City Paper is not for tourists
Attendance at the actual World Cup games in South Africa may be lagging. But Tommy Joe’s in Bethesda isn’t having that problem. Special correspondent Alex Burchfield reports live from the restaurant on Montgomery Lane, during Tuesday afternoon’s Brazil-North Korea match:
20th minute-The place is packed. Rough head count: about 70. One woman has fashioned herself a dress out of a Brazilian flag. Eight televisions are tuned into the game. Some people look like they’re simply playing hooky from work, while others are totally decked out in Brazil-themed attire. The woman behind me is wielding a noisemaker. Waitresses are all wearing yellow- and green-colored tank tops.
Halftime-Still nil-nil. Fans look a little nervous. Oh, wait, I think I see a North Korea fan. He’s been real quiet.
48th minute-Presumed N. Korean fan claims he’s actually only having lunch; not affiliated with the guys in red. In my own defense, he’s only the Asian guy in the whole restaurant and he’s sitting right in front of the TV.
55th minute-Goooool! Brazil! People are screaming. One guy is doing a little jig. A woman sitting at the table next to me whips out a Brazilian flag to drape around herself and dances around, as her friend films on his camcorder.
72nd minute-Another goal! More dancing and rejoicing. The camcorder comes out yet again. Two college girls wrapped in a Brazilian flag are jumping up and down; one sticks out her tongue. Despite the revelry, only some people in the dining room are drinking beer. Most are sticking to water and soda.
89th minute-NoKo goal! Guy dressed in business attire stands and claps. Unclear whether that’s in support of the North Koreans, or rather trying to rally Brazil. Otherwise, a collective groan. “Abominable,” gripes one guy.
Final whistle-Fans seem humbled by that last goal. Tommy Joe’s staffers seem content that the game is over. Atmosphere dies down a lot.
Photo by Kaster/Wikimedia Commons