Sunday saw the final of the 2018 World Cup in Moscow, played between Croatia and France. The score at the end of 95 minutes was 4-2, as France hoisted its second World Cup trophy to rapturous cheers from Shanghai's Francophone/phile population. It's been a hell of a tournament, full of shocks, upsets, surprises and firsts; first World Cup held in Eastern Europe; first World Cup held on two continents; first time Iceland and Panama made their appearances in a FIFA tournament; first World Cup to use VAR (video assistant referee); and the first time Found 158 has regularly charged entry for nearly an entire month, ostensible to thin out some of the crowds that were turning up to see the games.
Naturally, as self-appointed chroniclers of every sordid facet of Shanghai's expat existence, we were delighted, delighted, to stand in line for the privilege of elbowing our way to a Budweiser tap down in the sunken city. A line which stretched, at one point, about the length of the park and averaged roughly an hour and a half of waiting time. Delightful. Delighted!
- guy who just joined his friend who's been in line for an hour
- to the security guard
Finally, however, we managed to get in, and it was everything we'd hoped for and more! The beautiful game, bringing people together, in a pit.
"Yeah, but this is football."
- irate lady into her phone
- a sizable crowd of shirtless men
- a despondent older gentleman wandering around muttering to himself
- about Le Cafe des Stagiaires' World Cup stream, which was about 20 seconds ahead of CCTV5
Vive le sport! Vive la France! See you in four years, if we all make it that long!