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As we were out of town we had no TV so we went shopping for groceries when Argentina started playing against Nigeria. Only the shops where they had a TV were open, and everyone was watching. Other shops were closed, without putting a note. It’s obvious why they were closed. While taking our orders, the shopkeepers were watching the screen. It took us twice as long to get our stuff. When we entered a store our eyes immediately looked for the screen and every time, before we could read it, they told us “1-0”. That was how it started and how it ended.

The 2nd match, Argentina – South Corea, was different, it was at 8,30  in the morning of a week day, and the kids had to go to school. When I opened my curtains I could see that our neighbour was ready for the game, standing on his terrace wearing his Argentina Tshirt and having his mate in his hand. The streets were quiet. It looked more like Christmasday than rush hour.

I put the TV on, we have a European TV (PAL) that only works with a decoder and the image is of bad quality. I put the noise down and worked on my computer, windows open so I could hear the street noises. The neighbours let me know when Argentina scored. One of them had invited 3 friends over, they came on the terrace throwing their hands in the sky and shouting ‘golgoooollgooooooooooollllll’, the few cars that were on the street sounded their horns, everywhere people were shouting. That was the time for me to watch the screen and see the replay. Four times they scored!

My son was a bit worried as the referee was Belgian. His friends had told him (he is no footbalfan, and I am sure he never thought about the referee as a person, and defenitely not one with a nationality) and they said they hoped he wouldn’t make any mistakes. Both of my kids supposed the 2 Corean boys would not come to school. They did, although it was forbidden and they had to be in perfect uniform, the 2 boys were dressed in the Corean colours. The headmaster wisely put the boys aside to watch the game, and as soon as one of the Argentines went to him to shout ‘gol’ in the Coreans face he got detention (meaning he can not watch Argentina play anymore). No one else bothered the Coreans… All the students were sitting on the floor in the theatre, sitting and laying down, and everytime they scored they all jumped up shouting and dancing, waving their flag and making lots of noise.

Everyone I know watched the game. Some husbands were up and ready an hour before the game, others were relaxed and stayed in bed to watch. Many kids stayed home and watched together with their family.

The only thing that really surprised me was how fast life started moving after the game. Everyone ran to work, streets were full, life was back to normal just in a few minutes. As if nothing had happened.

4-1 Everyone happy, ready for the next game…