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Soccer….I Mean Football

June 21, 2010

Well it’s that time of year (well time of every four years) where I actually care about soccer (sorry, football).  The hysteria here in Egypt isn’t very strong because they’re not in it.  It’s actually pretty disheartening winning the Africa Cup and then seeing six other African nations in the tournament.

Nonetheless, there are still large amounts of people at the coffee shops and bars watching the game.  I usually watch them at my favorite joint :I lovingly call the Obama Cafe for its larger than life images of Barrack Obama everywhere!  But I’ve caught glimpses of the games throughout Cairo.

just hangin' at the obama cafe...don't mind the french flag.

I happened to watch the S. Korea vs. Greece match at home in mid-day waiting for the plumber to arrive.  I finally got a shower enclosure for my bathroom (it only took 6 months) and I was sent home early to wait for the installation.  The company sent someone to accompany me while we waited and he knew very little English.  He would just sit there and say “Dangerous” anytime something, I guess dangerous, would happen.  We won 2-0 bringing me hope we’d advance (we’d later get crushed by Argentina but we’re still in it!).

Over the weekend, I decided to change it up and go to an actual bar to watch the game! Yes, there are bars in Egypt, and yes they’re usually overpriced and filled with foreigners.  The plus side is that I can drink beer and it’s air-conditioned (something very important as the temperatures have been hitting 111 degrees lately).  I went with Liz and….other Liz to Johnny’s Bar in Zamalek to see the U.S. tie Slovenia (tying is such a foreign concept for Americans, I still don’t like it.  I even played soccer in high school! And by played I mean sitting on the bench for the Stevenson High School “B” team).

Wednesday is the next game.  I’m planning to leave work early to watch the U.S. match vs. Algeria (Egyptians are actually rooting against Algeria because of years of unscrupulous play by the Algerian footballers against them).  Don’t know where yet, but by then the weather will have cooled to only 95 degrees.  Hopefully we’ll win and I get to keep caring about the sport that I love…every four years.

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