It’s finally here.
I’m finally here, in an apartment on the beachfront.
The sun is still here, although it’s having a little disagreement with its main sponsor, showers, this week.
Some Dutch and Spanish tourists are here in Salvador, although not as many as you would have thought.
Fatboy Slim is probably here somewhere, getting ready for his World Cup-opening show here in Salvador later this afternoon/evening, giving me a dilemma about where to watch the opening match, since the FanFest is literally next to the place I’m staying, and where most of the friends I have made this past two weeks has been.
So, here’s the last news update before we can officially say: The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil has started!…
–Security seems to be all in place and highly organised. As long as you don’t mind fans running onto the pitch whilst teams are playing, that is.
Argentina’s practice was interrupted by fans invading the pitch and approaching the players, one of them to hilarious effect.
Probably the most telling part of the article is the final line, a sentiment which I can confirm is VERY prevalent on the ground: I have met more locals who will be cheering for Argentina than for Brazil, although I’m sure that ratio will change in the next few hours…
“Some 10,000 people watched the session, many of them Brazilians wearing the shirt of Brazil’s biggest rival.”
–J-Lo WILL finally be singing at the opening ceremony today, after overcoming “production issues”.
I know you were worried…
-As if there wasn’t enough trouble going on already, it appears there may be a 24-hour plane strike in Rio, on a randomly chosen day…today, the day the World Cup begins. They want more money, (understandable, given the amount of money the country and FIFA have somehow managed to locate, and then urinate away).
More importantly for me, who has spent the past week trying to find transport and accommodation to make it to Fortaleza, where a friend has managed to somehow get hold of a ticket to BRAZIl vs MEXICO for me, local bus companies are planning a strike there, too, which may make my decision of whether to go a little easier, (if sadder).
-It’s not just football going on here though. June 13th is Saint Anthony’s Day across the world, (Lisbon native and the city’s no.1 top rated Saint).
Since he was a bit of a ladies’ man, the day has come to be associated with young love.
The Lisbon municipality pays for sixteen free weddings for selected lucky local young loves, and in Brazil it is a kind of Valentine’s Day on the 12th.
With all of the brouhaha surrounding the World Cup, however, someone smartly decided to make it a three-day festival this year, so if you are in Brazil, and forgot the chocolates this morning, DON’T WORRY – you got a 24-hour reprieve!
-Finally, in between all the strikes and trouble and fun and pitch-invasions and rumours and travel and excitement, there will be a football match this evening! 5pm local time sees the hosts, (as is traditional), take on Croatia, (which is not necessarily traditional).
Featuring ex-Spurs playmaker and current Spanish and Champions League Cup winner Luca Modrić amongst others, there is at least one person out there who think the team with one of my favourite jerseys has a good chance at this year’s tournament…
So sit back, strap in, and join me for four weeks of football madness.