What do you do on a day with no football?

As the World Cup progresses, teams get eliminated and the number of games played get spaced out. As intriguing as it would be to see Brazil play every day for a week, players have to rest in between and, unfortunately, so do we.

It's a little unfair to say that our lives revolve around football. Even though there might be six hours of football in a day, we wake up early enough to do other things than watch games. We need to scout for locations to view games, stock up on groceries or find time to travel from host city to host city. Of course, all of this is to increase the pleasure of eventually watching the game, but that is merely a coincidence.

So, finally, on Wednesday, we were at a bit of a loss. The second round games were over, there were not one, but two rest days before the quarter-finals began. So, what do we do?

In short, walk. Previously, we had to rush around the city to get all our errands done before game time. Now, we could be more leisurely about taking new sights in.

I am a great believer that the best way to get to know a city is to walk around it until you get a little lost. Then, you're forced to understand the city and might see things that you would otherwise never catch if you just followed the prescribed tourist route.

How do you get about? You need a map, a comfortable pair of shoes and a sense of direction. I don't think mine are too bad, but when my cousin asked me whether I knew I was going in the right direction, I said, "You know where the sun is, you know what the time is". Surprisingly, this works much better than you might expect, although not as well as stopping and asking someone for directions.

Of course, it's time-consuming to walk around the city, getting lost down the sidestreets, but it's fun. The discovery of some quiet cul-de-sac. The intrigue at some hidden, charming (I will not use 'quaint') local restaurant. The joy of turning the corner and finally finding what you were looking for.

Of course, the feet are a little sore at the end of it all, but there is plenty of time to rest them once the football starts off again.

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posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - permalink
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