Monday, January 14, 2008

Cya on chinese new year...

In less than 24 hours, i'll say bye bye to singapore for 3 weeks, on a little journey to NZ. I'll be coming back on 4th, which is like a few days before the new year, no time to hone my skills prior to the real thing, so i guess its really luck this time.

I think everything will be quite screwed, since you know, the people i'm going with is very competent. Oh yeah that was not a typo.

Looking forward to experiencing a new environment for the next few weeks. The clear blue sky, the grassland stretching towards the horizon, which you definitely won't be able to see in Singapore. Of course i hope i get to see the scenery in NZ, which is like 1 of the "must do when you're in new zealand". Hope can squeeze all of that in 1 day, since there's already a planned tour, which i think will be hopeless and useless, and can only satisfy those who thinks that nz is part of US.

So people, take care and cya all soon.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A girl i would like to know...

Read this on the liverpool website today, wasn't really surprised that there was a letter from singapore, since we ARE the biggest club in the world, but the content in this letter is something special. She echo my thoughts, and i'm glad that there is someone here in singapore who feels as strongly as I do about liverpool. I guess the only difference now is that she had already embarked on her pilgrimage to Anfield.

The butterflies, the adrenaline, the excitement, the hair on your hand starting to stand when you hear YNWA being sung, even on tv, and the euphoria when you see the red army put the ball into the net.

Nothing, and i seriously mean nothing can ever make me smile so naturally and comfortably except the cheers and roars of the anfield faithful and the look of delight on the players when they got a goal.

Nothing can get me down as much as when liverpool is losing. I still remember I was tearing when liverpool lost 3-0 to the bluenose some time ago.

Oh man i am so looking forward to the day i step into john lennon airport. There is only 1 place to go next...
AN LFC LETTER FROM SINGAPORE Jan Lin, Singapore 10 January 2008

The story of an Asian girl on growing up as a Liverpool supporter in Asia and why Anfield is ever so special and different to her.

'But Asian girls don't watch football', screamed my mortified mother.

‘Do you have any idea what an ungodly hour it is, young lady!'

I took a sideway glance at the wall clock. It read 3:45am. Why yes, it was inexplicable to my mother why her teenage daughter would dutifully crawl out of bed and drop herself in dreaded darkness by the tele all for a football club that has aptly taught her to hold her head up high and not be afraid of the dark.

The year was 1999. Liverpool lost in a tragic fashion by two cruel goals minutes from stoppage time after taking a lead for close to 90 minutes in the 4th round FA Cup tie against the arch nemesis. My heart was too heavy to return to bed then but one is seldom sorry for 'sacrificing' bedtime hours for the Reds.

I have a confession. As embarrassing (and melodramatic) as this goes: I teared that ghastly morning for feeling the injustice of a team that was as near as on the other side of my TV screen was and as far as being on the other side of the world, which had this defeat so vividly embedded in my memory.

Derisive text messages from [insert adjective of your choice] United fans started invading my phone and the thought of being scoffed at in school just hours later made skipping school an appealing option, but to nurse a Liverpool heartbreak would never make a valid excuse to get a day off from school.

If you don't already know, football fans in Asia are well-versed in the art of "nocturnalism", that is to be religiously sleep-deprived over one's football team. When the final whistle snoozes, high school kids in Asia pack their bags then head off to school with heavy eye bags and it becomes part of growing up.

It was hard growing up as a Liverpool supporter in the 1990s. Before the internet was readily available, club news were few and far in between. Yet as many Liverpool supporters at this end of the world will say, however hard it was growing up as a Liverpool supporter, I will not have had it any other way.

Though I was completely charmed by Liverpool the first time I saw them on tele in 1995, I spent the next half a decade asking my tele, 'Do you always have to be this painful to watch?' (Don't you ask too?) It is still as painful some days today, but growing up with the club means you grow stronger together too.

The 1990s will be etched in our memories as the decade of defensive woes from Calamity James to Carra’s affair with own goals. The one thing I've learnt about being a Liverpool supporter even in the Far East is this: Liverpudlians stick through with their team from season to season no matter where or what.

I know of rival clubs' fans in Asia who habitually club-hop, but there was (and still is) something about Liverpool that draws their fans in and keeps them there, irrationally so. Perhaps history taught us to, but we're also accustomed to the Reds' ability to repay our faiths by extreme means and honestly, I love it.

The adrenaline bursting through the top of your head to the untamed butterflies in your stomach that needs to be caged, every comeback story adds a new dimension of belief to your sustained support of the club. Secretly, everyone loves a comeback match and no club does it better than Liverpool.

After a disappointing decade in the 1990s, the lads spun a classic comeback tale at least twice to clinch the unique treble in 2001 and by the time Istanbul happened, I was eternally ecstatic but not less familiar to such moments of midnight magic. Need I still mention the FA Cup final in 2006? Enough said.

The year of Istanbul was my tenth year anniversary as a larky supporter of the club. By Liverpool, I've been overcome by a conviction of what is worth it, is worth the wait. The 2005 Cup didn't do an Asian tour as the 2001 UEFA Cup did, so a trip to Anfield quickly had become a non-negotiable ordeal.

It was initially rumoured in Asia that Stanley Park would be ready by the end of 2008. Horrified by the prospects of never-been-Anfield-bound, I took a gap year in 2007 to spend a year in England. It is hard to articulate why, but Asians have often shared of having an emotional seizure at Anfield. And I did so, too.

It wasn't hard getting there, a local bus ride of about twenty minutes from the city center and I was dropped at the gateway of my midnight magical moments, which were rushing into my head as I stood at the heel of the Victorian gates - for a split moment - to take it all in. With both arms swung wide in a V-sign, a fellow Asian visitor whom I didn't know erupted into delirious roars the moment he got off the bus, 'I'm here, I'm here'! That is what I was talking about. As bizarre as it sounds, many Asian fans (men especially) get completely blown away just by the sight of Anfield.

I was on my own. I never knew Anfield was this majestic and beautiful to say the least. From the humble dressing room to the historical KOP end, the stadium tour lived up to its billing and it would take a lifetime to forget how wickedly entertaining our Scouser guide was. One would have thought seeing The Cup will be the highlight of the trip, after all it embodies the relentless spirit of the club's anthem and reminds you why supporting this club is one of the best thing in your life, but no - I was in for a bigger treat at Anfield and no - it wasn't meeting one of the lads.

As I was leaving the stadium, frantically snapping up last minute pictures from the bus stand across the stadium, my defining moment as a Liverpool supporter came. A Scouser in his thirties sped towards me from the other side of the road and asked, 'Would you like a photo with the stadium? Let me help you!'

That was a moment that redefined my understanding of what You Will Never Walk Alone means. Pleasantly stumped and a lack of a better word, I shyly ran a flowing tap of 'thanks'. To which his reply would warm me for a decade of winters, 'Nah worries! Liverpool fans do anything for each other'. This is why Anfield is so different and will always be so. The red sea doesn't divide at Anfield. The supporters at the stands don't only stick with the lads on the field but they stick by each other in every sense of You Will Never Walk Alone. I may never see you again but if you are the Scouser I met at Anfield last May, on this public space, you deserve a heartfelt 'ta'!

Monday, January 07, 2008

what i've been doing the past few days...

Nice graphics, i love swimming inside, the water looks so real...