Rio de Janeiro -- Day IV
Rio de Janeiro Travel Blog› entry 4 of 12 › view all entries
Never before have I seen something mean so much to a country as soccer, or football, means to the Brazilians. On every corner, of every street, there are Brazilians selling everything they can with the yellow and green of Brazil. There are noise makers, fireworks, flags and of course Ronaldino jerseys. Over seventy-five percent of the people walking the streets have something with “Brasil” on it. The spelling of Brazil is with an “s” as in Brasil, this is the Portuguese spelling. Yellow jerseys with names like Ronaldino, Ronaldo, and Kaká are on everyone’s minds and backs. This afternoon Brazil played Australia in Brazil’s second game of the World Cup. A few things happen when Brazil is playing a World Cup game, one, the city dies and businesses all over town shut down. Two, people, who you would normally see on the streets in droves are no where to been seen. And finally three, anywhere there is a TV, the game is on. I have never seen anything like it, what was not ten minutes ago an alive and vibrant Rio de Janeiro is now as dead as Condon at three in the morning on a Wednesday. Busses run, yet no one rides them. Copacabana Beach was home to many loud and rowdy Brazilians. Restaurants set out chairs and tables all around multiple TVs. The best sight to see and hear, is when Brazil scores their first goal. Almost instantly fireworks erupt from street corners and everyone in town knows, Brazil is up one nil. There is yelling and screaming and dancing all over town. And once the game is over and Brazil is victorious the streets again come alive and the people are back again on the streets. Traffic is stopped by men and women, doing jump thrusting motions counting in Portuguese. They all huddle like a college basketball team, wrap their hands around each other and begin to bob forwards and backwards, left and right singing in Portuguese. Everyone, young and old, man or woman, you pass on the streets are yelling “Brasil!” or if they are not they are blowing their noise makers! When the United States plays in the World Cup it is on maybe one in five hundred television sets. Here, there is not one set without it.