Thursday 16th July 2015
We do like to moan about our weather back home but actually being able to walk 200 yards and not be dripping in sweat is something I prefer to be honest.
Singapore City is a fine place. Plenty to see and do, a huge abundance of eateries and bars and friendly and welcoming people.
And over the next couple of days before we take on Everton on Saturday, we plan to take in as much as possible.
As well as the large number of locals there are Gooners here from literally all over the world, Australia, USA, India, Malaysia, China……to name but a few. Staying with ex-pat fans and friends Biggles and Harriet helps to swell the numbers from home in addition to good mate and Gooner Tom who has traveled from Dubai.
Monday evening began with a relaxed bit of local food before Tuesday we headed to a pub that doubles up as the Singapore Gooners HQ, a good a place as any to meet and chat with the many familiar faces that make up the Gooner Family. Decked out in shirts and memorabilia, it looks fantastic and really feels like home from home.
I am well aware nothing beats actually attending the fixtures and am grateful to be able to do that week in week out but I would love to be a fly on the wall when the local Gooners gather at all hours to watch on the TV.
Tuesday night we headed to the highly impressive National Stadium to watch a good hour or so of training, a relaxing way for us and especially the locals to see the squad put through their paces. Hard work in this humidity believe me!
Like many cities, Singapore is made up of a number of districts or quarters. There is the central business district and all its skyscrapers, much evidence of colonial times, Chinatown etc etc. Post training we headed to ‘Little India’ for some fine tucker before bed called once more and matchday 1 was upon us.
Enjoying the build up was order of the day and this we did with gusto, initially in the ‘Boat Quay’ area before heading back to Molley Roffeys to join the increasing numbers of Gooners and a couple of surprise ‘guests’. Chippy Brady had come along for a Q & A session and had brought the magnificent FA Cup with him, something he had his hands on back in 1979 of course.
It all added to the great pre-match vibe before we headed to the ground for the main event.
Even with all the razzmatazz associated with pre-season tours, inevitably the games are not always the best. After all they are more about getting fit than anything else. But we played pretty well I thought, a win is a win and we got to see 4 goals to boot.
And Everton’s penalty shoot out win over Stoke sees us face The Toffees next.
Food and refreshment into the wee small hours followed…..hence the head.
But it was a fine day all round as we opened our latest Asian tour with a win.
Not sure on the new away kit……..but its already growing on me. And I’m ecstatic we haven’t gone down the ‘blue’ route again. Yellow, Gold, whatever.
We are Arsenal.