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World Cup Madness


I’ve seen enough soccer (or football, as they say everywhere else in the world but the US), including every match in the last two World Cups, that I don’t really feel the urge to sit through any more of them. It’s not as if one needs to be watching in Paris anyway to know who’s winning. Every time France scores a goal, the whole city seem to cheer. Cheers from every open window, every open café door, honking car horns and high fives in the metro.

It’s way too hot again in Paris, about 33°C today. Saturday night I couldn’t bear the idea of sitting in a bar full of sweaty bodies to watch. I went to see a cabaret production in a nice, dark, air-conditioned, sound-proofed theatre. Of course afterwards I had to take the metro home. It was packed full of fans on their way home, jubilant and pumped up after France beat Brazil. One of the tv monitors in the metro tunnels said that all bus service was cancelled for the night due to security issues. At the Place d’Italie there was already a huge crowd waiting at the bus stops. No one told them, of course. Wonder how everyone managed to get home, particularly those who depend on the night bus to get to the suburbs.

Beware of this if you go out Wednesday night (the  date of the next French match). There will be crowds everywhere, but particularly on the Champs-Elysées. The metros will be very crowded, and there may be no bus service. Taxis are usually hard to find. So is a bit of shut-eye. The horn honking continued well into the night, until at least 3am (video above recorded from my window two hours after the match was over).

Still, despite my cranky comments, it’s nice to see the Parisians in such a good mood!  

If you want to watch the match on a big screen, there will be huge open-air screens at the Stade Charlety (99, boulevard Kellermann – RER Cité Universitaire, 13th) and Stade Jean Bouin (17, avenue Pierre de Coubertin – M° Porte de Saint-Cloud, 16th). Free, open from one hour before the matches start.

Tuesday 4 July
9pm: Italy – Germany

Wednesday 5 July
9pm : Portugal-France 

Saturday 8 July
9pm : match for 3rd place

Sunday 9 July
9pm : Final

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