Brazil and Saudi Arabia: Could there be a wider gap between any other two countries? Brazil is known for its lascivious women and crazy parties, while in Saudi the sexes are strictly segregated in most situations.
Luckily, there are the diplomats who are often more than happy to throw in some spice with swinging dance parties and concerts. For the opening of World Cup it was the French Consulate in Jeddah that added a dose of samba – as well as Caribbean and Jamaican rhythms, for that matter.
Soon I will write more about this phenomenal event, but let me just say that it was an amazing party Brazilian style (and probably much better than the official opening ceremony, which many people were disappointed with).
However, the real party began last night, with the first game of my country: Spain vs. The Netherlands!
Now, I was far from convinced the Dutch had a chance. Not only do I tend to be very critical of my country, my husband and I did some research and saw that the bulk of the squad consisted of players whose name I (which is not that surprising, given my disinterest in football (soccer for you Americans)) nor my husband (who is a huuuuuge football fan) had never heard of!
We are participating in a football poll, in which we had predicted Holland would lose 4-1 against arch enemy Spain.
There is one thing, though, we have to give the Dutch credit to. With their Orange fever taking off over a month before they play the first game, they are one of the most enthusiastic fans of the world. This fever manifests itself in decorating entire streets and houses in orange, wearing orange clothes, and even eating orange foods during the games. Of course, businesses feed this craze by supplying their shops with orange gadgets, hats, sunglasses, cutlery, etc., while supermarket chains (Albert Heijn) give away some orange goodies (Wuppies) that have become world (ok, country) famous.
Needless to say, our pessimism proved wrong when the Dutch scored their first, second, third, fourth, and finished with a 5-1 score, completely and utterly humiliating the former World Cup champions.
The Spanish, perhaps sensing the impending defeat, withdrew to the outside terrace when Holland scored its second goal.
Once the game was over and the Dutch exuberant as if they had just won the final, the Spanish, however, were quick to say they had lost the first game in 2010 as well.
Let’s not spoil their illusions by reminding the Spanish that that game was against Switzerland and only a small (0-1) defeat…