Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Football Fever

My life has been uneventful for the last 10 days or so because I've been really sick, and I'm not just talking about World Cup Fever! I attended Jorge and Susan's lovely wedding on June 3rd but I woke up on the 4th feeling awful and I've not been myself since. I won't bore you with my whole litany of complaints, but the official diagnosis was 'respiratory virus' which made my asthma flare up. It hasn't been good. For the first time, I'm feeling better today than I felt yesterday so this might be the beginning of the end.

I've got lots to write about: my new apartment, my new life in Little Italy/Portugal Village, my World Cup obsession, and life in Little Italy/Portugal Village during the World Cup.

The car horns just don't stop honking, the patios are packed full of people at 8am on a Monday, wandering street vendors sell counterfeit team merchandise to the patio dwellers, the cheers and whistles of the crowds in Germany echo all around from countless big screen TVs. I love it.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been playing 'spot the flag'. A huge proportion of cars in my neighborhood are bedecked with flags to support various World Cup nations - I'm hoping to see all the countries represented. It started out with just the little mini flags. But now that the tournament has begun, I'm seeing more and more cars adorned with full sized flags, and not just on match days! Around here, Portugal, Italy and Brazil make up the majority. I've also seen flags for England, France, T&T, Ghana (lots on taxis), Ecuador, Argentina, Spain, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, Mexico, Angola, Czech Republic, Croatia, South Korea, Togo, the Netherlands plus one lonely Hinomaru for Japan. [Later: I spied a big Swedish flag draped from a balcony on Bathurst Street] I saw the Italian tricolore on a Vespa and on a streetsweeper, too. Sweet.

I'm a little late to declare my allegiances but nevertheless, for the traditional footballing nations, I'm barracking for England and Italia. Otherwise, I'd like to see Australia, South Korea and Japan do well (although, as we saw on Monday, I can't have it both ways... Sad.) On the whole, I just want to see exciting matches, good sportsmanship and lively fans. So far, I've watched every game that I've been home for, but the 9am/12 noon/3pm schedule doesn't work so well with my 9-5 job. I can catch the last 30 minutes of the middle game when I go home for lunch, though. Guess I'll be watching a lot of TV this month. Wasn't I lucky to move into a place with cable just in time for all the fun?


ewan said...

I saw a few Costa Rican flags fluttering about in Toronto over the past few days, so keep your eyes open! Also, I got pretty much the ONLY Austlarian flag this side of the equator, so maybe I'll arrange a drive by so you can record me in your stats. WOOOOO!

John said...

I have the football buzz too! I should have sent you the pool I am in. We have the same schedule as well. I Go home at 1pm now for lunch so I can watch the 2nd half of the noon match and I rush home at 4:30 for the second half of the 3pm match. Since 1998 I have been in love with international football. With Canada & Wales not being such hot teams I cheer for the Netherlands;)

nicole said...

hope you're feeling better, Andrea.

Yes, football fever is everywhere right now!

by the way, one of my favourite Australian bands, The Grates (, are playing in Toronto this week (22 June). So if you're free, I'd recommend checking them out at Lee's Palace.

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