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Oh, wie ist das schön… June 25, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

Not that I intend to write about football, really, but I do feel all INTEGRATED now that I know my first German football song. I even quite like it, heard for the first time chanted on a wave of sweat and testosterone in that tent in Prater – a beer-garden – where the temperature was AT LEAST 400 degrees (centigrade or Fahrenheit, I ain’t fussy) some days ago. It’s not a bad little ditty. Even quite tuneful, and I think singing’s an awfully good thing, and if it takes beating foreigners at footie to get young German men – maybe twelve ladies joined in too – to sing, then so be it. And far be it from me to do another bout of comparing like with like in this country and the homeland, but I think, “Oh, wie ist das schön,” is even a tiny bit more poetic and tuneful than, “Oooooooooooooooooooooooh, you’re shit, ha ha ha.” “Eng-er-land,” is up there battling it out for top-spot in my very own football-chant chart though.

It’s a glorious Sunday. I’ve got a squillion things I could vaguely be doing – none of them urgent. Well, there is a job application to contend with, but I need to scan something for it, and to use the scanner I have to remove one plug and insert another, which involves bending down and fiddling with that infernal tangle of wires just lying there being ugly behind every good computer, and that would give me BSE. Scanning’s awfully hard – but I don’t really plan to do them but what I do need to do, or not do, is not watch England’s match. Now that it’s the knock-out stages and vaguely exciting and there could even be penalties and all that, I just have to not be anywhere near a screen. So what do I do? Go to church? Does that last two hours? Anyway, I’m not religious. But I need to do something. Plus, the Russian’s crowing during an England football match would be unbearable, especially if Ecuador wins. That man would support Chechnya if they were playing England. (I think this is payback for me whooping for joy every time a Russian ice-skater fell at the Winter Olympics.) (Oh, and perhaps supporting Finland in the ice-hockey semi-final against you-know-who.) (Oh, and again, perhaps revelling slightly too enthusiastically at Finland beating you-know-who into second place at this year’s Eurovision.) (Oh, and because we’ve been together for over six years.) I could go to a park, I suppose, and attempt to toil through a page or two of Murakami. Or attempt a siesta.

And although I really am a tad footballed out, I feel, for the benefit of my several million readers abroad, I should point out that, for me at least, the World Cup is being a great boon to Berlin life. Well, OK, it still couldn’t make the area around Zoo not be total puke when I popped over there the other day to buy some Levis to smuggle back here to the East to sell for some hard currency, but in this half of town, or central bits of it, at least, the streets are awash with happy, jolly, pissed folk. The pavements outside bars and cafes are peppered with short-term, just-this-once football fans. The weather is fucking gorgeous. The atmosphere is friendly (although, admittedly, Germany is yet to lose a late-evening match (or, indeed, any match)). The novelty of cars honking and flags fluttering hasn’t yet worn thin. This morning one friend said he’s already dreading the World Cup being over. Personally, I’m going to enjoy the carnival while it lasts. When you even get Angie and the Bundespräsident practically tripping over each other to use chatty, colloquial German on TV one after the other and Angie talking about, “Our boys going to Berlin,” you’ve got to smile.



1. lukeski - June 25, 2006

Tony Blair appeared on 606 (the BBC football phone-in radio show) last week and made a concious effort to speak estaury English and show that he is a man of the people. This was all unfortunately undone when he said his family had holidayed in France in the 1960’s – not you typical salt of the earth week at Butlins or in a caravan. The politicians here have all been jumping on the band wagon (or rather the gravy train), getting free tickets to matches and seeking to show their popular credentials by discussing Ingerland’s formation and Ronaldinho’s lack of form. Do they really think we are so stupid, or are the European electorates really incapable of seeing through this shameless facade?

2. BiB - June 25, 2006

Well, old Ange is often to be seen at the matches, though I’m not sure she manages to convince anyone she’s happy to be there, but she says the right things. (We Ossis can supposedly now be proud that we’ve got Ange AND Ballack as captain.) Didn’t Tone once do some not-too-fatally-embarrassing football tricks for the camera? I’ve got a feeling it sent his ratings through the roof. Gerhard was often to be seen in possession of a football, a huge fuck-off beer or an even fuck-off bigger cigar, though not at the same time, admittedly. I suppose it depends how well they carry the charade off. William Hague (or is he Haig? Can’t be bothered to google him) obviously didn’t get away with the baseball cap and Notting Hill Carnival, zum Beispiel.

3. daggi - June 25, 2006

But Ange isn’t a real Ossi, is she. Never mind the unfortunate “born in Hamburg” bit, anyone whose father was a vicar can never be of the same blood as, erm, the Pudhys, even if she was once Propaganda Secretary of her branch of the Free German Youth. What kind of Christian parents were they anyway, letting her join the FDJ? Opportunists, I’d say. Otherwise she would have had no chance of getting into university. And where would we be now, without Kohls Mädchen to save the nation?

4. BiB - June 26, 2006

What is/are Pudhys? Yes, I’ve always thought her fake Ossi credentials are underplayed too. She was a Wessi Flüchtling here, surely…

5. daggi - June 26, 2006

Come on, BiB, search German wikipedia! We can’t do it all for you, can we.

6. BiB - June 26, 2006

All I’ve found on google is a reference to music. Are they East German megastars?

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