To watch Brazil play in Toronto was a childhood dream

The first time I saw Brazil play was back in 2002. It was summer, and my dad was hooked on the TV, following every single game of World Cup 2002. I started watching with him, and before I knew it, I became a fan of the Brazilian national team and the magnificent maestro Kaka. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Brazilian national team came to Toronto to play Chile in a FIFA certified friendly. It was a very short trip. They arrived the evening before, and they left the night of the game. They only stayed one night. I wasn’t even planning to attend because the tickets were so expensive – even more expensive than actual World Cup 2014 tickets! – but the day before the game, I realized that I didn’t take this chance now, I may never see them play again. At least never in Toronto – hell, when I was a kid, I never imagined I would even be able to see them play in my home city of Toronto! – and probably not at least until my 30s. So I took this chance, bought a $62 ticket for the nosebleed sections and off I went.

Life is about taking the opportunities as they present themselves to you after all. If not now, then when?

My seats were awful, and it felt as if I was watching them play on TV, but there were several things that made the experience memorable:

  • When the Brazilian national anthem came on, and the game started, I started to feel really emotional. Teared up at one point! The seleção is the reason why I fell in love with the sport, and sitting there reminded me of World Cup 2002 when I first imagined myself in the stadium celebrating with them.
  • There were more Brazilian fans than Chilean fans in the stadium, and every so often, a cheer – a beat – would stir up from the stands, and the entire stadium would slowly follow the beat, chanting with each other.
  • During a time when the game stalled because of an injury, the Mexican wave went three times around the Rogers Centre! It was a spectacular sight.
  • The roar of the 38,500+ crowd cheering every time there was a Brazil goal!

I have been to a dozen or so Toronto FC games, but never have I experienced such a true footie-loving audience as this one at the Rogers Centre that night.

After watching this game, I absolutely cannot wait until World Cup 2014, when every seat in the stadium will be packed to the rim of footie-loving individuals like myself!

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  • It's been an entire week since I landed in Toronto, and I haven't updated my little Instagram photo blog gallery. Lots of wedding preparation stuff have happened so far – my brother's, of course, not me, #SingleLady – but none of them relate to the photo I'm posting today.⁣
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I did an epic journey via Uber and train from Canary Wharf, London to Gatwick Airport with three massive luggages and one carry-on on my last morning in the UK. It took me three hours because I had to somehow get all three bags – two of them were overweight, one of which was 31kg – from the second floor of my apartment building to the @AirTransat airline counter. An airline counter that wasn't even in the same terminal as the train station I would be arriving in.⁣
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So, from second floor flat, to a 30+ minute Uber to Blackfriars, to the second floor of the Blackfriars train station (by lugging two bags 20 metres, then the other two 40 metres, repeat), to the Gatwick Airport train station, to getting an airport employee to find a trolley for me (by asking him nicely as I stood there waiting by my four bags because lol I'm not going to drag four bags across a busy airport terminal), to somehow pushing my trolley cart onto the inter-terminal train, to finally, reaching the airline counter of #AirTransat.⁣
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For three hours, from 6:30 AM, to when I finally had all my bags checked in at 9:15 AM, I was running on pure adrenaline. I don't even know how I was able to do it. I was like a bull on a mission, to get from point A to point B to point C etc. But what I also remember, was my body basically crashing into a damn near anxiety attack while at the counter. I was gulping for air, taking deep breaths, and trying to calm myself down. When I finally walked away from the airline counter, I nearly forgot my carry-on on the trolley, and when I finally had the chance to sit down, my hands were actually shaking. For all the times I've solo travelled around the world in the past year and a half, this has never happened to me before. That morning, I finally understood why airports need therapy dogs.⁣
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(Continued below...)
  • Not the most aesthetic of Instagram photos, but tonight will be my last (out-of-home) dinner in London, so I thought I would make it a very British one: Fish and chips, and a pint of cider on tap. 🍟

Photo taken while at a Reddit meet-up for the season premier of "Game of Thrones"! (The UK plays a rerun of it the night after.)
  • Two of four and four of four. Burmese food and Spanish food.

Loved the bants about Asian toilets this evening. 😂 Who knew toilets in Asia were so disgusting! Sometimes the only thing they have for you to keep clean is a hose, and apparently it's so dirty, you don't even want to touch it. Then there'sthe used sanitary napkins just lying around the squat holes... 🚽 Never did I imagine that conversation during one of my last meals in the UK would be about dirty toilets. 😂

I will miss my multinational Asian friends: Malaysia, Australia, and the UK. 🗺️
  • The little prince of Gellert Hill Cave looking over Liberty Bridge in Budapest, Hungary. 🇭🇺 Beautiful view, beautiful day. 🌤️
  • Three of three goodbye dinners. Mushroom risotto, a glass of house white wine, and some good company. See you in August!
  • Well, since I've been sick all week, might as well put my cabin fever to good use and spend the time to edit and share some of the photos I took on my travels.

First up, a photo of the Kálvin Tér metro station in #Budapest, Hungary. Love the architecture at this station for some reason! So modern. More interesting than majority of the #TTC subway stations back home. Did you know that Budapest has the oldest underground train system on the European continent? 🚇