Friday, June 18, 2010

World Cup Fever

I had this epiphany that my country was missing out on something back during the last World Cup in 2006 when I lived in Greece. World Cup fever was at its height, men women and children showed up to my bar wearing team colours, faces painted, wigs and bullhorns. I worked in the only bar on the island that broadcasted the games with English commentary the rest were all in Greek. Needless to say as the only waitress I was busy. The English wanted another pint before their first was half finished, we ran out of wine glasses during the French matches and I will always remember carrying a tray of cocktails past an Aussie when they scored against the USA, the tray went flying.

When I was traveling Egypt that winter there really wasn’t much to do in the evenings but drink coffee, smoke Shesha and watch English football. I found an old journal entry from that time;

Nov 26, 2006
Café’s and Football; It seems the world’s language is football. Where ever you go in the world no matter what language or religion differences there are you can always trust that you will have football in common. Everyone knows the best teams in the English Premiership, the Champions league and the best players in the world. If you can’t say hello in another language you can get by with Beckham, Rooney or Zadane. So if this is the case than Canada must be mute.
I was amazed at how the guy making coffee and tea worked with such speed and talent, he looked like a bartender. A country that shuns alcohol drinks their teas and smokes their shesha like it’s a pub. A bunch of men in Canada would probably have a laugh if they saw a group of grown men ordering rounds of sweet tea. I guess if you can’t drink alcohol you pick the next best thing to watch football.

Four years later I find myself in a Mexican restaurant with red, green, and white. The world phase book now holds Messi, Xavi, Franco with Kaka, Rooney and Ronaldo still in there. The excitement can be felt through the TV and with Shakira’s “This time for Africa” played during half time accompanied by complimentary guacamole and nachos. Not much of the fever can be felt on the streets of this Canadian city except for the occasional Greek flag flying past on a car. Having lived in three of the countries playing which one will I cheer for? Well I guess that depends on who I am cheering with. For now when Mexico plays I am their fan, the same with England. We’ll see if they ever meet up or if I get more free Nachos.

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