If you had walked by our apartment last night while Portugal was trying for a goal, you might have thought someone was being murdered inside. Everytime the ball soared just over or just wide I screamed like a banshee. Thank god for that penalty kick we got, because I don't think we would have been able to fend off the Portuguese for another thirty minutes. Hands down, that was the fastest-played match I've ever seen, the Portuguese just never let up!
When the match ended and I could finally breathe again, we sat out on the stoop, enjoying the cool breeze that three spectacular thunderstorms had brought over the last twenty-four hours. Steph cracked, "So, the finals will be between a team of old men against Italy's third division." We laughed, but even Steph is excited enough to yell at refs and celebrate with a loud "Yes!" At the end of our lane, vehicles streamed by on the main road of the village. Cars, minivans, a random bicycle, hoisting French flags, stuffed with passengers yelling "Allez les bleus!" and "Zidane!" and something about the "Italiens!" People leaned out of windows to cheer them on, and firecrackers popped in courtyards and parking lots. It would be difficult not to be swept up in the exitement the French are feeling this week. Their energy is tangible and they pass it along with a whoop and a smile. Then at midnight, the celebrating stopped, like so many pumpkins.
For the final match, I've asked Steph if we could try to see the final in one of the bars in the village. Even though he hates crowds, he agreed. This kind of excitement is too good not to pass up.
By the way, can anyone tell me why the crowd went crazy everytime Ronaldo came near the ball last night? Even if he passed the ball and was in possession for two seconds, the whole arena erupted into cat calls and boos. What was up with that?