Saint-Nicolas, 9 July

Saint-Nicolas, 9 July

28 May 2020 Lifestyle , Journal 7
Ella gazing across the St. Lawrence on our morning walk.

Dear Karl Ove, I was German for a day, or only for ninety minutes perhaps. Four goals in seven minutes? Crazy! Five-nil Germany at the half. Brazilian women and children in tears shown in ultra close-up on the TV screen. Slow motion grief. Stunned disbelief perhaps. How could Brazil lose in this World Cup? Their World Cup, their spectacle? And to lose in such a spectacular fashion! To Germany! By six goals in the end!

The German goalkeeper Neuer was not happy that his clean sheet was spoiled by Oscar’s ninetieth minute goal — a goal which was no consolation to the Brazilians who were humiliated and violated. The manner of the loss is what is most galling. Brazil might have accepted a 1-nil defeat, or losing on penalties, but this! The Brazilian’s disorganized defense, full of holes, and vulnerabilities. The Germans (to say the least) were dominant. And in their dominance, they were ruthless, merciless. “Meticulous preparation” is what commentators and pundits say about the German “campaign” (as if this were some military engagement).

Before the match kicked off, I’d made up my mind to support Germany. This should be clear from all the remarks I’ve already made about Brazil during this World Cup. But I could not have anticipated such a walloping. I agree with what you wrote: how is it that Ghana could play such a close match with Germany and then Brazil gets ripped to shreds? Isn’t Brazil a better team than Ghana? One would think, but you’re right, mentality plays such a huge role in these matches. I often forget about that aspect because these players always look so calm on the pitch, like they are completely at home with all those thousands of people looking down on them. I certainly couldn’t do it. I’d be quaking in my boots and asking to be subbed off at the earliest opportunity.

Today was a pleasant warm day and we had all the windows open in the cottage. As I watched the Germans score goal after goal, I hooped and hollered. At some point I became self-conscious of all the yelling and celebrating I was doing. Our landlords were at home in the white house which I could see from where I was sitting. What must they be thinking of this crazy American cheering and yeehawing like his own team had just won the World Cup? Was it wrong of me to take such pleasure in Brazil’s defeat? Was I being heartless? When I saw the tears of the Brazilian fans, I just laughed. Schadenfreude? Whatever it was I don’t feel bad for the Brazilian players, they are professionals, but I do feel for the fans, I mean, now I do. But at the time, during the match, I couldn’t spare one ounce of sympathy for the Brazilians. Also, I feel bad for the Brazilians because their team must still play one more match! Can you imagine? Having to suffer the shame of your team stepping out onto the field one more time, after that sort of defeat? That will be the final and total humiliation of Brazil.

I’m going to have to wrap this letter up since this morning we have to pack and load the car. Our stay in Quebec is over. I would have like to pass our entire holiday in this place, this little cottage with the view of the St. Lawrence, but we could only get the house for these dates. Someone else has the house beginning this afternoon and we have to vacate so our landlords can make certain we cleaned up well enough.

Also, all morning I’ve been worried about Ella. She didn’t show any interest in eating her breakfast this morning which is uncharacteristic of her. If you know anything about beagles, you’ll know that they don’t skip meals on a whim. Now Ella is eating grass which is a sure sign she’s not feeling well.

The rest of our vacation we will spend in Vermont in a town called Mount Holly. Alice found us a secluded house in the mountains with large screen television. I’ll watch the remaining matches of the World Cup there. If we leave by ten o’clock this morning, we should arrive in Mount Holly before the Argentina-Netherlands match. At least that’s the plan.

I hope this finds you well. Cheers! Donavan