exciting, informative, snarky, and very likely fabricated tales of life as an american expat in london

world cup and world travels

by Jen at 10:03 pm on 22.06.2010 | 3 Comments
filed under: photo, this sporting life, travelology

in spite of the radio silence, i’ve got a lot to write about… but as many of you non-Americans will know, about 2 weeks ago the world cup got underway.

like lots of american kids, i played soccer for several years. and like a lot of american kids, promptly forgot all about most anything soccer-related once i left high school until the spectacular women’s world cup victory in 1999. it was an electrifying and unifying event (i recall people setting up televisions on the sidewalk and watching with all their neighbours) – but that was largely seen as an anomaly. then a few years later, when the mls began to get some attention, my friends and i became enamoured of the new england revolution team, and followed their season all the way to the finals at gillette stadium… where we lost.

but it was only natural then, that when i first moved to the uk, i assumed that i would become immersed and fully fluent in the football culture – after all, i’m a sports fan, i’m a fan of fit men with nice legs, and i understand the basics of the game. i even decided in advance that i would support arsenal as my favoured team. i was prepared to become a full-on footy lover.

imagine my disappointment when i arrived to discover that the english premiership league television rights were exclusively owned by the skysports cable channel – a premium pay channel. unfortunately i didn’t control the cable in my flat (my landlady had the contract in her name) and as a premium channel, it would have been prohibitively expensive even if i did. all my nascent football passions fizzled. without a means to watch regularly, i never really had much opportunity to follow the season fortunes, never really learned who all the teams were, and in general, never really had a chance to get caught up in it the way i do with my other beloved sports.

but the world cup… well, the world cup is different. as an american, i’d had no awareness of it before living in europe. but during the last world cup in 2006, we were travelling through south east asia, watching games with all the other backpackers on outdoor screens in vietnam, gathered in ramshackle cafes in laos, and boozing in backwater bars in cambodia. the fervor and intensity with which both westerners and easterners alike congregated and cheered their teams was amazing to experience. i was hooked. in hindsight, with my love of giant multinational sporting events, and my love of the underdog, it was a natural fit.

so i’ve been a little distracted lately. i’ve been supporting the u.s. team (natch), the south african host team (obvs), and pretty much any underdog team i can find (go cameroon! go honduras! go north korea!) i’ve been calculating probable group winners and twittering about blown ref calls. when even jonno is bored by the less-than-scintillating matchup of slovakia v. paraguay, i’ve been glued to the screen. i’ve got the fever, and if the u.s. manage to win tomorrow (please god let them win tomorrow!) it is unlikely to abate any time in the next few weeks.

in the meantime however, i’ve edited my pictures from our recent holidays in the scottish highlands and venice/croatia. both were incredibly beautiful (why did no one tell me how stunning scotland was!!?) and we were fortunate enough to have fantastic weather for both.

a few favourites below. more of scotland here and venice/croatia here.

go team u.s.a.!!

eilean donan castle

isle of skye

old man rock









bride and speedo guy


3 people like this post.


  • 1

    Comment by dave

    22.06.2010 @ 22:32 pm

    great pictures!

  • 2

    Comment by Jen

    24.06.2010 @ 05:44 am


  • 3

    Comment by A Free Man

    24.06.2010 @ 06:15 am

    I was torn between rooting for the US team and rooting for the Australian team. Resolved now as only one of them is left. Looks like a great hol.

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