For weeks – if not months- there has been a lot of excitement about the World Cup in South Africa. On foreign television (news) channels and among foreigners that is. Although it is a big deal that the World Cup is held on African soil, Egypt is not competing and seems therefore not too fussed about the tournament and Masr does not consider itself to be African anyway. Only when they win the Africa Cup, which they did early this year, then the national team is the pride of the nation and the continent. Another thing is that you can’t watch the matches in the comfort of your own home if you’re not subscribed to certain channels. The broadcasting rights are expensive and the government is not willing to pay if no one is interested. Even in our mansion, which we vacated Monday night and Tuesday morning respectively, with 400 + channels the matches were not available, which kind of pissed me off. I watched England versus the US in a bar/ restaurant with the boys while enjoying some Egyptian rose – I am very grateful it’s available, but pretty sure I’m not gonna miss that once I’m back in Europe- and both the match as well as the atmosphere in the bar were a very tame affair. The first performance of the the Boys of Orange was due on Monday afternoon against Denmark and I was horribly excited. Jameela knew an ‘ahwa in an area called khamsa wa arbaeen, which just means 45, where we could watch the match. Jameela’s ‘adopted brother’ Osman, who grew up in Denmark and also studies at Marleybone uni and Tobias, a knowledgeable and entertaining journalist who used to be in our class at the centre, joined us. Tobias being Austrian supported Holland for the reason that the enemy (Holland) of your enemy (Germany) is your (his) friend. The ‘ahwa is called Arabian Nights and is right on the Corniche. It is big, kitsch looking and supposed to look like a cave. I guess it has to remind you of Alibaba and the 40 thieves. It would have been cute if it were the set for a school musical. The sheesha is very average and they are sneaky enough to change the head when you’re not watching, which contains the tobacco and will be charged as a second sheesha. It was not busy and our company seemed the only one remotely interested in the match. But there was a big fat tellie and we were in good company, so I wasn’t complaining.
As we know now the match had some exciting moments, attacking game from our Boys and a very strong defence from the Danes. We obviously want our team to win, but the own goal was rather naff. I felt for Poulsen, poor bugger. As I never really followed the Dutch league and very much missed out on European football the last year I completely missed out on Elia. But I quickly discovered that he is eager and well dangerous and I expect him to cause much more excitement in the course of the tournament. After 90 minutes I felt entertained and well pleased with the Boys’s victory. Straight after the match, people and god himself (Johan Cruijff) started whining, that despite the 2-0 win the Boys could have done a lot better. Maybe so. But it was the very first match and we won. Let’s kick some ass on Saturday and hopefully my favourite Orange Boy Boulahrouz will be allowed to get into action. And although I seem the only Dutchie in the whole of Alex it’s my party and I cheer if I want to.