14 June, 2010

Vuvuzela Madness

I've had some complaints that I haven't updated here for a while.
No, I haven't - BECAUSE I HAVE A LIFE!! There's infinite amount of beer to drink, but a finite number of sunny days, so I need to maximise my outdoor time. And work (to pay for the outdoor time)

Seriously though, I have been busy and work doesn’t make for very exciting blogging. But to the curious among you, work is going well – am getting good feedback from my students. Life outside of work is also good – went to Berlin for a weekend, have enjoyed the sunshine, and will be going to Italy next month (woohoo!)

But now the World Cup has started, so everything else is on hold. For the next month, it is & will be just football. Being here for a world cup is interesting but VERY different. Up till now, I have watched World Cups only in England & Japan. In England, I was surrounded by my fellow dreaming masochists, so felt quite comfortable bemoaning the England team. I mean, that’s part of the national psyche; build up our hopes to irrational levels then have them completely annihilated. And THEN complain that our team is shit, always was and always will be. That’s what being an England fan is all about.

After that, I lived in Japan. A land of even bigger dreaming masochists. There, England fans can breathe a little sigh of relief, and feel a little (big?) sense of superiority – we have, after all, won the world cup (OK, yes, it was once, but it was once more than Japan)

And now I am in Germany. A land where people are realists and are not afraid of the truth. And where pretty much everyone has a memory of Germany winning a World Cup. And maybe even more than one. Perhaps they’ll remember THREE! They even have a little song celebrating their victories. The lyrics are imaginatively, “vierundf├╝nfzig, vierundsiebzig, neunzig, zehn”, which translates as, “54, 74, 90, 10”. K likes singing that song. A lot.
So, it’s a great pleasure to be here when people keep telling me that England doesn’t stand a chance of winning, not reaching the semi-finals and perhaps not even the quarter finals. And then, to add insult to injury, numerous people have told me that England should have won it in 1966 either and that also should have been a German victory. Please don’t take our one star away! It’s pretty much the only thing England football fans have to brag about (even if we weren’t alive to witness it ourselves…)

Saying that, it’s not said in a nasty way. My friends are just being realists. The thing is, it’s easy to be a realist when you have witnessed your team win a World Cup. Being a masochistic dreamer sometimes isn’t as good as it’s cracked up to be….