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Solidarity do supporter do rugby

November 13, 2006

I should now be in Caracas, but thanks to technical difficulties I am in Madeira, a small Island in the Atlantic.

I arrived home from Calgary 1000 Saturday hired a car and picked up my son from the motorway to go down to Cardiff to watch Wales play in international Rugby match. 0300 the next day the alarm goes off and I catch an 0625 flight to Caracas via Lisbon, Portugal. We arrive on time, but the connecting flight due out at 1000 is delayed to 1245, then we will get information at 1315 and finally leave at 1500. Two hours later we are at Madeira with technical difficulties.

Announcements are made in Portuguese and then in English. THe problem is that 90% speak Portuguese so each announcement produces a cacophony of sound which drowns out the English. Fortunately a fellow bilingual traveller has seen my welsh rugby shirt (It had been a good day, the three celtic countries had all won, and England and France had been humiliated) so I had chosen one for the flight. Now Rugby is a minority sport in Portugal, but it created enough in common that he decided to look after me. As a result instead of wandering aimlessly trying to find out what was going on, we got to the head of every queue and were in the first taxi to the hotel. Hopefully this morning we will get onto a repaired plane, this will not be my last ever blog and I will arrive in Caracas later today!

It all shows how symbols (the shirt) and commonalities can create resonance and trust in context at short notice. I have, naturally resolved to support Portugal against Georgia in the World Cup qualifiers

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