World Cup Fever

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I’ve been living on Brazil time since FIFA World Cup began 2 weeks ago. I stay up for the matches showing on CCTV5 at midnight  and wake up for the early morning matches. I only took a break when I was in Hong Kong for a business trip for the second half of last week because the hotels I stayed at did not have the TVB9 channel which was showing the World Cup matches.  Needless to say, I was immensely glad to be back in my own apartment in Beijing. I watched the first half of the Belgium vs Russia match (boring) and the second half of the USA vs Portugal (thrilling to the end) early Monday morning. I was in a stupor for the rest of Monday and had to catch up on sleep, instead of watching the match between the Netherlands vs Chile (which I’d excitedly anticipated).  The Orange Men are tipped as one of the hot favourites to get to the finals, together with the Germans. Both teams have been playing extremely well in the group games.

Colleagues and friends alike think I’m nuts keeping a schedule like this, especially since I don’t bet on the games. I just love watching the World Cup. If the players look hot, that’s just an added bonus. I don’t follow Premier League, Bundesliga or the European Cup very closely. There is something very touching and exciting about the teams playing for their respective countries and their cheering squads donned in everything from their countries’ football jerseys to blue/green/red wigs and garish face paint.  Every detail is painstakingly commented upon and analysed by sports commentators around the world. Conspiracy theories abound about match fixes. In China, everyone laments the failure of their country’s soccer team to make it into the qualifiers in the past and wonders if they will see the China team play the World Cup in their lifetimes.

It’s now 1:15 am in Beijing and I’d watched the first half of Italy vs Uruguay. Both teams are playing extremely well and making it very tough for their opponent to score. Unfortunately I have to go to work tomorrow, so I had to turn off the TV and get ready to hit the sack. I’ll have to content myself with reading the scores and watching replays of matches tomorrow.

zzzzz…..

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