World Cup no. 2 (True Story no. 1)

In the summer of 1994, friends and I rented a cabin and left the city during the semi finals of the World Cup (I WAS FORCED!). With us at the cabin was “Brazilian Jackie”, a girlfriend with whom I’ve since lost touch. No one but Jackie and I cared for futbol. Her boyfriend was with us and she’d already contextualised the cabin for him: “Futbol” (something which didn’t deter him from taking a gigantic suck – that lasted the duration of the 72 hours – when she shusshed him as we were attempting to generate a signal…).

I brought with me a transistor radio, and for nearly 85% of our first day, Jackie and I ran through the forest trying to catch a signal. At one point, I put on my bathing suit and swam out to the middle of the lake, carrying the transistor radio in a plastic bag over my head, searching for a signal and finding none.

Missing the first game, we spent the last 15% of that day quite pissed off and so vowed that the following day (a day on which Brazil would be playing), we would trek all over the ‘village’ in an effort to find one functioning television set.

We did & we found one lone bar in the basement of the local hotel and watched the match in French.

We were the only two girls present. We ate peas covered in maple syrup and french fries deep-fried at least 3 times, and soaked in vinegar and ketchup. While stuffing our faces and cheering the tiny television, we attempted a bizarre mix of French, Spanish, Arabic and English with the barkeep.

We laughed all the way back to the cabin. (The entire time we were lost in the forest trying to find our cabin, too.)


I’m hanging my head in shame because I’ve yet to catch an entire futbol game. I’ve been forced to watch snippets of games, and I’m not sure I can continue to call myself a futbol fan at this rate. In my own defense, it must be noted that I have been reading about all of the matches quite systematically and religiously. I’ve been much too busy to sit for any extended period of time, and when I have had a moment to spare, I’ve spent it writing because writing is my way to decompress.

Please consider this before you judge me: In order to remedy the situation, I’ve put a huge piece of paper next to my television set with the times & dates of Matches 57-64.

Of my hoped for 16 teams, 10 advanced to the second round: Germany, England, Sweden, Argentina, Portugal, Italy, Brazil, Switzerland, France & Spain.

Of them, the usual suspects have advanced further (no underdogs in this World Cup, and so my interest currently sits on the backburner): Germany, Argentina, Italy, Sweden, England, Portugal and Italy.

I expect that Sweden and Brazil will also advance and am undecided as to who will move forward between Spain & France. I have a crush on Zidane and so lean towards France.

From there, I expect the following will make it to the next round:
Argentina v. Italy, with Argentina advancing
England v. Brazil, with Brazil advancing

…although I would hope the following is what really happens:
Argentina v. Italy, with Argentina advancing
Portugal v. France, with France advancing

That’s as far as I’ll go today. We’ll see what transpires between now and July 8th.