Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Events Back Home

When deciding to live abroad you have to be aware that in doing so you'll be detaching yourself from lots of things that have had a big influence on your life as you've grown up, your friends and family most significantly, but also news, sporting and cultural events that are constantly on going.  There aren't too many days when I really miss England, but watching Man Utd win the record breaking 19th title slightly hungover on Saturday morning and the victory against Chelsea last week, I thought it'd be great to be back home, enjoying the wonderful atmosphere of success whilst marauding slightly inebriated around Manchester city centre.

Although everyone is probably sick of hearing about the Royal Wedding two weeks ago, the same has to be said for that.  This was a truly global, once in a generation event, so much so that when teaching my 3rd grade children (8 years old) in the week before it, they knew more about some of the background and traditions than me, I was astonished.  Being in London, or just in England, for that special holiday period to soak up the feel good vibe, sing along with 'Jerusalem' and wave a cheap Union Jack around would have been fantastic, but then life's twists and turns have brought me here to Colombia and I suppose if there's a Royal Wedding in another 30 years or so, I'll be able to look back on this one and remember my crazy few years in tropical Cali.  As to where I'll be then, that's another matter!

And then in 2 weeks time, the ultimate occasion in club football, the Champions League Final, between Manchester United and Barcelona, comes to Wembley.  I was living in Chile for the 2008 penalty victory over Chelsea, so missed the manic celebrations in Manchester at John Terry's expense, but did venture to Rome to see the humiliating loss against Barca in 2009, although we had a fantastic few days in the Italian capital.  A friend has got hold of a ticket for the Wembley showcase, and I even met a Colombian guy last week who has splashed out €2,000 a piece for the game - he's going to London just for that, must be very flush with cash!

Even though I'll be able to watch the game just as easily here as in England on cable TV, with a few friends and accompanying beers no doubt, it'd be nice to be in a bar in Manchester, or London for that matter, and be surrounded by all the anticipation and excitement associated with such monumental events.  A global audience of 1 billion or whatever it will be just adds to the hype of it all, and I am very much looking forward to what I hope will be a victorious day for my team!

Next summer then brings the Olympics, the biggest show of them all to London.  Despite all the scepticism towards seemingly every aspect of the event, which I think is a very unfortunate aspect of the British psyche, it should be a great show piece and, as long as it doesn't piss down for the two weeks, a wonderful advert for the country.  I've just accepted a job at a bilingual school and will be in Cali for another year, but my holidays would coincide with at least some of the Games, so hopefully I maybe back in England to witness some of the spectacle.

Morning mist and sun in Cali
Obviously the wonders of the internet make it much easier to keep in touch with all of these things nowadays, but there is a part of me that always wants to be there.  This is just the case too with friends and family, the first of my good mates from university has just got engaged back in England, and living abroad would probably mean missing out on that wedding, depending on when and where it happens.  These are all things that affect people living away and can make it hard at times, but then you wake up, look at the morning sun shining on the 4,000m Andes that tower over Cali, and think what a cool thing you're doing in the meantime.  I don't know too many people back home saying that about their current job at the moment.

1 comment:

  1. Nice article Dave. Made me feel a bit nostalgic for "Blighty".