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  • Writer's pictureCrone


There is a certain unreality about this. The IBC. The hotel. The colleagues all in their uniforms - apart from those who don't have washing machines and come to work in mufti when their regulation clothes have run out and they are waiting to get their laundry back.

World Cups are always a little odd. People try to get a feel by getting to a game - I managed that in South Africa but not in Brazil or Russia. Yet in those last two, I did go out - my shifts were... different and there were appealing places to go and a lot of international fans in the streets and bars. There are fans here - in the souq and no doubt elsewhere. I could try to get a ticket, but it would be about £200 (I am writing this toward the end of the group stage and there are three days on which I could get to a match - the compact nature of the tournament means that I could get to any of the games on my three days off). And as I am thinking about money and the future... I guess I am disinclined.

In the end, I do this: wake up, gym, breakfast, bus, IBC, bus, bed, repeat. I have done that for the last 14 days and have another four before I get a day to myself.

So, I am going stir-crazy.

To make matters worse, I am at the point in the tournament where the Imposter Syndrome has grown to the size of small state. The size of Qatar, say. A few little unfortunate instances - calling Korea Republic just Korea or getting the nickname of Tunisia wrong - and my confidence is shattered. My head does not raise. Well, my outer head is up. The smile in place. But the inner head hangs and the inner face is distraught.

My soul has vacated and is in hiding.

So my mind flickers to the inconsequential.

What's this: star or stairs?

And what's this? Dragon or vaping Crone?

I got rather fixated on the vape shadows.

So much so I had to get a video.

I am losing my mind.

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