Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Watching the Brasil game in Brasil

I'd like to have a photojournal of the things my eyes saw yesterday.

To provide a bit of background, Sunday was my first day in Brasil, and the day before Brasil's first playoff game in the World Cup. Flying in from Haiti, I had a hard time believing that there was so little BLING in this country. In Haiti, the roads are painted in Brasilian flags, the streets are decorated with green and yellow bottles, and most cars have Brasilian flags waving off the roof. (Sometimes, one car will have Brasil flags in front and Argentina flags in back, which makes absolutely no sense to me, nor to any of my Brasilian friends.)

Here, there were some Brasilian flags waving from buildings and cars, but it didn't measure up to the level I was accustomed to in Haiti. Are Brasilians just too cosmopolitan and proud to do the bling thing?

But yesterday, when I took a walk through downtown, I saw a different thing. Every other person was wearing green and yellow. Half of those people were wearing official Brasil Team Jerseys. The others were wearing bandanas of the Brasilian flag, green and yellow hairclips, cute little polo shirts in the design of the official jerseys, green trousers with yellow top, official-looking team jackets, or any other assortment of paraphernalia. And, believe me you, there were absolutely no Argentinian, or Chilean, or any other such shorts floating around.

Then I went with some friends to watch the game in a bar. It was packed out. There was a woman there with a green and yellow frog holding a flag. When she squeezed its back, the flag waved. There were kids there in green and yellow clown wigs. There were women in green and yellow garland wigs. Everyone was wearing green and yellow. (For the record, I was wearing yellow shoes, but a red shirt, which in a less friendly more suspicious crowd might have been construed as cheering-for-the-other-guy.)

And in the small space big enough for 10 tables and 100 people, there were at least 10 green and yellow trumpets, and several other noisemakers. And they were all very, very loud.

The enthusiasm in the room was enormous and the festivities when Brasil scored a goal was unforgettable. And no one, absolutely no one, would ever admit to wanting to see Chile win. (Except me, because I thought they were very sportsmanlike and attractive, and they deserved to score at least one goal. Oh well.)

The excitement was palpable, limitless, and absolutely focused on one thing, one team. Who, for the record, really did play a brilliant game.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Dear Katie,

Dad and I also watched the game with Brasilian friends-- Ana and Helder came over for futebol e pipoca. I think our whole little group of terrace houses shook when each goal was made.

Miss you!

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