A few weeks ago Leakhana came home and out of the blue announced she wanted to leave me. I figured after two years of looking after Grace on her own and putting up with me for 4 years it was high time and actually I was surprised it had taken her this long to pluck up the courage. I think her sister Phalla was the catalyst that finally made Leakhana take the big step. So last Friday morning at 2a.m Leakhana walked out the door with a packed bag and a huge smile on her face. Her destination ? Bangkok. Shopping. Yes…..my wife has left me for 4 days to go on a shopping spree with her sister and some friends !! Why ? what were you thinking ? Shame on you ! I gave her a wad of cash to burn and I am really happy she is a) taking the time out of family life/ mothering and b) stepping outside her comfort zone and heading off to another country effectively on her own. They mini-bused it to Poipet and then switched to a larger bus into Thailand and last I heard was an SMS saying they were having a great time. I just hope she comes back …
So that left me on my own with Grace…..and mum…..and Srey Pek…..and Srey Nek. HMMMMMMMMM. What WILL I do !? Well fortunately there was a lot on this weekend . Friday night saw me head out to Victoria Bar for the free bbq and then on to Gym bar for the presentation of the Cambodian Cobra AFL jerseys. Even though I am not a huge AFL fan, I agreed to TEAMS sponsoring the jerseys to the tune of $500 as I know most of the players. With the Vietnam Swans coming in for a “friendly” match the following day, the lads were in high spirits. After Gym it was over to Garage for a few beers with Jeff and Darren and then on to Heart where ,or course, it got messy.
I awoke Saturday feeling decidedly seedy and first stop was the Pink Palace restaurant with the family for some nourishing noodles. This helped ease my pain somewhat and after dropping everyone home I grabbed the dog , picked up Paul and we headed out to Northbridge School and their oval which was the venue for the match. On arrival we found a very nice catering set up but a sign that forbade bringing in outside beverages which was a real shame as we had stocked up the 80l esky with plenty of beer and water for everyone. Oh well….I am sure we will get around to drinking it dry soon. There were plenty of supporters on the sidelines and the Cobras were already warming up resplendent in their new jerseys. Unfortunately the other team was nowhere to be seen !
Eventually the Vietnam Swans turned up and some of them looked the worse for wear having hit the town the night before. As the skies darkened and the crowd lubricated, the stage was set for a showdown. Would it be epic ? Only time would tell. I did not envy the players at all and as someone on the sideline remarked ” looks like a bunch of blokes who used to play footy a long time ago……”. A few players were smoking pre-match ciggies on the sidelines whilst others went through stretching routines. In the huddle before the match Murph laid down the law and showed solid leadership skills and no-nonsense attitude and soon enough it was kick off….er…bounce off…..er throw up…..whatever it is they do !
The game was pretty brutal I have to say. Lots of big hits and crunching noises and it wasn’t long before players started to drop – mostly from HUGE cramps. Car from Aussie XL limped off with a terrible hammy sprain and next to go was the man himself Murph who was in agony. Steve Higgins pulled his groin ( not for the first time I am sure ) and Chaya the Cobras all start suffered a cramp that saw me and Karma dispensing on-field first aid.
The skies opened up after a few big lightning strikes and as a result everyone got a good soaking. The balls got slippery and the pitch got soggy and the breathing of the players got heavier and heavier but thank Buddha it was not overly hot as a result. It was rather one sided with the Vietnam Swans racking up many many goals in rapid succession however they had been playing together as team for some time versus the Cobras 3 or 4 training sessions. At the end of the day the game was the winner and as an observer I can say it was just great to be out there in the fresh air with good friends and a few cold beers to boot.