Tuesday, July 1, 2014

On the other hand...

"On the other hand" is a popular expression which we use when comparing and contrasting situations. We may be comparing two sides of a story, two extremes or two possibilities.

1. When Fortaleza (One of the host cities for the World Cup in the Northeast of Brazil) hosts a soccer game, you can almost be guaranteed that there will be no rain (which is a good thing)… But on the other hand, it is so hot that players need a time-out to refresh themselves because of the heat and humidity. 

2. Life in the tropics is fantastic, because it is quite literally an endless summer. On the other hand, we have to find ways to keep cool.

3. When a Third World country hosts the FIFA World Cup (or Olympics), it is a mixed bag of blessings. On one hand, there is the benefit of an influx of tourism which lasts until long after the World Cup ends, as well as a renewed interest in Brazil in general… On the other hand, the country oversteps its budget in preparing the infrastructure and building stadiums. There is also a demand for - and therefore an increase in - prostitution.

4. It is incredibly frustrating when referees make obvious bad calls during a game. For example, not awarding a goal when it really is one… Or calling a penalty when there shouldn't be one. Also, there are unpleasant stories in the news. For instance, African teams not receiving their money from their confederations... On the other hand, what would the World Cup be without a little controversy? Don't you think we need these types of things to happen so that we have something to talk about… Something newsworthy?

5. Brazil's top goal scorer and star player, Neymar, did not score any goals against Chile during their recent match, apart from a penalty (because there were always 2 to 3 Chilean players on top of him). He was not able to shine as he usually does… On the other hand, we know that he worked really hard because he ran about 13.5 km during the game, where normally most players would run about 10 km. Maybe that was also because of overtime.

6. I live one block from the FIFA Fan Fest in Fortaleza. They have a super big mega screen to watch matches, tons of foreigners supporting their teams and plenty of other events planned during the World Cup. It sure is a lot of fun! On the other hand, the activity and "noise" is constant. It starts at about 9 AM and continues until past midnight... every day. That makes it difficult to sleep well. 

7. Considering Brazil's track record over the last decades in the World Cup, people say that the current team is not the best team there was… On the other hand, they do have the advantage of playing at home. That is a big plus when it comes to morale and tens of thousands of live supporters in the stadium at every match.

8. Often being a goalkeeper is a thankless job. Especially if your team loses. On the other hand, once in a while, the goalkeeper gets to be the hero of the match, like Brazil's Julio Cesar, when he stopped two goals during a penalty shootout at the close of the match against Chile.

9. The atmosphere in a crowd is electric at a soccer stadium or at a Fan Fest. It's always 10 times more fun, I'm sure. On the other hand, it's easier to go to the bathroom if you watch a game at home!

10. Not all of the public works and projected infrastructure improvements in Brazil were completed before the World Cup started. This will be more obvious in some cities than others… On the other hand, people do not primarily visit Brazil for the infrastructure. They visit Brazil for its people, the culture and its natural beauty, amongst other attractions. What do you think is the best that Brazil has to offer? What is the best that your country has to offer?


  1. I was terribly schocked during and after the game on Tuesday. I was in a bar with plenty of germans and was the only one supporting Brazil. During the game they tried to cheer me up by giving me free Caipirinhas. Although it was nice of them, I was still sad and wanted to disappear. On the other hand,I still can have a lot of fun because I`m going to support Germany on Sunday and since I live in Germany it won't be hard to have a lot of fun, provided that they win.

  2. Hey Kuno,
    I think everyone felt Brazil's loss. It's been great seeing what gracious winners the Germans are, though! I'm still wearing my Brazilian soccer shirt as I write :-)
    Let's hold thumbs for Germany! By the way, here's a post I just made on another blog of mine about a list-making/ outlining app called WorkFlowy... I have 2 posts on my blog about how I've used WorkFlowy during the World Cup to keep track of scores and also complete a sticker album, haha! That blog is brand new. You might enjoy it... it's about productivity hacks in general.



  3. Hey Frank,

    that's true. In the end brazilians didn't get angry about the germans because of our loss. People here in Germany are really proud of what they did in the last month.I thought the reaction to the world cup wouldn't be so big. On a tuesday half million germans were in Berlin celebrating the victory with the national players. If this happened in Brazil, people would say brazilians always find a way/excuse not to go to work.
    I am totally interested in productivity. I'll definitely take a look at your blog. I have a lot of difficulty in planning my week and accomplishing my tasks.