BY JOAQUIN P.L.G. COOK
President and CEO, Bank of Guam
To attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup from Nov. 26 – Dec. 3
- Spain vs. Germany
- Portugal vs. Uruguay
- Iran vs. USA
- Poland vs. Argentina
- Croatia vs. Belgium
- Ghana vs. Uruguay
How I got there
Guam – Manila: United Airlines (overnight)
Manila-Doha: Philippine Airlines (10 hours 35 minutes)
The same route back:
Doha to Manila: Qatar Airlines
(8 hours 35 minutes on an amazing airline)
Manila to Guam: United Airlines
Who I went with
The Boys: Logan Reyes, Dylan Byerly, Nicholas Mata, Joey Stadler, and Joseph Hu.
Where we stayed
We stayed at one of the temporary fan villages that were made from containers. It was definitely an experience and one that is not for the “high maintenance traveler.”
Our plumbing had issues; the air conditioning didn’t really cool the room down in the day (remember we were in the desert). And there was no housekeeping — you kept your
own house. It was definitely not glamorous, but decent enough to rest for the night and get ready for the next day.
What I took for the trip
Clothes for hot weather: t-shirts, shorts, slippers, tennis shoes
Clothes for games: jerseys, pants (the stadiums are outdoors, but airconditioned)
clothes for dinner/going out
What I forgot to pack
I can’t think of anything I didn’t take that I needed.
What I came back with
World Cup gear, spices, honey, snacks from the region
My favorite meal
We had dinner with a friend we made who is a friend of a friend. He took us to a cultural center called Katara where we ate at a delicious Qatari restaurant: L’wzaar Seafood Restaurant.
What I had to see/do
Watch World Cup games, see sand dunes in the desert, ride a camel, meet locals.
What I could have done without
Traffic, long lines and waits into/out of the stadiums.
Me and The Boys at the USA vs. Iran game with our Guam jerseys and American flag gutras.
What I’ll never forget
The friends we made, sand dune adventures, seeing greats play their last World Cups (Ronaldo, Messi, Modric), visiting the Croatia locker room before the game.
Most memorable person I met
There were two: Khalid and Majed – friends of friends who are from Qatar and Libya (respectively).
Formula 1 in Singapore, Melbourne, Dubai or one of the tennis Grand Slam events. Sports events draw such an international crowd, and everyone is there to enjoy themselves. The energy is amazing, and the vibes just can’t be beat.
Also, the Tomorrowland music festival in Boom, Belgium, for the same reasons. mbj