Beng in Brazil: Watching Brazil with a Brazilian family
It's like a mini United Nations gathering in this cosy home in Salvador, Bahia, as the World Cup opening ceremony unfolds on TV.
Family friend Pablo is chanting: "Chi Chi Chi! Le Le Le! Viva Chile!
Justin is decked out in a red, white and blue wig as his girlfriend Maggie twirls an American flag on a stick.
Not to be outdone, and perhaps bringing the kiasu to Brazil after a 30-hour flight, Prakash and Durai unfurls a bigger Singaporean flag.
June 12 is Brazil's Valentine's Day and Eliete, matriarch of the house and Durai's mother-in-law, showed everyone great love by preparing a sumptuous spread of local finger food that includes kibe (beef croquettes), coxinha (prawn or cod fish in batter shaped like a little chicken thigh), cuzcuz (couscous), corn pudding and lots of nuts.
And there's beer. Lots of beer and guarana to get everyone in the mood.
The bubbly 68-year-old got everyone cracking in laughter when she pulled out a 100 real ($57) note and animatedly challenged us to take her bet for the Brazil-Croatia opener.
It did get a pool started as we settled for 10 real bets as the 10 of us each picked a scoreline.
Tia (auntie) Eliete had everyone in fits again when she brought out her Saint Anthony statue to watch over the stash.
Just then, the footage showed the Croatians coming out of their team bus.
Durai's wife Erica, yellow from head to toe with a Brazil cap and national jersey, shouted: "Shupar Croatia!"
The Salvador native wasn't cheering the enemies. She was shouting in Portuguese: "Croatia suck!"
In a show of unified defiance with the rest of their country, the locals sang the second verse of the Brazil national anthem, Hino Nacional Brasileiro, a cappella, refusing the time limit Fifa tried to impose.
Watching the World Cup in a Brazilian home is full of fun, laughter, food and banter.
And oh yeah, a bundle of nerves too.
Especially after Marcelo scored the 11th-minute own goal.
Rogerio fell silent, Erica buried her face in her hands, and tia Eliete quietly retreated to her room to be with her cat, unable to handle the stress and excitement.
The Selecao were not playing well, and the 18 minutes it took for Neymar to conjure an equaliser felt like an eternity.
Oh, how the Neves household erupted as his shot curled away from Stipe Pletikosa's fingers and rolled in off the post.
But it was nothing compared to the bedlam when Neymar scored the 71st-minute penalty to give Brazil a 2-1 lead.
As fireworks crackled in the neighbourhood, Erica was dancing with Durai, Erica was dancing with her brother Rogerio, and then Erica was dancing with me.
"The World Cup means everything to us," said the 34-year-old biologist who works in Singapore but is back in Brazil with her Singaporean husband Durai to catch the action live.
"Football is like a religion here and especially now that it's here, it's huge.
"I remember when we won the 1994 World Cup on penalties, it was raining here in Salvador, but we ran out to the streets to celebrate. It was one of the best days of my life.
"This time round, I completely support the protests because too much money has been spent on the World Cup, but the country is still lacking in security and the healthcare system.
"But we also have a big responsibility now that the World Cup has kicked off, and so many million visitors have come, to make it the best we can."
Durai Ramanathan, who took more than a month's worth of no pay leave, will be at the Arena Fonte Nova to catch all six matches held there, is sure the once-in-a-lifetime experience will be worth every minute.
The 33-year-old writer and producer said: "To watch it at the spiritual home of football, where the World Cup matters so much to the locals, is just on a different level.
"I've always enjoyed watching how Brazilians play with a smile on their faces, and now that I have a Brazilian wife, my allegiance is even more true.
"As we saw in the Confederations Cup, Brazil are a different beast when they play in front of their home fans. They feel the protestors' pain and they want to do it for the 12th man.
"But they are a young team and as much as I want to see them win, I'm not entirely convinced they can, especially with well-oiled teams like Germany around."
His cousin Prakash Somosundram added: "But of course we hope that Brazil can finally win it on home soil.
"It would be a dream come true not only for the Brazilians, but also for me. It's been my dream as a kid to watch the World Cup live, and it doesn't better than watching it in Brazil with great company of family and friends, and great food."
Just then, Oscar capped a lung-busting run with a brilliant goal in injury time to seal a 3-1 victory.
Only then did a relieved tia Eliete emerge from her room to marvel at the replays.
She spoke minimal English, but she again had everyone in stitches when she cheekily rubbed her fingers, reminding one and all she had picked the correct score.
Pocketing a cool 90 reals, the clairvoyant one had no doubts Brazil will win the World Cup.
Her 200 million countrymen will also be praying that she gets it right again.