Thursday, June 24, 2010

World Cup - What World Cup??

Welcome back to me!  Welcome back to you!

After a hectic, frenetic and energetic jaunt around the UK, I am now severely lighter in wallet (thanks to Mr Coalition), wider in the waist (thanks to Mr Guinness) and generally healthier and cleaner (Praise-be for tap water).

After three weeks of serious carbo loading and excessive veggie burger indulgence, we enacted our own version of Sainsbury’s supermarket sweep of dried soya and chocolate, purchased an over functional camera at the tax free airport and boarded another uninspiring flight with Air Baltic to Dushanbe.

On touchdown there was immediate delight at returning; warm evenings, friends to collect us and a spacious house with an over playful cat. In fact, it felt like a holiday...

However, whereas the novelty of Dushanbe originally lasted several months, on revisiting I think the honeymoon period lasted two whole days, first was the blistering hot weather, then the lack of brown tap water, then the IT malfunctions, the bed bugs and mosquitoes, the police check points, the Niva’s punctured tyre and that was before I’d even entered work....

However, every four years there is salvation from normality - the Football World Cup, when all the countries of the world unite in front of the TV and forget all the libellous misdemeanours of their nations’ favourite sports stars.

As Tajikistan surprising didn’t qualify the world cup this time, or any other time and not likely to do so until the move over to Australasia, there is a distinct lack of fervour for the competition. At the end of Brazil’s juggling performance against Ivory Coast there was a polite ripple of applause, and when I waved by cheap plastic flags emblazoned with the Cross of St George, there was a genuine look of bewilderment from the other ten people in the bar. Thankfully, there were no brutish Slovenians, they were all on the pitch.

However, the expat community are embracing the opportunity for international banter, with the USA and UK ambassadors now destined to jump into a swimming pool due to the draw between mother and daughter, thankfully with their clothes on, and with the pending ‘spielen’ between the forever underperforming English and perpetually over performing Germans, a few insults could be lost in translation. Meanwhile, the French and Italians’ are in mourning, the Swiss can’t stop gloating, and the Dutch keep drinking waiting for the team to implode, whilst the Tajik’s continue to support the team that wins.

So, I look forward to trying to decipher on the blurry screen whether Cappello picked Heskey or Defoe, (I thought there was something amiss when the ball entered the net.) and whether Heskey will end up playing centre back with Terry by the end of the tournament.

To be continued....

F.C. Regar TadAZ hosted and won the 2009 Asian Football Conference President’s Cup

1 comment:

Martin said...

Hi Shane,

My name is Martin and I am writing to you on behalf of a website that I am currently involved in starting up. We aim to provide prospect volunteers with all the information they need in order to feel confident in their choice of organisation, position and destination, as well as inspire people to make the jump and try out volunteering.

As a part of that, I was wondering whether you might be interested in answering a few questions and perhaps sharing any advice you may have for people who are considering to volunteer.

If you think you might have time to do this, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me through, and you can view the website I’m representing at

Thanks, and keep up your amazing work!

Martin Jonsson

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