مرحبا، اسمي عبد العزيز الشامسي.
Most noble reader, time stood still earlier this afternoon and my heart skipped a beat! For several long minutes it looked like my days of glory with the Falcons would be history and my time in Prague over before it even began. A romance nipped in the bud, a career in arrear! I can hear you gasp, imagine your gracious hand reaching for your throat, shaking your gentle head in utter disbelief, envisioning how you could possible find the will to go through life from this day forward without the slightest form of hope of ever reading again the online instalments of my diary. Let me comfort you, most dignified one, and have no fear – The Ace is still here!
I was gracefully strolling along the training fields in Falcon-land, following today’s 3-2 over-time victory against KKK in the Golden League, when a deeply frowning coach João Portugal, very well known for his most unpredictable temper, stormed towards me.
Coach P: “Ace, what are you still doing out here? You have to pack all your belongings and be ready to board the bus by 19.00. We do not want anyone to miss the plane!”
The Ace (bewildered): “Please do not send me away, Mister Coach Sir, please give me another chance! I know I have been the worst player on the field every single game since I joined the Falcons, but I scored twice in three games – surely that must count for something. I did score the goal that brought us back into the game today and lead us to final victory against Golden League winner Krosnianka Karpaty Krosno! That deserves at least one more chance…”
Coach P: “I’m sorry, but you have to pack. I want you ready by 18.45. If you need some assistance, ask Sergiy Golenko or Oldřich Páleník to sort you out – they’ll be joining you”.
The Ace (utterly bemused): “You are firing them too?!?! – but they are supposed to be the future of the team?!?!?”
Coach P: “I’m not firing anyone, your brainless twat! I’m sending you on the Falcon Tour of Wonders! You will be travelling the world for seventy days and nights and play ten games against other Golden League teams. Don’t you read the notice board, like, ever?”
The Falcon Tour of Wonders – a long name for a long journey. What wonders await me and my team mates in exotic places like Sønderjylland, Iaşi or Gyeonggi-do, I can only daydream about. Join me on my journey to distant lands and faraway places, restless reader, and find out what awaits us at journey’s end!
This was the Ace, signing off (and on his way to Denmark).