Take me to Brazil!
If what I just experienced was a taste of how Brazil celebrates their soccer, it's time to look on Expedia for flights for the 2014 World Cup.
I'm sitting in Joe's Cafe on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, siphoning their internet and drinking one of the best hot chocolates I've had in a while. Delivered in a tall clear glass, with chocolate sprinkles on top, it just looks enticing
The last couple of hours have felt like Star Trek, I was in the transporter and beamed to Brazil and back again.
Yesterday, I heard an Italian man admit, because he said he couldn't lie, that the Brazilians have thrown some of the best parties on the Drive for World Cup celebrations, but that we (the Italians) were "gonna makea upa for it this year."
Well, from what I just witnessed, good luck.
Brazil's first game was seen all over the Drive, but the Libra room was electric with energy, colour and music. I had started at Joe's Cafe and overheard some people talking about a Samba band at the Libra room, and knew I had to check it out.
I ask a very nice woman if she would mind watching my things, and off I went. Running down Commercial Drive, I'm trying to get there before the game, ducking in and out of the covered awnings, trying to avoid the rain. (Yes, it just started).
I run past all the other cafes, pizza places and restaurants where TV screens play the CBC World Cup music (which I love). Feeling like I'm starting in the game, with my African theme music in the background I run even faster, past Cafe Roma, which unlike yesterday, had unblocked doorways and the owner Frank looked relaxed while taking a break on the sidewalk.
Within a block of my destination, I hear it. The beats, the music, the people. The drumming music is overpowering and soon my running becomes rhythmic. I arrive and it's packed. The front of the restaurant opens to the sidewalk and that is where the 6-pience Samba band is playing. They played for the entire game, except when North Korea scored their only goal in the 2-1 Brazil victory.
I hop up on the balcony and see inside. It's full of green gold, moving back and forth to the beat of the drums. Moving down to the floor, I get squeezed by the crowd of people. Thank goodness for the nice smelling man beside me, it made it much more enjoyable!
Looking around, I was in Brazil. The non-stop dancing made me think that this must be how everyone stays in such good shape, and the beautiful women stay cellulite free. The women may have even outnumbered the men, which was interesting as they were front row centre, faces pushed up against the big screens and loyally cheering on their home team.
But let me tell you, they did not stop. Not for one moment, not even when Korea scored.
Surprising, the fans were happy with the win but disappointed they didn't keep the 2-0 lead considering the playing calibre of North Korea.
Following the game, the fans continue to celebrate, pouring out into the sidewalk and continued dancing and playing music.
But that wasn't' enough. It was time to take it to streets.
Like an orchestrated routine, around 300 people dressed in green and yellow danced up a storm that stopped a city bus and several cars that beeped in celebration They continued all the way down to Joe's Cafe (where my things still were) and danced on the side street.
I wanted to dance to, but I also didn't want to miss any of it for the photo album or video camera.
One of the band members turns to me and says, "We're just bringing the excitement of Brazil".
Really? That was 10 out of 10 on the spontaneous excitement scale. Brazil has all of a sudden moved up on my 'must do' list. I just can't imagine how insane it would be to be in Brazil for the World Cup. If this was a little taste, the real deal might even be too much for me.
In the meantime, I'm signing up for more Spanish lessons and sitting in Joe's cafe, staring at a poster that says,' Brazil - If travelling is your passion, Brazil is your destiny.' If that isn't a sign, I don't know what is.
Next time Brazil plays, I'm joining the party, I just need someone to aim the video camera and take some photos....
Life is blessed.
Now I'm off to a South African wine taste testing at Earles in Yaletown.
I love the World Cup.
By the way, thanks for catching up my careless mistake. Really I just wanted to know if anyone was reading my blog...and now I know...and now you know I read your comments.
About the Author
Coreena Robertson (Vancouver)
Coreena Robertson is a seasoned sports producer and experienced sports broadcaster who loves to cover sports at both the community and professional level. She has interviewed high profile celebrities and sports stars such as LeBron James and the late Paul Newman, but also loves hanging out at the local pitch.