Posted by: Leap of Faith | February 20, 2007

Getting Close to the World Cup

As much as I would like to post some new find regarding my phil showbiz updates, I will have to put that on the back seat for the meantime and focus on updating you guys about our new adventures here in KSA.

Last night, Pinky and I decided that it was time to open Luigi and Rafael\’s eyes to new things… men\’s stuff, if you know what I mean. I think they had enough time playing with those action figures and McDonald giveaways. Now was the best opportunity to teach them what real men do… here in Saudi.

Wow, sobrang \”cho-mach\” ng intro ko, no?

Going back, last night was boys night for our family. After several months of doing the same things (i.e. grocery, malling, grocery, malling), we finally got a chance to watch our very first soccer game. The venue was Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam, a 35,000 seater stadium located around 10 minutes away from our house. The event was the finals of the Gulf Club Champions Cup.

We pass by this stadium everytime we go to Al Khobar and this massive circular structure has never failed to always attract our attention. However, despite the Saudi\’s love for soccer (i.e. equivalent to how Pinoys love basketball), I\’ve never seen that stadium full. On a few occasions, I would see a few cars parked in its sprawling parking lot and that made me conclude that this structure was just one of Saudi\’s many white elephants.

Despite that thought, I still asked my officemate, Faisal, to bring me to the stadium whenever there is a big game. Several months passed but it was only last night when he told me that this was the game that we were waiting for! The finals – Saudi (Al Ettifaq Team) versus Kuwait, with the Saudi team leading by one point from the previous game. I was excited even though I have never been a big fan of soccer (or of any other sporting event for that matter). I knew the boys were very excited too – Luigi to watch the game and Rafael to see the inside of a soccer stadium.

We left the house shortly past six to ensure that we got good seats. The venue was just half full when we arrived but later became packed an hour later. It was a sight to see. I\’ve never seen so many Saudis at one time – 35,000 people!

The game started late, around 20 minutes past eight. Rafael started to doze off while Luigi was becoming impatient and bored. It was good the Saudi crowd was very loud. Drums, cheers and lots of shouting kept us entertained during the wait. The highlight of the cheering was the \”wave,\” something we were all too eager to particpate in.

Finally, the players went to the field and the crowd became even more rowdy. What energy! We were shouting at the top of our voices – Luigi and Rafael screaming like little girls… ooops, little men, I mean. The Kuwaiti team scored a goal in the first half equally matching the score (the Saudi team was leading by one goal from the last game). This made the whole atmosphere even more instense. Luigi and I (oops, Tito Rinel too) were so glued to all the kicking and running. Rafael was trying to figure out what was happening. He gave out occassional feelers to me that he was starting to lose interest. I had to boost his energy by asking him to cheer for our team.

The first half ended with Saudi being unable to regain the lead. Rafael was starting to squirm on his seat. Apparently, his bladder was full and about to burst any minute. I wanted to give him an empty bottle so we could just avoid having to go to the \”amam\” (toilet) and compete with the hundred of Saudi men who were also waiting in line to release their own pent up emotions. A thought however crossed my mind… \”U.T.I.\” and that pushed me to finally bring Rafael to the \”amam\”.

As predicted, the line was sooooo long. Despite that, I reassured Rafael that everything will be quick and that he just needed to hold on. Surprisingly, the men in our line took so long to pee! On the average, it took them around three minutes to release all their angst. Rafael started to walk back and forth with his legs criss-crossed. I distracted him with different questions about the game. Finally, we were next in line. One minute. Two minutes. Three minutes past. What the hell is taking so long?!!! I wanted to break the door. Rafael, fell silent. The door finally opened but it was too late. The dam broke.

Luigi and Tito Rinel were eagerly waiting for the the start of the second half not knowing what had just happend. I called Rinel on the phone and said that we had to go home because of the emergency. Luigi was upset but I reassured him that Rafael did his best to hold on but the battle was just to much for him to handle.

The Saudi Team scored a goal on the second half and won the Gulf Club Champions Cup. We were all so excited at home. Even though we were not there to enjoy the victory, it was an experience we all will never forget.

This year the Gulf League Champions Cup. In 2010, the World Cup!



  1. […] Anyway, if you are still interested to read more about our attempts to turn into real football fanatics, you can read this and this. […]

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