Italy and France are wine-drinking countries. Most of the other countries in the tournament are beer-drinkers.
Portugal is another wine-drinker nation, which accounts for them breaking into the semi-finals, and doing so well in general.
I was asked how come USA tied Italy. The answer is in two parts:
1. There's a lot of wine drinking in the US, though not nearly as much as beer
2. Italy scored both their goal and the USA goal, so it wine does it again.
Originally uploaded by how3ird.
More Flickr photos. I can't remember her name, but I do remember I was staying in a hotel on Soi 19, a quick walk from Soi Cowboy, one of the lesser known bar alleys in Bangkok. She was luring customers into her bar, I decided to see if she wanted to come back to the hotel with me. Which she did. But all she did was pose in front of the curtains, and help herself to most of the munchies and a couple of drinks from the mini-bar. Somehow the bangle on her right wrist ended up on the floor, which I didn't notice until my girlfriend Noi came over later that night. I managed to pick it up and put it in my pocket before Noi saw it, and it's sitting on my desk as I write this.
Suzie Wong is Thai slang for any bar girl, from the old American film The World of Suzie Wong starring William Holden and Nancy Kwan.
Soi Cowboy has some history for me. When I lived in Bangkok, for a while I lived at the end of Soi Asoke - which is Soi 21 off Sukhumwit Road, a main drag from the center of the city to the eastern border. At the time Soi Asoke was a narrow street with a few fruit and vegetable shops, and ended at a canal which was black with pollution. For about 3/4 of a Baht I would take a one-passenger wanter taxi (a small skiff) across the canal to my dentist's office.
Today Soi Asoke is The Super-Highway, complete with tollbooths, and Sukhmwit is the street which hosts the skytrain. The house I lived in is still on Soi 21, but now it has a multi-storey hotel built around it. My room is just another room in the hotel.
Soi Cowboy is a one-block-long alley between Sois 21 and 23, and there was one particular bar there which was relatively quiet, and became my "local". I met someone there who became my girlfriend for several months.