I landed in
As you can imagine, I felt right at home. Except that I wasn’t at home. I was abroad. And I was abroad for good reason. I wanted to see the world cup start through the eyes of a nation that doesn’t really see football. Some people even warned me the games might not be on in pubs.
How wrong they were. The world cup is everywhere in
Yep, there may be a world cup coming up, but the moment people heard I was English that tournament went out the window. It’s all about
This atmosphere all came as something of a surprise. But apparently we’ve got the Yanks all wrong. Or at least New Yorkers.
Take Andy, a
So OK, one tough looking bar tender doesn’t make for much of a trend. But there was also a street protestor outside the New York Stock Exchange. Having checked in and visited
There was also April and Bret. I met these two at a burger bar near Broadway before I checked into my place the first night I arrived. April was 19 and had to hope no one noticed as she drank her cocktail. Bret was a couple of years older. They wore black, had fashionable piercings, and looked like poster children for
April has a part in a play once a week in
Better still was a different kind of poster pin-up. (I apologise to female readers for the next couple of paragraphs)
Imagine being in a dive of a bar at around 1am in a distressed part of town. Then imagine a well endowed 24 girl playing pool in that bar. She’s got on a slinky figure hugging short dress that barely reaches down to the tops of her long beautiful legs. Her bright red hair is outshone only by the ruby lipstick and her overwhelming energetic but genuinely witty personality. Every guy there is trying to help her play her shot as she copes surprisingly well with her high heels and the seemingly large quantities of beer she’s had. It was like an FHM photo shoot.
Now be honest. What’s the best that could happen in real life? Maybe you get an entertaining glimpse of a little more than you should? You introduce yourself and get lost in the crowd of aspiring pool mentors? Or she hears your accent while you order a pint, and strikes up a conversation. And not just any conversation. She asked about the big game.
Yep, suddenly the bizarre cliché had me reaching for the nearest ring and going down on one knee. That just doesn’t happen in
Sounds great doesn’t it? Except it isn’t. It nearly made me forget why I wanted to see the states during a world cup summer. I don’t want Americans to get football. I don’t want them to be like the English. I want to experience something different. And although it is different in some ways, if they all start liking it properly they might get good at it. And then the rest of us are screwed.
So after just three hours sleep and with my head and muscles crying out for mercy, I am now at the airport waiting to board a flight to
Wish me luck.