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Far East Anglians
Written by Marcus on Thursday, 18th Aug 2016 11:45

I’ve never really liked the term ‘Far East’ as it tends to conjure images of China and Japan rather than the plethora of different countries and cultures in South East Asia. However, for the sake of it, ‘Far East Anglians’ works quite well to indicate Town (and the other lot's) supporters here in Asia.

Ultimately I’ve been a Town fan who has travelled and worked across Asia while waving the Blue flag. Some of the more interesting places I’ve followed the game have included using a shortwave transistor radio in the deserts of Rajasthan while riding a camel, in the only working Internet café in the Baliem Valley, Papua and using a very unreliable connection at 4am in the morning in Yogyakarta, Java during a minor earthquake. Also an honourable mention to a very unsteady hotel Internet connection in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam – as was often the case I got snippets of commentary and eventually the result.

On occasion I’ve met others – in Hong Kong for the play-offs just over a year ago there was a good group of people. I travelled over from mainland China (where I was working) for the weekend and joined the group. I wasn’t able to drink due to breaking my foot on my way to the bar but I got myself out of hospital on crutches so I could watch.

I met a few other Town fans in Bali, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia but Hong Kong was the best organised. It was amazing to have a sudden feeling of being back home when watching a game.

While not a Town game I met other Town fans while watching England defeats, sorry, games at the World Cup and European Championships. There was one bar in particular in Bandung, Java that was packed for the games and I distinctly remember a few from Ipswich.

There were times I’ve been travelling or working around India and Indonesia where I had to find an Internet café. One alternative I found when I was totally out of Internet coverage (or just couldn’t go to an Internet café at silly o’clock) was to set up an email account and redirect message headers to my SMS. It was a bit fiddly but TWTD at least posted the scores quite quickly and I could then check the reports in the morning.

Many times I’ve listened to the online streaming – including three times from hospital beds – once in Singapore, once in Brugge, Belgium (OK, not Asia, but I was abroad!) and once in Makati City, Manila. My health is fine now but I acknowledge I’ve had a bit of a chequered history.

With the local derby this weekend I sending out a message about a meet-up in Makati City – about an hour from me. Again it will be great to meet other ‘Far East Anglians’- as there aren’t that many places showing the game I imagine some of the yellow ones will be there as well so there should be a fair amount of good-humoured banter – I’ve found when abroad the rivalry is still there but not the bitterness. Friends 361-364 days a year, rivals on match days!

Finally, I just want to sound out the idea for joining a ‘Far East Anglian ITFC’ group on Facebook. I’ve set up the group here – if there’s interest we can develop it.

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

BlueinBrum added 11:59 - Aug 18
I once met a fellow Ipswich fan in a bar in Yogyakarta so funny you mention it here. I also found an "Ipswich Town - Premier League" flag in a beach bar in Penang, NW Malaysia. I have tried to act as a missionary for Ipswich over much of Asia during my travels, but unfortunately until (if...) we ever get back in the Prem i don't see it sticking!

MathieandMarshall added 12:45 - Aug 18
i did a bit of back packing back in 2008 and was amazed to walk into a bar in Thailand and see a Town scarf hanging above the bar. My wife's uncle lives in Indonesia (currently based in North Sumatra) and is an avid Town fan trying his best to spread the love of the Town to the locals.

TractorWood added 12:45 - Aug 18
Great stuff, some amazing stories there. In general I have loved various trips to Asia, especially HK, Singapore and Bali.

I had similar issues when travelling trying to find places to watch us at awkward times e.g. Had issues trying to find a place for a late kick off in Bali (think it kicked off at 4am).

Pessimistic added 12:56 - Aug 18
Just arrived back last night Marcus from a 5 and a half week trip to Thailand and Vietnam and I was very surprised to see so little promotion of Thai owned Leicester City in the land of smiles. The King Power logo was everywhere at the airport but that was about it.

As for Town well I know from past experience that there are one or two blues fans who live in Bangkok but on my visits to Hong Kong, Beijing, Cambodia and Laos in the past sadly I have not stumbled upon any bars or people - except to say that in a shopping precinct in Bangkok I saw a young teenager walk past me wearing an Ipswich Town shirt so I chased after him but he must have thought I was about to rob him or something because he ran a lot faster that I could and disappeared without trace!

For the record you can get lots of Ipswich stuff at good prices on the Chinese e-bay of the far east Alibaba if anyone is interested?

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 13:42 - Aug 22
As the name implies, I'm here in Hong Kong. Happy to meet fellow supporters for a pint. I have not linked up with any supporter group here, please forward details if you know them.

Marcus added 11:58 - Sep 5
@Tractor_Boy_in_HK - take a look at this thread
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