Monday, November 09, 2009

Chasing Rainbows

Since last Monday, the weather in Rio has been amazing. It started with an amazing beach day on Finados (the Brazilian holiday to commemorate the day of the dead), and the weather consistently got better. Each morning, the thermometers on the beach would read 31C degrees - about 88F - and they would top out around 36C - around 97F. It's November folks - just the beginning of the summer. Can't wait for those 40C+ beach days in a month or so.

So this weekend my friend Anita came into town. She arrived on Sunday and after dropping her baggage off at the hotel, we met up with a French-Belgian guy she met on the bus as he was headed to Maracanã too. The match this weekend was between Fluminense and Palmeiras. As I have become a firmly entrenched supporter of Flamengo, I could happily root for Fluminense here because Fla is fighting Palmeiras for the Championship.

We meet Christian and his two friends from São Paulo and headed to Porcão - an amazing churrascaria. We had a quick meat fest and then scurried off to the stadium. Anita and I had to separate from our new friends as they had tickets in the upper deck and we could only find ones for the cadeira comum - the seats behind the goal.

The match itself was amazing as Flu, heavy underdogs, took the game to Palmeiras at every chance. They had one goal mistakenly disallowed and Fred knocked in a scrappy header.

As Flu protected their lead and full-time approached, the disbelieving crowd could barley control their emotion. A win would keep their feeble hopes of staving off relegation alive and provide them with some positive reflections after a season spent dwelling in the cellar of the league as they have excelled in the Copa Sudamericana (equivalent of Europa League).

While not matching the intensity of Mengão supporters, the chants of "Nehhhhn-sayyy, Nehhhhn-sayyy" were amazing. An elder gentleman in front of us could hardly contain himself and he started jumping up and down with the exuberance of a 6 year old. I am shocked if he didn't soil himself. Here is a video of him:

WARNING, if crappy videos make you nauseous, skip this. My first attempt at using my iPhone as a video camera. I will get better -

The Flu win over Palmeiras coupled with a Flamengo win and a São Paulo draw midweek has Fla sitting just 2 points behind São Paulo and 1 behind Palmeiras. With 4 matches left, it's anybody's for the taking.

During the meatfest, Anita and I were talking about life. I mentioned to her that it has taken me 30 years to realize how rarely we have days where we get it all right - those days where you wake up the next day and wouldn't change a single thing about the day before. I think those days happen like 5-10 times a year if we're lucky. But those are the days we all want. I am convinced you can't put the pressure on yourself to have those days as their are way too many uncontrolled variables. Instead, you just have to do your best and just accept and laugh off the rest. I likened it to chasing rainbows. It's not every day that you see a rainbow - and their is always something majestic about them. You get lucky when they make an amazing view even that much more amazing.

This is the view that we had when we left Maracaña.

From American Fooligan

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