The World Cup…in Brazil

Curitiba Travel Blog

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The World Cup…in Brazil I got my first taste of it in Argentina and at the time I thought the obsession was surreal. Sitting in the Boca stands I found it difficult to focus my attention on the game, and instead found myself gazing wide-eyed at the tens of thousands of crazy fanatics. The passion of this diverse group of people—men and women, young and old, all different backgrounds and social classes—consumed me entirely. At the time I had no idea that the Boca game was just the appetizer of the main course I would have in Brazil. Of course one cannot reasonably compare the excitement of a club football team and that of the world cup—as I was quick to discover. I experienced the reality of true football excitement in Florianopolis for the Brazil/Australia game. Walking to the school where we planned to watch the game was an experience in itself. The streets were completely empty—no cars, no people, complete silence—all that could be heard were the roaring TVs in the stores, supermarkets, cafes, laundry mats, residences, essentially EVERYWHERE, tuned to –you guessed it—the game! One would not necessarily need to watch the match to know what was going on. The roaring fans, their blowhorns, fireworks and firecrackers, cars honking in the streets always indicate that Brazil has scored! The commencement of the game is also greeted with such excitement. After the defeat of Brazil over Australia I walked back to the Posada to do some work when I realized the world had completely turned around. What just a few hours before was a complete ghost town instantly turned into a parade of celebration. Traffic brings all the cars to a standstill with excited fans honking their horns, and hanging from their car windows waving Brazilian flags—screaming, yelling, and chanting. I saw children parading up and down the streets that tied yellow and green balloons that completely covered their bodies. One particular girl, probably around the age of 7, accompanied her miniauture poodle died green down the street. About a week later, I am sitting here, just having experienced the Brazil/Ghana game. We had class at a local University, and the professor was rushing through the material so that we would be able to watch the game that began at noon. In fact he did not complete the entire lecture he prepared, just for this reason. We arrived back at our hotel about 20 minutes before the commencement, so Lynn and I decided to make a quick run to the grocery store since we had the time. At the grocery store everything stopped, the cashiers seemed to have no interest in even checking out our items. There was a large TV conveniently at the front of the store, of course tuned to the game. Everyone gathered around it, and none of the workers paid attention to anything. My cashier rang up my items quickly with a frown on her face and looked very irritated—as if I was taking away her “game time”. Of course Brazil won the game, with a score of 3 to 0, and just as expected the ENTIRE country went crazy. The life, emotion, and expression of the victory of a football game is one that is very difficult to explain, but one that must be truly felt and experienced to fully understand the patriotism and passion. The 4th of July in the U.S. could never wish for so much patriotism. It truly is such a wonderful and bonding experience. :)
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