Part 5 is now here! This is from the day before I met my girlfriend. It includes a lot of people, a lot of fun, a lot of fireworks, and obviously, (since it IS me) a lot of picking up girls xD
Part V: Paghdi Crazy
The Gothia Cup opening ceremony is unlike anything you've ever seen or imagined. It's a bit like the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, except that this one is actually watched by people, haha.
I was kind of nervous when we left our accommodation dressed as nutjobs. I thought we looked like complete nincompoops. On the way out of the room, I had the chance to take a look at a mirror. It cracked, broke, and fell to the ground - before magically igniting itself into flames and exploding before my very eyes.
Yes, that bad. At least, I thought.
I was wearing an orange, full-length kurta with a white pyjama. To top it all off, I was wearing these shoes:
Oh, and did I mention I was wearing a 'paghdi' on my head? Yeah. That certainly 'tops' it all off. Haha, gotta work on that humor.
Anyway, 50 of us vile-dressed Indians took the tram to our destination. We were to take part in the parade of the opening ceremony, representing our country. The coach handed me the Indian flag to take care of. I took a look at it and felt the excited tingle of pride.
The opening ceremony takes place at the new Ullevi stadium. A magnificent 60,000 seater theater where the Swedish national team usually plays it's home games. It's as breathtaking up close as it is in the pictures.
I'd say the spectacle from the inside was even better than for those in the stands. As we waited for our 10 minutes of fame outside the stadium, I watched as the representing teams from everywhere from Iceland, to Gambia, to Georgia, and Guatemala, to the east with Japan, China, and Turkey stood expectantly. It really is a miracle of a tournament. Who'd have thunk'd that I'd be making friends with Iraqis and Guatemalans?
So, the next time you see a mexican dude mowing your lawn, don't follow your heart and think that's all mexicans are born to do! Think about the guys who are plying their trades in far off lands, to make their countrymen proud!
Anyway, soon the moment approached. I've been nervous before, but this was just something else. We were now being escorted into the stadium, through an underground passageway that led to where our parade entrance was supposed to be.
Trust me, I got shivers. Absolute shivers when we were walking under the stands. The stadium was shaking from the noise and expectation. It was incredible, heart-stopping, inciting, exciting, all at the same time.
...and we hadn't even stepped onto the pitch yet.
I was in a daze, and I don't even remember when we were given the signal to step outside into the setting Gothenburg sun - but I clearly remember what it felt like.
It was an explosion of noise and colors. Blue, green, orange, red, yellow everywhere. You don't often hear sportsmen talking about walking out in front of 60,000 screaming fans, but let me tell you. It's surreal. The stadium was absolutely packed to the brim. And they were cheering for us! :O
...and they actually dug our outfits! I could see girls, (young and old) swooning in the stands. (Looking at me, of course :P)
I mean, I tried to be all cool and wave at the screaming people in the stands, but it was honestly overwhelming. As we got closer, most of them were asking for my paghdi. Some offering as much as $200 for it. Can you believe that? You get those things for Rs. 25 in Bombay! Hahaha!
Anyway, the opening ceremony was honestly fantastic. They showed the story of a couple that met at the Gothia Cup ten years ago, and they got engaged at the last Gothia Cup, and this time they married, in front of 60,000 cheering people. That was a beautiful moment.
There were dance performances and fireworks, we sang everything from Y-M-C-A! to WEEEEEE ARE THE CHAAAAMPIOOOONS!!! (All out of tune, of course) before the night was done.
After it was done, I was mobbed by a crowd of Swedes, all asking me for the hallowed 'Paghdi'. Soon, they got into a bidding war, and dizzying prices. As much as $300 now. Fucking insane!
But as you all know, I am a man of principle.
So I gave the paghdi to her instead:
Note: This does not count as prostitution. (Which is, btw eradicated in Sweden)
Anyway, her name was Isabelle too. Guess Swedes like that name.
Seriously, my Indian outfit was attracting a lot of chicks by this time.
Also, by this time I was getting very tired of those hideously uncomfortable shoes. I took them off, and carried them in my hand as I walked. Then, a flash of inspiration, and the genius had thought of yet another brilliant plan.
I caught this girl, absolutely mesmerized by my kurta-pyjama, lol. It was like these Scandinavian people have never seen an Indian dude before. Anyway, I caught her glare, and while I reeled her in, looking intently into her eyes, I put one of my shoes into her hand, and hurried off into the distance before she could know what the fuck was going on, hahaha!
I remember sharing this moment with Hari as we got onto the tram. He couldn't believe it, and asked me what I planned to do with the other shoe.
"I thought you'd never ask!"
I made my way across the compartment to a girl a year or two younger than me, whom I had seen get on earlier. I now realized she was with her mom. Whatever, too late to pull out now. I turned to the mother instead.
"Excuse me, Madam?"
*Seductive salesman voice* "Can I interest you in this...beautiful...shoe?"
*Her and her daughter both* "Hahahahahahahaha"
"Honestly, I give you best price. Free! You'll never find such a shoe in your life!"
"Ehh, I don't know"
"No, seriously, take it!"
"Haha, mom you're setting such a bad example for your kid! You can't blush when a 16 year old talks to you!"
*Cue more giggles*
I could see our stop was coming nearer. We had to get off at the next station. I handed the shoe to the girl - "Can you hold this for a sec?"
And that was that, I ran off the tram, hahaha!
Stay tuned for the next part!
Again, thanks for all the ass kissing, losers! But seriously, now that I think about it, that week was even wilder than I previously remembered. I must do it again next year. Anyone want to come along?