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14 (World Cup fever)

June 19, 2010

World Cup Fever in Maghar, an Arab Muslim / Arab Christian / Druze village

World Cup Fever 2 (in Maghar, an Arab Muslim / Arab Christian / Druze village)

World Cup Fever 3 (in Maghar, an Arab Muslim / Arab Christian / Druze village)

I will always associate the Brazil vs. North Korea game a few days ago with being outnumbered in a bar by high school boys celebrating their last day of school. The ratio? Roughly 2 to 30.

We were initially sitting outside where the bar had set up a large projector for the World Cup. But 15 mosquito bites in 2 minutes later, I had no choice but to drag Yuval with me inside the bar. It was empty and after a few minutes, the bartender kindly switched the house sound to the game. Not exactly the World Cup group spirit we initially imagined ourselves to partake in, but we were all set to enjoy the game quietly, just the bartender and us. Our peace was shattered only minutes later by a wave of teenage boys tumbling through the door. Before we knew it the boys had filled the |___|-shaped bar, all but the two seats Yuval and I occupied at the center. They were loud and obnoxious like any typical teenager, but at least they somewhat paid attention to the game and roared when Brazil scored their two goals.

For the France vs. Mexico game we attempted outdoor seating again, me better prepared with long jeans, hiking shoes, and a three-quarter sleeved shirt. Yet the mosquitoes still managed to make a feast out of my limited exposed flesh, and we found ourselves heading back inside the bar again. The bartender was not as friendly this time and we politely accepted rock music for soundtrack and clinked our beer glasses to watch the game like good civil customers. But no sooner than our lips touched our glasses, the bar doors swung open yet again and in barged a group much louder and larger than the teenage boys before. This time it was teenage boys and girls, unmistakably from the United States, most likely on a Birthright tour. (Birthright is a Jewish Israeli charity partly funded by the Israeli government that hosts trips to Israel for young Jewish adults around the world.) They were not there for the game but for their evening recreational activity, and as Yuval commented, liked to cluster together in the center of the bar. And yes, that would be right where we were sitting. Amidst the elbows in our noses and shouting over our heads, we managed through the game. Despite not really paying attention, the teenagers somehow always caught the scoring moments, erupting the bar to chaos. Go Mexico!! (Forgive me Jenny if you’re reading this!)

After these two experiences, I was perfectly happy to watch the second Japan game against Holland in the quiet, private sanctuary of Yuval’s mother’s apartment, thank you very much. (Since the game was on Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, the bar wasn’t open anyway.) But for this game, I could have used some distraction from a few teenagers or bad music. Besides being a total and utter defeat, the game itself was not one I felt worth watching. As much as the Dutch possessed the ball they didn’t do anything with it for the first half, and when it felt like they really started to play in the second half, Japan became more and more tired and the level gap became painfully evident. It’s pretty excruciating to watch your team look like they’re being rolled around on the opponent’s palm.

But I have not lost hope or faith in my blue samurais and will be cheering loud as ever for their next game against Denmark!!

I remain undecided about where to watch the next World Cup game… but I know I have to survive the mosquitoes to watch at least one game outside!


最初はバーがワールドカップ開催期間中のために設置した巨大スクリーンがある外の席にいました。でも約2分以内に15カ所ほど蚊に刺されてしまえば、バーの中ににしぶしぶ行くしかありません。中はがらがらで、数分後バーテンダーが親切に音響を試合に変えてくれました。大勢の中でワールドカップの雰囲気を楽しみ観戦するはずだったプランからはかなり遠ざかっていましたが、バーテンダーと三人で仲良く静かに試合をみるのも悪くないと思ったその時でした。バーのドアが開き、静けさは一瞬にして次から次へとはいってくる男子高校生によってぶち壊されてしまいました。あっと言う間に |___|形のバーは真ん中の私とユバルの二席をのぞいて男子高校生でぎゅうぎゅう状態に。典型的な男子高校生のうるささはありましたが、試合は比較的真面目にみてくれたのがまだ救いでした。ブラジルがゴールを決めるたびに彼らは奇声をあげて喜んでいました。



でも私はSAMURAI BLUEへの希望も信頼も失っていません。次のデンマーク戦も声を張って応援しますよ!


Much love,

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kid Ego permalink
    June 20, 2010 4:35 pm






    • June 21, 2010 4:31 pm

      Kid Egoのレポート、読ませていただきましたよ。

      監督や選手の試合直後インタビューもみれないので、先日、ユバルと二人で勝手に「なんちゃってインタビュー」しました(ちゃんとぜーぜーはーはー入りで) 笑

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