Directions to the Hockey Pitch
[believed to have been written, dictated or telecommunicated by Colin Campbell, after an extra heavy Wednesday night following hockey]
On the vagueness meter, you are welcome to choose from the following general directions in order to arrive at the Hockey pitch in Jakarta -
(i) on exiting your office, which will likely be strategically placed in the centre of town, stand quietly beside your car for a few moments and listen (best if the engine is turned off to reduce interference). If you can hear whistles blowing, that is possibly the venerable hockey umpires. Proceed with your window down following said whistles until you find the hockey pitch;
should this not work for you, because of hearing impairments, or run-ins with parking officials -
(ii) wait in your office until 7.30pm (we realise you may be the only person in your office at that time - but try not to be afraid). Access the highest safe vantage point in your building. Looking SSW scan the near horizon until you locate a very green area with bright lights. If there are really little people running about in red shirts - that is the hockey pitch. Using your keen sense of direction and Jakarta's well laid out grid, follow your instincts until you find the hockey pitch;
should this in turn not be successful because of visual impairment, smog, one-way traffic systems or police arbitrarily shutting off roads which would otherwise provide access to said hockey pitch, try -
(iii) ask your driver if he knows Pacific Place. He or a friend of his will know how to get there. Once parked ask directions to DeBurse. Wait there. We drink there at least once a week so even though it may take a few days, we will find you. In the mean time, tell them you are from ISCI and you can enjoy Happy Hour prices for the 24-72 hours you will be drinking (Tip: try the Chicken Shwarma, it’s great);
should this not prove successful due to family pressures to return home, or liver damage, try -
(iv) remain in your office until 10.00pm (see comment above re not being scared). Ask your driver to take you to Jaya Pub, arriving no earlier than 10.30pm. Order a large beer and a Gin & Tonic. Leave the G&T on the bar and step away but to a vantage point allowing you to observe said G&T. Known to frequent this bar is an animal commonly referred to as Mike Gray, from the family 'nocturnus alcoholus', and the G&T is a sure bet to attract him. He may not be there every night but you will not have to wait as long here as you might at DeBurse. On observing a graying Pommie with a drinking problem, seize your G&T, corner him and demand that he take you to the hockey pitch. This might indeed take a little bit longer than the 'bait, trap, capture' methodology you have just employed as he turns up at hockey less frequently than he does at Jaya Pub. Nevertheless he does know where the pitch is, memory permitting;
should this ploy fail because of budgetary constraints, 'chicken' attacks whilst in your 'hide', or occasional dances on the bar, but you are still keen to play hockey before Christmas, try -
(v) find a Falk map of Jakarta (c 2005), look at Map 44, J19 and there in the Gelora Bung Karno Senayan Sports Complex, across the road from the TVRI antenna/tower is a field, which, depending on the version of the map, could be marked as a Hockey Pitch. Do not under any circumstances show this to your driver. It will only confuse him. Choosing arterial roads and landmarks maneuver him close enough that you can see bright lights and red shirts whilst hearing whistles and the thwack of plastic balls. You have now arrived at the ‘old’ Hockey Pitch. The new one’s not far away – ask someone.
There are however few 'rules' and handy hints for beginners :
- on no account be early. This will convey an enthusiasm and commitment unheard of in the ISCI vernacular. Try to arrive just after we start, like Gaby and everybody else.
- only occasionally bring the red playing shirt we will provide to you. This will ensure that you, like Koplak, have at least 8 shirts at home, and besides, the cute little red bibs that we use when we don't have enough red shirts are much more fashionable (and the girls in DeBurse really like to see (and smell) you in them too);
- on Saturdays there is a fine system for those that turn up without a hangover and a story of woe concerning misplaced eye glasses, empty wallets, runny nether-regions, temporary relatives, forgotten hours, or things said and done that should not have been said and/or done;
- the taking of performance enhancers other than beer, prior to or during a match is strictly forbidden, except for Deny as cigarettes make him play better and talk more;
- we do have a number of ladies playing for us. Best not to mention it until you determine which of the players are actually female;
- always hint that you would like to play 'up front'. That should complete our 10 man forward line. Our keeper is a Yoga-master and weighs 55kg. He hasn't had any help at the back for years and doesn't need any help now.
Hope to see you in the coming months. If all else fails, call my handphone and leave a message with Veronica.