Wilson’s family lived on the outskirts of São Paulo and Hyeonjung, a Korean friend who I had met back during carnival in Salvador, was staying in the centre so I went there. As well as getting to hang out with her, it meant being much closer to the things I had to do in São Paulo, namely watch England v Uruguay, pick up my replacement hub, get said hub replaced and maybe fit in a bit of sightseeing.
The British Consulates here in Brazil hosted three events, one before each group game, which Andy Smith had told me about. After watching Spain crash out to Chile, Hyeonjung and I went to the consulate where as well as getting to see Greg Dyke and Helen Grant give speeches, I met Sir Tim Rice! Well really I was standing around talking to Andy and Tim’s brother Jo who had lived for a decade in Japan in the 70s (which explains https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twKSP5nAEL0 that I guess). I had no idea who he was, until Tim came over and everyone wanted to take pics with him.
The morning of the game I picked my hub up, thanks very much again to Andy, his friend Al, and the people at SON, and got it sorted out at a wonderful bike shop called Las Magrelas – a cool bike shop/bar where the mechanic spent a couple of hours working on my bike and only charged 30 reals ($14) for his time. It felt fantastic, the only issue is I forgot to mention to them that I had a black hub so now have a silver one instead, oh well.
The game… well it was a disappointment. I was lucky to get the tickets, and the area around the stadium was filled with people looking to buy. I’d paid $90 and was very close to selling it, there were plenty of signs of people offering north of $400 (later I heard that the touts were trying to sell them for closer to $1200 although I don’t know how many bit at that price), but I don’t see myself having a better opportunity to watch a World Cup game in my life. Having not bought my ticket through the England fan club, I was assigned a random ticket behind the goal, and it turned out to be in the middle of all the Uruguay fans. There were a few small pockets of England fans dotted around me, and so I joined in the Uruguayan fans chanting in Spanish – just with slight modifications so anytime they said Uruguay I said England. It received some confused looks at first, but as Uruguay were winning they took it in good heart and they even gave me beer!
Rooney’s free kick