Tractor 2's blog
Sawadee-ka Addis Army! An Adventure from Thailand!
Sawadee-ka Addis Army!
As some you know, last year I decided to escape chilly England for blazing hot Bangkok. When weighing up the pros and cons of my move, I was genuinely concerned about how I’d fare feeling so detached from the sports I love. Luckily, they’re bonkers about the Premier League over here, so in theory, I could watch every Spurs game live, but the time difference makes that rather impractical. Missing the RWC too was a painful thought (so, I decided on a quick trip back home for that!); but on top of the footie and rugger, I knew being detached from the world of cricket would feel very strange. Now, I have found ways of being able to watch cricket live through my computer (totally legal, PC Tin Tin…in Thailand, everything’s legal) but it still doesn’t feel the same. I’ve tried to keep in the loop though, and here’s one of the better stories of how I’ve managed to do this:
This time last year, I was lucky enough to go on a CPD course in Colombo, Sri Lanka; honestly, when teaching in England, you’d be lucky to even have half a day off to attend a course or conference 5 minutes down the road, so being sent to Sri Lanka was pretty sweet. The course was just 2 days, but I managed to stretch it out to a 5-day jolly so that I could ‘reflect’ on what had been discussed on the course, and enjoy the weekend in Colombo before returning to BKK on the Sunday morning. Knowing that England’s tour to Sri Lanka would be coinciding with my trip, I had a look at the one-day schedule. Can you imagine my delight when I learned that England would be playing in Colombo on the Saturday? Utter joy! But it was short-lived. Due to a religious festival, the date of the match was later moved to the Sunday – I was gutted.
In the absence of seeing the cricket, there was a small consolation; at the course dinner on the Thursday night, my tuk-tuk driver dropped me off at the hotel and there seemed to be a flurry of excitement. The England coach was parked up and lo and behold, I managed to have a quick chat and picture with Finn, Morgan and Buttler; I’m sure you can imagine me (in true Tractor 1 style), barging others out of the way (none of these other girls had a CLUE who they were, how DARE they get in there for photos?!). I was a happy Tractor 2.
So, despite not seeing any cricket, I did see 3 cricketERS, and I was lucky enough to complete an epic Lord of the Rings-esque journey to Nuwara Eliya to see some important people. The Addis Army faithful were in town: Freddie, Tremers and Wormsley James. It was Friday night, I’d checked Google Maps…if I left Colombo at 6pm, I’d arrive in Nuwara Eliya by 10pm, latest. 3-3.5 hours seemed to be a reasonable journey, so I said 10pm to be safe.
At 8pm, I was barely out of Colombo.
9pm: my taxi driver and I stopped for some dinner.
10pm came and went; my driver said we were still quite a way away. Two more hours, he thought.
Midnight arrived (not you, Midnight, although wouldn’t that have been lovely?!) and Google maps said I was in the region. I was feeling more positive.
I didn’t realise, however, that Nuwara Eliya is almost 2000m above sea level. So, we climbed, and climbed, and climbed. We rounded innumerable hairpin bends. By the time I actually reached the hostel it was 2.30am. Freddie, Tremers and Wormsley James were still up on the ‘veranda’, they greeted me with a beer and I can’t tell you how good that beer tasted! 8.5 hours door to door.
A hellish journey, but it was so worth it! After another beer or two and a good catch up, it was time to rest. We had an exciting day ahead. I was promised a leisurely walk the following day, sounded delightful after my epic journey. But alas, we continued with the Lord of the Rings theme by going for more of a hike, a 7km hike…to The World’s End. We were not equipped with the correct footwear. It started to rain. We tried to cross mud-holes. We almost lost Tremers to one said mud-hole. Hilarity ensued. We reached the World's End, but such was the cloud cover, we could see absolutely nothing!
Luckily though, we all returned in one piece; I had to trek it back to Colombo and catch my flight to Bangkok whilst the guys continued with their tour of Sri Lanka. My whistle-stop trip to Nuwara Eliya will live long in the memory; cheers, guys!
So anyway, I guess whilst I am away in Thailand, I have to just accept that I will feel disconnected. All I can do is continue watching my legal streaming and make the most of any opportunity to see Addis Army folk. It will always be worth it.