccer boots, the cheapest i could find, and don the soccer jersey. Even got a team photo to prove it. Anyhows, I figured, if I PRETEND to look busy, and run around the field, and away from the ball, I might get away with it. Sigh. Alas, sometimes that ball, i swear has a mind of its own. Despite running away from it, (hmmm, maybe the opposing team got wind of it), of course the ball comes hurling towards me like an asteroid in Deep Impact, and HITS MY HAND!!!! I hear the loud groans from my team mates. "Sorry ah", I mutter. Game goes on....run run run......and I hear a shriek, "YA ALLAAAAHHH"... only to see the ball coming towards ME again. I kick, but miss, (I can only thank God that I was 22 and parents no longer come to watch their kids play ball at that age), .... a well, you get the gist. So, that's why I hate soccer. Oh, anyway, for the 2nd half of the game, I was relieved of my post, and they hailed some passerby to take my place.

But, not one to bear a grudge, I do resolve to ensure my kids do not go through that same torment. Anyone knows a good soccer coach? Got soccer tuition one or not?

Oh, recently one of my friends, my age, broke his arm playing soccer. When will some people learn!!!!!


cryptkeeper said…
Speaking of bad soccer experiences... got whacked in the back of my head very very hard while I was in primary school, walking by the football field on the way to the school bus. Which just goes to show that you don't need to actually play soccer to be hit by the damn thing. After that experience, I've always had a minor phobia of flying balls.. Years later, my bro caught the football craze and turned out to be a soccer addict. To the point where, if he didn't have his friends around and he felt the need to practice, he would cajole me from my books and make me "goalie". Each time he kicked the ball towards me, I winced and covered my head. LOL. Needless to say, I was never a very effective goalie and he soon stopped the ordeals. Phew. ;) - Po Ai

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