Sunday, June 22, 2008

Beautiful Game

In case you haven't been paying attention to the most popular sport in the world, I feel it is my duty to inform you that I'm living at Ground Zero for the coming apocalypse. Germany plays Turkey in the semifinal of the European Cup soccer tournament on Wednesday night, and I live in a predominantly Turkish neighborhood in the middle of the most German part of Germany (Bavaria). A giant TV screen has been erected a half-block from my front door, and the beer tents are lying in wait. Probably the only more exciting place to be during the two hours of the match will be some expat-owned beer hall in the middle of Istanbul, but only because they're probably a little less strict with their anti-riot tactics than we are around here. (Last time I tried to wheel Theo in his stroller through our town square during a Germany match, I was frisked and they almost took his sippy cup away due to the gametime bottle ban.)

The tournament is being held in Austria and Switzerland, so just a few hours from here. Although it's thrilling to cheer from the stands during these international matches, it will be just as exciting to see my Turkish neighbors and my German neighbors shouting and toasting and groaning and celebrating side by side. Somebody is going to be happy, and somebody isn't, and a whole lot of those somebodies will be down the street from us. I'm not worried about violence (see: careful police presence described above) but if I seem haggard on Thursday morning, it's because there's a 100% chance that the horn-honking and fireworks outside my window will keep me up until the wee hours. I'm thinking about staying away from the TV, ignoring the results pages online, and just imagining that everyone is a winner.

1 comment:

C N Heidelberg said...

I found your sentence that Bavaria is the most German part of Germany interesting! Many people would say that Bavaria is not German at all, but Bavarian. :) (They have the strongest separate identity of any German state.)