World Cup Live: Obrigado, Brazil

In which our intrepid reporter party-buses his way out of the group stages and back home to the USA

The first round of the world's biggest soccer celebration is drawing to a close. As I tap this into my phone, we're just over 24 hours away from the long-awaited showdown with the Germans. The excitement is building here in Porto de Galinhas and throughout the Recife area. The downtown bars will be packed tonight as both sets of supporters prepare to descend on Arena Pernumbuco

You don't have to be a people person to enjoy being at the World Cup,  but it sure helps. We've met tons of Americans but also so many neat people from all over the world. And, what I've noticed is that, until someone speaks, or they're wearing something that identifies them, you really don't know where someone is from. The cab driver that first brought us to PdG assumed we were Italians. Brazil jerseys are omnipresent throughot the country but are being bought by tourists as well so that's no giveaway. It's one big happy family. Everyone wants to get pictures with the other team's supporters and I've seen no trouble inside or outside the stadium.

The Mexican fans treated themselves and everyone around them to cerveza showers. I'm sure the Croats loved that. But, otherwise, very festive.

Speaking of festive, we had a memorable ride back to PdG after the game. The bus from Recife to PdG is a bit long and it was late so we and 3 other fans negotiated a ride with a driver. He had room for one more fare so he drove to the next bus stop where 4 young ladies were waiting. Before I knew it I was sitting on some girl's lap and we were off.

This was now the "party car" so the driver cranked up some tunes and all the Brazilians began singing and shaking in the cramped car. Like I said: You don't have to be a people person to enjoy the World Cup, but it sure makes it more fun.

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