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Friday, 4-Nov-2005 00:00
Tupai's Eid Mubarak & Lost in Translation, combined
More magical moments this raya. Another saviour to the fore.

On the second day of raya, a kind colleague, Bara', came aknocking at the door and had kindly invited me to join his family & friends for an eid get together at a rented istirahat (an enclosed place with separate tents for the men and women) in the south of Riyadh. I had a little apprehension initially, because my arabic is only slightly better than my swahili (which is non-existent). But since it was eid and it was an honour to be invited to join an occasion as this, I agreed to it. Also, the idea of playing footie and testing my fitness made it an invitation I just could not refuse. Just like Brando's offer.

I enjoyed the experience. Forcing myself to speak arabic aloud in front of about 50 arabs was good. Having Bara' to translate some of the conversation was a major help too. His venerable father is a very knowledgeable doctor, and has a patriarchal role in the Syrian community here . The food was absolutely mumtaz (excellent), and for the first time, I had enjoyed drinking laban.

When it came to the kickabout at the end, mine was disappointingly swift and brief. Watching from the sidelines was never fun. I thought I could redeem some of our pride from the defeat of Skuad Pak Belang to Syria in the Islamic Solidarity Games (April 2005, we lost to their youth team 1-3) and show what real Malaysian footie is all about. Maybe I just did.... Malaysian football is just as poor as my cartilage. The only difference is that I need more rest, but the national team & management need some serious kick up their backsides.

Will we ever be in the World Cup? At least in my lifetime?

In the mean time, thanks very much to Bara' and his Syrian connection.

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