ALMOST a year in and I’ve decided to expand my network of friends in Australia.
I felt the timing was apt for me to connect with people of similar interests and kepala in Sydney. Baltasar Gracian once said that there is no greater wilderness than a life without friends. I have no idea who Baltasar is. I Googled for a quote on friendship and was provided this. Yay Google!
“Why don’t you join a hockey club?”, the wife suggested. Not a bad idea, I thought. I began scouring the web for clubs in seek of players. Having identified a few within close proximity of my residence, I proceeded to send emails requesting the opportunity to join as a member. I received no reply. Futile attempt, thought I.
A couple of weeks later, I caught up with a Malaysian mate who plays hockey for one of the local clubs and he invited me to join his team.
Inebriated and excusably incoherent, I mumbled a response which he took for acceptance. As fate would have it, I was now registered to play lower grade hockey with a group of people I barely knew.
We played our first competitive match three weeks later. My mind had cajoled my body into thinking I could replicate moves from 15 years ago (which even back then wasn’t any good).
My body vehemently protested. I looked like a fish out of water, flapping uselessly about in the field, gasping for air and dignity. Murmurs questioning my prior involvement in the sport were overheard, much to my dismay and agreement.
It took a couple of games before I realised my limitations and strengths. This was a pertinent discovery, allowing me to be effective and contributory.
My limitations are easily surmised. I no longer have the ability to play decent hockey. My strengths, however, outweighed my shortcomings massively.
I am currently the official beer taster for the team.
My innate ability to identify and procure beer of quality for my mates, explicitly contributes to the team’s post-game performance and overall camaraderie. I now have many new friends who truly appreciate the skills and value I bring.
As always, beer is the answer.