Like most Americans, I don’t care too much about the World Cup. Matter of fact, this is the first one I’ve ever seen and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m taking note of it now that I’m outside of the country. This place, tucked between mountains in Western China, has gone crazy with football fever. I can’t go anywhere without overhearing people talking about it or seeing re-caps on local television in shops and restaurants. And maybe after all these repeated unintentional exposures to the Cup, it has some kind of draw which it’s never had before. Add to that the national pride and buzz surrounding the German team (since they’re the hosts) and it’s actually exciting to watch.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game more than any sporting event of the last few years. Germany is playing Argentina, a very strong team, in the quarter-finals and the results might be a preview of who’ll win this year.

The game is tomorrow at 11pm China time (11am EST, 8am PST) and I picked up some Chinese to root for Germany in the local language. Jia You ??, which roughly means “go team” (literally translated as “add gasoline”?).