Squeaky Bum Time

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I never knew there was such good graffiti in Leeds

The legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson used the phrase “squeaky bum time” to describe the nervewracking last several matches of a season, especially for those teams in contention for the league title.

Well, the phrase “squeaky bum time” could be used to describe my life. First, I have started on my dissertation, for which I will be examining popular travel blogs to determine if there are promoting responsible travel to Thailand. I’m quite excited about the disseration as I love reading travel blogs. Maybe, I shouldn’t say that out loud…

It’s also “squeaky bum time” because I’m dealing with a module (or subject, if you prefer) that has kicked my ass. Long story – it’s been something I’ve been peeved about but have calmed down a bit. I need to calm down about it.

Me getting my cycle on in York

Me getting my cycle on in York

Anyway, last Friday (June 20), I got my cycle on in York. I’ve been to York a few times – once in September on a bonding trip with coursemates and once in December to examine the National Railway Museum – but I really had seen very little of it other than city centre. As an interesting bicycle event was taking place in York (not in Leeds, though), I hopped on the train (interestingly enough, I sat behind a couple of Japanese tourists) and rented a bike for £10.

And with about 120 others, we cycled through York as part of a protest to raise awareness of the vulnerability that cyclists face. Although the event was a protest, it was quite fun because I was able to explore the residential areas of York. While York isn’t as big as Leeds, there is a definite city centre with a lot of shops and sights. The architecture in York reminds me of that in Cambridge – meaning that it looks like it’s from the 18th and 19th century. York is a great cycling city and I would love to cycle there again.

(I must add… there is a reason why there is only one picture of the cycling day in York 🙂 You might not guess why but it was a crazy day 🙂 )

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What else would you expect from a Brazil match at the Faversham?

As for the World Cup, England is out – their defeat against Uruguay eliminated them. I was so excited about the glorified friendly against Costa Rica, I ended up taking a nap in the Faversham in front of the TV during the first half.

But for the teams still in the World Cup, it is very much “squeaky bum time.” And that makes viewing a Brazil match at the Faversham so much fun – if not nervewracking.

Prior to kickoff

Prior to kickoff

The Round of 16 at the World Cup kicked off with Brazil-Chile and as expected, the place was packed with a healthy number of folks in green-and-gold. Just outside the building, vendors were selling Brazilian meals (at least, I think they were Brazilian meals) and inside, drummers provided a very much Brazilian soundtrack to the match. Just like during the opener against Croatia, just about everyone in the building joined in the singing of the Brazilian national anthem.

As for what happened on the pitch, the action could be summed up in one word: dramatic. I don’t need to rehash the highlights but the distinct feeling crept into my head that Brazil could be eliminated in the Round of 16. By Chile. I’m not a Brazil fan and besides, the U.S. is still alive. I will keep watching regardless of who’s in the tournament. But a Brazil elimination would mean no more party-like atmospheres at the Faversham and dammit, I love a good party.

After the Brazilian goal against Chile...

After the Brazilian goal against Chile…

Fortunately, the Brazilians survived. I jumped for joy so much after the final penalty that my camera fell out of my jeans and got damaged (It still works despite appearing broken). The hosts could very well be eliminated by Colombia on Friday. Actually, considering the way the Colombians have been playing, it wouldn’t shock me if they defeated Brazil. But at least, there will be one more night when the first lyric of Kool ‘n’ the Gang’s “Celebration” will describe the atmosphere at the Faversham.

I’ll end this blog entry with some pictures I took in Leeds yesterday (Sunday). I hit up the Leeds Waterfront Festival yesterday for a short while. In general, it was nothing to write home about. The only reason I was in the vicinity is because I participated in a free gathering named the Art Run, which was organized by a group named Veggie Runners. While it is great to see a new part of town (I haven’t spent a lot of time on the waterfront), the run was too slow for my liking and after a while, I was in such a hurry for the group leaders to bring us to the finish.

As for the festival, I didn’t have any of the (probably) overpriced food and none of the music got me in a dancing groove. But I saw some awesome artwork/grafitti at the festival – now that I think of it, I would describe what I saw at the festival as being grafitti more than artwork. Anyway, enjoy:

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