The FIFA U20 World Cup (soccer for all my US folks) started here tonight with Egypt beating Trinidad and Tobago, 4-1. It is a cool thing. All of the FIFA tournaments are being held in Africa in the period leading up to the South Africa-hosted World Cup in 2010. Egypt gets the U20 event, which is scheduled for the next three weeks in for several cities in lower Egypt including Cairo.
This afternoon, I headed out to buy tickets for an opening round group being held here in Cairo tomorrow night. The double-header is Nigeria vs. Venezuela and Spain vs. Tahiti. This is the first time Tahiti has ever qualified for an international tournament so I am definitely rooting for them. (They qualified with a huge upset of New Zealand.) As for the other match, I can’t root against either the Flying Eagles or Chavez. Can’t wait! In terms of things I am eagerly anticipating at present, the match is holding steady at number two.
So to buy the tickets for this international event, I had to go to a kisok in Gezira near one of the sporting clubs. I could not get clear directions to where it was, but knew the general vicinity and decided to wing it. I took the Metro and found the spot, a temporary booth with a nice graphic on the side seemingly made of cardboard on a street corner. But it was empty. There was a group of four guys drinking tea under a shade tree across the street who called me over. This was the ticket office relocated. They had black canvas briefcases filled with tickets. They asked me which match I wanted, found the tickets (20LE each, less than $4US) and I was on my way. Most anywhere else the scene would have felt sketchy, but here is felt just right. Here are the tickets:
I will try to remember to leave my dog, helmet, and hammer at home.