As a foreigner living on Djerba, Tunisia, I make it my business to know the people, their culture and their passions. Some of my time is spent at local cafes where men congregate to sip coffee and puff at okka pipes or the hubbly bubbly, as it can be called. It is especially exciting when the local football team plays an important game. The grunts and cheers can be heard for more than 1km away. Coffee is ordered by the litre and beware your soul when you stand up at the wrong moment blocking someone's view. I cannot stand the smoking though so I tend to hover close to the fresh air refusing all offers and prods to venture deeper into the smoke filled cafe. After ten minutes against Mozambique it became clear that Tunisia was not satisfactory.

The commentator showed public disgust at the team's performance soliciting a resounding 'amen' from the crowds. I lost some of the game and comments by my fascination with the viewers. It was as if there was a change of people. The friencly, sometimes smiling Tunisians looked sad and worried. Words, Words and more Words were shouted at the team as if they could hear through the TV screen or from the south of the Sahara. When the men left the cafe at the end of the match, I did not talk about the game. The country seemed cast down. Local heroes lost favor as if they fell from grace. Now that the world cup is about to start, comments like ,'we should have been there', or 'it should have been us and not Algeria' can be heard at the cafes.

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About Author / Additional Info:
I live on Djerba Tunisia operating tours for English speaking travellers.