Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Word on Futsal

As most of you may know, Football is one of the things that drives mankind to seek peace with each other and further our existence on this planet. And by Football, I of course mean it in its traditional sense of the game played by using your feet with an 11 man team in attempts to score in the others netted goal, not some rowdy game involving much throwing of an oblong ball and timeouts which goes on For many hours and has silly things such as in play reviewing and a myriad of technological inputs which the State of Alabama is EXCELLENT at. ( ROLL TIDE! BRINGING IT TO THE GREAT STATE 4 YEARS IN A ROW BABY! WHOO! *Insert Foto sama bajunya*) Indonesia is of course no exception to this love that seems to exist everywhere! Everywhere you go you can but help run into it. Its on tv, on peoples shirts, on their hats and scarves, its in the Paper, on advertisements, on the news, and is pretty much the only thing and "sensible male" wants to speak of! And they dont just follow Indonesian leagues here of course, or just the Almighty premier league. Here they tune into La Liga, Serie A, EURO Cup, UAFA Cup, and Even some The US's very own MLS(Something I thing has more viewers here than in the us. I still don't know why you would watch it.) Needless to say, The bug has affected me quite a bit, and I've developed into something of a fan of the sport. I'd flirted with it before of course, watching a mens world cup, or European Champions game, skimming over a highlight or two to see all the fuss, but sense coming here one has to jump full into the thing (or whatever else would I talk with people on the train about?).

All that being said, unlike in a large amount of other countries, the choice pickup football game here is not it in its 11 man, huge pitch and goal form, but in the smaller Much Quicker form of Futsal! Played with 5 players, on a basketball sized pitch, and no such thing as throwins! Its' Excellent, and something I really thing the US could get into. Soccer at a Basketball like speed, PLUS its played on concrete, so no silly things such as soft landings when you skid across the ground. Perfect for kids! Carrying on, At my school every y

 ear they have this awesome thing called "Liga SMANSA" which is a huge futsal tournament running through halway 1st semester until halfway 2nd if I'm not mistaken. Its an awesome tournament where every class fields a team to challenge for the cup! Its a really HUGE event, which involves a group stage, the semi and quarter finals, and a final showdown! Everyone comes out to support there teams, with each class buying matching jerseys, creating rowdy cheers, an announcer, and much hooplah of all sorts. Once the knockout rounds come down, the classes shift to supporting those from the same grade who still remain and as I changed classes second semester, from science to social, I had twice the teams to support! 

Now all along this whole thing, I had been heavily encouraged by all participating, both in my science and social class, that I must join in the good fun of the competition! I however, having given up my soccer habit in the US for agood 5 years, and having tried the game out for fun a bunch, knew how terrible I am at how fast it goes, and how out of shape I have become (Oh Rice and Tempeh how I love you more than running), I always denied furiously because I didn't want to bring my team down by my poor performance! I mean, I'd love to play, I don't Mind making a fool of my self, I just was concerned for the team! SO I was content to watch, eating my nasi goreng and fresh guava fruit with the eventually of spilling half of it when we leapt up at goals! But despite this clear love of being lazy and watching, I was still heartily encouraged to join.So much that I finally ended up giving in... Or really being forced to! At our last game against some class 12 team, we weren't doing so hot! We were in the second half just a few minutes remaining, down 3 - 0, not looking hot, and they all started yelling at me I had to join. They even started I chant about it... I was still at odds when one of them took a jersey off someone else, and forced it down over my head pretty much shoving me into the game!  As we started to paly and we kicked around the ball, I realized just how fun the game actually was like this, and kind of began regretting not joining in the play sooner. It all culminated for me in the when I had the ball in the Red Zone near there goal, and mad a splendid cross resulting in a goal and thus an assist on record for me! Whoo! There was much cheering and whatnot, and about ten seconds later the time was called! We all ran together and congratulated a good match, and depite us losing and not continuing, I felt rather excellent about the whole thing and was in the best of moods for the rest of the day! 

This experience really highlighted two things that I've really come to grasp while i've been here in Indonesia. 1.) That really, the best way to have any fun and do anything really, is to just seize up any opportunity you have, no matter how small, and just go for it! and 2.) That it really is the "small things" in tlife that offer the most pleasure a lot of the time. The things that aren't some huge achievement, but are just simple choices to just go for something, without thinking too hard about it. Whether its joing a game like that, talking to some kids on an Anggkot, successfully bartering your apple down 10 cents, or just up and deciding to apply for a scholarship to an exchange program the night its do, the "small things" if they are indeed "small", always in my experience end up being the most fun! ITs excellent to get out of my self imposed "comfort zone" and just try for something bold and new. Whether you fail whatever you did and embarrass your self or feel awkward, or if the small thing you did leads to a great time, atleast you did something! You tried, you went for it. The only thing in life that we can decide is to go for something, and then see what comes. The two ideals go such hand in hand its fantastic, and its definitely become a kind of mantra I think about whenever I feel timid about something! 

We hit half way in our exchange here last week and I can't believe it has all gone so fast! We've definitely had our Ups and Downs over the past few months here in Indonesia, but I've come to love this country and its people who have become my second home in so short a time, and I can't wait to see how the next half our our journey will go!

Some of us YESers at our midyear orientation in Bandung last week