Oh, wie ist das schön… June 25, 2006Posted 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.