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south africa

PERSONAL

World Cup

06.11.2010

I’m not a huge sports fan.

I’ll sit in the living room with Cent and “watch” a football game. Or a basketball game. But I’m not exactly into it.

However, since getting married, I’ve been learning. I ask Cent about different calls in basketball and moves in football. I now get semi-upset when teams play poorly. I have no interest in baseball, but I’ll go to a game to hang out with friends and eat ballpark food. One of my best friends is a huge hockey fan, and it also helps that her boyfriend is a goalie. And when it comes to soccer, or the “real” football, it holds a special place in my heart.

See four years ago, my besties from college decided to plan a trip to Europe around World Cup in Berlin. Actually, I was the travel agent, booked the hostels and bed and breakfasts, and created the itinerary. And they made sure that we got to watch the games they didn’t want to miss. It was win-win.

Before the trip I didn’t know much about World Cup. But as soon as we hit European soil, you could feel the energy pulsating through the crowds of people. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE was excited about World Cup. I may be wrong, but it’s one of the few sporting events (besides the Olympics, of course) that uses the moniker of “World” correctly. Because literally, the world participates. And it’s awesome.

We were lucky to travel all over Europe during the World Cup. I remember rolling into Berlin and the city center was decked out with all kinds of FIFA gear. And in case you were wondering, World Cup in German is “Welt Meister”. Since the World Cup is in South Africa this year, you say “W√™reldbeker” (at least that’s what Google told me).

We watched the Italians defeat the Germans on a big screen while sitting at a cafe in Venice. And the next day, a bistro bid farewell to Germany.

I remember we were waiting for our overnight train from Rome to Nice, France, and found a little hole in the wall restaurant to watch the HUGE Italia v. France final. My friend’s purse was almost stolen from underneath her seat (gypsies don’t play in Italy!), and we witnessed, in real time, the head butt of the century by French footballer, Zinedine Zidane. In case you’re interested, you can see it here.

And because we wanted a photo in the London Tube before we forgot to take one. I think we ate Indian food at a joint off of this line.

While I usually root for teams vicariously through Cent, I think World Cup will always be a special event for me. Even if I don’t really get the sport. Ha.

May your team (whoever you are following) win!

Are you excited about World Cup? Which team are you rooting for?

FIFA 2010 schedule.

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