For all those times when it’s frustrating not knowing Thai, there are also times when there’s absolutely no need to know the language. When watching football, everyone shouts at the same time, cheers at the same time, jumps at the same time. It’s cool being able to look around and feel that everyone is on exactly the same page.
I’m hardly the world’s biggest biggest sports fan but I do know a little about football, thanks to Nick Hornby (Fever Pitch), and besides which, being here I’ve done a lot of things I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to do. One great thing about Chiang Mai is that it’s easy to get around.
On Sunday night, along with a few friends, we caught the first home game of Chiang Mai FC at 700 Year Stadium. They’re a Division 1 team. Being in the cheap seats ended up being a lot of fun and we certainly got our money’s worth (40 baht = $1.30). The crowd around us was decked out in team blue and the atmosphere was rowdy with horns and drums and flags and chants and confetti. With that kind of support Samut Prakan Customs United didn’t stand a chance…well, eventually.
I could feel the first — and only — goal coming towards the end of the match when Chiang Mai FC got a free kick. So I had my camera at the ready…
…but the ball didn’t go in. Then seconds later in the post-attempt scramble — it did! 1-0.