Dateline Brazil

I arrived today or was it sometime last night? No matter, I am here and this place is rocking with World Cup fever. There at Brazil flags everywhere and players are in advertisements all over the airport. Two surprises there, first, there were more Messi ads than I would have thought and secondly, by my count, Oscar had more than Neymar. Some other thoughts:

  • It gets dark early here. Real early. Like 5:30 early. As our first two matches are at night, this will with the heat.
  • I hear our friendly with Belgium was cancelled due to traffic. This worries me–as I have written previously, I do not like where our camp is, so far away from our matches AND so far away from the airport. This is making a long commute even longer. I really hope we will go from Manaus to Recife and not back to São Paulo. It really is like the NY Red Bulls playing at Portland on a Sunday and having a match at LA on following Thursday and then deciding to fly home, landing at JFK in between. Senseless.
  • My flight from São Paulo to Natal was full of Mexicans. I met an American couple here and they said the same about their flight. Mexico do play Cameroon in Natal on Friday.
  • I am happy that there will that match in the stadium where we play Ghana on Monday. Hopefully they will work out the kinks. Actually, one lucky thing about our stadiums–we are not the first match in any of them.
  • I had a late lunch in a cool little place here in Pipa that overlooks the sea, was just beautiful. Not so beautiful was the table of Mexicans next to me working on their “Ahhhhhhh, Puta!” cheer. Serioulsy, there were six of them.
  • They didn’t bother me one bit, I had a Caipirinha to keep me company.  There is also no shortage of limes here!

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  • On the way to Pipa, which is about an hours drive south of Natal, we passed the stadium. It’s design is meant to honor the huge sand dunes of the area. From pictures I had seen, all taken from the inside, I didn’t think it worked. From the outside, it totally does. It’s a very cool design.
  • There were construction workers scurrying all around the stadium.
  • Speaking of construction workers, I flew into the new airport in Natal and, yep, lot’s of workers. Of note, while there were water fountains all around, none of them worked.
  • And speaking of airports, it was pretty cool in Miami as I discovered that Nigeria was on our flight.  I am trying not to get into club stuff on this blog, but I don’t like John Obi Mikel at all, however I totally marked out.  I blame it on lack of sleep or World Cup fever.

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  • Bora was also there!

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  • Great news for my friends coming here, I just discovered Pipa has a brewery!  And the bottles have a special World Cup label.  They have Golden Ale, Boch, and I am enjoying a Red Ale with a Spanish crest, 5.3% and it is very good.  They have the US on the Boch.  Will have that, ummm, tomorrow?
  • Our apartment is small, has ants, and no air conditioning–but is has a deck with a view.  I think it will work.

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  • It has been a long, four year wait, but the World Cup begins tomorrow!

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