For not spending enough time with the family my wife sentenced me to one-month's transportation to the colonies and so she wasn't impressed when I decided to spend my second night downunder at the football.
My excuse was that I was spending time with the family, namely my brother.
So after spending a day pottering around Sydney harbour and getting strange looks for carrying a Genclerbirligi scarf on a bloody hot day my brother and I met up at a pub and headed off for the Sydney Football Stadium.
Sydney 2 - 4 Perth
Now this was how football fans are supposed to be treated. A crowd of 12,000 were policed by about 20 officers and most of those were dealing with stopping traffic so we could cross the road.
Getting in composed of opening my camera bag so they could check to see if I was smuggling beer into the match. Outside the ground Sydney FC were doing a roaring trade in scarves, shirts and other paraphernalia. Just inside the kiddies were being entertained trying to score goals against some bloke dressed in a mascot uniform.
It was then through the gates, a quick barcode check and we were in. Actually inside the stadium my brother didn't have money so he found an automatic teller machine, we then lined up and within a minute we were served our beers and then down to our seats.
It certainly was a pleasure to be treated as a "guest" and not as a potential hooligan.
As for the football, Perth started up well but it wasn't until almost before half-time when they scored. And then a minute later extended their lead to 2-0. I thought this might have silenced the local fans but no, just lie the fans back in Turkey the hard-core supporters behind the goal, "The Cove" continued singing away.
Second-half, a meat pie and more beers in, and Sydney clawed one back, before bottom of the table Perth went crazy again, with the match ending 2-4, boos from the crowd but no calls for the management to resign.
I was impressed with the quality of football, the individual skills on show were pretty good and clearly going by the scoreline they know how to score goals. One deficiency I noticed though was a reluctance to go in hard in tackles. The referee hardly had to blow his whistle at all.
"The Cove" singing all match was impressive, including their version of Ankaragucu's "ole ole ole". The only hassle being that the main section, where we were seated, was extremely quiet. What they need is a few "amigos" to get the crowd singing.
One thing that was similar to games in Ankara was the handful of away supporters at the match, excusable really as Perth is a four-hour flight from Sydney.
All up a great night which was capped by my brother and I then heading off to check out whether the beer still tasted the same at various pubs that I used to haunt in my university days.
If you cannot see the above video just check out the blog a bit later. Youtube are currently processing the video, whatever that means.