This past month, Nick and I joined a few friends at a soccer match. It was Shanghai vs. Guangzhou and it was going to be exciting. We went to the knockoff market before we went and picked up a Shanghai jersey. It was AWESOME. Its this blue, high quality, Nike Shanghai jersey. It looks completely legit.
So Nick changes into it before the game. Stops right there in the Metro and puts it on. We were pumped as we walked up to the stadium. Nicholas purchased a cheap horn to cheer on the team with. As we were walking in, we started to notice that everyone was wearing red. Maybe it’s their home jerseys? We looked up and double checked that it was a Shanghai jersey… check and double check. We tried to ask someone. Then when our Chinese friend arrived he said, “Oh that’s North Shanghai. Not this team… They’re gonna kill you. Just kidding, they won’t notice.”
Oh if only that were true. I have never in my entire life experienced something so emotionally painful as the rejection and hatred fired at us that night. We sat in our seats at the balcony. One cheer section leader caught sight of Nicholas and his offensively blue jersey. How dare he wear that rag!? He pointed, then slowly everyone started turning around. Little kids were flipping Nick off, people were booing and yelling the “F word” in more than one language. Chants were being started against us, the foreigners who should know better. Beer was thrown.
I am not exaggerating.
Nicholas, being the humble man that he was, decided to do something so they would not, in fact, kill us. So he took off his jersey. Slowly at first, so the crowd could really enjoy the fruits of their labor. They cheered when the first arm was taken out. They booed when Nick feigned putting it back on. As he swung it around his head and threw it on the ground, the crowd went wild! A team scarf was given in honor of our humiliation.
Oh and did I mention its on film? Our friends arrived just in time to film it.