Entertainment — 08 July 2010

Yesterday, the girlfriend, her friends and myself decided to go on an adventure. The adventure, somewhat smaller scale than Zelda, involved walking down to Manoel Island to check out the World Cup Village. Given that their entire website is built on Flash, it was hard to imaging things getting worse, but in fact, that was just the beginning.

Rather than a village, the set up resembles a mini trade fair. A number of white tents selling all kinds of wares, pop corn and hotdogs. In the central area, a pseudo bierhaus with a few benches strewn around.

No Germanic waitresses? Kein Bierhaus!

The sound was an unmitigated disaster. According to my technical friends, (among them @josephdebono) this was due to the unintelligent way that 5.1 surround sound was organized. All I can say is that it was loud, louder than hell, and it seemed like I had a legion of vuvuzela blowing demons exactly past my ears.

The dust was something else which I did not appreciate. It was that kind of dust upon which you play football when you’re a child, no problem. Once you grow up, you not only realise that that dust hurts if you stumble, but also just how filthy it is. Add to that, it gives your better half allergies. Way to go.

Of course, watching the game would be fun, if only you could. The colours on the hideous screen (or maybe it was a huge ass TV) were painful to the human eye, and from less than 30 meters away I couldn’t make out the elapsed time and score, let alone recognise players. One would think that showing the World Cup games in high quality would be the first order of the day for something called the World Cup Village. UPDATE: @josephdebono offered the following technology pearls later:

“The aspect ratio was also borked. We couldn’t read shit because it was a 16:9 game shown at a 4:3 resolution so everything was stretched vertically, a.k.a. long player syndrome (and no, i don’t mean tall.)”

The fact that the game was crap did not help. Germany played like a bunch of headless chickens on Advil. The Spaniards were better, but they had very little space to play.

Australians like football

However, this is what I noticed most of all. When you see footage of people watching the game in open spaces in say Amsterdam, or Montevideo, Rio or Syndey, you never see people sitting down. It’s always a huge crowd of people jumping and standing and drinking beer and making noise. Not here. Here we take towels with us and sit down on them. It was surreal. I felt transported to Jeddah or Tehran. I half expected a call to prayer to break out during half time, which is partly the reason why we left and continued the game from a house, with HD TV.

The Maltese prefer to sit

I love you Google Image Search! You give me just what I want!

I guess I’ll be watching the final at Tigullio, or stream it for free at home, with actual cold beer in the fridge. The Village and the Village people are out!

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My name is Mark and I'm a hyperactive child of the internet, a professional copywriter based in Malta, a great fan of entropy and a Grammar Nazi. I'm online for far more hours than is healthy. This blog is about stuff that interests or irritates me. Contact me here

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