Friday, June 15, 2012

Give us your full 90 and then get pizza

In Italy the streets fall silent whenever the national football team plays. It seems every time I come to this country there is an important tournament taking place. This time it is the EURO CUP - a European tournament which is played every two years.

My friend Stella’s level of devotion for the national team, though not uncommon by Italian standards, is borderline scary. He starts getting nervous a few hours before the match. Like superman changing back to Clark Kent, Stella switches from lawyer to football fan (t-shirt, shorts, flipflops) in less than a minute and we immediately head for Fabio’s apartment, 1.5 blocks away. A brisk pace is set. I drop back, unable to maintain Stella’s speed.

Few words are exchanged as we enter the apartment heading directly for the sofa to watch the game. The next 90 minutes are a mix of Stella and his friends expressing anger, joy and disbelief at the game. There is also a wide array of hand gestures and facial expressions which I found somewhat comical to capture on camera.

“So what are we going to do for dinner?” I ask from the sideline.
“Buddy, you can’t ask me that right now.” Stella’s eyes stay locked on the screen. I feel almost shooed away as one does to a small child. I politely wait out the game. It ended in a 1-1 tie against Croatia.

Afterwards we went for pizza. It was delicious.

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