Friday, June 30, 2006

New Car, World cup, visitors and more

Well, we got our new car, after an incredibly long, convoluted, confusing and quite frustrating quest. we finally got it just in time to leave for a month. It is worth it, I think. We went downtown last night and the kids were thrilled. I will post the whole saga when I can write it up and pictures within a day or two. I barely even know the brand name, but it is "Mistubishi engine, Mistsubishi design, made in China." So they say. I have been cruising around and it drives nicely though it is pretty underpowered. The second row of seats swivel which is all of our favorite feature.

i went to a bar the other night to watch Brazil/Ghana World Cup game. i was with Jim Yardley and two African friends, Nathan Belete, an Ethiopian World bank guy an pretty good friend and Charles Mutinda, a more recent friend who is Kenyan. His wife is a teacher at Dulwich. Great guy. We met up with some other guys nathan knew, Including another Ehtiopian, who is an MIT PHD here developing a cheap MRI with a Chinese firm that will make it much easier to get them all over the world. All of Africa was pulling hard for Ghana, and these guys were no exception.

The game started at 11 pm. We went to a cool sports bar/English pub downtown which i had heard of but never been to. It was packed. Many chinese, a bunch of expats and at least a hundred Brazilians. Who knew? They were all decked out, jerseys, yellow wigs, flags everywhere. There was a Brazilian DJ blasting tunes and everyone was samba dancing. Man, Brazilian women in Beijing shake their hips just as well s they do In Rio. What a country.

I was sort of surprised by how much all the Brazil stuff made me feel homesick. We've spent enough time in Brazilian joints in the Ironbound, newark to relate to it. But I was pulling for Ghana. You probably know how that all went. Ghana seemed to have the odds heavily stacked against them , including the refs. But they gave it a valiant effort and were right in it for the first half before fading in the second. I really am beginning to enjoy watching this sport.

Jacob and I were pulling for Ghana because of his old Ghanian soccer coaches at South Mtn Soccer. The next morning I tried to explain to him hw they made me proud by being so valiant in defeat, trying so hard in a game the whole world figured they could never win. They fell behind 1-0 within 5 minutes but never gave up and played their hearts out and were right in it for a long time and sometimes you can learn more about yourself in defeat than victory. He listened with great interest and I think he really got it. But maybe I was just too tied from getting home at 2:30.

Anyhow, I would love to go back for more games, and any all involving Brazil -- I haven’t mentioned the dancing on the bar at halftime and post game yet -- but I think the rest of the games and def. the semi and finals are at 2 and 3 am here.. I do that for steelers playoff games.. not sure about the World cup.. though there should be a column in there, I guess.

lastly, laura Romanoff is arriving tomorrow for a visit, popping up from a biz trip in Hong Kong. she is heading out on her own for a few days in the middle but will be here for 8 days.