My Experience of World Cup Fever in France – Pamela Ganyi
So I have been in France for two weeks and counting now and it has been an absolute pleasure so far.
To cap it all up, I have had the chance to experience the World Cup fever in a country that is “Absolutely Crazy about Football”.
The excitement is palpable: From painted faces to flying flags and crazy young people jumping and banging on the ceiling of the train (ahhh the joys of being young and free!!!).
There are songs for almost every one of the players, fevered chants of Kylian Mbappe and Pogba, and one of my favourite chants “qui ne saute pas n’est pas Français 🙂 – whoever doesn’t jump is not French”. I felt like this was targeted at me as I and only a few others in the train weren’t going crazy. I felt sorry for one Papa who was probably on his way home and got into the melée of craziness. The poor man was hyperventilating at some point and I’m sure he was silently cursing all young people under his breath. Haha!!
Well, I took it all in my stride and watched them with a mild amusement, all the while praying that the train was strong enough to withstand the craziness. I had no strength left in me to do any jumping and in any case they were right. I’m not French, at least not yet anyway.
The World Cup finals couldn’t have come at a better time. It is summer and the days are as longgggg as the nights are short (ok not sure what this means, haha). But you all understand. Daylight until 10pm means that everyone is in the streets until well into the night. The hype and general high spirits of Bastille Day just the day before the World Cup finals must have also added to the good spirits of the French Players.
Bastille was packed full of people and there was lots to eat and drink. Even in their drunken stupor, people remembered to sing the National Anthem with their heads held high and hands on their chest. I have never met a more patriotic group of people. Well I’m not one to be left out and the French National Anthem was one of the things I learnt when I was young and crazy about learning a foreign language. So I joined in, voice ringing, singing “La Marseillaise” like I had my French passport in my bag. Please someone should tell Emmanuel Macron that he needs to give me French citizenship. Ahah, all this national anthem singing cannot be in vain.
Anywayyyyyy, well-done again to team extension Africa. Well-done to the fine looking sons whose swag had no competition in the just concluded FIFA World Cup in Russia. I hope you keep up the good work and not let the fame get to your heads. Thank you for making not just France happy, but also the entire African continent in solidarity with their brothers. “On est vraiment champions, nous tous”.
By Pamela Ganyi,