The tyranny of antipodean time difference

Great place to live Australia, if you don’t mind the politicians, but one of the abiding inconveniences of being so far from the rest of the world is the time difference. By and large I couldn’t give two hoots about it, except when it comes to sport.

I’m sitting here today the shop reception with eyes aching from a lack of sleep. Like many people across the country I stayed up to watch the World Cup QF’s. There were millions watching worldwide, but most could do so at a reasonable time. Not for me. I lay in my makeshift bed at 2am and watched the Germany-France match till 4am. It was dark and quiet outside, cold and still. There was no movement at that time of night, but for those hardy enough to sit up and watch the big game. I know of a few that did the same as I did.

So much of the world plays and parties while we sleep. You grow accustomed to it, and there’s even a strange cachet at having to stay up, or get up, to watch these great events. It becomes something we sports followers share together when we catch up for the first coffee of the morning, or in casual conversation:

“Did you watch last night?”

“Yeah, great match wasn’t it?”

“Yep. Buggered now though.”

“Hmm, tell me about it.”

And then the wry, understanding smile.

“Watching it tonight?”

“Yeah, ‘course, can’t stop now.”

Like the protagonist above I’m similarly buggered now, but there’s no rest tonight. I got about 4 hours sleep last night before having to get up and open the shop. I knock off here at about 3pm, will return to what I expect to be a heavenly hot bath. I’ll watch the footy on TV, and then I’ll head off tonight to a World Cup party in the CBD.

I’m not sure how that works, or how I’ll manage. The first game is on once more at 2am. Once more I have to open the shop at 10. I don’t know where I’ll sleep, or if. I have an inkling I might end up tumbling into the shop at about 5am and going asleep somewhere in the back.

I really am too old for this, but the sport is great.


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