Monday, July 10, 2006

The end of the world cup


The world cup ended yesterday leaving my always-quiet city with its Italian population raving the atmosphere, honking and beeping and flaunting the Italian flag with pride following almost every passerby to whatever destination he/she going.

The game started at two o’clock yesterday, so sister, my friend and me booked prior a day seats in a café somewhere in the neatly assembled and elegantly decorated café strips of little Italy, because we knew everywhere would be full even if we had booked for our seats, we came earlier at twelve.
Our friend is an Iraqi guy, wore his original blue jersey, he is such a dedicated fan of Italy as if Italy was his home country or something. It was packed to the fullest, in the café where we sat, we did not end up sitting in the patio or the main seating area indoors but we sat in a rather small room area whom the café owners would not usually use for their own customers, its just they had to open more space to accommodate seats for people who already booked seats in their place, but they ended up opening the back door for us, and that is when I suffered, since this spot of the café neighbored residential area, more pollens irritated my good self, I started itching my no time.

I sat with a group of people all wearing the Italian jerseys, well my t-shit was white, so I did not exactly stick like a sore thumb, I was not really a fan of Italy nor France, but I was more leaning to Italy, what can I say, they’ve got some pretty boys there, the most good looking team in the world cup. My sister was actually with France, she did not come to the café early, but only with the start time of the game, our friend and me struggled to keep her seat.

The most thing that intrigued me was the reaction of the crowd I sat with, especially the guys, they actually defied gravity by the way they jumped, their loud voices was above of what was considered loud, and they broke any sense of public etiquette by the way they cussed and swore, and it is so amazing that all those guys were strangers, but on the Italian goal was scored, all you see is hugging, and congratulatory greetings, I do not know why girls did not hug and did all the stuff, I mean I am not Italian and I do not feel all the passion for Italy to win, but if it was Iraq, I think I would be above the clouds.
But there were the quiet-natured people including some couple of guys, whom I exchanged looks in a very happy and amused way with, when people did the sudden jumping when something important happened, one girl looked kind of nervous in a very joyous way, honestly it was a crazy scene, the attachment those people felt towards the team, and longing and the wanting for their team to win.
When the game first started, those people actually stood up in respect for the Italian national anthem, I did not do that, I was not Italian really, but my Iraqi friend did.

The first part of the game every spectator would say that Italy would win but then France made a come back, it is funny how much I heard phrases like “fuck you French” or “fuck France”, it was fine by me though, I understood that as frustration even though a bit rude bit mildly rude so far, but then when Zidane did what he did, which was a disgrace to the sport, even though if the other guy said things he was not supposed to say (which I am sure he said), he should at least Controlled his temper, after all , he does not want to conceal his career with a kala or the bullet like a thor (bull) raging technique he showed up. That was when the crowd I sat with was raging to the maximum, I heard “fuck you French”, “you disgrace to the game” , but the killer one was “fuck you fucking Arab”, I felt I was misplaced, estranged and I felt like leaving , but I did not do any scene, but I gave a dirty look at the person who said such an ugly thing, though I am not sure if it was him, the voice came from the back, but at least I did something, or at least I think I did, but my sister, made the excuse that she has to throw the pizza carton package outside, yeah she took her bag and did not come back, I think she was insulted, but I did not want to make a scene, but our friend, he just dismissed such incidence as ignorance and he kept cheering for his team, in the matter of fact, after the game finished, he went parading with his newly purchased big Italian flag, whom he wore like a cloak around himself, it was a big flag, and teasing him while I was walking behind him, I carried the two ends of the flag s and sung “itmakh6ari ya 7ilwa ya zeena”, it is a wedding Egyptian song :D
After the game, little Italy was rampaged with people from all over, even though they were mainly Italians, but you would see Arabic girls with scarves having their faces painted with the Italian flag, Indians, Latinos, and Anglo Saxons, one Anglo Saxon looking dude, was talking over the cell phone, he was “fuck Italy”, but he was nice enough to me, when he offered a hand, when I wanted to climb over a higher place to have a bigger picture. I think people when people say that “fuck…..(fill in the dash for whoever” is nothing serious, but it can tell you about certain feelings and enmity, most of the Serbians I met were with France, and to my surprise alot of people liked what Zidane did, and some had even wierd explanations, the Shaworma place that I sometimes go there, explained it that Zidane was paid to do that, but I dismissed such effort of explaining such incident as a typical arab mentality of conspiracy theory.
Back to the scene,there were splashing alcohol bottles, I got some on my hair and clothes, and everyone was reckless about their drinks, I got some bear more on clothes. There were a live band, and all that I did not know what I was doing, at least my friend was lost celebrating with other fans, I was not in all that mood, but it was a nice atmosphere, so I decided to go after taking mental pictures of what is happening, my friend walked me to the downtown and then he went back, and there were more people, you would see Somali girls in a car beeping for Italy and carrying their Italian flag. And on the way back, there were some Latin household having Latin music so loud.
I was tired when I reached home, I took a shower, but then sis wanted to go somewhere quiet and to some café, so our other friend came to pick us, and on they way back very rarely you would see the French flag, except for a car, whom we perceived as Arabs, they were flaunting the French flag, and this friend of ours, he did not want Italy to win, and exclaimed to us acutely that he would never go to little Italy, he thinks Italians are show off, so when he saw this car, he was beeping and honking, and he was shouting with pride to other car “Zizo”, all we can see was thumbs up, and replying to us by screaming “Zizo”, and they kept on saying it lol, I told my friend “hayi in the sawaitha modeh”, “ you made it like fashion”, they were quite responsive.
So we went to some other café but away from lilttle Italy, but no way, there were more noise, and what is even funnier, hours later the same car that we ha encounters with, were screaming “Zizo”, but it is Forza Italia for the time being though!

Good bye world cup, until then :)

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