on Vuvuzela, Brazilian boredom, and Japanese joy

Do you know that Indonesia was the first country from Asia to enter the FIFA World Cup?

It was in World Cup 1938 in France, and Indonesia participated in the tournament with the old naming East Indies (since it was still a Dutch colony).

"The French left early, USA come in late, and England is left to fight the Germans" ~ Quote I found in Twitter.

Sounds very much like World War 2, except that it is the World Cup 2010 that we're talking about here.

So Brazil has passed to the Round of 16, as expected. Don't you think it's kinda boring to see Brazil clinching the glory all the time? But history tells that Brazil is the only country that has attended every single World Cup without fail.

Now that is something.

(I still wish Brazil gets knocked out early though)

South Americans aside, my favourite team (Japan) has advanced to the Round of 16, and it was their final Group E match against Denmark that had gotten me all bathed in excitement.

Honda made a goal from a free kick, Endo made another from a similar free (though more of a banana-curved) kick, while Okazaki (who came in as a substitute early at the 2nd half) made a goal from Honda's assist during the last few minutes of the game.

The way I describe Japan's passing onto the Round of 16 is..blissful, and it truly made my day. Though it is yet to be known whether they are able to make it to the Quarter-finals (the Japanese team is to play a match on 29 June against Paraguay), I may as well make it known here that if Japan can get to the final match on 11 July:

1. I will shave my head bald
2. I will buy my sister Melody a brand new Blackberry

The idea of Japan getting to the final match is kinda far-fetched, I know. But hey, there's no harm in sharing my bliss with others!

Regarding the prophecy I had posted yesterday, I need to remind you that it is not a personal prophecy by me. It was by Deddy Corbuzier, in form of a code, and I merely shared my own version of what the decrypted code looks like.

At the time of writing, I am 18 hours away from knowing before knowing the result of USA vs Ghana match.

Therefore it should not sound like an anomaly here if I am wishing that Ghana is going to lose their next match (which is against USA). Oh yes, I wish my decrypted code was wrong.

On the USA side, I must admit that I didn't favour them quite much until I saw them playing against Slovenia and Algeria. Watching USA on the field looks just like a Hollywood thriller: you don't get to see much attacking (let alone Goals!) until the last 15 minutes of the play.

And it was Donovan's goal at the 91st minute that saved USA to the Round of 16. There remains more to see from them.

Now that we have been talking about the winners, let's take a look at the losers.

First, North Korea.

The first time they participate since their last one in 1966 ends in much of a blood bath, with the most goals conceded in this tournament (even exceeding the Australians). Such a shame, but one should not be fooled into thinking that Kim Jong-il is going to be able to get his hands on them, because most of the North Korean players actually reside in Japan!

Now for France...

Total tragedy. I couldn't even believe that this is the same coach Domeneck that has brought them to the final match in 2006. The Captain Anelka was sent home, and one could even see that there is too poor of coordination when the French are on field. When there is hardly any form of unity (except for when they had a strike during the last training) in between them.

I simply wish on Brazil 2014 they would play better (that is if, they qualify at all).

What about for the incumbent Cup holder Italy?

I didn't see any of Italy's matches in 2010 (I believe there are a lot of better things to do than watching a game filled with deceits), but it is with satisfaction that I read the news of how Italy was eliminated. If there is one team that so repulses me for its constant protests of the referee and for a lot of their theatrical divings, it's Italy. Their way of playing is too contrary to the sportsmanship that football players are supposed to carry.

Fresh memory still lingers on how the France vs Italy final ended in 2006 (re: Materazzi).

And also the quarter-final of World Cup 2002, where Italy played against South Korea.

Ahn Jung-Hwan from South Korea struck the goal that knocked Italy out of the World Cup 2002. Too bad for Ahn, he played for the Italian team Perugia, whose president was so enraged that he terminated the South Korean midfielder's contract.

And yeah, the Ecuadorian referee on that quarter-final was also banned for life from enterring Italian borders, ever.

By the way, Vuvuzela.

Vuvuzela does find a way to create a new nuance this time round, with the FIFA president Sepp Blatter ignoring calls to ban the instrument, saying that it is a part of the traditional African culture.

We just hope that the tradition isn't carried elsewhere though, because it does drown out the supporters' cheers (which usually gives some sort of a 'background music' for the matches). Such as, the South Korea and Japanese supporters' drums, or the English fans with their national hymns.


Unwavering loyalty for Japan in the South Africa 2010 World Cup

In around 10 hours from now, the match between Japan and Cameroon will commence. And this is the first of several games I had been waiting for months.

I had specially requested vacation days from office just in order to watch Japan's matches on this South African 2010 World Cup. I have been a loyal supporter of the Japanese soccer team since I watched their play in 2002 (where they were halted by the Turks), and in the unfortunate 2006 Cup in Germany (where they couldn't advance from the first round simply because they were on the same group with Brazil that time).

My support this time? It will be for Japan, as always was, and as always will. It is an unwavering support, and I don't care if people say that Japan is not really a strong team or that the Japanese players are relatively shorter than their European counterparts.

I do love to watch France, Germany and England matches too though, as they always deliver superb performances.

What about South America?

I'm not entirely a big fan of any of the players in this continent, so I'll reserve my comment on this one.

Regarding the USA team (the team of my country of residence), I do hope they lose their matches and do not advance at all to the next round. A draw with England of 1-1 was quite a disappointing one, England should have won the match.

Now don't get me wrong.

It's not that I don't love America. I do love the country I'm residing in, because this is where I really belong.

But in America, the World Cup fever is less than noticeable. It barely exists, at all!

If you people in Asia are all talking about the match between England and USA yesterday, in America nobody I knew were even aware that USA is playing on TV!

So I guess it does fit the logic if I prefer other teams that generates much more enthusiasm and fan support from its own citizens.

Again, don't get me wrong, I love America though. I really do. I'm just not a big fan of its soccer team.


The Odd Prime Minister

Do you know?

"Ganjil" is (possibly) the only word in Indonesian language that means the same thing in English for both homonyms of "Odd".

The first ganjil (odd) means "the opposite of even number". The second ganjil (odd) means "strange".

And by the way, Perdana Menteri is the only acronym in Indonesian language that has exactly the same acronym in English (= Prime Minister)


A seemingly vulgar conversation in French

Femme: Aïee!
Homme: Pourquoi, chèrie? Tes bras?
Femme: Non, c'est pas mes bras. C'est ma tête!

For an Indonesian native speaker who does not understand French, the conversation above may sound vulgar.

Translation in English:

Lady: Ouch!
Man: What's wrong, dear? Your arms?
Lady: No, it's not my arms. It's my head!


Modernity and TV

Flicking by TV channels
nasty news and talent tripes
modernity's way of imparting idiocy

by toshi


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