** “Às Armas” is the crescendo of the Portuguese National Anthem, and is practically calling the Portuguese to arms. My Brazilian colleagues found this slightly strange and violent for a national anthem, so much so that while me and my Portuguese colleagues were singing it before the start of the game, one of them said ‘Nossa! Que hino violento!’(Bloody Hell! What a violent anthem!)**
Last weekend saw the country of my heritage take on the country of my employer in the World Cup in the country of my birth. Portugal v Brazil. Brazil had already qualified and Portugal merely required a draw. Those are all the ingredients you need for a borefest of football, even though both sides possess some talented footballers. The scoreless draw was definitely not what we wanted to see but it was good enough to silence my Brazilians colleagues and friends as the ‘Brazil are going to whip you’ jibes were becoming tiresome.
It was another stellar weekend here in Libya filled with Football, Barbeque, Sun and Fun. Watching football as part of a minority is always fun. We were four Portuguese surrounded by nine Brazilians and another four Bolivians supporting the Brazilians. It reminded me so much of watching Benfica against Manchester United and Liverpool in pubs in London where me and my brother were, more often than not, the only Benfica supporters in the pub. The banter was good fun and everyone kept taking the piss with each other, which made it a real pity their weren’t any goals. But oh well!
What on earth will I do when the World Cup ends?!?!
This coming weekend sees me return to London. Another friend taking the plunge into married life. This will be the third wedding of a friend I will be attending in less than a year. Though I am collecting an eclectic array of weddings. A Kurdish wedding in Istanbul. A Syrian wedding in Abu Dhabi. And now a Bengali wedding in London. What next? A Colombian wedding in Egypt? Who knows!
Anyway it will be good to see my friends again. I already have most of my time in London dedicated to seeing most of my friends which is awesome as I haven’t seen some of them since last August (That’s you Science Club!).
Also there is a remote possibility that I might to South Africa for the WC final. Remote. But a possibility nonetheless!