Monday, July 10, 2006

This One's for Italy

The World Cup is one of those "must participate" events. For a month, conversation turns to football, and eyes to the host nation, as the best teams in the world, and some others, battle to become best at what they do. Pubs are full, schools and offices start late or finish early depending on match schedules to ensure no one misses out. Flags hang and a strange unity descends on the country as every Englishman remembers 1966.

That's the sort of World Cup fever I am used to. I recall the 2002 tournament fondly, one house party culminating with 7:00am kick comes to mind, but this time around, the World Cup was something different.

A large proportion of the country is focused on the games while others are complaining about the cost to purchase the package, and the pubs do fill up, but for a region with more important things to worry about, you can understand why the country doesn't stop.

Unfortunately I didn't make it to the final. As I arrived in town, I got a call from a friend who had been taken ill and found himself at the Emergency Room, so I jumped in a cab to keep him company and lighten his spirits while he was rehydrated.

On the way home I managed to catch extra time and penalties. I was one of sixteen, including the staff of the local Cafe Hillel who had slipped away to see the all important game, watching the Italian mondial victory in a makolet [corner shop] on Emek Refaim [a local high street].

It wasn't like nipping down to the local with a crowd of friends, nonetheless, Israelis love the football and the small store managed to build quite an atmosphere. The crowd I found myself was quite pleased to see Italy lift the trophy, except for the one French girl found to be sobbing by the chewing gum.

It's all over for another four years, I wonder where I will comment on the next one from.

No comments:

Post a Comment