SAO PAULO, Brazil — It’s hard to appreciate from outside the country just how big football — oh, fine, soccer — is in Brazil.
One way to put it: Sao Paulo normally has some of the worst traffic on earth. But yesterday, the city was officially on holiday for the opening match of the World Cup between Brazil and Croatia. During the match, the streets were absolutely deserted, prompting my taxi driver to remark: “Oh, isn’t it beautiful!”
Another way to understand Brazil’s passion for “the beautiful game” is that this whole city is awash with two colors: Green and yellow. “Verde amarelo” is just about everywhere you look: In shop windows, hanging from the balconies of the ubiquitous skyscrapers and draped across the city’s cars.
And, of course, Brazilians have adorned themselves in the nation’s colors, filling the crowded streets and subway stations with an ocean of green and yellow.
Here are 14 photos snapped over the last couple of days to give you a taste of the excitement of being in this enormous city right now.
One of the most striking examples of green and yellow is in this city’s shop windows, most of which have made a special effort to place products in the nation’s colors for all to see.
This is true both for swanky boutiques, like this one in the Morumbi neighborhood…
… and also for local corner shops, where any random green or yellow product now has pride of place. This is a tiny store in the Ibipapuera neighborhood:
Trinkets and other random stuff:
You can buy hundreds of different Brazil- or World Cup-themed products in the stores and on the streets of Sao Paulo at the moment. Here’s a small selection.
The ever-present (and, let’s face it, a little annoying) vuvuzelas:
How about a World Cup-themed portable fan and candy holder?
Or show your colors with these nifty wing-mirror covers:
You can even buy your gas from green and yellow pumps. (Yeah, we know, this is Brazil’s nationalized gas company and the pumps are always that color.):
On your head:
Brazilians are really digging the green and yellow headwear, and there are dozens of varieties of nationalistic head adornments on display. Here’s a selection:
Spotted in Ibirapuera on a not-at-all-creepy mannequin:
One thing Brazilians love just as much as soccer is beer. Why not combine the two with this handy drinking hat?
Here is 25-year-old Luciano Souza-Rios, who was hanging out by the protests at the Carrao Metro station on Thursday:
And 61-year-old Ideli Batista, also at the metro station, sported another fine wig:
This chap was from Saudi Arabia and didn’t speak any English or Portuguese. That didn’t stop him getting into the spirit of things:
There was also …
Makeup (19-year-olds Isabela Monteiro and Rafaela Trell, on their way to the big game):
And masks for the kids (four-year-old Eduarda Ribera at the metro station):
For some, like Pati Martins, the national colors were simply a chance to show off their sense of style in a whole different way:
Are you in Brazil? Send us your own photos of green and yellow stuff and we might post them on our Tumblr: GreenAndYellowStuff.tumblr.com!