Thursday, July 22, 2010

World Cup Sunday in Vancouver

Straight from the airport with our friends to see the show of French Impressionist sketches illustrating the liberation of French women during the late nineteenth century. There was an earnest attempt to show that women could painted as realistic, instead of metaphorical, nudes and that "sacred nudity" was one that took you beyond the mere physical. Somehow I had trouble separating this from the metaphor but I'm not an art historian. The exhibit did note however that French women didn't get the vote until 1944 when American tanks liberated French women from both Nazi occupation and conservative French men.

We drifted out of the gallery and after a moment's discussion agreed on falafels from the Babylon Palace on Robson for lunch. While ordering we noted cheering crowds just around the corner on the Granville mall. The extra time of the World Cup Final played out on a big screen up the street. Crowded with polite Vancouverites we saw young women with red yellow red bands painted on their face and Espagna t-shirts mixing aimably with fans of the House of Orange.

Vancouver is raucous in support of the public viewing of sports - likely a legacy of their recent hosting of the Winter Olympics - but they are also clearly neophytes in the devoted following of sport. One local fellow informed me that the "Orange guys are the Spanish." When I corrected him, he paused, checked my suggestion with the fellow beside him and said "I've been cheering the wrong team!" I assured him he still had time to reverse the karma in extra time cheers. He shrugged, "I am fan of Germany anyway," noting the Germans had beaten Uruguay, but he couldn't actually remember the score or whether they played extra time or not. I love that kind of sport fan - its all about now!

And then Spain scored. The square erupted in cheers, red and yellow flags shot into the air and waved frantically. Ole! Ole! Ole!

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