Saturday, June 23, 2018

Fortunately, It's just a Game

The morning I managed to crawl out of bed, and get into a shower in time to get downstairs and get some free breakfast before the restaurant had fully closed. In the room, being that it was already past 9 a.m. local, the World Cup game between Brazil and Costa Rica was playing and everyone in the hotel seemed to be packed in together.

All the cooks and servers from the kitchen stood in front of the door, watching the t.v. Everyone position in the restaurant in a way that allowed them to view the action. I took the only table no one wanted in the back without a good view of anything and grabbed coffee, water and queso blanco for breakfast.

Quietly minding my business reading the news, suddenly a half roar goes up, I look up and lean to see what is going on, but it's only a half-hearted whoop. The ball doesn't land in the goal, and the game goes on. The kitchen staff runs a quick change of food and gets back to the station as quickly as they can.

I'm amused and decide to get some work done before I am fully distracted so caffeinated and hydrated I return to my room. Answering emails, doing little bits of work that need to be done, fully focused on the screen and the pre-flight preparations. Lost in my own little world, when suddenly the world around me explodes.

The entire hotel is screaming, the floors are vibrating with it. The cars and trucks are leaning on their horns, a constant cacophony of clarions rising up in chaotic levels of sound. In my chair, I'm actually shook for a moment, feeling the fight or flight response of it, anticipating danger. It takes me a minute to get back under control.

Then the guns start going off. Little pops all over the place giving me chills.

Then fireworks.

Then actual canons.

If I didn't know about the game, I might think we had gone to war or entered into the actual end times.

The city is in a frenzy of joy as Brazil scores once. And then, shortly, again, the raucous roar of victory. The country is on fire with it. And I smile, since I know it is a game and there is great passion. And I think about being in Korea at night as the country turned red with delight. Brazil lights up with green and noise and party and festival. Work is canceled the country celebrates, and I am delighted with the celebration.

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