Jun 18, 2010

Game to Game

Yesterday at lunchtime, Mexico was playing France, so one my Mexican coworkers and I went to go watch the game at a sandwich shop called Tortas El Guero ("Blondie's Sandwiches"). Saori and another one of my coworkers, Kiyomi, met us there and we at great sandwiches and watched the game along with a small but vocal crowd rooting for the Mexico side. It was a great game, Mexico delivered, leaving France, the runners up of the last world cup, on the brink of not even making it to the round of 16.

That evening, Saori and I picked up Mai from her apartment and took her to Kiyomi's house for Korean-style BBQ. Kiyomi's backyard is fantastic, tropical, lush, overgrown like a jungle with interesting things everywhere. Their entire house is kind of like that. In the middle of the backyard, there is large wooden covered pavilion that is mostly screened in, with a big table in the center with old wooden folding chairs, cobwebs everywhere, and hanging pendant lights. After a round of beer, our hosts set up a large cooking station in the middle of the table, which is essentially a large frying pan on top of a propane stove. We then proceeded to fry up shittake mushrooms, sliced green peppers, onions, Japanese squash, thin-sliced beef and jumbo prawns. Everything served with a kind of rice that has more wheat or barley in it, so its a bit like a cross between grits and regular short-grain rice. Delicious. After we'd eaten our way through most of the pan, Kiyomi brought out soba (wheat noodles) and fried them up, and then I regretted having eaten so much before. The yakisoba (fried noodles) soaked up the flavors of the cooked meats and veggies. Good stuff. For dessert, Kiyomi brought out a Japanese dish, shaved ice with condensed milk and sweet red bean paste.

We ended up talking past 11, and then we took Mai back to her apartment where we said goodbye. She'll be on a jet to Japan next Tuesday, while we'll be on the cruise. It was a sad moment, but we said "mattane" (see you later), not "sionara" (goodbye).

This morning I got up at my usual time to go into work, but the US was playing Slovakia, and when I tuned in, we were DOWN by a goal, so I had to stay and watch and lend my psychic support to the US team. Even my little brother Taylor, who is rarely up before noon, texted me to see if I was watching. It was a tense game, the Slovakians fought hard and tackled player after player after player. It was almost like the US team had never played a European team before they just looked unsophisticated in that regard. A very sleepy Saori made her way to the living room and watched with me. After a thrilling comeback with two goals to tie the score, the US scored again, but had that victory snatched from them from a terrible call from the ref, ending the game in a draw.

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