Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday 11 June 2010 – WORLD CUP DAY ONE

Dream: I am still in the party from last night and I am still feeling out of it.  Boy did I crumble in front of certain people last night; it would be embarrassing if I could remember the full details.  Instead I’ll just have to piece the moments in my mind and invariably make them worse than they actually were.

Today I wake up bored and exhausted.  This is not how it was supposed to be.  Where is the sun?  Shouldn’t it be gracing the beginning of both the World Cup and my holiday?

I stutter through the early proceedings like a drifter without aim.  It is perhaps not healthy to be watching Big Brother at this time and feeling quite so judgemental while being in the kind of physical and mental situation that I am.

Eventually the obsessive episode of Frasier comes on, the one where he is missing a cassette from the collection of his own shows.  Is there a message in this episode being directly aimed at me?  The episode features a great guest spot from Adam Arkin who turns out to be an obsessive fan that has all the episodes of Frasier’s radio show, is a horder like myself.  In the light of events last night this prompts a worried expression in me.

After this, still unable to function, I put on a couple of episodes of Bored To Death, which again touch the spot and deliver in royal fashion.  HBO is so great at this stuff.

Quickly I pull myself together with view to heading down to the post office to collect a packet that is waiting for me.  I am fearful that this could be an angry letter from either my property management company or Facebook threatening some kind of legal action.  In the end however thankfully it is just a Red Monkey seven inch that I “won” on eBay.

From here I head to Tesco to do some grocery shopping.  As I tear into the car park there is a police bike parked on the corner.  Are they really pitching a speed trap in the Tesco car park?  Then I spot two more policemen headed inside the shop.  It is terrifying how tooled up these people are these days; they look like modern day soldiers (stormtroopers).

Inside Tesco yet again it comes with a cheap feeling.  Everything looks dull and out of place, different in an almost Eastern European way.  And the lack of muzak is genuinely disturbing, almost upsetting.  Still, they do big bottles of Lipton ice tea (peach flavour), which sets me up royally.  I also buy a bag of Reggae Reggae Peanuts.  This World Cup is going to rock with these treats.

When I get back the time is now past 11AM and there is less than two hours until the opening ceremony of the World Cup.  The excitement is tangible.  Frantically I pull together my flat so that I have a space on my sofa to watch the event.

By the time the World Cup opening ceremony begins I find myself lying comfortably on my perch.

The opening ceremony proves worth watching as the usual dog and pony show ensues.  As ever it all looks like it was designed/planned by people on drugs as at one point there is a huge fucking dung beetle walking across the middle of the pitch looking like something from the Naked Lunch movie.  Towards the end R Kelly shows his face singing something awful that isn’t Trapped In The Closet.  What this really could do with though is Diana Ross taking a penalty.

When the dust settles everyone looks bemused and in disbelief as eventually an hour later the first match of the tournament kicks off as South Africa take on Mexico.  By this point I find myself already World Cupped out, feeling fatigue before a ball has even been kicked.

The stadium sounds deafening as the locals begin the game blowing horns (vuvuzelas) and from here they never stop.  Entertainment comes cheap in Africa it would seem.  I spot a fan with a banner that says, “I am here”.  Then the Mexican national anthem sounds like the E.T. soundtrack.

In the second half pathetically I find myself moving from my recently cleared couch to heading to bed and watch the game.  Invariably this sees me beginning to nod off which is truly ridiculous, pathetic and absurd considering the pent up excitement that has come with this event.  Surely the powers that be (the media) have not been hyping the event up far beyond reality?  The media doesn’t do that, surely.

Thankfully when South Africa score and take the lead, the roar of the crowd literally wakes me up.  These are the guys the entire world wants to win right now.  So it is with this in mind that Mexico somewhat resemble party poopers when they later score an equaliser to end that game at 1-1.

Into the evening France take on Uruguay, which is a game on paper that holds potential.  In reality this is not France as we know it, they visibly hate each other and that is never going to be conducive to good performance.

Eventually towards the end Uruguay have a player sent off but ultimately you feel that both teams could have played all night and still fail to score as the game finishes at 0-0.  Neither of these teams will win this World Cup.

The first night of World Cup 2010 comes to an end.

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