Friday, June 09, 2006

Fussball Fieber (Football Fever)

My "break from blogging" the past week was not entirely intentional. It started innocently enough last weekend. I decided to take two whole days off. In the spirit of actually taking time off, I did not even turn on my computer. This proved to be a fatal error in planning.

Although Monday was a public holiday here in Germany, I spent the entire day in front of my computer working, because I knew that a hell-ish week was on the horizon. This week I started teaching a training seminar for the unemployment office. Now, everyday I get up around 5:30am and leave the house around 7:00am. I get home around 7:00pm. When I get home, I usually eat, watch my soap, and then get back to work planning lessons, editing my professor's book, grading papers, writing offers . . . well, you get the picture.

Blogging may take a back seat for the next few weeks until things let up. However, I am going to try to stick with it, because it is a really great creative outlet, and the best way to procrastinate.

So, now on to the day's news . . . .

It's here! It's here! The way people are acting today, you would think that Christmas had come early. No, it is not Christmas, but today marks the beginning of the World Cup soccer (um, football?) tournament, which is taking place this year in Germany.

Football (um, soccer?) is taken VERY seriously here in Germany. Almost everyone has an opinion about the coach, players, strategy; hell, they even debate the quality of the grass. For example, this week papers have been critical of the captain of the team, Michael Ballack. Seems that Mr. Ballack is injured and cannot play in the opening game tonight, a tragedy somewhere on the same level as . . . well . . . I am not sure. There are grumbling that Ballack has not been properly taking care of himself.

I would like to point out that showy displays of nationalism are frowned upon here in Germany (you know, the Nazi past and all). However, every four years Germans bring out their flags and Germany is awash in a sea of black, red, and yellow. I saw a car drive by yesterday with a flag hanging out the window, and the neighbor across the street hung his up this morning.

The German and I applied for tickets at the beginning of the year. We were not sure who was playing where at that time, so we took a chance in the ticket lottery. We applied for three games, but only got tickets for a first round game in Hannover. They came in the mail last month. We are the proud possessors of two tickets for that clash of the football titans, MEXICO VS. ANGOLA. A radio announcer has dubbed games like this "Mickey Mouse" tickets, i.e. not important, why go. However, I am pretty psyched to be part of the whole thing and look forward to seeing the stadium in Hannover next week.

The tickets also came with "fan information." The best part is the phrase book. It includes the very important phrases, "What team do you support?" and "Do you accept Master Card?" Also included are directional phrases such as, "I'm looking for . . ." and "Where is the nearest metro station?" It does not include, however, the words for left, right, down the street, etc. So, I guess it is important to be able to ask for directions, but if you want to understand them, you are on your own.

I think there are several important phrases that the book leaves out.

"Ref, are you blind, that was a foul!" : "Schiri, bist du blind? Das war ein Foul!"
"Ref, we know where your car is!" : "Schiri, wir wissen wo dein Auto steht!"
"What are you? An idiot?" : "Was bist du? Ein Idiot?"
"One beer, please." : "Ein Bier, bitte."

(PS: I had pictures to go with the post, but blogger does not want to cooperate. I will try again later!)


J said...

Nice to know I'm not the only on swamped with work right now.

Did the phrasebook have my new fav German phrase 'You've got tomatoes on your eyes' in it?

James said...

I watched my first ENTIRE football game yesterday and I have to say it was very exciting.