Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Madness Of King Zizou



Madness, utter madness.




My day started with a trek through the jungle just outside KL, including a walk across a canopy bridge whose entire integrity seemed to rest on the shoulders of a screw no bigger than my little finger. The walk was really good - it was nice to get a chance to catch up with Jason and to get to know Kat a little better. They're a really lovely couple, always smiling and chatting.

Other highlights included eating roti canai again, and seeing some keep-fit enthusiasts thrusting their hips in the direction of a waterfall. Only in Asia...

Lunch was at a collection of hawker stalls nearby Jason's house - these places have an amazing atmosphere, really family orientated and bustling. The food is great too - Malay cuisine is a unique mix of Chinese and Indian cooking, but undoubtably with its own distinct style and taste.

The tagline "Football Mad Nation" is dotted around the city, advertising a Malaysian phone company. This is certainly apt - the party for the World Cup Final in the centre of town was incredible. In the absence of a Malaysia national team in the finals, everyone chooses a team to support which adds to the carnival feel. It's certainly a spectacle - this year only Flipsyde (or however you spell his misspelled name) and a live Crazy Frog performance spoiled what was otherwise a superb festival atmosphere.

We moved onto the "football district" to watch the game, and Zidane's inexplicable moment of madness. I feel pretty sorry for the old chap, but it was moment of utter stupidity from a player we all once revered. Rather than spoil our memory of him, this incident will ensure that one of the world's greatest players is always remembered, but as a human being with faults like Maradona, rather than the god-like genius that was Pele.

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