19 June, 2006

Ghost Town

It is so disappointing that the rain just doesn’t stop these days. It’s even more upsetting that my precious weekends have to be rain all the time.
Even the day before yesterday which was a gorgeously sunny and hot Saturday, showered in the evening so I – having been out since noon – had to buy another umbrella to add to my ridiculously big collection of plastic umbrellas at home :-(

Yesterday too was another drizzly Sunday continuing from the night before, but because I was out in a car with a friend I didn’t suffer too much from this rain.

Well of course, rain is not exactly what I want to write about today.
What I want to talk about is no doubt the World Cup from yesterday, furthermore not so much about the matches but about the Cup’s influence to people here.
Yesterday Japan was playing against Croatia. Both my friend and I wanted to watch the match so we got on our way back home well in advance of the match but the traffic was pretty bad and it was already past kick off when he dropped me off near my house.

I was desperate to watch the match but at the same time I had some errands I had to run so I first went to the bookstore. This place is usually packed with people reading books, comics and magazines all the time, but last night it was empty. The emptiness was so weird that it was like in a comic book, and the staff also looked pretty hollow staring into space.

So this is the World Cup, I thought.

Well the match last night had crucial significance cuz both Japan and Croatia couldn’t offer a loss in order to make it through the 1st stage. Of course I wanted to watch it, but after seeing such an unusual state of the bookstore, I was thinking maybe I want to take advantage (well, more like “enjoy”) of this unusualness of the neighborhood.

An empty town where people have suddenly disappeared… isn’t that exciting like in a movie!?
I was like, ok, the workers and I are the only beings left in this town (I know it’s ridiculous) and so then I went into the convenience store.

The convenience store greeted me with the live coverage of the JPN-CRO match on radio. This place usually has pop music but apparently switched to soccer in this emergency situation. Hoho, isn’t this fun. I could almost feel the anxiety and boredom of the staff in a store where the customers have disappeared.

Even though the other people are gone, I have to throw something into my stomach to survive (and to live for those who disappeared!) and so I get food for myself.

I felt that the staff was sort of kinder than usual, cuz he asked me “This one is good as it is, but would you like to have it heated?” where he would normally ask, “Would you like it heated?”!!! I kindly asked not to but maybe he missed having people around. Well, he did warm up my heart!

I leave the convenience store and as I thought, there was not a single person around on the streets.
Where have they gone? Have they disappeared? Why am I alive? It was a situation that made me feel that way.

Then that I was building up my imagination, I suddenly heard a scream.


So there’s someone out! And what does that scream suppose to mean!?


Yes of course, soccer. Japan must have been in a huge pinch.
Okay, time to run home.
So I get back home and discovered that the scream was from when Japan accidentally gave Croatia a PK :P

The match ended with an exhausted 0-0 draw. Hope is not lost, but the chances are the slimmest cuz the next match is against world champion Brazil. Brazil had made its way out of the preliminary already beating Croatia and Australia, but would not give us an easy match anyway.
If there is a chance of winning (and I emphasize the “if”), it would be the members Brazil chooses for the next match. If the champion is considering of preserving the stronger players for the tournament, maybe they will bring forward the other players, but what are the chances?
All I can tell is that the day of the next match will have another ghost towning phenomenon, lol.
Personally, the 1-1 draw between France and S.Korea shocked me more than the draw of Japan and Croatia. Come on France! You have to make it to the tournament!

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