The beach was quiet and empty for this vendor. (Carrie Serwetnyk)
RIO DE JANEIRO – Today was strangely quiet. It was slightly overcast. I rented a bike and meandered along stunning beaches in Rio. Usually the streets are packed with fans from all over the world showing off their football jerseys and I’m dodging balls, dancers and drunken enthusiasts cheering a mosaic of languages.
Where did everyone go?
They’re not in the bars, the restaurants are mostly empty, perhaps Christ the Redeemer is getting an earful from the chanting Argentinians. Or the Brazilians are at the base saying a prayer for their beloved Pentacampeões and their fallen Neymar.
The Germans have already been quite shy and respectful. They know better than to stand too tall in a land where they battle the home team next. They know they are vastly outnumbered.
The Dutch are likely touching up their orange tint ready to invade Sao Paulo.
I suppose all of the vendors are restocking. The bands are tuning up. Samba dancers are stretching. And everyone else is shopping for cachaca – a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice.
This is the quietest day in Rio since I arrived. It is the calm before the storm.
Tuesday decides the fate of Brazil’s World Cup journey. We all hope the party continues. It’s a bit too quiet around here.
Vancouver’s Carrie Serwetnyk is the first female inductee to the Canuck Soccer Hall of Fame, a former national team member, founder of EqualPlayFC.com and now attending her seventh straight FIFA World Cup. Serwetnyk’s trip to Brazil is sponsored by flightcentre.com and the B.C. Government Employees Union.