July 4th, 2006

[ donkey kiss ]

the semi-finals, heat, and pick-up games

I went to Josten's apartment again today, this time to watch the semi-final between Germany and Italy. There were nine of us gathered around two television sets and everyone but Josten was cheering for the hosts to win. Despite having several close chances (and much swearing from those in attendance) Germany were unable to score and fell victim to a pair of Italian goals at 119' and 121'. How utterly depressing.

On the other hand, there's a good chance that France will win their game against Portugal in the other semi-final tomorrow - because if Ronaldinho can't get around Viera and Malouda there's no way Cristiano Ronaldo is going to do any better. And from there it's on to the final. I'm sure you can all guess who I want to win, and if it means anything, the last time Italy beat France was back in 1978. Or if you only look at games played in Europe it's 1938. Ouh là!

After the match we noticed how hot it was in the room, and a quick glance at a thermometer hanging from the underside of their roof explained it all. It was 40°C (104°F) in the shade! We went out for ice cream and then decided to play two-on-two football barefoot in the courtyard of their apartment complex. Running down a gravel sidewalk to chase after the ball was not a good idea; when I got home I noticed that both my feet were bleeding. It seems I'm not ready for the favelas of São Paulo just yet. But hey, I didn't want to ruin my new shoes. I've only had them for a week and still feel rather protective about them.

For those of you keeping track at home (trinajo!) this now makes three times in a row that I've traveled to a different city just to buy new shoes. Think Angel would approve?

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