Riham's Blog

Surviving the world cup

It is that time again! Every 4 years, Lebanon dresses up by wearing the flag of every country but itself to show support for all the teams participating in the world cup. But this is not yet another entry about how much the Lebanese love the world cup. If you want to read one, ask me & I’ll link you to some things, or you can see how we are celebrating the world cup in the office.

This is a guide of how I will spend this month, balancing between my dislike for the world cup, and not becoming an outcast among my friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

The first & most important step to take is to avoid cafes & restaurants during game times at all costs. There are three games a day, so I can time my outings before or after each game. This will result in better conversations (as no games or cheering around us), and the lack of need to actually reserve before going to the restaurant. Or I can just go to the gym or creative places that do not involve food.

Sometimes, I get bored and like to go out and drive around on my own. Driving in Beirut, as previously mentioned, makes that frustrating. What I noticed today is that you can go out to drive around aimlessly during the games, as there are less cars on the street. I drove everywhere for around an hour today and it was great.

This month may help me become less addicted to Twitter & Facebook. I have become a lurker more than anything & I end up closing the pages and finding something else to do. I really hope people will still remember me after this is all over. They might not..

… & to avoid that, I may sometimes agree to an invite to go see a match with someone. However, it should not exceed once a week, because let’s face it, it was boring four years ago when I gave it a shot & it’ll still be boring this year. Why they will invite me, you ask? Well it’s simple. I’m the only person who will agree to sit on the chairs that are not facing the screen. How pleasant am I?

Finally, as a neutral person, everyone will share their biased opinions with you, or try to take you to their side. In this case, you can listen and nod along, or you can just tell them you’re not a world cup fan, explain that since you didn’t like football when it was just two teams in Lebanon playing, you won’t enjoy it when the whole world is playing it, and everyone cheering for something doesn’t mean you should jump in on that too. Naturally, they will marginalize you. Really, just smile and nod along, add a few “Oh”s and “Ahhh”s

Any more suggestions?

So, happy world cup everyone, and even though I am not supposed to say this, but I am so thankful this only happens once every four years.


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