The German has been in sports heaven for the past few weeks. Because I am more concerned about shut-eye rather than shut-outs, the German has been able to enjoy almost every game of The European Cup Soccer Championship. Watching soccer often puts me to sleep, so I have crashed on the sofa for a few games as well.
Tonight Germany faces Turkey in the first semi-final game. After a few lackluster performances, hopes are high for the German 11 (kind of like Ocean's 11, but not as cool). Tomorrow Russia plays Spain in the second semi-final. It dawned on me yesterday that there could be a Turkey-Russia final. Hmm . . . that does not sound very European to me.
I am pretty good with geography. In fact, I placed 7th in the National Geographic South Carolina State Geography Bee. Yes, I know that admitting this makes me a big fat dork, but let's all move on, shall we? When I was in grade school I remember coloring Turkey with the "Asia" countries, and the then Soviet Union was considered half-and-half (i.e. half-European and half-Asian). Did the books change, and I was not aware? I asked the German what he thought.
"Well, if Israel can win the EUROvision Song Contest, then I suppose everything is Europe."
"Wait, so Israel is a part of Europe? What about say, Lebanon?"
"Nope, Lebanon is definitely not Europe."
This has all got me thinking about geography and politics. By defining a country as "European," it (i.e. the country) gets a boost in its reputation. The European Union is pushing its boarders and there is talk of including countries like the Ukraine. But is there a limit to all of this inclusiveness? Is there a point when we say, "You know what, your country is definitely not on the European continent." The thing is, this is not just a question for geographers but it is also a political one. Saying who can belong to the "European club," can be a touchy subject around here.
Anyway, I have to go teach English now. Someone told me a month ago that "American English" is not real English. The same person also told me that the U.S. have 51 states. Hmm . . . maybe those books have been changed, too.
UPDATE: Germany beat Turkey 3 - 2. After two glasses of wine, I fell asleep and missed the second half, which was apparently the best part.
UPDATE: Spain beat Russia 3 - 0. That makes it a Germany - Spain final. I guess I got all worried for nothing!