Here is one from back in the day.
Football is one of those sports that really brings people together. I mean football, football, aka soccer in the U.S., but that’s a whole different story. Coming from Jamaica, everything stops when football (or cricket) is on. I remember the time when the Reggae Boys qualified, but I digress. Football brings people together in funny ways.
During the 2010 World Cup, my friend Rohini and I went to watch the Brazil vs. Côte D’Ivoire match at Félix Restaurant in Soho. It’s one of my favorite places to watch football and apparently everyone else’s too. We could only get an early brunch reservation and lost our table by the time the game was to start. Amateurs, I know. Still we stayed and watched standing by the bar.
As the game went on, a girl offered us a seat at her table. She had a couple of friends had left and there were empty chairs. We gladly took her up on the offer and immediately hit it off talking about life in New York City, favorite restaurants, chefs and hotspots.
It was an amazing game. Brazil was on fire. They scored three times, and every time they did the Félix team came around with shots and sprayed us with champagne. You can imagine the scene. At one point, I got tequila in my eye and that was fun.
The final score was 3-1 to Brazil. At the end of the match, Rohini and I started to say our goodbyes and Kelly asked us where we were from.
So long ago, but it kinda went like this:
Me: Rohini is from Miami and I am from Jamaica, but I am Chinese-Jamaican.
Kelly: Oh, I have a friend who is Chinese-Jamaican.
Kelly: Chad… (We both said his last name at the same time.)
Me: That’s crazy. Chad and I grew up together.
So you are probably thinking, “Oh, small world. How many Chinese Jamaican are there and this must happen all the time.” Well, it gets better. Kelly proceeded to tell me that she went to university with Chad and that she even went to Jamaica for New Years when there was a big party at Chad’s house. I was at that party too!
At that point, we were both shocked at how small the world really was. Then we started realizing we knew so many other people in common and I was just naming people to see if she knew them. I could tell she was good people so I extended my guesses only to find out she also knew one of my good friends in New York… not Jamaican.
Indeed a small world, but football makes it even smaller!
BACKSTORY: Tequila in My Eye
So this is a bit embarrassing, but funny all the same. Rohini and I get a good laugh every time I tell it.
Here we are in Felix, which is jam-packed with football fans and you can imagine a good number of them are men, the hot European types. I have my head back as they pour tequila straight into my mouth to celebrate another goal. And then, oops, a drop of tequila in my eye. Not the most pleasant experience.
So what does Rohini do, the good, caring friend that she is? She dunks her napkin into her water and rubs my eye. She gets not just my eye but my eyebrow as well.
Then it went something like this:
Me: Aahhh, stop Roh!
Roh: What? What?
Me: You’re rubbing off my eyebrow.
(If you know me, I wasn’t born with naturally thick eyebrows so I get some help makeup-wise.)
Roh: What? Oh, oops. (A look of shock then a smile.)
Me: Is it gone?
Roh: Yes Bri, it’s gone.
And there you have it, I was in Felix with one eyebrow. I had to go into the bathroom and rub the other one off.
Lesson learned: Walk with eyebrow pencil at all times and don’t let waiters pour shots into your mouth straight from the bottle.