If there is one thing I've learnt from Eski Kanka Jim it is that military precision is everything. Unfortunately that hasn't stopped us from missing the start of many an Ankaragucu match thanks to Jim deciding that we should have just "one more" Efes.
Other times however, Eski Kanka has warned of the dangers of delay and so we have found ourselves sitting in the cold stadium with just a handful of fans around us a full 45 minutes before kick-off.
Today I finally put into practice everything Eski Kanka has taught me. The reason: To get tickets for the World Cup.
The Australian Football Federation had a limited number of tickets to the three group games and I was desperate to get four. I downloaded the application form around lunchtime on Monday, filled in all the details (passport numbers, date of birth, mothers age at time you were conceived etc) and set it all up to be sent via gmail at the click of a button.
The reason for the preparation was that the tickets were being sold on a first come first served basis and the whole sale was starting 20 December, 9 am, Sydney time (ie midnight here in Ankara).
I checked out the GMT clock on the web and so I was ready to press send as soon as midnight hit. Then, thank God, Duncan a Scot like Eski Kanka but who either a) has very smart parents who emigrated years ago or b) was kicked out of Scotland, rang me up to see how the whole thing was coming along. Duncan then pointed out that the Sydney Morning Herald had an article on how billions of Australians were to be poised over their keyboard ready to click "send" on the dot of 9 a.m..
I then checked out the article and noticed that it said that the clock on the website was the one to be used and any application sent in earlier would not be assessed. It also said that the clock was one minute behind the proper GMT clock. I checked both out and found the difference to be about 1 minute, one second. I noted this and then forgot about it.
At 11:50 p.m. Ankara time (or 10 minutes before the whole thing was about to go off) the alarm on my mobile went off and I had to stop attempting to wipe out the Greeks in a game of Civilization IV and get ready for the off.
My first delight came in an e-mail from a mate in Australia who said his wife had given in at the last minute and had given him permission to come to Germany.
Then I checked out the Australian football federation site to find unsurprisingly, it was overloaded and no one could actually see the clock. In the end I sent off our application at 9:01 according to the GMT clock and was overjoyed that 30 minutes later the football federation clock was still one minute behind. Fingers crossed millions of people sent in their applications a minute too early and therefore will miss out.
We find out in about four days if we were successful. If we are, all I can say is, Eski Kanka, let me make the decisions as to when we leave the pub and go to the match.