November 16th, 2012

Charah coffee

London is where life begins.

I just have to say that I LOVE ROGER. I still feel this silly dizzy happiness whenever I look at my picture with him (which is virtually every other second). I can't believe how lucky I was that I got to see him on the last day of the tournament. No matter how hard London tries to piss me off from here on out, I will always love London for being the city in which I finally 1) saw Roger Federer play a tournament live from start to finish; and 2) met Roger Federer.


I was watching his semi-final with Murray on YouTube and after I looked really hard, I spotted myself in the video.

I'm litearlly just a blurry figure which obviously I could make out because I knew where I sat. I can even hear myself shouting Roger's name at some points of the video, though I'm quite surprised that my loudness didn't translate to TV.

I wish I could watch his future matches from the first row, court side, end of the row, so that I can be deluded into thinking that he can actually hear me when I cheer him on. The perceived sense of immediateness between the fan and the idol lends a peculiar intimate touch to the match, which makes it that more memorable. It certainly wasn't the same shouting from Row Q as it was from Row A.


I'd already sort of loved London for a host of reasons before I came here, and despite having to adjust to the real London, I've been pretty happy to be here. I love the night buses even if some take half an hour to come; I love the transport system despite all its flaws because it's so quick and convenient; I love just the fact that it's so cosmopolitan which makes me feel quite at home here; I love how there's always so many things to do to the point of being a huge distraction to my studies; and I love, too, how so many of my favourite writers live in London, especially Julian Barnes.

In a way, it seems so right that I would have my most personal and exciting experience with one of the few people that I've admired throughout my life in London. London symbolises the hope of a new beginning; it's where things happen, where, unlike my life back home, I'm not just watching other people live their lives - I'm actually living it. I haven't felt such a high degree of living in such a long time. Maybe it's just the fact that I'm living the student life which is vastly different from the working life, and that working in London would be the same as anywhere else; but whatever it is, I am so happy to be here, and despite all my complaints and the inconveniences, I do not miss Singapore dramatically enough to the extent of feeling homesick (I've not felt homesick at all - at all).

I've always wanted to watch Roger play live. It sort of happened in Australia, but it wasn't nearly enough because it was only one match. Also importantly, sitting in the lower deck of Rod Laver Arena is almost like sitting in the upper tier of the O2 Arena - you don't get to be as close to the players in the same category of seats as you can get at the O2 (probably cheaper at the WTF as well). Over the past week, not only have I watched him play live 5 times, i.e. every single match he played at the WTF, I watched him from the first row once. It was just amazing, even if I didn't really know what was going on because I was confused by the angle of the court. But just watching him hit the tennis ball from such a close range, without really focusing on the outcome of the shot/rally/match/etc; just watching that pure movement for its own sake is a thing of beauty.

If I were a less greedy person, I would say that my experience at the WTF was enough to last me for a lifetime. Unfortunately, I am very greedy and I can't get enough, and I'm always seeking to maximise my pleasure, which consists of my definition of the good and successful life, which I have a personal responsibility to pursue as a person with intrinsic value. Dworkin would agree with me, no doubt...okay, he would say that I'm being facetious, but let's not let facts get in the way of my self-indulgence.

And because I'm greedy and can't get enough, I just can't help but think how nice it would be to have those brief minutes at the Greenwich pier on 13 November 2012, 12-ish a.m., repeated. I might actually say more than two sentences to him the next time and not completely spaz in front of him. I'm so happy not just to have met him, but to have done so in London. It is just so right. It's definitely one of the best things to have happened in my life.

I'm not a celebrity chaser by any stretch of the imagination and I don't care about famous people. I am, however, an extremely passionate person who goes all in when I come across a famous person that I admire, who inspires me. There's just something so romantic in what he always says about how he plays matches and still competes at this age with all his achievements simply because he loves playing tennis. Isn't that what everyone strives for? The perfect job; job satisfaction; job fulfillment; job success. It's the notion of living vicariously again, but it's also a rather Hegelian (I think?) idea of how you better yourself through the observation of others. You hold up certain people as exemplars towards which to strive and hopefully, in the process, you become better yourself.

Still can't believe I met him. It's unreal. Feels like a dream.


I'll end this on two silly things my parents said throughout my adventures at the tennis.

1. After I told my mom that I took a picture with Roger which was after my picture with Novak, she told me that my dad said, "Now only left Murray and Nadal."

2. After my meeting Roger, my mom said, "You got what you wanted. Now you can stop stalking him or his wife will be jealous."

They are both CRAZY!!!