Saturday, September 24, 2005

Australian Rules - Latvian Times

A strange and wonderful day ! - Last night (Friday) at the ................., the Latvian Australian contingent in Riga convinced the management ( the vertically challenged person of Irish/Cork descent), to open the bar at 8.00am on Saturday morning in order to watch the final of the Australian Rules Football/Rugby/Gaelic football competition ( I am told it is a combination of all) .Apparently it is a big deal in Australia. In the spirit of Internationalism ( and with no thought as to cash profit to be made ?) the wee ( relative statement) fellow agreed.

So with a great deal of effort I dragged myself out of bed at an ungodly time this morning and took myself off to .............., to watch the game, and thereby increase my knowledge of a southern hemisphere sport.

Unreal sight, in I walked to ..................... and there were the Aussies( At least 15-20) with beers in hand, ( In some cases Brandy !!) watching the "GAME". In accordance with Australian tradition one had even brought his own personalised beer cooler.

With my limited knowledge, here are my observations on the rules.

Each team can have 18 player's on the field at any one time
You can kick, punch, throw the ball ( Likewise the opponents)
The ball looks like a Rugby ball, but is Orange !
They wear short sleeves shirts ( just like beach ball players !)
Goal posts like Rugby, but with two outside post to allow for crap kicks (Maximises scoring opportunities)
Kick inside "normal" posts 6 points - inside "outside" posts 1 point
If you catch the ball from a kick, referee blows whistle, and supporters have orgasm !
Pitch looks like cricket pitch ( probably in honour of the famous OVAL ground)
Supporters must shout F..k at every opportunity
For TV - minimum of four commentators required
Game lasts for 120 minutes, four quarters of 25 minutes - with 10/20 minutes breaks for commercials & P..s breaks (see below)
Supporters attending game must consume minimum of 8 pints ( this explains why game has for quarters with associated breaks or as Aussies call them "Piss breaks"

The Latvian/Aussie contingent duly turned up for the game, and immediately took up Aussie time, and duly began to consume the mandatory amount of beer.

For my part and having to no Aussie blood - I drank coffee, much to annoyance of I.... ( the barman) - who was insisting that as he had to be in the bar at 8.00am, he was only going to serve beer. Weird Aussie actually believed him and went across the road to buy take away coffee's.

The game was really exciting.................hmmmmmm............................, unfortunately I had to leave before game ended, but received text message from J.... ( Australian/Latvian who claims to be Australian Consul in Riga) - that " WE "won - so that's OK - presumably "THEY" lost.

( One of the teams were called the "Swans" and the other the "Eagles" - given that Australia has neither( I think) - it does make you wonder !!)

Spotted a new breed of "Cretins" today - Species originated in Indian subcontinent, but recently appeared in Birmingham ( Circa 1920's) , England. Migration path is not fully understood , but have a penchant for Curries/beer - and like to display their manliness by standing up and shouting to each other across a crowded bar, particularly when they leave domestics shores. This is a common factor of all know species of "cretins".

From a weather point of view today today was simply magical - blue skies, and the temperature at 18 Centigrade.

The Old town was wholly taken over by the "Autumn Fair" - ever square was covered by small stallholders selling their goods, and as ever live music brought the place alive. I cannot think of another city that I have visited which comes alive in such an extraordinary way. That combined with simply stunning Autumn weather - what more could you ask for.

I really do wish that I had the words to describe sights and sound of Riga today - but for those you read this all I can suggest is lie back, close your eyes and thinks of a feeling which gives you the greatest pleasure - ( NOT THAT !!) - it is better and is is truly beautiful - For those of you not here - all I can suggest is that as and when - take it all in.

So there we are the end of another Saturday, and if the weather forecast is true then I will make for another walk along the beach tomorrow. - Take care


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This wee verticaly challenged corkonian think`s that the bar deserves better recognition and publicity if he is going to be subjected to such abuse, the best bar in Riga with rude staff,s**t service,and an occasional good pint,when they have it,you must visit to belive it,

Regard`s ***** * *****

1:59 am  
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7:22 pm  
Anonymous Ivor Blackheart said...

Quite envious of anyone in Riga on such a day as you describe (no not frequenting with escapees from a convict colony watching some bizarre antipodean sporting ritual)but sitting in the park in early autumnal sunshine,I guess with just that breeze to remind you that summer has outlived its allotted time.

Hope it holds for a while longer and I have opportunity of seeing the golden leaves fall against the backdrop of azur sky

11:55 am  
Anonymous Emma T Glass said...

About.......!I think it is a very good bar,although I must say that everyone is not quite as happy in their job as they once were, hope it's just temporary.

The vertically challenged Corkonian is a decent enough guy (for an Irishman)with a good sense of humour...oh if you are as challenged as he is,both folically and vertically you have to be!

Anyway if it's so bad with rude staff and s**t service why is it so popular?even with non-cretins.

Could do with agood pint of bitter though.

Only bar I spend time in!


10:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The next time you are walking along the Swan River in Perth (Western Aust)and you get bitten in the backside in might be by one of those non-existent Swans OR whislt trying to escape these pesky creatures you might feel something crashing into your skull, this off course could be the non-existent Wedge-tailed Eagle, which reaches speeds of almost 100 kilometres per hour when diving for lost Scots.
Always know your enemy.

2:49 pm  

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