I’ve been here for almost 3 weeks and everyday I find something to love about this country. Everything here is so colourful, so magical and so free. I haven’t thought about Justin not once ever since landing in Brazil and I wasn’t planning on thinking about him to. Whatever happens when I get back to South Africa happens I’ll cross that bridge when I get there, but for now I’m focusing on myself. Today was the day we get to meet Portugal; they were versing Mexico. I managed to convince my dad to let me skip that part and go sight seeing instead. One of my teammates Deandra offered to come with me as she too was not exactly a big fan of the team. While the rest of the team headed off to the stadium, Deandra and I went on a little adventure of our own.
“Take a look at these” Deandra pulled me into one of the shops where she had spotted a pair of hyper venoms.
“These are the boots Neymar wears” she said fascinated by the orange boot.
“You know Neymar?” I asked surprised.
“Know him!” she chuckled “I practically grew up with him”
I looked at her confused.
“I’ve been following Neymar ever since he joined Santos" She said when she noticed my expression. "I was about 13 back then that’s why I said grew up” she air quoted the “Grew up”.
“I’m a Neymar fan myself” I smiled.
“I know” she said and continued admiring the boot.
“How did you know?” I asked.
“Well for one you were wearing his number 10 soccer Jersey to the match” she replied.
“Oh right” I said simply.
All this time I wasn’t the only Neymar fan. Deandra was a very quiet person; someone who always kept to herself. I was very surprised when she offered to tag along.
“So you’ve always been a soccer fan?” I asked breaking the silence.
“Yeah” she said placing the boot back on the shelf “I grew up in a house full of soccer fans. Soccer is like in our DNA or something. Both my parents played soccer and my brothers as well, so I started joining in on the soccer feel in love from a young age” she said as we walked through the aisle of the shop “When I fist saw Neymar play for Santos I fell instantly in love with him. And I told myself that one day I’m going to play just like him”
“Wow” was all I could say.
“People think I’m crazy just because I’m a girl, but the one thing I learned from Neymar is to never give up and I haven’t” Deandra smiled.
The way she spoke about how much Neymar had inspired her made me love him even more; something I thought wasn’t possible. As a fan you only know a celebrity based on what you see on tv and on the short Instagram videos they post; you don’t know what they really like in person and yet they have the most impact on you then anybody you have ever met.
“It sucks though” Deandra said.
“That we don’t get to meet him”
“I know right” I sighed.
Deandra and I browsed around a few more shops and then decided to get some lunch. We looked on our tour guide map to see if we couldn’t spot a nearby restaurant. When we eventually found a place we sat down and a waiter was instantly at our table. After struggling a bit because of the accent the waiter had we finally were able to place our order. After a few minutes our order arrived. We thanked the waiter and began to eat our delicious Bauru which is a popular Brazilian sandwich. It contained cheese (usually mozzarella) melted in a bain-marie, slices of roast beef, tomato and pickled cucumber in a French bun with the crumb (the soft inner part) removed.
“This is so good” I said while taking a bite of my Bauru.
“You really enjoying it huh” Deandra laughed “Your chin is even eating” she pointed out.
“It’s that good” I laughed.
While Deandra and I enjoyed our lunch I suddenly felt sick. The same feeling I had on the plane and that morning when I thought that the milk was expired. I excused myself and rushed to the nearby bathroom. Everything from my orange juice and the sandwich that I just had came out leaving my tummy completely empty. I sat against the wall near the toilet and continued throwing up occasionally. I used the hair band I had on my hand and tied my hair up into a messy bun; sweat started dripping down my face and my body started heating up. I heard Deandra call my name but I was too weak to tell her in which toilet room I was in.
“Omg are you okay?” Deandra said as soon as she opened the toilet door and found me sitting on the floor.
“I don’t feel to good” I managed to say as I tried to lift myself up.
“Wait let me help you” she rushed by my side and helped me up.
She flushed the toilet and I leaned on her as we struggled our way to the sink. She helped me rinse my mouth and I felt a little embarrassed. This was the first time Deandra and I ever hung out or even spoke for that matter and here she was helping me clean up my vomit. I stood for a brief second trying to regain my balance.
“We should get you to a doctor” she said.
“No I’m fine just give me a second”
I leaned against the sink and took a deep breathe. I finally regained my balance; I smiled at Deandra and managed to say thank you before making my way out of the bathroom with Deandra following closely behind. As I was about to open the door I felt dizzy and my eyes felt heavy; without knowing what was going on my vision went completely blank.