I was nearing the end of my stay in Italy. I’d been to Venice, Rome, and Siena, gone out for a wild Halloween, and now was on my way to watch some of the World Cup. My peers were all a-buzz about it. The World Cup offered a nice backdrop to my stay in Europe, where it is taken very seriously.
I went to the Irish-themed bar that was showing the World Cup. I can’t remember who was playing, which didn’t seem to matter since neither had scored a point for the entirety of the game. Two different countries were competing with a bar full of impassioned people shouting at the screen. There I am cheering for neither, which is fine since neither one is winning. It was just me alone in a room full of drunken, cheering maniacs, judging some of the single best athletes in the world, because they can’t score a point.
The night passed like this for some time. Me, trying to drink beer, but not loving it, and eating something that came with French fries. One of the teams scored a singular point, making them the winners, and then I called it a night.
A couple of days later I went to a different bar to watch the World Cup again, this time more invested. I went to finish my homework and cheer on Croatia in the World Cup. For those who don’t know, my great grandfather emigrated to The United States through Ellis Island from what is now modern-day Croatia. My great grandmother similarly came from Trieste, now a part of Italy, but it was still Yugoslavia when she was born there. Ethnically, she was Croatian, making me about a quarter Croatian, which is why I was rooting for them in the World Cup.
Red Garter is an American restaurant and bar in Italy. I had no need for American food; I’d be having the real thing soon enough, but I still went there anyway for a burger so that I could remember what I’d been missing. That was how I spent my evening: American food, fruity beer since that’s the only kind I can tolerate, last minute homework, and the World Cup.
And what do you know folks: Croatia won. I’d never once cheered on a sports team in my life and they just won.
The crowd went wild, as did the Croatian team. That is one of the things that I love about watching a team win a match in the World Cup: the losers wallow in self-pity as they mosey off the field while the winners dry-hump each other and roll around on the grass. My other favorite part is when one player breathes on their opponent the wrong way and they crumble to the ground like feta. Clearly, sports are my passion.
So there you have it folks, a slight detour out of my comfort zone. I watched a sports game and drank some beer, twice in a row, and then I was done. Now, onwards and upwards to my final days in Italy.
The Tragic Queen,