Why City? I asked.
“I was visiting England in 2005. I liked Rooney a lot and liked United. But, while I was in Manchester, it was City that played the season home opener (vs. West Bromwich) and I went to see the game. It was a terrible one, scoreless. But, I came back home Manchester City fan.”
I don’t go to Starbucks often but I spotted the shirt inside and decided to walk in. Born in Canada, in Ottawa, to English parents, Rob is a life-long soccer fan. He lived in Montreal for a number of years but not anymore. Currently he lives and works as transport engineer in Abu Dhabi. After I got back home I looked up the City team (finished the season at 15th place) that played in that game vs. West Bromwich (relegated): Vassell, Sinclair, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Barton, Claudio Reyna, Danny Mills, Sibierski, Musampa, Andrew Cole, David Sommeil, Ben Thatcher, etc… Well, it must have been a great atmosphere at the stadium to win Rob’s heart because I doubt this City team could do it.
Why Manchester City? I asked.
“Mancini! Because of him.”
Wait a second! Did he really say Mancini, Roberto Mancini? Will someone, please, stop this ferry – I’m afraid otherwise very smart and beautiful boy is not feeling well and he might need some assistance.
I asked again, he said “because of Mancini” again. I know, Myanmar is just waking up from decades of isolation and can be strange but I really did not expect such an answer, here or elsewhere. I needed to talk to Niang Lin Tun for a little bit longer, to see is there anything that can be done with his taste. It turns out that he also likes Manchester United and Chelsea. The young chap wearing a beautiful fake light blue jersey is obviously confused; you cannot cheer for Man City and Man United at the same time.
Or perhaps you can. If you are sixteen, surviving in today’s Yangon selling cigarettes and chewing gums to passengers on a public ferry, divisions and rules of outside world don’t necessary apply to you. Why not liking it all – the game, its clubs and their shirts?! But, Mancini – that I don’t understand!
Why Man City? I asked.
“Džeko. And the team.”
Amra was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia. As her parents moved around, working, she lived in Pakistan, Syria and currently is in Montreal. Along the way, she picked up languages, as easily as I picked-up injuries in my amateur football career. Amra is fluent in Bosnian, Arabic, English and French and she is only 15, a great student on top of it all. She is one of those kids, and there are more and more of them in these parts of the world, who live in the muliticultural and diverse world from the inside; multicultural and diverse they are from within and have no need for anyone to teach them about the existence of ‘others’. Borders, for Amra and those like her, are the things of the past. These young people are the future of this world. It can only get better, once they get a chance to redefine the way we live.
Why City? I asked.
“That is my name on the back of the shirt.”
I was watching Sean from the other side of the street as he was about to walk into McDonalds. Thankfully he changed his mind and started walking down St. Catherine. I ran across and caught him as he was crossing Guy. Sean Silva was born in Montreal. His parents come from India and Portugal. His favourite player is David Silva and he likes Manchester City because of their motivation and determination to go to the top right away. That is exactly why many others don’t like Manchester City. But David Silva is a great player, no one can deny. Sean also plays football, triple A (AAA) level. North Americans understand the code. To clarify for others, this means Sean is a very good player too.