Today is the greatest day I've ever known.
Hundreds of Oranje fans in Liberty Village were screaming wildly at our victory against the perennial favourites, and World Cup giants, Brazil. It felt like it did when I was in Holland for the Euro. Actually, even better. The fans went crazy when the ref blew the whistle at the 94th minute and we have been giddy ever since (must have something to do with several pints of Heineken and no food!).
It almost didn't happen for me this morning. I got up early (or so I thought), and made my way down to Liberty Village to join the other Nederlands fans at the School Bakery and Cafe. Despite getting there 1 hour and 15 minutes before kickoff, I was too late. The place was packed, and the proprietors directed us to the Liberty Bistro just down the street. But there were no signs of life at the Liberty, and no indication they would open before kickoff. So, we all trekked to the Brazen Head, which was also not opened until 10 a.m.
For some people, waiting until just before kickoff was good enough, but not for me. I am a fanatic. I need to see the pre-game program, with all of the news and line ups and the national anthems. So, I made my way to Shoeless Joe's on King St. W. and was rewarded with a sea of Oranje fans who were as anxious as me to get it started.
Needless to say, we were nervous when Brazil scored the first goal, cutting through the Nederlands defence like a hot knife through butter. But, the character of the Oranje showed through, and the team pulled it together. I was so excited at the tying goal, that I high-fived and hugged complete strangers, who were now part of my Oranje family! When Super Wesley Sneijder scored what would be the winning goal, it was like a fairy tale. The bar was jumping. Oranje fans are the best. I'm still buzzing from the thrill of watching the Brazilians implode and become desperate.
We danced on the streets of Liberty Village, in disbelief at our triumph. Ever since 1998, when Brazil knocked Holland out of the World Cup in the semi-final, we have been waiting for this day. And it has finally come!
Now, I will know what it is like to see someone crying and doing the Samba at the same time!
Hup, Holland, Hup!!