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Ein Brief von Jens, Mathias und Oliver

"the best of both worlds" oder die ultimativen plusler

Dear German Plus!

Once upon a time, in a place not so far away:

Two ambitious blokes from the abouts of Northern Germany set out for a tropical adventure, their journey ending in the wild and dangerous streets of Jakarta! Their favorite pastime which was football (and the excessive alcohol consumption that followed) made them join/found the prestigious, incomparable expat football team German Plus! Little did they know that their spouses would give birth to magnificent offspring that would follow in the footsteps of , yes, you’ve guessed it, the Adrias and the Cremers!! We, of course, are Jens, Mathias and Oliver, born and bred in Jakarta, now all dwelling in Germany, setting out for our own not-so-tropical adventure!

Luckily, the enthusiasm for the game was passed on to their heirs and so started the era of the German-indo expat youngsters. Oliver became the first of us three to join the group, followed by Mathias and shortly after Jens decided to try to reach his potential (or at least, lose a couple of kilos!). As time passed on, we grew to love the club, filling our Wednesdays and Saturdays with sports, laughter, friendship and the obligatory beer to regain our strengths (or, lose them?) after a hard-fought(?) victory over Indonesians half our size and occasionally, "bules" double our size!!

Our early encounters with the team, its surroundings and traditions started at a very young age as we rode our bikes around Ragunan field, a little under 10 years ago, the same one on which our mothers held their first ever mother’s football game (they played one game and decided to quit).

Even back then the players that are now still the backbones of our team were playing important roles. Among these veterans are Dieter Cremer, Chris Remund and Peter Hinsch (who are still complaining at Agus’ "offside" decisions today!). It would still take some years and guidance (motivational speeches such as: "Komm, ein Bier schaffst du noch!" or "Mann, bist du ein Weichei"), though, before we were able to establish ourselves as players/drinkers of first rank.

So after 1998, the year in which German Plus experienced a troublesome players’ loss during the Asian crisis, we (Mathias and I) decided to join the ranks of the seniors (Oli had already played there) and show off our skills (evidently, we didn’t have any yet). Slowly, as we progressed into players of incomparable skills, we got to know more about the history of our team. Historic people (and I DO mean historic) such as Pak Agus, who after 30 years or more, still hasn’t bothered to take a look into the rule book.

And of course the "Indos", the backbones of our substitutes bench. With time the news spread and before we knew it, approximately ten students of the German school were members, if not first-team members, of the team. And so, a new era began where old and young harmonized in, usually, a state of intoxication, adding the necessary blend that would lead the team to 2nd-placed seasons, a Cup trophy and a 5-a-side tournament trophy.

Countless times and countless amounts of money squandered/ invested in bars such as "Satu Lagi", "Star Deli", "Brasserie" (we’ll leave it at 3 bar names, the whole list would be too long) were early and late memories (well, only the things we recall from those evenings) of our memorable and eventful life as expat children.

So after about 6 years of German Plus and more than a handful of trophies, there really are no words to describe the fun and joy we had in Jakarta and we will never forget the familiar faces and the lessons learned. Now all three of us are trying to settle in Germany, and someday we’ll maybe show off our skills (football and drinking)! From Germany, this is Oliver, Mathias and Jens reporting, wishing all the best to all German Plus members and friends. Until we meet again! (Our time shall come!)

Yours truly,

Jens, Mathias and Oliver