Thursday, 01 December, 2022

thenewnigerian

A Day To Remember


A day to remember

 A Day to Remember.
I left the house to capture some shots of a football player I had interviewed on Friday in his new house at Elvange, who was playing. He was an ex-international (national team player), and they had a very important match  Mondorf is the team he plays for.
He had also promised to present me to an important football agent/manager, interested in African players, because of my contacts with football academies and clubs in Nigeria, whose players might be interested in presenting themselves for trials and possible “signings”, in European leagues.
The match was to begin at 4pm. I caught bus 175, from near my apartment- Jhangli bus stop along Rue de Thionville at 15.14hrs to Mondorf Christophous, and was to catch the bus 185 to Remisschen Am Schoul at 15:42hrs.
Guess what, the sloppy African driver was so slow, that we arrived at Christophous at 15:42, just as bus 185 was departing. I stayed on until Ellerange Gare, thinking my driver might catch up with bus 185. No way. At Elerange Gare,I came down and deviated right towards Elvange. I walked some 2.5km to Elvange, Beim Tube, checked to see and saw that the next bus 185 was due at 17:58hrs, the match ends at 18:00hrs. I had to walk. with over 10kg recording gear – cameras and tripods. I walked 6 km more to Wetrange, across hills, winding roads, forests, valleys, farms, etc, under the hot sun.
 It was really beautiful. From here, I walked 2km to Remerschen, then diverted in from what seemed like a huge colonial arcade hotel towards the fields. The match was going on at Terrain 2 synth. I got there, rolled out my gear, and started recording. The walk was so pleasant, I felt like a soldier, doing it.
After the recording, I was supposed to meet the player in the hall in the dressing room. As they were celebrating because his team, Mondorff FC won, and were promoted to the higher division. It was either Mondorff or the opposing team to be promoted if either won.
But there was no time. I had to run to catch the bus 185 at 18:20hrs, due to return to Mondorf Casino 2000, to catch the 175 to Luxembourg at 18:47hrs. I left them there. I need to now get my Jaguar XJ series, 1990 model car.
 I cannot keep running about like a mad dog. But it is very good for the spirit and heart and muscles to walk so long and hard, over the hills and across valleys. I could feel it. To help against my pollen allergy, I wore a mask. Too many trees and flowers and grassland on the way.
I walked none stop, hard and fast for an hour, and caught the match halfway through. Something funny occurred while I was filming the match. The kids were so motivated and they were beating the tam-tam and conga. Little Luxembourgish kids. One was with a big dog.
As the match wore on and both teams were giving it their all, scoring goals with abandon, and the opposing team’s supporters drumming as hard…this kid with the dog was so engrossed in the match that he didn’t know when this dog – quite a big one, which was also as engrossed in the match as its owner, gently crept away with its leash, and before you could say “Jack Robinson”, it bolted into the field of play.
The players nearest to the ball were not at all aware of the now bounding dog. I watched with an open mouth after a player in a “striking position” received a pass from a teammate, and was about to shoot… Like a bolt of the blue, the dog was on the ball before the striker could tell what was going on. You should have seen how he nearly jumped out of his skin, clearly unable to process the unfolding event… I saw him hop quickly away from both the dog and the ball.
And there was the dog in full possession of the ball, mouth ajar, tongue dropping, eyes on the field, and a foot on the ball as if daring the players to come for a dribble.
I couldn’t help but laugh. I peeled into an unending bout of laughter.
 I hope I captured the scene. I am not quite sure. I will check for it in my camera now. It was a wonderful pose. It looked poised, as the 23rd player on the field. The referee quickly blew his whistle for a “water break” as the dog’s owners ran onto the field to pacify it.
The dog seemed very disappointed that proceedings could not continue, after he made its entry into the field of play, and it had to be pacified and cajoled off the ball and out of the field of play. It was a desired distraction and tension had been climbing a bit too high. What a match it turned out to be.
 I left immediately for home after the match. Here I am, trying to download what I recorded, after a cool shower and dinner. I feel so dog-tired. The pain of the trek is hitting me so hard like bricks.

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