What the hell has been up with the last few weeks feeling like I never have enough time?!?!?
After what happened on Sunday I really wanted to talk about the World Cup, but then the various personalities on the internet I follow kept uploading tons of entertaining content (I still haven't caught up with it all) AND Wednesday was Pepa's birthday (I've mentioned him numerous times - he's the friend who lives 2 doors away) AND Colours of Ostrava Music Festival started yesterday. The 13th one in fact.
I'll start off with an anecdote from Colours, shall I? I was unfortunate enough to not snag a cheap online ticket this year, so I had to buy the ticket fresh from the festival site at the full price of 2300kč. That sounds like a lot but it's actually about €81 (if I were to pay in Euros on site, I would have been forced to pay €90. It wasn't just me that was baffled by this, the lady in the Tourist office also raised an eyebrow!). Anyway, my friend Federico met me with 3 others, one of whom already knew me somehow...um, that was kinda embarrassing. They all somehow got reserved...uh, VIP tickets or something. Not sure how that works. Anyway, I told them that I would have to buy a ticket on site so once they knew where they were supposed to go to collect their tickets, we agreed on a meeting point and went our separate ways. So I queued up, took a while, bought my tickets, then looked for them. I thought they would have already collected the tickets but something was wrong with the computer system. So after finding them I agreed to go through security and we agreed a new meeting point.
While queuing in security, I could hear and see the act on the main stage (this year sponsored by the bank Česká Spořitelna), they were Les Tambours Du Bronx, a group of Tonto Steel Drummers with influences from Samba. They were awesome. Once I was through I found the rough meeting place, texted Federico, who told me later that he and his friends were forced to wait an extra hour. So it wasn't until the Bronx were done with their act, I was pooped and sweaty from dancing and I was surveying the area for a drink that we all came together again! I clapped Fede on the shoulder and joked with him that the moral of the story was, it was plenty easier to not take the shortcut XD.
Anyway, World Cup. Yes. I really hadn't been intending on watching it, I mean, there was tons of controversy about it within Brazil (all the money spent on it and whatnot), but while I fully understood resenting the government for throwing millions at a football tournament instead of investing in infrastructure, schooling and healthcare, I was also aware of all the changes being done to the internet infrastructure to make it half-decent. I do work for a telecommunications company after all, so I hope the Brazilians see that benefit. Anyway, a team leader, Nuno, is a big football fan and he came up with the idea that, since CSC has quite a few people of nationalities whose football teams made it into the World Cup, that we all wear the necessary gear and have a photo. Benny would be England and I agreed to represent Germany. Just one problem: I didn't have the T-Shirt. Problem solved! Bobby gave it to me as a present :D
So I followed Germany's matches after they made it through the group matches. I still can't believe Brazil lost so easily. Anyway, that match against Argentina, really gripping and tense! And I just felt so happy! For once, I followed a team that won! 4 TIMES WORLD CHAMPION! I was so happy I rushed to my nearest Tesco Monday morning to find as many German cakes as possible to share with my colleagues. And everyone congratulated me on the victory...as if I had been the one playing...weird. Honestly, the most uplifting conversation was when I spoke to Daniel, since he is Brazilian. He told me, that according to his loved ones back home, the German fans and tourists had made a fantastic impression on the locals, weathering a lot of the simmering hatred against the tournament. I didn't realise that the reputation of Germans as ruthless Nazis had remained so adamently put in Brazil all these decades, so the German visitors and tourists, just acting German, had come with politeness, kindness, a willingness to explore the poorer sides of Brazilian society and assisted with local social programmes. Even I hadn't expected that. Spent holiday time helping others and getting local approval :) That's the real spirit of sport, not the corruption of FIFA.