There are some reasons why I do fvcking love January. I celeberates my bornday on 11th January is the first reason. Secondly, in the spirit of happy new year and in the name of resolution of life, most of people are still think of positive things that must be achieved in a year ahead. Thirdly, because January is in between of December and February. December is month of holiday and party season so at least I can lose control a little bit. February is month of love and the shorthest based on the number of dates, means I get my monthly salary a few days faster. Haha 🙂

-oOo-

Tahun 2015 adalah kejutan yang tidak pernah saya bayangkan sebelumnya. Bisa merayakan perayaan malam tahun baru di tempat yang selalu ada beritanya di televisi tiap tahunnya. Meskipun pada kenyataannya, antara apa yang ditampilkan di layar kaca sungguh kelewat indah jika dibandingkan dengan realita. Berkumpul dengan ribuan manusia dari berbagai belahan dunia sembari ditampar angin kencang dengan suhu yang mengalahkan khasiat jamu tolak angin begitu cepatnya. Selain itu, bisa menghampiri London juga menyisakan cerita tersendiri. Apalagi setelah sekitar enam bulan berada di negeri Ratu Elizabeth, akhirnya tercapai juga berada di pusat pemerintahan Inggris. Sungguh, London sangatlah besar! Tujuh hari masih dirasa kurang.

Another story, about maybe a few months before, I had planned to watch the match between Manchester United, my-fav-football-team, against Southampton, the rising star for this season. It was hard for me to miss the match of THE RED DEVIL at THE OLD TRAFFORD stadium on MY BIRTHDAY! That perfect triple combo will be my greatest gift ever so I bought myself a VIP ticket.

Edisi khilaf. #ggmu

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I’m not alone though we sat far apart, there is a friend of mine from Leeds as well, who is also a true fans of Manchester United and celebrates his birthday two days faster than me. So let say, we got the same reason why we want to watch the match. To let you know, I’m a moderate supporter and he is a militant. Yeah, you can screw me now!

Inside the stadium, an old man maybe over 60 years old sat next to me and he was alone. My first impression of him, he is a flawless grandpa! Reminds me with the one and only Alex Ferguson. Setelah sekitar 15 menit saling duduk dalam diam, sang kakek kemudian mulai menyapa dengan pertanyaan yang terlalu sering ditanyakan.

“Chinese?”

“No, Indonesian.”

Kemudian beliau bercerita tentang kecintaannya terhadap klub ini. Tumbuh dan besar di kota serta keluarga yang memuji tim ini setinggi-tingginya membuat hampir sebagian besar hidupnya berkaitan dengan Manchester United. Dan ketika saya menanyakan sudah berapa kali menonton pertandingan langsung di Old Trafford, beliau menjawab,  “are you sure ask an old man like me to count?”

Saya terdiam. Sungguh pertanyaan yang salah, eh bodoh.

“I’m sorry, Sir. I’m just too excited as this is my first time watch the match live here at the Old Trafford.”

“Haha, that’s fine. Just remember, real fans never leave the game earlier whatever the final result is and always support the team through the difficult time.”

Dan saya pun terdiam sekali lagi. It feels like I’ve been given such a wise advice about life from my grandfather. In fact, I’ve never met my grandfather in real world. Mendadak sendu, seperti ingin beranjak dari kursi dan bertanya, can I have a hug? Sementara gemuruh yel-yel disertai tepuk tangan pemberi semangat semakin menambah kesan magis. Bikin merinding. Merindingnya ngalahin nahan buang air kecil di jalan tol arah Bekasi yang lagi macet.

Then the old man patted my shoulder who was taking pictures using a mobile phone at that time. He asked me to sit back because the match will begin.

-oOo-

After 2×45 minutes, Manchester United failed to get extra points into EPL table as the team lost in match against Southampton. The moment when Dusan Sadic make a goal, it broke my heart. I got my first tears in 2015. I look to the old man, he was disappointed as well. Selama bola itu bundar, menang dan kalah punya peluang yang sama karena hasil seri adalah sebuah pengecualian.

Dear Manchester United, it (still) my best birthday, though you lost the game. Thank you so much for making my birthday this year to be very much different than before. 11th January 2015 has a different story that I may not forget in my whole life. Until the next match, Old Trafford, I’ll be back.

-oOo-

Meanwhile, before back to Leeds…

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